They tell you that you have a nice voice, right?

I honestly wish I had a nickle for every time I’ve an individual I’ve just met comment about “how often someone says they have a nice voice.” The sound of your voice may eventually have something to do with whether or not you get hired for a specific role or job or project; but it’s way at the end of the series of questions that lead those people who are hiring to make their final decisions.

As Marice Tobias so brilliantly points out in her post The “Nice Voice” Myth, assuming that because you have a nice voice means you’re ready to start working in voiceover is a little like assuming that buying a piano will make you a musical virtuoso. You can have the most wonderful sounding piano on the planet, but if you don’t put in the necessary time studying (for years and years!), you’re not going to be making your debut at Carnegie Hall any time soon. (Thank you for the brilliant word picture, Marice!)

The old joke goes “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice!”

But the real key is the kind of practice you do. Spending 20 years perfecting scales and Chopsticks still won’t get you to Carnegie Hall. It takes study with great coaches, like Marice. And then applying what you’ve learned. And studying some more. And applying some more.

I’ve written previously about my 26 year journey from the start of my professional voiceover journey until I was finally able to go to work exclusively in voiceover. It’s doesn’t have to take you 26 years, or 16 or even 6. But it does take a serious commitment to stop thinking you have this whole voiceover thing nailed because of how many people tell you what a nice voice you have.

To refer again to Marice’s post The “Nice Voice” Myth, are any of those people telling you that you have a nice voice hiring you? If not, then those comments are worth exactly what you’re paying for them. Nothing.

Do the work. Save up your money to study with a truly great coach. And no, don’t go knocking on Marice’s door just yet. She only works with established pros. If you work hard enough and long enough, you’ll get there. Spend some time reading what other working voice actors are saying about the various coaches. Pick one with a truly great reputation and start working with her. Or him. Then invest in some quality equipment and in treating your recording space and in some more study and in a truly knockout demo. And then another. And another. And by that time, you’ll be well on your way.

I truly wish you all the best.

3 Comments »

  1. Well written and quite true – the bit about the piano painted a nice image. I’ve only been doing this professionally for about six months, but I can already say it’s been a lot more than just the sound of my voice. From acting ability to professional behavior to online presence, it takes a lot to move even a little bit forward in this business.

    Comment by James Burton — March 26, 2016 @ 11:51 pm

  2. True words Bob, and love the reference to Marice. A great, insightful voice coach.

    Comment by Lindsay Abbott — March 31, 2016 @ 12:59 pm

  3. I have been looking to get into voice over acting since I was 18 and living in Troy, Michigan. I have lived in NYC for 4 years now and still haven’t caught my break. This info is good and hopefully can help me kick it up a notch. Thanks Bob
    Rickie

    Comment by Rickie Jones — June 16, 2016 @ 12:00 pm

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