A career in voiceovers is perhaps one of the most exciting career choices for a performer. Even though the voice actor goes through the same ups and downs of every performer, there are specific, unforgettable moments in a voiceover career every voice actor/performer should hold onto for the entire length of a career!
5. The moment a voice actor has his/her “breakthrough”
This is the moment when a voice actor is reading behind a mic, and finally nails all the important things about reading a script, and doing it all at once. For example, when a voice actor does the following:
- Hears him/herself and self-corrects in the moment.
- Knows for him/herself when a mistake has been made and saves the read.
- Connects with the script and does not sound like they are “reading”.
- When the studio engineer and voice actor, all know at once, “Yeah! That was it!”.
- When walking out of an audition, the voice actor knows, “I got this job”, or also knows, “I was good, but just not right”.
4. The moment a voice actor has completed a professional demo…and it rocks!
We live in a “DIY” age where one person working from home has the ability to make a professional recording “sound”. But a professional sound does not make for a professional demo. It may be tempting to try and do it yourself, but when it comes down to finally making a demo, it is always wiser to involve a second opinion of someone who works professionally in the business, and hopefully makes professional demos for a living. In fact, it is more cost effective to do it right the first time.
It may take a few months, if you have never done professional work before. However, the moment a voice actor hits play, and the demo sounds like a professional voice actor reading actual, professional spots the voice actor is filled with a sense of accomplishment and pure confidence to share the demo with everyone in the business! At this point, the voice actor has raised his/her own bar of professionalism and it is time to let everyone know!
3. The moment a voice actor records in a voiceover studio for the first time
Yes, we live in a time where voice actors are afforded the opportunity to work from home. But did you know, the majority of working voice actors from home got their initial experience working in professional studios? This provided them with an undeniable experience of having direction in person, complete with facial expressions from behind the glass.
The voice actor would learn from hearing things like, “You sounded like you were just reading”, or “Try talking to a person, and not at them”, or the satisfying, “OK, that was perfect. I like especially when you did [insert].”
After all the work put in to simply get the first job as a voice actor, that moment of walking into a recording studio, putting on headsets, and being part of a large voiceover job feels amazing! It’s a moment one should always hold onto and appreciate!
2. The moment one first gets paid as a voice actor
I used to wonder why restaurants and stores would hang a dollar bill behind the counter. One day, I asked and it was explained to me, “That is the first dollar we ever made!”. To experience the same thing as a voice actor, and voice actors are businesses, requires celebrating the moment! Find a way to save record of that first time you get paid as a voice actor. It is a reminder that you have worked hard, accomplished a goal of becoming a paid voice actor, and you are on your way to future work. After all, the goal is to ultimately achieve #1 on this list, and constantly reminding yourself of the excitement of your first paycheck is helpful!
1. The moment you have no other job…other than being a full-time voice actor!
Many voice actors will write online about how difficult it is to achieve such a goal. It is true that many voice actors hold down two jobs to keep their voice over career in motion. There are those, however, who take advantage of all job opportunities and have great success for many reasons. From the time they wake up until the time they finish the work day, all they do is voiceovers.
How do you know when you have hit this moment in your career? The moment presents itself. You suddenly find, “Wow. I have no time for any other job, other than my responsibility to a voiceover career!” It is a beautiful moment. It is liberating in itself to know one has the ability to record scripts for a living full-time, collect pay, and go through the exciting times of telling people what you do for a living, as they hear your voice on radio, TV, and Internet.
Whatever moments you find important, the length of a career is often determined by one’s ability to remember what makes the voiceover business so special!
Good luck to all voice actors and those moments you find rewarding and memorable!
Written By: Steven Lowell
Steven started his voiceover career in 1992. As a former online community manager for voice actors, writer, talent advocate, and part-time voice actor from New York City, he has extensive knowledge in online voice casting, modern voiceover trends around the world, and knowledge of today’s tech landscape. In the past, he has offered advice and consultancy to voice actors, businesses, unions, and producers from North America, Europe, South America, and Australia.