I’ve been a voice over talent for over 20 years, and let me tell ya…it’s been a roller-coaster ride.
Ups. Downs. Loops. Slow. Fast.
Sometimes nausea is involved.
It’s a very competitive industry chock-full of very talented people. And it’s a community. You can tap into voice over groups on any social media platform. Which can be great! A place to swap ideas, talk about the latest VO equipment, new voice actor workshops to check out.
But here’s a word of advice: Before you join any of these voice over groups, you need to have the right mindset. Because if you don’t, you may end up in a fetal position in the corner, hugging your microphone like a teddy bear and sobbing into your wind-screen. Why? Because of a group post like this:
“I just booked a huge gig with (BIG CORPORATION) making (RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF $$$$$$$)!”
CUE DRAMATIC SOUND EFFECT (dun-dun-DUUUNNNN!)
Sheesh! What’s with the drama? I can be happy for someone if they book a sweet voice over gig!
What happens when you’re in a voice over slump and haven’t booked a single job in weeks? And let’s say you actually AUDITIONED for said BIG CORPORATION gig?
How do you feel now?
If you don’t have the right mindset, this can tear you apart. And out comes the Green-Eyed Voice Over Monster. Thoughts creep in. “Why him? Why is he so special? Why can’t I book a job like that? I’m more talented than him! How come they’re so lucky and I’m getting nothing?” Then comes the self-loathing. The depression. The loss of confidence.
I should know. It happened to me, and it nearly destroyed my love and passion for voice overs.
Ultimately, I ended up posting my feelings in the group. The outpouring of support and encouragement overwhelmed me. I found out I wasn’t alone. Not by a longshot. Very successful voice over folks telling stories about their own dry spells and their own self-doubt. I seriously almost cried. Almost. I don’t cry. Often.
That guy who booked that HUGE job? Before that, it had been 3 months since he’d booked anything. Puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
These people became more human to me by their vulnerability. I learned that we all have moments of self-doubt and disappointment. It’s human nature to want to talk about your successes rather than your failures.
It’s easy to celebrate someone else’s success when you yourself are doing great. The big question is…whatcha gonna do when things AREN’T so great? The breakthrough comes when you can genuinely be happy for that person.
Besides, there are peaks and valleys in life. If you don’t have the valleys, how are going to appreciate the peaks when they come?