I blew it. I screwed it up. I couldn't pull it off. I didn't fit the part. They hated me. I got kicked out. And now looking back, it was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.
My first official payed voice over job was about five years ago now. I had just moved to sunny San Diego to be closer to the action, sign with my first agency, and take the VO world by storm. I was also pretty inexperienced and a 22 year old punk. I thought I was ready for anything.
A couple months after signing with my agency that glorious "avals" call came in from an audition. Of course I was available, any day at anytime for this, I wouldn't miss this for the world! It was for a banking company where I played the part of a man that just had the best experience ever at a banking institution. You've heard the script 1000 times, I was so ready for this. I was going to go in, record the spot, be out in 10 and my name would be in lights and I would go down in history after this :30 second local radio spot.
Wrong. I showed up to the studio that I had been researching all night (That's right, I've been in the same studio that Bono has recorded in before, we're pretty close) ready to blow these producers out of the water. However, after I met the director, who thought I worked at the studio as an intern, the nerves started to kick in. So when I told her I was the talent and she got a surprised look on her face, I got a bit worried.
This was it, the moment of truth when I was staring the other talent I would be recording with in the eyes. It hit me at like a ton of bricks, I had NO idea what I was doing. I must of looked like a deer in the headlights. Take after take the director asked me for "more energy", "faster tempo", "stop coming in so hard at the top", "go up on the last word of the second to last sentence", "more emphasize on THIS word no now THAT word", "act like you're really talking to your partner!" On and on until I felt like I was going to black out, this was my big moment, my very first time in a professional studio- and I blew it. After a mere five takes the director knew I wasn't the one for this job and I did too.
That day I went home and hid under the covers for the rest of the afternoon. Seriously thought about never wanting to enter another studio again in my life. Told my best friend and VO companion that I was thinking about packing it in and selling my mic "cause I had given it a go". My gosh I really was a young foolish punk.
Long story short, but still long, I didn't end up quitting. As a matter of fact, a few months after my satisfied banker Bono studio flop meltdown, I ended up booking what is still one of my biggest jobs to date. That was after I truly dedicated myself to learning more about this craft and understanding it's not just talking into a microphone. Am I where I want to be and think that I've learned all I can about VO while never getting a bit of nervous when I step into a new studio? Hell no! I still take classes, still try to learn something new everyday from the greats in this business, and most importantly- I wont ever let that failure hold me back. I encourage you to do the same. Learn and let failure go. Your biggest job to date may be just around the corner if you do.