Voiceover is a wonderful way to make a living

It is a wonderful way to make a living. I deeply and profoundly love telling people’s stories for them, no matter how short or long the story is. And right now there are a lot of folks who are interested in “breaking into” voiceover work. More than ever, it would seem. But here’s something most people won’t tell you. While it’s a great way to make a living, it’s a terrible way to make a living quickly.

If you’re recently unemployed, no matter how much you want to start doing voiceovers full-time, unless you’ve all ready been making decent money doing voiceovers for a while, this is not the time to make that move. It took me 26 years of steady voiceover work to finally move into doing only voiceover work. No, I’m not kidding. 26 years. From 1983 to 2009. Now, it doesn’t have to take everyone that long. I had a family to support and I was very cautious, maybe too cautious; but I’m not looking back on the decisions I made along the way with regret. I’m just saying, it’s not going to happen overnight.

Are you serious about doing voiceover work full-time? Then stick with it. Get the training you need. Practice. Keep pushing yourself to make at least a little progress every day. You’ll get there. But in the meantime, make sure you have shelter, food, clothing and the other essentials of life. Don’t rush. When you get there, it will be all the sweeter.

10 Comments

  1. We Voiceoverists are a self-absorbed bunch (see links to voice over blogs on the right of this page)and for most of us that is what stands in the way of making anything let alone a living.

    Voice Over work is about what the client wants NOT how you want to make a living.

    Comment by Philip Banks — May 11, 2011 @ 7:49 am

  2. Philip,

    Quite true. Success in voiceover requires us to focus on what your clients need. And yes, I have lots of links to voiceover blogs in my blogroll. That’s quite intentional.

    May you have a lovely day!

    Be well,
    Bob

    Comment by Bob — May 11, 2011 @ 8:10 am

  3. Bob,

    As one of those many folks who are interested in breaking into voice overwork, this blog post was exactly what I needed to read. Thanks for some terrific food for thought!

    Blessings,

    Jim Bennett

    Comment by Jim Bennett — May 11, 2011 @ 9:11 am

  4. Mr. Banks is such a talented and successful V/O artist – it’s unfortunate however, that his always acerbic tone makes me not care in the least about anything he has to say.

    Comment by Tom — May 11, 2011 @ 10:45 am

  5. […] and not just for his boundless skill behind a microphone.  Bob is a man of integrity, and here he shares honestly about what it takes to truly become a full-time voiceover actor.  His thoughts inspire me! Today, 9:50 am No Comments Short URL actorBob Souergetting […]

    Pingback by Perseverance and more perseverance « John McLain Voiceovers — May 11, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  6. Bob, as I’ve been telling people, there’s never been an easier time to break into voiceover; and there’s never been a more difficult time to make a living doing voiceover.

    Beau Weaver had some good thoughts on his website about this, though I can’t find the link now.

    And…Viva la Banks!

    Comment by Dan Popp — May 12, 2011 @ 8:33 am

  7. Love this post Bob! 🙂

    Peace!

    Liz

    Comment by Liz de Nesnera-Native/Bilingual English/French VO — May 12, 2011 @ 9:28 am

  8. To be clear I wasn’t attacking either the number of links here or indeed the volume of blogs as such. For those who missed the point; to engage and be interesting we must listen more than talk. I understand that it’s tough especially when you have a real enthusiasm for your career or aspirations.

    Read Tom’s comment, he made a valid point without being rude or unpleasant. Career lesson number 1 – Challenge everything which appears to be received wisdom because in our business there’s a lot of received ignorance parading as wisdom.

    Bob was an overight success in just 26 years this means in 5 years time, for me, that’s when the big bucks roll in.

    Comment by Philip Banks — May 13, 2011 @ 12:54 am

  9. Bob – I’m really interested: what would you say were the barriers that kept you from doing voice over work full time sooner? Do you think that’s just the way the industry works? Did you need that time to build a portfolio – and confidence? I’d love a little more insight if you’d be willing to share it.

    Comment by Phillip — May 25, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  10. Phillip,

    You’ll find a much more complete examination of my thoughts in this post, from the archives here:

    http://bobsouer.com/blog/2010/06/23/anxiety-and-progress/

    Thank you for your kind comments.

    Be well,
    Bob

    Comment by Bob — May 25, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

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