“I’ve been told I have a great voice. Now what?”

 I get this message daily. I get these calls daily. I have to be very honest: it becomes a little annoying after a while, especially when strangers call me at 9pm on a Saturday to solicit my valuable VO advice. It’s not that I’m unhelpful, but I do have a family and my own career to fit into a mere 24 hours every day.

What annoys me most is that, the vast majority of the times that I have started giving advice, the listener would soon stop me with something to the tune of: “Oh no, I don’t want to study anything or build a business! I just think I have a great voice. Where do I sign up?”

*Le sigh. *

Listen up, my people. I am not a coach or an agent. Please don’t call me unless you need me to record a voice over for you, because I can’t help you. It took me eight years AFTER TRAINING to establish myself in the South African industry. Doctors study for that long!

I say this with love and good vibes: I am not your ticket to easy money. I am, however, very happy to give you as much real advice from my own experience, as I can think of. Hopefully with this input and some Google magic, you too can find the connections you seek and be on your way to loving the Voice Artist Life.

Firstly, it all depends on your demographics. In South Africa the voice over industry behaves somewhat differently to the current trend in say, the UK and United States, and in my opinion, we have it way easier than our overseas counterparts, who have to do EVERY SINGLE THING, from sourcing the work to final mix, all by themselves. Our overseas counterparts audition for Every. Single. Job.

Here, we still get cast (most of the time) from our online voice demos and existing client and agent relationships. The majority of us have an agency who administrates on our behalf, but you don’t have to go that route. It does free you up to do more of what you love, however.

Here’s the truth: It takes so much more than just a good voice to be a successful voice over. It’s about tenacity, technical know-how, business savvy, personal accountability, customer relations, marketing, personal investment, and a whole bunch of other things.

So, should you make a go of it?

I could go on, but if you’re still even reading this then I guess Voice Over is for you. If you’re in this to win this, you’ll serve yourself well by having patience with and consistently working at it. Yes, to the outsider voice over work seems like easy money, just as Novak Djokovic makes serving an ace in the Wimbledon finals seem so natural and easy. The ease comes with huge amounts of work behind the scenes!

Meanwhile, here are some tips:

That’s it then, folks! My two cents on “I’ve been told I have a good voice.” There are probably a hundred more tips that will come to mind after I publish this post, but I think the ones above could keep you busy for a while. I wish you all the best in your endeavor and hope to see you around the studios some time! Here’s to a great career filled with joy, satisfaction, joy and prosperity.

Oh, and don’t call me after hours. I mean it.