The Holidays are a great time to meet new people and catch up with folks you only see once or twice a year.
This season I noticed a new trend. I’d be quietly munching on a Christmas cookie, and a relative of a friend of a friend would come up to me with a glass of eggnog in his hand.
“I hear you do voices, right?”
“Well,” I said, “I’m a voice-over, if that’s what you mean.”
“You do books for the blind?” he wanted to know.
“No, not really. I….”
And before I could finish he continued:
“Because everyone’s been telling me that I have a great voice and I should be doing what you’re doing if you know what I mean. No offense, but it can’t be that hard. I bet you make some pretty good money. I said to the wife: “I talk all day long. I might as well get paid for it.”
“I wish someone would pay him to shut up for a moment,” said the wife, who had been listening to the conversation.
No matter where I went in these past few weeks, I’d always run into guys with eggnog, ready to show off their Sean Connery impersonation or some version of a “movie trailer man voice”.
All of them had three things in common:
- They knew as much about a voice-over career as a rodent would know about the art collection at the MoMA.
- What they did know was based on misinformation and unrealistic expectations.
- They all wanted me to tell them how to “break into the business,” preferably in two minutes or less.
In order to make my Holiday experience a bit more enjoyable and less repetitive, I thought I’d prepare a short slide show debunking some common misconceptions about what I do for a living.
Instead of having to listen to grown-ups single-handedly reenacting entire SpongeBob episodes, I now hand them a link to my YouTube-presentation:
Have an inspirational New Year!
Paul Strikwerda © 2010
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