I was recently interviewed for a college survey project about my career as a voice actor. This is the first time I’ve given an interview because of my VO work. Throughout the interview, I noticed most of my answers had a bent toward marketing and advertising. I hope I didn’t bore my interviewer too much by making the magical world of VO sound like a business 101 lecture. But there was one point I happened to make to that I wanted to explore.
Before Voice Over
I haven’t been a voice actor for very long (I went “full-time” back in October). Before, I was a wedding DJ, maintenance, audio engineer, server, bartender, HUD appraisal manager, IT tech, and graphic artist. As you may imagine, none of these industries have a ton of crossover. But, I’ve taken the skills and tricks I’ve learned from each of these jobs and applied them to my current endeavors.
This is what constructs my unique business approach: You may have sat down to a Pro Tools session in a studio, but have you ever replaced the carpet and tiles in that room? Have you been the delivery guy who brought you lunch? You’ve been a wedding guest, but have you been the valet, server, maitre’d, bartender, and/or DJ? While this may not seem relevant to voiceover, these experiences have shaped my outlook and informed how I approach challenges. I’ve sold myself as a DJ to brides for years, which taught me all the ropes as far as selling yourself goes. Improv skills help in that realm just as much as behind the mic, by the way.
Your Experiences Make You Who You Are
I couldn’t have built my own home studio without having learned construction on-the-job. I wouldn’t have appreciated the freedom and empowerment running my own business is without having sat in many offices on many boring days. Those memories are the catalyst for building a successful business. And let me tell you, it’s a hell of a good one.
Just Get Up Every Day and Do It
As I progress in my business, now every job feeds into the next by way of word of mouth or repeat business. Even my side hustles align: I’m performing a school assembly, acting in a short film, and producing Meanwhile, at the Skullbase. In five years, who knows? Maybe I’ll be discerning between audiobook work and IVR. A guy can dream.