Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

George Burns

Why am I even setting myself up for this?

Because it’s been bothering me, I have a blog, and it’s time to be honest.


There, I said it, and I’ll follow it with some big exceptions:

  1. Anime’
  2. Cartoons
  3. Video games
  4. Audiobooks
  5. (   you name yours here   )

But all the rest:  eLearning (especially eLearning), commercials, explainer videos, political, corporate, medical, technical, promos, documentaries and more… NOT ACTING.

I know, I know, it all depends on your definition of “acting” and I’m not offering one.

Hit me with your best def.

In the meantime, let me remind you of the single most overly-emphasized direction you see in all your audition requests:  “everyman”, “conversational”, “authentic”, “real”, “genuine” and the like.

Don’t all those words eschew the very foundation of acting?  Clients don’t want an ACT…they want the regular, honest guy…the non-chalant comment…the almost thoughtless talking-to-your-friend, face-to-face REALISM.

I already hear it:  “Yeah, Dave, but if you’re a good actor, you can sound authentic even though you’re acting.”

Ah, but can you?

[See George Burns quote above]

So if voiceover-ing is not really acting…then what is it?


it’s just doing the work, putting your best voice with your best equipment, with your practiced diction, with your excellent soundbooth, utilizing all the practice and experience you have, TRYING to meet the client specs, in the time allotted, and offering two or more takes within a timely response.

It’s either ALL acting…or it’s not acting at all.

(I’m going with the latter)

I think what beguiles so many in this profession with the illusion that it’s all ACTING, is we’d like to feel self-important about VO…like it has tangible value. 

It does, and that’s your paycheck for the WORK.

It’s a pride thing…nothing intrinsically wrong feeling accomplished about your work until you get to be snobbish about it.

The allure of being an  “actor” (say that word with a long, drawn-out British Royal accent)  is that it’s ethereal, indefinable, and therefore you get to make up your own ego about it all.  If you’re just a VO, but you can tack on “actor” to your title….well then!  You’re someone special aren’t you?

In High School, I played the KING in the musical “The King and I”.  That’s the extent of my formal acting experience.

No, wait…that’s not entirely true.

For over 40 years, I sold news stories like they were really true and mattered.  Now I could agree THAT really was some masterful acting!!!  LOL

Of course, acting is an honorable profession in itself, with legions of defenders…I mean who could argue with Meryl Streep!

What Meryl Streep Says About Acting

(total claptrap in my opinion, but she’s a multi-millionaire with the world at her feet, and I’m not))

…or Mark Westbrooks’ take on it:

What Acting is NOT

I suppose I was warming up for this position when I wrote my blog about IMPROV being a mythical hoop that all voiceover people MUST jump through.

VoiceOver Myths, Legends, and Fables, Part III | Dave Courvoisier: Pro Voice Over Talent & Commercial Voice Over Actor

I think I just prefer the term “voiceover”.  Not voice actor, not voice talent, not voiceover actor…just VOICEOVER….or VOICE WORKER…that may be best.

So let me have it!  Give me your best excoriating POV on why I’m totally off-base with this position that VO is not acting, in your comments.

Then let me finally ask you…have I been acting as the author of this blog, or is this the real me?




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