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Bathrobes and Voice Acting

So, this voiceover thing is harder than you thought? No sh*t. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.

If you are at the point of needing a voiceover coach and struggling to find the right one, here’s some info that might help in your search. I see this happen a lot and I don’t think it’s something discussed enough with voiceover actors who are just starting out. Here’s the scenario:

A VO student comes to a coach – arms wide open and says “teach me the ways!” We say ok and proceed to teach you OUR way. Does that make it right for you…eh maybe? I don’t know man. At this point, I’m Jeff Bridges in the Big Lebowski (bathrobe and all.)

See when you say those words to a coach, our ego inevitably kicks in - because something has to override your indecision and lack of confidence. Then the whole process of training becomes a self-serving sh*t show whereby we call all the shots and you call none. This is not to say it will be a worthless or meaningless education. In fact, we mean well! And it will work out great if you want a career that looks exactly like mine…not so great if you don’t.

Still with me? Ok great. Wait one moment while I hang my sign… ok… The Therapist Is IN.

I’ve been around enough actors and alcoholics to know we share a lot in common. You are creatively everywhere, all the time, and your brain is firing ideas faster than you can keep up. You would not be an actor if you didn’t want to quit this game 20 times per year. You would not strive for success if you didn’t second guess everything, beat yourself up and hate everything you do, often. That’s the self-deprecating, brain at work. Equally, you wouldn’t be able to do any of this if you weren’t mildly A.D.D, mercurial as Hell, and an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. Yup – chant with me – one of us, one of us, one of us!

We are all growing, learning and adapting. All. The. Time. Artists never stop. Musicians who have played for 20 plus years still go to brand practice! Did you think they all just showed up, and poof, recorded an album? Collecting a Grammy upon exiting the studio like it was a door-prize?

What is the point in this article? I don’t know man, I’m still in my bathrobe. These are just things I think new, aspiring and budding voiceover actors need to hear. Find the people who are wearing the bathrobe you want to wear. Some voice actors are kicking back in silk and satin others are wearing a matching two-piece covered in Avengers characters. And some of us have this little number Brad Pitt sported in Fight Club.

Find your bathrobe brigade and it will make all the difference in your voiceover career. Make sure your coach matches your aesthetic right down to their choice in fuzzy slippers. We can only share what we know and the experience we have lived. Choose your voiceover training with this in mind. Later gator!

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