5 Reasons Why You Should Never Become A Voice-Over

voice talent“Millions of dollars paid out to voice actors globally.”

“Audition for your dream job now.”

“Instant access to amazing opportunities.”

“New job postings every day.”

It sure sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Especially when you’re young, idealistic, and impressionable. It’s the way online casting sites throw out their net, hoping that loquacious people will bite.

Well, bite they do, and day after day an ever-growing army of hopefuls is eagerly looking at their inbox, waiting for the next “amazing opportunity” to arrive. It comes at a price, though. 

If you’re taking part in these online cattle calls, be ready to be milked!

Of course these casting sites won’t tell you that you have to spend between $349 and $399 per year to take part in a crapshoot. They’ll feed you success stories about people who claim to make a six-figure income by winning audition after audition. Anecdotal evidence always trumps independently verified numbers, right?

Believe me: People believe what they want to believe.

So, today I’m not going to give you the golden formula to online voice-over success. Sorry to break the news, but it does not exist. Instead, I will give you a few reasons why you probably should stay clear of this business. I’ll start with the most important one. 

1. The world doesn’t need you.

Yes, you’ve heard me.

We have enough people talking into microphones, thank you very much. What this world needs is less talk and more action. We need teachers, doctors, nurses, and scientists. We need experts in conflict resolution; people who know how to fight global warming, and first responders to natural disasters.

If you want to make a real difference on this planet, don’t hide behind soundproof walls selling stuff no one needs. Get out there and start helping the poor, the homeless, and the ones without a voice. They need you more than Disney does.

2. There’s no money in voice-overs.

The cost of living goes up every year, while voice-over rates are in steady decline. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Even the union can’t stop it. Thanks to online casting services and ignorant amateurs, your voice has become a commodity, sold by the lowest bidder to the cheapest client.

VO has become a game of averages, and here’s how it works.

The bottom feeders choose lowball sites like Elance, Fiverr, and freelancer.com to sell their services for beer money. The top end of the market consists of A-list actors making millions voicing cartoons and commercials. If you’re average, you’re forever stuck in the middle. You have enough integrity to leave the crumbs to the idiots, but you won’t get the big gigs for the big money.

Don’t be fooled by voice-over veterans posting on Facebook how well they are doing. Some of them confided in me that they’re just keeping up appearances. No one wants to hire a loser, so you’ve got to tell the world you’re still an important player. Yay for social media! Everything people post is 100% true. 

3. You are a social being.

Unless you enjoy going to expensive conferences to hear VoiceVIP’s talk about themselves and plug their books, you’re pretty much on your own in this business. I mean, who likes being locked up between the four carpeted walls of a 3.5’ by 3.5’ whisper box all day long?

You have no one to talk to but yourself, and you’ll never see a response from the people you’re supposedly entertaining. If acknowledgment is what you’re secretly longing for, go to a nursing home and read to the residents. Tell stories to kids in the cancer ward. It will make their day, and yours!

The sedentary lifestyle of a typical voice-over is unhealthy for the mind, body, and soul. If you’re an extrovert, you crave contact, and you thrive in the company of others. I can tell you right now that you will curse the day you decided to isolate yourself from the world, just so you could narrate some third-rate novel for a royalty share that doesn’t even pay this month’s water bill. 

4. You’ll spend at least 80% of your time trying to get work, and 20% doing the work.

Voice-overs spend a lot of time being busy without being productive. How rewarding is that? Regardless of what voice casting sites want you to believe, most jobs you audition for will go to someone else, and you’ll never know why. Don’t you love it?

But what about agents, you may ask. Once you have an agent or two, things will get better, right?

No they won’t.

The pickings are slim, and these days, all the agents in North America will send the same Quilted Northern audition to every talent with a potty mouth. That really makes you feel part of an exclusive club, doesn’t it? (Quilted Northern is a type of bathroom tissue)

5. It may take many years before you see a return on your investment.

A voice-over career cannot be bought. It has to be conquered. Slowly.

You may think you’re going to be successful because of your unique sound. Dream on! The only way you’ll stand a chance is if you stop treating your pipe dream as a hobby. This means you’ve got to invest in professional gear and in a quiet place to record. Then you have to get yourself a few top-notch demos, plus a website to tell the world what you’re doing. And this is just the beginning.

Having all of that in place is no guarantee that you’ll make any money with your voice. Thousands of people all over the world are doing exactly what you do, and they are giving up within a year. The only money they’ll ever see is when they’re selling their stuff on eBay. At a loss. 

When you really think about it, you have to be a fool to become a voice-over.

I was foolish enough to choose that as my career, and guess what?

I’ve never been happier!

Paul Strikwerda ©nethervoice

PS If you believe I’m being negative for no reason, you should read 5 awful things nobody tells you about being an actor. Then we’ll talk, okay?

photo credit: Sound Design: ADR Recording via photopin (license)

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About the author

Paul Strikwerda

is a Dutch-English voice-over pro, coach, and writer. His blog is one of the most widely read and influential blogs in the industry. Paul is also the author of "Making Money In Your PJs, Freelancing for voice-overs and other solopreneurs."

by Paul Strikwerda in Articles, Career, Freelancing, Pay-to-Play

106 Responses to 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Become A Voice-Over

  1. Dave Johnston

    Greetings from the Heartland of Iowa. You have done it again. This one really caused reflection. I loved the way you ended the blog, You have never been happier, To persue one’s passion with gratitude, in spite of the obstacles brings inner contentment. Thanks Paul for keeping our eyes wide open!

    [Reply]

  2. Ed Helvey

    Thanks, Paul.

    Once again, you told it like it is. Reality is a hard pill to swallow. Someone else commented that you could substitute any number of careers for vo – and that’s IS reality. It isn’t this way in just artistic pursuits.

    I’ve heard the professional musician described as a musician who will travel 50 miles each way for a $50 gig. There are probably millions of singers and performers who are better than those who become household names. Not everyone can graduate at the top of their class at medical or business school. And the people who excel in their careers, regardless of the field of endeavor, may not be the top of the class graduates. They are the ones with the passion to pursue their dreams.

    In everything, it’s only a relatively small percentage of the field who garner the fame and fortune. Just because one doesn’t make it to the top of the heap doesn’t make them or their dream any less valid IF they have the passion and persistence to pursue the dream. But, an understanding of the realities, such as you pointed out, is invaluable as you run the gauntlet. It prepares one for the inevitable setbacks, failures and challenges one must face in their quest. Another cliché – only the strong survive.

    Success in life is not only measured by $$$ and in some, if not many cases, money may not be a measure at all. Did you make a difference? Did what you do have a positive impact in some way on one or many people’s lives. Are you satisfied with what you do and who you are?

    Like you, Paul, as I look back on my 50+ years in audio recording & production, video production, vo, public speaking, book publishing – and living – I never became rich and famous. I’ve lived decently, enjoyed much material pleasure and realized many of my dreams. But, mostly it has been, so far, a grand adventure I never could have imagined as a young person setting out on the journey of life wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’m still pondering that same question because there is still more to come. Your last line gave it all away, Paul, for those who understood what you were telling the reader.

    Go forth, folks. There are great opportunities. But, another cliché – Buyer Beware! There are more snake oil sales people out there, especially since the Internet came along, who will tell you whatever you want to hear and sell you the easy route to hell. Seek reality and truth from those who have gone before you. And be prepared to learn, practice, work hard, deal with some failure and rejection – and keep your eyes and mind open for surprising opportunities along the way.

    [Reply]

  3. Len

    Mmm, I know this can be considered tough love and just a harsh reality, etc etc but…
    I think this was just the final push I needed to realize it’s never going to happen. That no matter what, I lack the talent, skill, and attitude to be a voice actor. And if I did, it could very well be for nothing.

    I want to say thank you for making you not waste my time with trying to become something I may regret, but I feel this is just another dream I have that will remain that way. Right along an actor, singer, and comedian.

    Perhaps that is for the best though.

    [Reply]

  4. Jack Hibbons

    Despite the negative tone throughout, this is a great post. As an aspiring voice over actor, I see why you’d be a little…discouraging, if you will. However, for those who still want to try their hand at getting into the industry, you finish it off with “I’ve never been happier”. I like it. One question though. in sending my demo, where are good places to submit to? This site http://www.cmdnyc.com/ has a form you can fill out and upload a demo. Will that bear any fruit?

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Thank you, Jack! Sometimes people need some tough love. I’m certainly not one of those people that tells you what you want to hear. That’s one of the reasons readers subscribe to my blog. Just bear in mind that my opinion is one of many. I always encourage people to explore all options, and make an informed choice. But don’t jump into the water if you don’t know how to swim, even though it’s a hot day, and the pool looks very tempting.

    [Reply]

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  6. Craig

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog and honestly I very much enjoyed this post. I don’t mind the realistic tone. There are too many people out there trying to sugar coat life for the up and comers like myself.

    [Reply]

  7. VO Guy

    I find this unnecessarily discouraging, as a young voice-talent who’s finding great mid-market success (and havging lots of fun to boot). While I agree that the traditional market has been disrupted by budget sites, it’s not difficult to adapt for someone with a scrappy, creative spirit (read: most millennials). Perhaps the old model wasn’t terribly sustainable. The new voiceover actor has other creative projects that support their career and makes their work work for them. I bought a Blue Yeti mic and set it up in my closet with Auralex for under $150. I got a great professional demo for less than a thousand, and have returned that investment in a month or two, just working 5-10 extra hours a week. I’m paying my rent with limited previous connections, and I’ve been in the game for only a year or two. Sure, it’s not a full-time job yet, but that’s a damn good rate and a damn good life, if you ask me.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    As a rule I do not publish anonymous comments on this blog, “VO Guy.” Just as I am accountable for my words, I want my commentators to be accountable for theirs. However, your critique of this particular blog post is not uncommon, and that’s why I am giving you a one-time pass. In fact, your comments have become a predictable response.

    Every time I write something about the challenges of freelance life, some people believe I do this to discourage upcoming talent, or even to curb my so-called “competition.” Those who have spoken out about this post specifically, have usually missed the very last line, which -in my opinion- is the most important line of the entire piece.

    If you’re a regular reader of my musings, you already know that I’m not a big fan of those who claim to be able to read my true and deepest intentions. You know what they say about making assumptions… Secondly, there is so much positive propaganda aimed at hopefuls, that I think it’s necessary to paint a more complete picture of this highly competitive industry. This picture is coming from someone with considerable experience in the industry; someone who’s not selling memberships or tickets to some demo mill.

    As with all my writings, people can take it or leave it. It’s up to them what they want to do with it. Some may feel discouraged. Others have told me they have double their efforts as a result of reading my blog.

    [Reply]

  8. Andrew Charlton

    why are you saying that we should not join voice over training.if their has negative point then positive points are also there.We can neglect all of them.Thanks for the blog but i don’t agree with your statement.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Hi Andrew, I don’t blog to convince people of my opinion. It’s perfectly fine to disagree. Of course one, short blog post cannot cover all angles of the business. In other stories I write you’ll see that I consistently stress the need for coaching. I even provide free training through my writings! You say that you don’t agree with my statement. I’ve made many statements in this article, so I’m not clear what your statement means. I’m not sure why my readers should neglect all of my points, as you suggest.

    [Reply]

  9. Rickie Jones

    It’s the harsh reality. I had to accept a few unpaid gigs before anyone would even considering me for a VO casting call. Thanks for sharing, it’s the harsh reality

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Hi Rickie, there’s no unwritten rule that you “have to accept a few unpaid gigs” before people will take you seriously. It is a personal choice; not a professional must. If you’re good enough to do the job, then you must charge accordingly. If you’re not, you should get training until you’ve reached a certain level, and leave the real work to real pros. Let me put it even stronger: if you want clients to take you seriously, you much charge for your services. Otherwise they’ll think you’re an amateur.

    [Reply]

  10. Andrew

    Right voice talent for e learning is a good option to keep up with the information us need Thanks for sharing your thought on this topic, it was very helpful.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    You’re very welcome, Andrew.

    [Reply]

  11. Andrew

    Thanks for the feedback and for tweeting the blog. I do love the practical side of v/o and write lots of blogs on technique! Not as much as I love the creative side though. Aren’t we lucky to be able to make a living in such a fabulous way

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    We are indeed very lucky. But luck is only a small part of the business. It takes a lot of talent, hard work, and determination to build and sustain a career.

    [Reply]

  12. Thomas

    Bill Jack of the Trade

    I shoot (video), write, edit (video &audio), and voice productions for a large corporation. In between I have to play network technician, PC/Mac Repair guy, and equipment technician.

    It’s fun at times being part of the whole process (creative to ending) but it’s also very taxing. All the build up for a firecracker smoke like finish, then it’s on to the next project.

    Now I’ve been looking to just focus and transition into one vocation of the process. Voice is one of them, but the technical skills seem to be in high demand.

    Dropped the camera again? Well okay ill fix it…

    From your stand point what would you say the industry never seems to have enough of?

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    It’s a cliche, but high quality will always be in demand in any field. There are way too many hopefuls in this business with big dreams but no credentials. My advice: don’t give up your day job, but let your success in e.g. voice-overs steer you in the right direction.

    [Reply]

  13. Andrew

    Becoming a voice actor is about becoming an actor not about the pitch or age of you or your voice. Your voice will always change as will you. You make that a part of your acting.

    [Reply]

  14. Lisa

    Same kinds of reasons I was told not to be a writer. Learned the hard way that the logical way just leaves you stuck and unhappy. Better to say one tried and what a time that had.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    One of the reasons I wrote this article is to strengthen the resolve of those who are truly committed. They are the ones who are most likely to succeed. I was once one of them, and look at me now!

    [Reply]

  15. Tom Brennan

    Wow way to put down anyone who actually has a talent for voice acting and hopes to one day bring joy to people like many cartoon characters, video game characters and animated movie characters have brought joy to them, you make it sound like all anyone cares about is the money not the passion of bringing these characters to life, I have been told in person by professional voice actors that I have a real talent, and one of them even told me that I should do what I think is best, if I want to be a writer be a writer if I want to be a farmer be a farmer if I want to be a voice actor be a voice actor. I’m not dismissing what you have said but telling all aspiring voice actors that the world doesn’t need them, is the same as telling someone who suffers from depression or social anxiety that the world doesn’t need than, and when someone tells you that the world doesn’t need you that often leads to isolation, self harm or in the worst case scenario suicide. The rate of suicide’s increase every day and by reading this I understand why, because people are being force feed crap like this the world needs connection not separation so how about you decide to tell people that they are not needed and that’s what you said, “The World Doesn’t Need You” why say that its not saying theirs enough voice actors its saying that you don’t matter you are a voice without words use some common sense before you tell others how to live their lives and maybe you will see that the world doesn’t need this.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Hi Tom, I’m sorry to say that I could barely make sense of your stream-of-consciousness rant slash response. Your logic-defying link to depression and suicide had me wonder whether to take it seriously. I’m not even going to touch that subject.

    Let me be the bearer of bad news: just because a few people tell you that you have talent, doesn’t mean you will be able to make a living using that talent. That’s why 90% of actors are waiting tables. Of course they are entitled to pursuing their dreams. All of us are. But it is a simple fact that very few will ever make it to the top. I’m not saying that to put people down. I am saying that to warn them of the rocky road ahead.

    As I stated at the beginning of this article, there are plenty of companies and individuals who will happily sweet-talk you; sell you a dream, and take your money. They have big budgets to promote what they’re offering. Every day, gullible hopefuls are falling for these schemes, and I wrote this story to offer a different perspective. Of course you are free to disagree with this perspective, and work twice as hard to prove me wrong.

    And finally, most of my critics have one thing in common: they forgot to read the very last line of this story. It puts a different spin on what I have stated in all the paragraphs preceding it.

    [Reply]

    Darryl Kurylo Reply:

    Your very last comment reveals the twist of the headline. It’s not “You Should Never Become a Voice Actor and Here Are 5 Reasons Why” Paul is a voice actor. Seems to enjoy it. I am as well. Why would I want to do anything else? But individuals who desire to do this need to examine if the 5 things on the list conflict with that desire. The headline for the article needs clarification. “If You Want To Become a Voice-Over Actor, You Must Understand These 5 Things”. N’est ce pas?

    [Reply]

    Darryl Kurylo Reply:

    The Comment/Sentence…”I’ve never been happier” is the reference.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    To take up the point of the headline. A good headline is a hook, and that’s why I wanted it to be slightly controversial. So far, it seems that this strategy has worked, and I’m enjoying all the comments that are coming in.

    [Reply]

  16. mark

    wait… is this the same paul strikweda…?

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4033912/

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    It’s also this Paul Strikwerda: https://www.nethervoice.com/clients/

    [Reply]

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  18. Roberto Pompili

    OMG
    all of this is true, but …
    could be more concisely summed up with:
    -market sucks
    -there are so many of us
    -toughen up, lads!

    very entertaining though, and representative of human nature (giggle)

    [Reply]

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  24. Bob Bergen

    This is actually a brilliant post. A multi layered brilliant post.

    First of all, you could substitute the word voiceover with anything from the art and (or) performing arts: from painting to dance, stand up comedy, theater, singing, etc. This is the kind of article that separates those who poses the “it” factor and those who don’t. It’s that “it” factor that, when the artist sees/knows the truth and statistics, it matters not. It actually makes them want it even more. It lights a fire and drives them to want it more. and be willing to do more than anyone else. For those whom this scares off, is this such a bad thing? Show business can be heartbreaking. I used to roll my eyes, not able to understand the concept when people would talk about how hard it is to handle great success as an actor. But I absolutely understand this concept. I don’t relate to it as success is lovely! But I also know too many who could not handle success and self destructed. They handled the struggles of getting there far better.

    But this is all why I live my life, and I teach my students, that you cannot put a dollar sign on success as an artist. When it comes to voiceover, you have to get a high at the mic. That high is your return. Be it an audition in your home studio, a national commercial at a big recording studio, a vo workout group, or a day on a film at Disney. The work itself should satisfy. It feeds your soul, far more than food feeds your body. It’s the same high that a theater actor gets onstage. It’s what makes us HAVE to do this. You cannot put a dollar sign of that kind of euphoric satisfaction. It’s intoxicating. And when you do get to a place in your career where you are making the big bucks, you pinch yourself in disbelief that you are actually getting paid to do this amazingly joyful, fulfilling experience.

    But the joy is in the act of acting. Not in the financial return. Yes, the vo landscape has changed. Quite a bit since I started out. Technology has brought this industry to anyone with a USB mic and a free recording program. There is a distance between the current generation and the old school generation, which has created a generation gap where the two generations don’t relate to each other.

    It used to be that everyone pursuing vo, or any acting genre, did it for the love of the art. The majority pursuing always statistically didn’t make a dime at acting. They knew this going in. But they continued to study, to become the best actor they could be. They depended and counted on day and night jobs to pay the bills so they could pay for the habit of feeding their soul as an actor. And because success was not measured by a dollar sign, this brought with it a business philosophy and professionalism where the majority pursuing vo would never undercut or take low ball offers. It was’t worth it. It caused a downward spiral that just damaged their fellow actors and the industry as a whole. Integrity and professionalism also did not have a dollar sign.

    Cut to today. Technology and time has changed all of this. We have a generation of “make money at” when it comes to voiceover, rather than “do it because you love it.” Much of this original post is a byproduct of this.

    So what???!!! Change in show business is nothing new! It’s a very recent change in the world of vo, relative to the history of the industry. But technology and change has been a constant ever since cavemen put on skits for their friends by fire pit. And with each change came anger and complaints by the previous generation.

    – silent movies put Vaudeville out of business
    – sound put silent film actors out of business
    – television put a dent in feature films
    – cable put a dent in network tv
    – VOD (video on demand) is taking a dent out of all broadcast television

    etc.

    Change? It’s a constant in show business. You can fight it or your can embrace it. But if a tide has turned you cannot stop it. I do appreciate it can frustrate. How do you deal with the frustration? Remember why you are an artist. Why you are a voice actor. You get a high at the mic. So much is out of your control. The one thing you can control is the fulfillment you get at that mic.

    A couple of years ago someone posted a quote from my buddy Bryan Cranston. It’s superb advice for any actor, be it vo, theater, film, etc. I’ve known Bryan for years. He and I used to make diddly squat dubbing anime in the 90s. We’ve served on committees together at The Television Academy. So I’ve seen his career from both ends of the spectrum. He sums it all up quite well in this clip:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1WiCGq-PcY

    Apologize for my longwinded response. Blame the coffee. But I feel if more pursuing vo or any genre of acting did it for the love of the process and the work, rather than the money, this would be a better industry for everyone. And if Paul’s “scare tactic” really scares someone away? Well, do something easier with your life. Ain’t nothing easy about being an actor. But nothing worth having or working for is easy. Most in life don’t pursue their passion. To me, regret is a far worse thing than failure. I’d rather be 90, looking back thinking, “Well, didn’t make much money but damn, that was fun,” rather than, “Well, I made a ton of money and hated every minute of it!”

    [Reply]

    Julio Rivera Reply:

    Thanks Paul for such an honest and transparent article and thank you Bob for such an insightful and touching reply. I don’t care what people say, my eyes got watery reading this… because voice over to me is a passion, it gives me that satisfaction that Bob is talking about, it fulfills me, it gives me life! I have been doing this since I was a child, my dad instilled this passion when he used to bring me along to the studio where he worked when I was very little. If money comes or if it doesn’t so be it, I will die with my VO boots on! Thank you , Thank you, Thank you for caring so much to write from your heart.

    [Reply]

    Paul Payton Reply:

    Amen, Paul, Bob and Julio. If you don’t love this, don’t do it. Same for any art. Also, learn to accept rejection; it comes with the territory and there will be lots of it vs. the amount of success. This is simple, but not easy, but I’m sure happy I chose this career.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    I love the phrase: “Accept rejection.” Two contrary concepts in one line!

    A long time ago, I stopped taking not being selected personally. As long as I know I did my very best, there’s nothing more I could have done to land the job.

    It’s not the “rejections” that matter. It’s the number of times one is chose, that creates a career.

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Just as my article was meant to be a counterweight to all the propaganda, Bob’s words were a counterweight to my cynicism and snarkasm. Bob has done more for our profession than most people realize, and he’s one of my unsung heroes.

    You need passion to make in in showbusiness, and at the same time, it is a business. Passion alone can only get you to a certain point. Passion is a diamond in the rough. It still needs to be polished before it can shine.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Thanks for infusing this discussion with your passion for voice-overs, Bob. It reminds us all why we’re doing what we’re doing.

    I agree that we can’t put a dollar sign on success as an artist. Success is really how we define it ourselves. But in order to survive, we can’t just do this for the sake of a warm and fuzzy feeling. The rent or mortgage needs to be paid. Most VO’s don’t make 400 thousand dollars per episode (Simpsons), and the ability to turn a profit separates the pro from the amateur.

    My article seems to have two effects: it either scares people away, or it makes them more determined to succeed. I have no influence over that. When I started at age 17, people thought I was foolish. Well, look at me now!

    [Reply]

    Bob Bergen Reply:

    Wait-everyone doesn’t get Simpsons type fees?? Hmmm. Who knew??!!

    As for the surviving and paying of the bills, before the Internet vo actors did that with survival jobs. Day jobs, night jobs, we all had em. This allowed us to pursue professional vo professionally. The Internet changed all that. I quit my last day job in 1987. But there have been many times over the past 3 decades I was inches away from taking a survival job. What I would never do is take lowball vo jobs to pay the bills. Just couldn’t look my fellow actors in the face knowing I was contributing to damaging their pension and health benefit pool.

    But that whole phylosophy is generational. Today’s vo generation doesn’t relate to this. But it’s also this business phylosophy that allows the “warm fuzzy feeling” to continue at the mic today.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Apparently, Harry Shearer just walked away from a 14 million dollar deal. Money isn’t everything, especially if you have plenty of it.

    I commend you for not taking lowball VO jobs, Bob. You can never make up in volume what you lack in price. Once people realize they can get you for less money, you’re going to have such a hard time charging more.

    Andrew Vevers Reply:

    This is actually a brilliant response. A multi layered brilliant response.

    Long-winded? Not long enough Mr Bergen! You should write a book like Mr Strikwerda. The clip from Bryan (the finest actor this newb has ever seen) was icing on the cake. What advice from him. Real “lighbulb moment” stuff. Buddies? I bet you’ve some anecdotes…

    [Reply]

    Bizzaro Reply:

    I am reminded of this Alan Watts talk – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSyHWMdH9gk

    As a performer myself and a friend of many VO folks, I agree that you have to come at any art with passion.

    The world has always been about money but I feel it has gotten worse in my time here and it’s become the number one consideration. Looks and aesthetic appeal overshadow talent in a lot of cases.

    The ones who truly fail are those who give up.

    [Reply]

    Barbara Goodson Reply:

    What I have to say is this … love Bob’s response and being of service in the world doesn’t necessarily stop when one pursues acting. Hopefully you have more of an ability to do some good while still pursuing your craft. If I got into it for the money … I would be a bitter ol’thesbian right now! But, no. I work when I get lucky enough to book something and I live a full life and I am
    satisfied that I followed my heart and continue to do so lo these past 40+ years!!

    [Reply]

  25. Pingback: Causing A Ruckus. Again. | Nethervoice

  26. Xander Mobus

    I’ll admit, I don’t like this article. It frames voice over as an impossible goal, rather than something that will be hard and you need to be committed to. Is it hard? You bet. Will you need to work your ass off and be the best you can be? Sure. But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible and awful and no one needs you and you will always be stuck in solitary in a booth and never get out and see people.

    Cynicism and realism are different beasts and I feel this article emphasizes the former. It also serves no purpose other than to discourage people. Sure it’s easy to write off as “Well, only those who probably shouldn’t be trying are going to be effected” but that is crap. If a pro had told me in the early days of my career that I would never make it, it would have crushed me. I was lucky in that I had a support network of like-minded people, but not everyone has that. And if even one talented person, who could’ve done great things in this industry reads this article and decides to not even try because it’s not worth it, this article has done far more harm than any potential good.

    [Reply]

  27. Scott Spaulding

    I completely agree with Deven Mack here. Although I agree with you on some points, your negative undertone and jabs at fellow voice talent is disheartening and rude. What’s even more disheartening is the overwhelming applause you have received for this piece. Going off of what Deven said, they are many roads that you can take to becoming a full time voice talent professional. And I definitely agree with you that there is no get-rich quick secret to this profession. And there are some people out there trying to convince people that there is and capitalize on that idea to make a quick buck. That’s true in every profession and every walk of life and is nothing new. The truth is that it takes time, hard work and persistence to succeed at this business. Which is what you say your piece is about, which is all well and good, but your means of getting that point across, in my opinion, comes across as snarky, mean spirited, and quite arrogant. For example:

    1) The World Doesn’t Need You? “We have enough people talking behind the mic, thank you very much”. Seriously? So basically you’re saying “if you’re thinking of becoming a voice talent, don’t, because I was here first. Besides, you should be saving peoples lives and helping the poor instead”!? I honestly don’t think most people getting into this profession are looking to make a real difference on this planet directly though voice over work, and there’s nothing wrong with that! I believe most people are getting into this as a career goal and an opportunity to make their own money instead of working for someone else, and there’s nothing wrong with that either! Besides, who says that if you do voice overs as a profession that you can’t also try to make a difference in the world in addition to your voice over career, like volunteering or giving to the poor. You can do both.

    2) There’s no money in voice overs…yes there is. People are making a living doing this. Like any profession, some more than others. And to blame someone else as the reason you’re not making the money you want to make is just laziness on that person’s part. There will always be someone out there who is charging less than you for similar services. Just like McDonalds charges $.99 for a hamburger while another place will charge over $10. It’s up to you to show and prove your product is worth what you want to charge. And as far as “ignorant amateurs” go, you mean people just starting off in the business? Usually when you start off in a profession, until you get a certain amount of experience, talent and expertise, you don’t make a lot of money or don’t charge as much for your services until you can build a bigger clientele and are able to charge more. I’m pretty sure most professional fields are like that. And as for the “bottom-feeders” using places like freelance sites to get work, yes there are pretty low ball people trying to get voice overs for practically nothing. But speaking as a “bottom-feeder”, I can tell you I have gotten some pretty good paying gigs and some great clients who I’ve done a lot of repeat business with using some of those sites. And I’m not working for “beer money” either. So, am I still an “idiot” if I’m picking up those “crumbs” and making crumb cake?

    3) You are a social being. I agree with some of what you say here. You do most of your work alone, so if you like the interaction of working in an office and with co-workers, this might not be the best profession for you. But if you like working on your own and don’t miss the traditional office setting, then I don’t think it will be a hard transition. That being said, just because you work as a voice talent, doesn’t mean you don’t have any interaction with anyone. You can still pick up the phone and call a client directly to try to build a relationship that way. As well as cold-calling potential clients and try to build a report with someone other than through email. I did find your comment about the voice conference speakers a little bit hypocritical though. You make a snarky remark about the VoiceVIP’s talking about themselves and plugging their own books at these conferences…when you’re doing the same thing on this blog! You have a link to your book on this page that says “Buy the book!” They’re using the conferences to help advertise and sell their book and you use this blog to help advertise and sell your book. You even plugged your book in one of your replies to someone who posted a comment.

    4) You’ll spend 80% spending your time trying to get work and 20% doing the work. I don’t agree that voice over talents spend a lot of time “being busy without being productive”. Whatever you’re doing that is helping build your VO business IS being productive. Whether it’s looking up places to contact, working on a new demo, emailing potential clients, looking up new marketing ideas…it’s all part of working towards your goal of getting business! A football team doesn’t just show up on Sunday to play their game. They spend hours during the week on the practice field and studying film in preparation for Sunday. Just because they don’t have a game everyday, doesn’t mean they aren’t productive during the week. The same is with a VO career. While there is a lot of nitty-gritty work that you could mistake as not being productive, you failed to mention the excitement you can get when all that hard work pays off and a door you’ve been looking to get opened opens for you..

    5) It may take many years to see a return on investment. I agree with you somewhat on this one. Yes it is a slow and steady climb, but to say it will take many years before you see a return on your investment is a little far fetched. Unless you are spending somewhere in the 6 figures on equipment and lessons, I don’t believe it will take you many years to make back the money you spent. And like any new investment, it would be wise to smart small to see if it’s really for you.

    So although you say you wrote this as not to “take away anyone’s hopes and dreams” as you said in your reply to JS’s comment, your own words in the blog say the opposite. Your negative, pompous and absolute terms say to me “go away, this is my turf and I don’t want you impeding on my business”. I understand you wanted to get your point across that this is a tough business and nothing comes easy in this field, which is all well and good and true, but to take shots at other voice talent and people just starting out in this field was unnecessary in my opinion.

    [Reply]

  28. Deven Mack

    We have clearly taken very different paths as professionals. There are many things I agree with in regards to the fact that making it in this business is EXTREMELY difficult and not for the faint of heart. I will not deny that for a second. I stand firmly against the flashy P2P craze and money-grubbing “coaches”, but certain ideas here are problematic.

    “The world doesn’t need you.” “You can’t make a real difference.” “You have no one to talk to but yourself, and you’ll never see a response from the people you’re supposedly entertaining.”

    It saddens me to see you speaking in such negative, absolute terms as these. That’s not being a realist; it’s untrue. Even as a non A-lister, not all VO careers have to be like that. Circulating ideas like these can help to snuff out the passion of genuinely talented, hard-working individuals who are yet to catch enough lucky breaks and struggle with their confidence. I have watched it happen. Indeed, there’s no place here for people who believe that what we do is a fast track to becoming rich and famous, but I don’t believe in counteracting false hope by spreading false doubt.

    As a performer, I love interacting with new clients. As a director, I love getting to know new talent. All of my best friends, I’ve made through this wonderful field; several of whom are my direct competition. Nothing in my life has been more gratifying than the times I’ve been told firsthand that the work of my friends and colleagues has helped bring joy or inspiration to a depressed child or young adult.

    Of course we’re all replaceable cogs in a larger machine and no one’s changing lives by recording soap commercials, but a powerful PSA, fun educational app or a beloved character can truly mean something and help enrich the lives of others. We don’t all get to hear from the people we can positively impact, but it happens more often than you seem to think, especially in this era of social media. It can be very special when it occurs, and I hope that you may one day know this particular kind of gratification.

    [Reply]

  29. Sarah

    Thank you for this. I read defensive responses and I wish more VAs would not take an attitude of denial. The opposite of denial does not have to be self-defeatism and cynicism. I hear the constant refrain of my peers that competition or bitter folk are just trying to scare them away (people merely acknowledging it’s difficult) and speak as though they are performing some sort of inspirational public service by doing a soap commercial. I love what I do, I can love that and face difficult odds while acknowledging them and admitting I’m just another person in a long line of others pursuing a crowded career who want it just as much as I do, not a saint for it. The psychology of ‘closing your ears and wanting it really hard = results’ confounds me.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Can you be my public advocate, Sarah? You just put into words what I was struggling to say. At some levels I do understand the deniers, though.

    Sweet dreams are far better than rude awakenings.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    Thank you very much Paul.

    It’s interesting though because I’m an LA native and trained actor. I am surrounded by plenty of people, actors and musicians that have stars in their eyes and sky high hopes yet none of them seem as in denial or outrageously offended as people do here at the reality that it is a very difficult goal (a career in the arts) with the odds against you.

    I have found this attitude very unique to VO, maybe I’m completely wrong in this but I’m curious about your opinion. I’ve thought maybe it’s because a lot of people pursue VO out of fear or discouragement related to on screen acting, or because people feel empowered because of the internet (ahhh, that old chesnut) or maybe just because people are so religiously hyped up by people eager to take their money?

    As I said, I’m still pursing this goal but I don’t find understanding the odds to be a dream-murderer. What do you think?

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    I have no power to kill anyone’s hopes and dreams. All I can do is share my opinion, and leave it up to my readers to make up their minds.

    Having said that, I do believe some people have a strong tendency to underestimate what it takes to have a sustainable career as a voice-over artist. Perhaps it’s because what we do seems so simple. There’s no need to memorize any lines, or interact with a huge cast of characters. We “just” read off a piece of paper, and we get paid for that.

    As I said in my article: people hear what they want to hear, and believe what they want to believe.

    Remember the gold rush?

  30. J S Gilbert

    Paul,

    Robert Cialdini explains why blogs like this and the many posts and blogs I’ve made over the years, tend to actually “encourage” and not “discourage”. I’m afraid the spin on the other side is too great and the internet has provided a complete distortion of “social proof” regarding voice over and the “lifesyles of the rich and microphoned”.

    Few people made money back in the California goldrush in the mid 1800’s. The stories brought forward make it seem as though many did, but that’s far from the truth. The ones who got rich were those who provided the goods and services (at extremely inflated rates) to those seeking their fortunes.

    It’s sad that the people who have been making lots of money in voice over and no longer are, feel the need to posture as if nothing is going on.

    There are tons of union voices masquerading under other names, taking whatever work they can. And the businesses that were producing under union contracts are dropping like flies. I dare say that a scant few of the fortune 100 would even return a call to a union representative.

    Otherwise, the top of the pyramind is being devoured by those who actually create it; many of these jobs going to ad agency employees and creatives, production company workers, their families and friends. The remaining jobs will then often go out to the “celebs” – reality show casts, celebrity chefs and other 15 minute of famers. The little bits that are left tend to stay within the cadre of the select L.A. and N.Y. talent.

    The few union castings that we get are generally sent to us by 6 or more agents, producers, etc., whereby we understand that 1,5000 – 4,000 people may be auditioning for the same $700 role.

    This produces a lot of people living on a precipitous edge.

    I wish that people started using good business sense, rather than all of this following their passion. It just seems like we’d be a better, smarter, more caring society.

    But then again, somebody is going to get that massive multi-spot, national SAG deal. It could be you.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Thanks for adding your perspective, JS. Some (aspiring) colleagues have been chastising me for this piece, and I’m not sure why they’re trying to shoot the messenger. I’m a big boy. I can t make it, but it did surprise me a little.

    Let me say again that I don’t want to take away anyones hopes and dreams. I do wish some people would wake up, and not buy into the pretty pictures painted by certain coaches, demo mills, and online casting services.

    [Reply]

  31. Chris Mezzolesta

    Wow Paul…..really. Wow. Takes guts to say publicly what a lot of us are thinking internally. Very nicely done. Now what we need is for this to be posted on every LinkedIn group run by enterprising predators that caters to starry-eyed newbies…a little Truth please? Better to step on someone’s “dream” than have them flush thousands of dollars needlessly. We don’t need more voice actors, plain and simple. And you eloquently ‘voiced’ that. This is one I’ll be spreading!

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Thanks for spreading the news, Chris. I’ve been communicating this message in my book, and on YouTube for quite some time now. The massive response to this piece took me by surprise, but I’lll take it!

    I’m not sure anything will chance as a result of this rant. People are stubborn, and if they’re hungry, they want to be fed the lines they hope to hear. Also, I’m not against online voice casting per se. I just feel that most commercial sites benefit the owners and clients more than they do voice talent. Rates are kept low to attract business. Pretty much anyone with a credit card can sign up. You know my objections.

    My hope is that the new World Voices service http://www.voiceover.biz can be the game changer it wants to be.

    [Reply]

  32. Kent Ingram

    So very well put, Paul! I liken the VO business to commercial broadcast radio, of which I was a part of, a long time ago. I learned, the hard way, that if you don’t have a love and passion for radio, you’ll end up hating it and it can damn-near destroy you. The same holds true for the VO industry. If I didn’t have confidence in my abilities and a love for sitting behind the mic, I would NEVER subject myself to the disappointment and discouragement it can sometimes bring. Persistence, though, is a virtue! Thanks, Paul, you’ve brightened my day, once again.

    [Reply]

    Paul Payton Reply:

    What Kent said. Amen!

    [Reply]

    Kent Ingram Reply:

    Thanks, Paul Payton! Those of us who have been around for awhile in the VO biz know what the real world is like.

    [Reply]

  33. Dave Courvoisier

    Spot-on again, Paul… and yet somehow I doubt it will stanch the flow of hopefuls. Those SOS (snake-oil salesmen) are just too convincing, and let’s face it…people want something for practically nothing.

    I’m with you on your answer to Rowell. Those truly passionate about pursuing their dream will go and go and go, and run the marathon until they get to the finish. I’ve personally bloodied my head a number of times hitting it against the wall… but in the end, the wall gave way. Not me. 🙂

    Dave Courvoisier

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    That’s the spirit, Dave. Exceptional people are the exception, and you are one of them!

    [Reply]

    Kent Ingram Reply:

    Let me add to that, Paul: Dave, like Paul, I read your posts every time I get an e-mail notice! I look to you, Paul and several other professionals when I need advice, encouragement or a kick-in-the-pants. You’re worth your weight in gold, to me!

    [Reply]

    Ted Mcaleer Reply:

    This really strikes home… Paul knew me when I was just starting out. Personally, I looked at all of these as hurdles I’d have to get over at some point, so I made a plan. All things being equal, attitude plays a big part. I’d already seen all the “great advantages” to the job, I wanted to really know what the pitfalls were so I could plan to avoid them. Without question, one of the keys to my success and I owe that to Mr. Paul

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    I’m so glad I could be somewhat of a catalyst, Ted, but if there’s one person who deserves massive credit, it’s YOU!

    Jeff Lonetree Reply:

    I agree with you Dave Courvoisier and it’s not because I’m your friend…it’s also because Paul’s writing makes a ton of sense.

    [Reply]

    Jeff Lonetree Reply:

    Dave C. is my friend and I agee with his statement…many peoples out there think it’s easy to record in a microphone. The persons who disagree with your Blog are the ones who are frustrated with their performance. You’re doing a good job Paul.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Thank you, Jeff. I welcome a lively debate on this site. No matter how thin the cheese is sliced, there will always be two sides (I’m paraphrasing the Dutch philosopher Spinoza here). I’m not one to speculate about the motives of those who don’t agree with me. Some may be frustrated. Others may need more training. People get to different conclusions for different reasons.

    [Reply]

  34. Stephen A. Matthews

    I guess that I am to be dissuaded from attempting to enter this profession based on the dire predictions and pronouncements from the article that i just read. No absolutely , this business is not for the faint of heart. If you are not committed VO is not for you because it takes time , it is not an overnight proposition. I question my own sanity for even attempting to enter this profession because it seems as if it will break your heart. Not everyone is going to make a six figure salary but I do believe that with training and hard work there is room for me and I am going to go for it. so watch out here I come!!!

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    You guessed wrong, Stephen. I’m merely offering a point of view. MY point of view, and people can do with it whatever they want. I’m not in the prediction business. I speak from experience. That experience has taught me that there’s always room for quality and authenticity. If that’s what you have to offer, you’ll have a long and hopefully lucrative career. I wish you the very best!

    [Reply]

  35. Jesse Lowther

    Paul wins the internet.

    Thank you for saying it, Paul. God knows, we’ve seen far too many people insisting on how easy it and wonderful it is to work in voiceovers. Bout time we had some common sense pushing people in the other direction.

    I’m doing it because I love doing it. Hearing a character come to life through my words is a zen thing for me.

    But yeah, no one’s diving into this business and making a living within even a YEAR. It’s about time we pushed back a bit against that myth…

    -J

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Well, Jesse, I certainly seem to have hit a nerve. Some colleagues treat me as a hero, and others as a villain. As a blogger, I’m used to that.

    There are quite a few myths about our industry, and it’s about time that people wake up and see what’s going on.

    [Reply]

    Jesse Lowther Reply:

    Certainly no nerve hit here. 🙂

    You’re just laying out the ironclad truth about the industry, and no one has any right to fault you for it.

    The message should be, “This is gonna be HARD, folks. Before you even TRY this, you better make sure you want it like NOTHING else…” which is exactly what anyone trying to get into VO should hear.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Amen to that, Jesse. The harder the battle, the greater the victory!

    Jesse Lowther Reply:

    Certainly no nerve hit here. 🙂

    You’re just laying out the ironclad truth about the industry, and no one has any right to fault you for it.

    The message should be, “This is gonna be HARD, folks. Before you even TRY this, you better make sure you want it like NOTHING else…” which is exactly what anyone trying to get into VO needs to hear.

    [Reply]

    Jesse Lowther Reply:

    The other thing I realized is that I’ve actually learned everything on this list for myself, the HARD way.

    So yeah, that’s probably why I’m applauding the advice so incredibly hard.

    I am also about to go on the hunt for more representation, but I have no illusions about that magically working out. 😉

    -J

    [Reply]

  36. Helen Lloyd

    And Paul, don’t forget all snake oil sellers who are peddling the dream with expensive ‘I can turn you into a voice actor’ coaching.

    I love doing what I do … but as one of those who are firmly stuck in the middle … I endorse every word you say. Bravo.

    H

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Thank you, Helen. Let’s no forget the demo-mills and gear salesmen (and women). We’re part of an interesting industry. Everyone is trying to get a piece of the pie.

    [Reply]

    Kent Ingram Reply:

    I’m very wary of “coaches” and “teachers” in our industry. If there’s a steady income in this business, it’s doing just that! I don’t fault really good coaches and teachers, of course. But, I get the feeling the majority of them don’t know any more than I do and, in some instances, I’ll bet I have light-years more experience than they do!

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    First off, thank you for your kind comments, Kent. I’m not writing to be praised, but I do appreciate heartfelt feedback. And coming from you, I always know it’s from the heart.

    We have a lot of kind, patient, talented and giving people in our industry. I’m in this business to turn a profit (among other things), and I believe people deserve to make a good living, doing what they love.

    As a blogger, one of my missions is to share my view of the business with others, and ruffle some feathers. People who don’t really know me, have labeled this post as “harsh,” and I can understand that. But I’m not out to destroy anyone’s hopes and dreams. No one can take those away. I do believe people have a right to hear a different side of the story before they fork over a small fortune.

    [Reply]

  37. Haneen Arafat Murphy

    But I loved that Quilted Northern script!
    When 80% of scripts are about doctors and pills…I will admit, little Miss Puffy & Grandpa Thaddeus made me happy.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    More than half of the VO community in North America must have auditioned for it. I don’t know the name of the colleague who eventually voiced it, but he got a nice pay day!

    [Reply]

  38. Scott Spaulding

    So why do you do it?

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    See my answer in response to Rowell’s question.

    [Reply]

  39. Joanne Rice

    All can be very true! Just glad I didn’t read this a long time ago. Been doing VOs now for 15 yrs on my own…after years in radio. That’s actually how to get into the biz, or, at least it used to be. You’re auditioning on the air every day! I still have regular clients who first heard me on the radio in Miami. I feel fortunate every day that I do what I do, and make a decent living.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    I’m really happy for you, Joanne. I too got my start in radio, and I use what I have learned every day.

    [Reply]

  40. J. Christopher Dunn

    {{{hand clapping}}} Bravo! BRA-VO!!!

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    I humbly bow in response to your auditory tokens of appreciation, Christopher.

    [Reply]

  41. Rowell Gormon

    …can’t fault a single item, Paul. But would now love to see you write a follow-up piece outlining what you’d say to someone who pipes up, “So why don’t you quit?”

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Now, there’s an idea! There are three reasons why I’m still playing the game:

    1. VO is one of the few things I believe I’m really good at.

    2. I make a decent living doing it.

    3. I can’t imagine anything that’s more fun, and more gratifying!

    [Reply]

  42. Sally Blake ( Voice On Fire )

    Smiled throughout reading this Paul. I too will be saving a copy. Just yesterday I heard on my local radio station an advertisement for a conference downtown on ” How to get in Voice Over. ” I guess this is where the real money is 🙂 I wish I had a dollar for every time I have been asked this question and when I list the bare minimum requirements the interest wanes. Thanks Paul, very truthful article!

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    I’m glad my words made you smile, Sally. Some people think I wrote this out of resentment, but nothing could be farther from the truth. I hope it’s an eye-opener to those who are thinking of entering this business.

    [Reply]

  43. Ron Whittemore

    Well said, truthful and quite entertaining, all at the same time…thanks Paul!!

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    My pleasure, Ron. Even though I don’t think I wrote anything earth shattering, this blog post is widely shared, read and discussed. As a blogger, that’s all I can hope for.

    [Reply]

  44. Bob Barnes

    “Some people get their kicks stompin’ on my dream.” –Sinatra

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    I’m so sorry to have dashed the dreams of all those hopefuls who believe they can make a good living, if only they sign up for those voice casting sites…

    [Reply]

  45. Kevin Charles

    Well said. I even saw the Quilted Northern spot on TV last night and the guy read it the same way I did.. But he booked the gig. I didn’t. And I actually use that brand!

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    That’s so unfair, Kevin. Well, there’s always Charmin!

    [Reply]

  46. Helen Moore-Gillon

    Next time someone asks me how to “get into” voiceovers I shall shoot this article over to them. Thanks Paul for, once again, hitting the nail on the head!

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    That sounds like a plan, Helen. However, experience is the best (and slowest) teacher.

    [Reply]

  47. Matt Forrest Esenwine

    Yep, these all sound about right!

    [Reply]

  48. Ted Mcaleer

    This coupled with “The terrible truth about voice over” should be required reading for anyone wanting to start off on this road. The truth in both become more and more apparent the longer you do this job.

    [Reply]

    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Ah, you’re referring to my video “The Troublesome Truth About A Voie-Over Career,” which has almost 33K hits. You’re right. This blog post is an excellent companion (if I say so myself).

    [Reply]

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