Splitting the Difference

by | May 24, 2012 | Ruminations

Is VO all or none?

Can you be “kind of” a voice actor?

If you work in some other profession, but your heart, and your passion and your energy are in VO…are you a half-breed?…a hybrid?

Could someone raise the question of  legitimacy or dedication to the profession if you were not able to give-over your productivity to voice-overs full time?

Forgetting for a moment, the practical reality of why any crazy person would choose to lead a schizophrenic life like that (budget needs, spousal pressure, etc), couldn’t such a person still aspire to being characterized as a voice-actor?


Of course I ask these questions because this is me.  And of course I ask these questions ’cause after these many years toiling away in VO-land, I know of hundreds (thousands?) of others who live and work in this quandary.

It raises the question of whether there are two or more discernible voice over worlds:
1) The person who spends all their working hours fully engaged in the many endeavours that result in running a successful voice over business as their main source of income.
2) The person who spends as many working hours as possible fully engaged in the many endeavours that result in running a successful voice over business…but it’s not their main source of income.


The schism raises even more questions about things like career risk, personal fortitude, self-esteem and motivation.

Why would I NOT work full-time in voice-over so I COULD make it my main source of income?  No guts?  ‘Can’t handle the uncertainty?  Not ready for “the leap”?

Are there those who admit they will never be full-time VO’s?…who use it as a supplement and can’t see it being their only work?…or are the  majority convinced that eventually, it’ll be their main profession?

What about guys like Rob Sciglimpaglia and Derek Chappell — successful attorneys who are working pell-mell to achieve a full-time acting career?  I met an MD at the last NYC mixer who had similar goals.


If that happens…when that happens for any of us “hybrids”… will we then feel ownership to the point of snobbery?…is that what full-time voice-actors feel?  No, I mean I wouldn’t hold it against a full-timer if they felt a certain pride in that.  YOU are the people who took the leap, who managed the risk, who balance your freelance checkbook masterfully, who wear eight creative and marketing hats successfully.

Actually, I’m thinking of writing a book about this.  Would there be interest?  A guide, of sorts, how NOT to go crazy pleasing two masters.  How to hold on to your dream, but still pay your bills.  A primer in living your passion but also accepting the mediocrity of falling short of your goals.  ‘Some lessons learned in managing two worlds and still hold on to your sanity.

Whadya think?




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