Yelling in a Suit Jacket

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The best business of all. Voice Over Business. Yes, even after 5+ years in the voice world myself, I'm still learning each and every day that this is indeed a business. I wish it was all fun and games and that I could spend 99% of my day in the booth, but that's just not the case. And most the time, I'm actually OK with that. That doesn't mean you still can't be creative when you market yourself and your business. I mean, just look at this pic, I'm a Voice Actor who people usually don't ever see, but I dressed up in a suit jacket and placed a cleverly designed cup next to me just for this post. I guess this is more just a rambling to lead to the point that - will the business side of things always be fun in a creative field? No. Will the outcome of said business ventures always be worth it in the end? YES. So, go out there and put on a suit jacket and act your way into being the best damn business man or woman you can be!  Now if you'll excuse me I have to go yell into a mic for a few hours in my suit jacket.


Voice Over and Burritos

I’ll be honest. I partake in a fine craft beer or tasty cocktail every so often. I smoke a few cigars a year and also have some yogurt and coffee from time to time. *GASP*. I know I know, “what about your voice” “yogurt will make you flemmy!” “Alcohol and coffee dehydrates you”.  You know, I agree. And I obviously don’t do any of those things before a session, unless of course, I want that nice grungy sound from yogurt or a cigar. In my opinion, it’s just a worry if any of those things are overtaking your life and truly affecting your career. I think you can let the pendulum swing just as much the other way and look at all those things as the worst things you can do for your voice and career when that’s just not true either. Balance, that’s the key here. If you find for yourself that having a yogurt in the evening affects your voice for all of the next day, then go ahead and cut that out.

However, in a stronger opinion that I will encourage you to take on is watching your diet and physical activity. If you bog yourself down with unhealthy foods all the time without getting any form of movement in, you will feel less motivated and less ready to take on a session. I’m preaching to myself here, mind you. FULL DISCLOSURE: I had a late night burrito that I am now regretting today. I’m not going to get down on myself about it, but I will get back on track today with lots of water, hopefully a salad, and some activity. Even a nice walk will do. No need to go overboard on this either- just keep the late night burritos to a minimum and get in a bit of movement every day and you’ll be A-OK.

Coaching Smoaching

Get a coach? I’m not an athlete, or a singer, or a dancer. I didn’t think I ever needed one; this is exactly why I did. You see, it’s easy sometimes to think you know everything-especially after you’ve been doing something for a bit of time. Come on, I know I’m not alone in this, right? Be honest.

 I started in the world of radio broadcasting at the ripe old age of 18 and was immediately thrust into the advertising side of things by cutting spots for everything under the sun, well, that was under the sun in Kalispell, MT(Go there immediately for a visit if you can find a good deal on a flight!).  I was never given any advice on this side of things from the program director, the sales people, the clients, or other jocks. It was basically "Hey Matt’s got a pretty great voice, go ahead and pass the copy onto him"  I was thrilled; I could read these scripts however I wanted! That my dear friends is where the problem begins.  I started on the foundation that this is nothing more than “reading”. Anyone can do that. So I began my voice over career not putting any sort of attitude and emotion into these scripts while focusing on the sound of my pipes to get the job done. Big mistake, people don’t talk like that in real life. Do you think about how your voice sounds instead of what you’re saying when you talk to people? And that’s where the true foundation really needs to begin. What are you trying to say with this copy and to whom?

The more and more coaching I take the more I realize how long I went down that dark path of despair and dread of nothing more than reading a script with a nice tone. That may be a little dramatic, but you get the point. I hope you’ll heed this ex-radio fellas advice, even if you aren’t from a background in radio, to get some vo coaching. This is coming from someone who was almost completely against and thought it was just other vo folks conning the news guys. I thought I could learn everything from videos or just listening back to myself. Everything changes when you have the honest, but caring opinion of a coach.

I can’t tell you who to choose as your own personal voice sensai, but I will say to make sure they either have their own track record of success or many satisfied and working VO professionals under their belt. Also, have a quick consult with them to let them know your goals and what sects of voice over interest you the most. You will see if they are a good fit to guide you on your way. Until next time, don’t be afraid to show those feelings. 

Make your moment.

This was a special project to be involved in. Its about making the most of every moment, which we all know is very difficult to do day to day. The day I met the client who produced this video (Cliffco, check them out!) I went to a creative mornings meeting with the idea of just getting out of the house. I planned on enjoying the free breakfast, the brief and interesting talk on change, and maybe just maybe say hello to someone. I'm glad I decided to take a moment and say hello to Dan. He said they may have a project they could use my voice on and I heard from them the next day. This is a long introduction for a video that speaks for itself. Get out there and make your moment with a handshake, a smile, or anything that will brighten someones day.