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Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

Hey, there!

When I talk to my students and clients, and prospective students and clients, I never seem to hear how easy they think VO is going to be to break into. They think it’s going to be extraordinarily hard.

And guess what? They’re right.

Until it isn’t anymore.

So. What’s the secret to making VO easy?


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Let’s be clear: anyone who tells you that VO is a snap, or they can get you working in 90 days, or that VO is money in the bank, is lying to you. VO is hard. It’s hard to break into, it’s hard to learn, it’s hard to get good at, it’s hard to get into the unions, it’s hard to be consistently successful at VO, and it’s hard to maintain a VO career over a long period of time without constant attention to your work.

And certain categories of VO work, like ADR and looping, and trailers and promos, and network animation, and network commercials, are almost mind-numbingly difficult to crack.

Until…they aren’t.

Yes, it’s really hard to get on the radar of Barbara Harris or The Loop Troop to do looping work. And the network promo producers and movie trailer guys are even more difficult to track down and get to know. That is, until you do.

Because eventually, if you work at it, and you’re ready to do the work, because you’ve learned your craft and you’ve practiced and you’re suitable for the work, and you’re willing to do the work, and you take the time to network and meet the right people and are available for the audition and you nail it…you’ll get your chance.

It’s those who give up, because they’re tired of the grind, and/or are angry because they’ve been lied to about how easy VO is, and/or are cynical about “the industry,” and/or are suffering from audition fatigue, and/or are jealous of other VO talents’ success…they get a taste of bitterness, and realize just how hard VO can be.

But when you get in the studio, finally, and you get on-mic, and the session flies by, and you get that substantial check a couple of weeks later, and you’re networking with other VO talent who have paid their dues as well, and you get to work with them again, and you see or hear your work on the air, and you feel a part of the industry, then you realize that, yes, VO was really, really hard.

Until it wasn’t.

And hopefully, you’re in this, not for a set number of months or years, but…until. Until it’s not so hard anymore. Until the work is fun, and yes, easy. Then, the hard work begins of maintaining all that hard work and skill building and marketing and promoting and keeping your VO career vibrant and alive. That can be hard, too.

Until it’s not. Until…it’s fun. And satisfying.

I wish for you that very state of affairs.

You can do it. But…it’s hard.

Until.

Hope this helps.

David

Raw YouTube Captioning

Hey there, it’s David H Lawrence to 17th. And today I want to talk to you about something that.
He’s kind of like a big elephant in the room and people want to get into a business like ours performance voice over on
camera.
because
Everybody wants to sell you.
the
Solution the secret the ability to crack the code to make it easy.
To do what we do.
And the truth of the matter is that voice over in particular on camera any type of production any time of performance?
That somebody else has the ability to say. Yes, we want you or I’m really sorry, but we went in a different direction.
It’s hard.
It’s really really hard my friend Michael Koster off.
Has a package called audition psych 101.
And he’s right up front with it, you know of anybody tries to tell you that they can show you how to get booked.
You should run from them.
You should just like leave skid marks II say that to people that ask me, you know, people will come to me in those hate I
want to do voiceover, but I’m just wondering how long it’ll take me to make my money back on the classes.
I don’t know or how quickly will I book how quickly will this is a big one how quickly can I make a living from?
I’m not sure you can make a living from it. And if anybody tells you they can help you make a living from it absolutely
guaranteed take the guarantee and when they don’t take the money back, I mean it just
Don’t waste your time trying to figure that out because there were so many things that are beyond your control.
So having said that.
Voiceover is really hard.
On camera is really hard.
until one day
It isn’t.
It just all of a sudden starts to click.
And there are really three different things that pay attention to that that that helps you informed that.
The first one by far is great training.
and the energy to
Take that training and put it to good use, you know, it’s not just to get great training get great classes and all that
people attend my classes all the time and I see them.
kind of going through the motions and I try to help them and I say look you got to
Go to apply this stuff, right?
Some people just don’t have the energy.
And who knows why that is it could be that they start off with all the best intentions.
But somewhere down the line to go. Wow, this is really a lot more than I get off a lot more than I could chew.
So the idea of getting great training and implementing it.
You know revolves around this having the energy to do so, that’s one thing.
the other thing is
persistence
I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me.
How do you handle the rejection of hearing no?
all the time
And I do I hear no all the time people get this impression that when you’re successful you work all the time.
I hear know far more often than I hear. Yes, or I hear nothing.
Far more often than I hear. Yes, but you have to have that persistence.
And know that if you just keep your nose to the grindstone.
Things will start to break for you.
And that persistence May last for years?
weeks months
Quarters years. I mean Samuel Jackson was really famous for saying.
David Letterman said wow, you’re just like an overnight success and he goes it took me fifteen years to be an overnight
success.
And it’s true. He worked in the business for a long time before anybody noticed it.
And then the third thing that I think is really important is something that is kind of the big elephant in the room.
* 2
And that is Talent.
You can want to do this all you want but if there isn’t.
Some innate Talent there.
You can’t if you can’t develop the talent cuz some people are born with it. Some people aren’t they develop it over time?
You have to have the talent.
and you know as well as I do there people walking around thinking that they’re talented and they aren’t and it’s hard to
talk about that because
You don’t want to be the Debbie Downer or the guy that goes yeah, you know what you’re just not talented enough.
and
Usually the people that watch these videos are far enough along in their Journey that they know that they have talent.
They know they can develop more Talent.
And it’s a it’s a pain right? But if you don’t have that, well, it makes Bo and
on camera performance
Stick to being really hard.
But then what happens one day is that?
All of the things that you’ve been practicing and putting into play the energy the training the persistence the
development of the talent.
It starts to click. I mean when you think about the different categories of voice over there just really difficult to get
into Network animated shows.
high-end looping on feature films and and network television
I do you know how
On camera performance drama-comedy whatever it is.
These are difficult things to get into until one day.
they’re not so hard because
You crack one.
You know we talked about the rules being changing in the end. You said yourself while just one day I want to just just
give me a small background roll. I just want to be on camera is going to be on Saturday want to see what happened then
give me a give me a topic show guests. Give me you know, in voice-over you give me one network commercial. Give me one,
you know audiobook. That’s like a big publisher you get to the point where it happens.
You’re not quite sure how it happens, but it happens and then you realize oh, it was really hard.
Up until then.
And once you look back on how you did it, you realize all of those things were in play.
the persistence the energy
the training
and the development of that Talent
So just know.
If you’re committed to this.
And for some of you you can’t help yourselves, you’re committed. What do you want to be or not?
If you’re committed to this and you put those things into play.
voiceover on Chandler performance
They’re all going to be possible.
And they’re going to be possible for you.
Not just the person you look at in God they do that.
That’s how they did it.
That’s really how they did it.
If you’re watching this the first day it’s being released. I’m going to be training people on how to do audio books.
Give me a sex master class for this particular year.
And I’m really excited about that. So I’m going to say about I don’t want to take these videos and turn them into sales
pitches cuz they’re not.
these are just ways that I’ve done some things that
Other people would like to do.
And I want to share that with you and we’re doing one a day for the whole year. It’s been almost up to the first 30 days
crazy.
I want to know from you.
What broke the Log Jam?
If it has been broken already for you.
What was it that you realize that made this all easier a little bit more accessible a little bit more fun.
Not so frustrating and for those of you that haven’t yet that point yet.
What do you think is your biggest hurdle? Do you think is your biggest?
I can’t do this.
Cuz I’m going to talk about those things coming up.
You things that you put a name to?
That are stopping you from moving forward.
If you want to subscribe to this channel to hear when the next video.
Is coming out here to be notified when that happens with and click on my head there.
Oh, look, maybe there’s no head there. There’s a subscribe button somewhere on the page. You want to see the latest video
I’ve done.
Click on that frame right there that tells you what the latest video I’ve done is cuz they’ll play it for you. That’s what
they do around here. I’m David H Lawrence the 17th. I thank you so much for watching.
And I will talk to you tomorrow.

8 Responses to Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

  1. J Rodney Turner January 28, 2019 at 7:56 am #

    This response is simple — I stopped being something and someone I wasn’t and simply decided that being me was good enough — and then it became about being more selective about the “me” I allowed to produce work — and I began to get better work — even though it came in slower, it was better and in the long run, it has served me well.

  2. Petrea Burchard January 28, 2019 at 8:09 am #

    I love these videos, David.

    I’ve been in the business a long time. I think I’ve experienced all those things you mention, because it changes all the time. That can be scary but it never gets boring. I have reached points when I knew I was successful, and these were resting points but not stopping points. Success is not a place you stay, it’s a thing that needs to be renewed.

    So I would say the best parts are the times when I am focused on and enjoying the work itself, and yes, when I receive acknowledgement for it. And the worst parts are the times when I don’t know what to do next. At those times, I just make a decision. It doesn’t have to be the perfect decision, just a decision that moves me forward.

    I could go on and on. But I’d rather you did!

  3. Remy O'Brien January 28, 2019 at 8:59 am #

    Thanks David,
    These videos are great. It changes all the time. It’s a little more easier than when I first started.
    For me It’s wow I booked a bunch of gigs and then crickets for months and even a year and I think
    I’m still not good at this. What am I doing wrong or missing?

  4. Ron January 28, 2019 at 9:34 am #

    Thanks David…Well said!!

  5. Ali Harrington January 28, 2019 at 4:13 pm #

    I LOVE this! It makes me feel so hopeful. Right now one thing I feel is standing in my way is being able to make good use of my time. The good news is I am BUSY! With VO, performing, and my day job. I can feel me being able to quit my day job coming…very soon. I sure could use those extra 40 hours/week to put towards my craft!! But until then, I know I need to practice getting up earlier and maybe doing a little more work and a little less play!

  6. Nikki Bryce January 30, 2019 at 1:00 pm #

    Hi David,

    I am enjoying these one-a-day VO vitamins.

    My challenge: confidence.
    I am moving from theater to film/tv and have taken acting training for almost three years, got an agent last March (one of the best in the city) and have been out for a lot of auditions since then. Last week I took Agent Claire out for lunch. Claire reminded me the CD’s are still getting to know me, like me, and I am still getting out to lots of auditions (including some commercials.)

    I know lack of confidence stinks like sheep poop (studies show it’s the stinkiest fecal matter), so aside from what I am doing to continue my confidence growth (occasional therapist appointment, eating healthier, getting enough solid and uninterrupted sleep, taking courses (like this, and getting on camera coaching prior to film/tv auditions, and casting workshops, and reading/watching content that supports my personal growth) what else can you recommend?
    As mentioned in our Pro-Connect class today, I am also managing with a serious shoulder injury.
    No matter, I am “hair straight back” (a cowgirl term for) going fast, and I “keep on, keeping on.” I am tenacious.
    And I’m excited, and eager. I am in the ACX class next month and really looking forward to that as well.

    Thanks David,
    Nikki in BC Canada

    • David H. Lawrence XVII January 30, 2019 at 1:30 pm #

      I wouldn’t add to that list of things to do, I would concentrate on going deeper on the ones that are already on the list. I love reading this.

  7. Trish Bell February 20, 2019 at 11:14 am #

    LOVE you have included this information. On a much smaller level, I present a workshop a few times a year through my local Parks and Rec on the Business of Voice Acting, I always give the REALITY of Voice Acting. I have heard “No” far more often in bookings than Yes, but I persevere and tell the students to do just that. In fact, I am gathering my marketing cards and headed off to a Business Networking event this afternoon. :).

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