Go With What You Know

by | Jan 22, 2016 | Techniques | 2 comments

CHOICES 2Ask me what got me into being a voice-actor, and I’d tell you “AudioBooks”. 

It seemed like a perfect fit for me.  I was interested in it, and pursued it whole-heartedly for about 5 years. 

I ended up narrating some 40 titles, attended APAC twice, was a beta tester for ACX, blogged interviews with its CEO, Jason Ojalvo, hung out with other narrators at meet-ups, signed with notable publishers, and sought the best coaches. 

I made it work… but in the end, I turned my attention away from it.  Why?  Lots of little messages and one big reason.  At the heart is the fact that I don’t listen to audiobooks.  Almost never.  I don’t have the time nor the patience.  I don’t drive enough to get through even one chapter-at-a-time in my truck.  When I do drive, I don’t listen to ANYTHING.  Not music, not Pandora, not the radio.  Driving to and from my job at the TV station is some of the only quiet time I get in the day.

So how could I expect to be a true success in a medium that I don’t patronize?…that I don’t study?…in which I don’t worship the greats?  In the few instances where I’ve sat down to MAKE myself listen to audiobooks, I ended up critiquing the narrator to death!  I know too much about the process to just enjoy the story.  I listen too critically to the talent doing their  work; maybe because I’m bitter at all the years I spent working in vain at audiobooks, only to learn a costly, timely lesson.

I feel the same way about podcasts.  Who has the time to listen to this stuff?  I certainly don’t.  I have no idea what I’d give up in  my day to find the time to listen to a podcast.  My sleep and exercise regimen has already suffered, so why would I sacrifice MORE time to listen to a DJ-wannabe’s happy-talk for 15 mins until the program gets serious enough to settle down and deal with the topic at hand?

I think I could present a fairly good podcast if I wanted to…but again, I’m not a patron.  It’d be a lost cause. Lesson learned.

At my time in life, it’s maybe a little too late to launch into a whole new genre, so I’ve had to look hard at going with what I know.  Well… I know TV (video/on-camera)…and I know radio.  I know the news.  I like to read, and I like to write (you’re reading this blog aren’t  you?).

What I’m saying is, I’m immersed into the culture of popular media.  I study it.  I listen to it, watch it, read about it, blog about it, see the trends, and know the personalities.  And you know what?… popular media needs voice-actors, so I feel like I’ve arrived at my target, finally.

It might not be hard for you to guess that Anne Ganguzza — a former teacher — soooo enjoys coaching and delivering her voice in educational copy.

What’s your target? 

  • In love with video games? 
  • You’ve always been a follower of cartoon voices? 
  • Boxing fan, and wanna be a ring announcer? 
  • Are you a political animal? 
  • Gear-headed car junkie?

Make your passion, your job.  Take what you know well — almost effortlessly — and adapt it to your freelance voiceover business.  You’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have.




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  1. Alex

    Nice, punchy message, Dave. And on the money.

  2. Roxanne Coyne

    Dave, I love this post! I started narrating audiobooks before I ever became a fan. Pretty soon I realized that I had no business trying to work in an area that I did not truly enjoy and love as a fan. So, I became a fan!! And slowly I improved as a narrator and I learned the business, too, which is as important as anything.
    Voiceover is not one industry. It’s several industries. Those who succeed do so by finding their niches based upon their innate talents and passions.


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