“Does this ever get any easier?” one of my voice over students wanted to know.
“‘Cause whenever I think I’ve finally figured something out, there’s always something else that comes up, followed by another thing, and another thing. It’s so frustrating.”
“It certainly feels that way, doesn’t it?” I said.
“When I was a little boy I told my parents there was no need to send me to school anymore.”
“Why don’t you want to go to school?” my mom asked.
“Because I know everything there is to know,” I answered.
“If only you know what we know, you would know how much you don’t know,” my dad said knowingly. “We’re not going to not send you to school.”
There and then I found out that double negatives can actually be positive, so I did learn something I didn’t know before.
It reminded me of what I learned later on in life, when I was studying the art of the interview. My teacher drew two circles on the whiteboard, one big, one small. The smaller circle overlapped just a tiny fraction of the bigger circle.
“The big circle represents everything the person you’re interviewing knows about the topic. The small circle stands for everything you think you may now about it. The area where the two circles intersect represents your common knowledge.
The mistake many journalists make is that they will only ask questions based on what they believe they know. Your job as interviewer is to uncover all the interesting things the expert knows; things that no one else knows yet. All the things in the big circle.”
“The problem with voice overs,” I said to my student, “is that what we do SEEMS EASY to outsiders. After all, we’re just talking. That’s what a lot of beginners think as well. When you see and hear experienced voice actors do their job, they make it look like it’s the easiest thing in the world. That does not mean it is.”
“Learning to use your voice professionally is like peeling away the layers of an onion. When you think you’re getting close to the core, there’s always another layer, and another one. And when things are getting really challenging, it means you are learning new skills, or you’re getting to a deeper level.
If you’ve ever learned to play musical instrument or a new language, you know exactly what I am talking about.
It never gets any easier. It just gets BETTER!”
David Holmes says
Oh, that’s lovely, Paul.
Randy Mahoney says
There is always something new to be learned. That’s why I do this.
It does seem overwhelming sometimes.
Joshua Alexander says
“It never gets any easier. It just gets BETTER!” I agree, and I love it! I might add “better…and Better…and BETTER!” Thanks Paul.
Kristina Rothe says
Really lovely post 🙂 keep on peeling those onion layers 🙂
Paul Strikwerda says
I’ll be moved to tears, but I’ll keep on peeling.