Voiceover - it's just commercial or animation...right?

A little impromptu post here but I have been chatting to people of late that seem to be under the intense worry and dismay that unless they do either character work or commercial work, it's time to throw in the towel with voiceover. 

This could not be further from the truth and many other working professionals would agree. The number of genres for voice work is growing at an exponential rate. Now, is it all glamorous? Hardly. Does some of it pay extraordinarily well? Absolutely. 

Whatever goal you might have starting out with this work, it's still a goal to aim at but to parrot a number of people, it probably won't be the bulk of your work unless you are extraordinarily talented and are situated in LA. However, this doesn't mean you don't work because you don't get what you want initially. 

It worried me a bit that people were so dismayed and under the wrong impression. 

To rail a few genres off from the top of my head:

Explainer, Corporate, IVR, Narration, audiobook, podcast intros, voice matching, ADR

There are many, many sub genres of the above but some of these are extremely lucrative and VO pros will structure their marketing around what they are good at. Here's a crazy thought, you want to do *insert genre here* work so bad...you get trained, you make a demo and...you end up hating it! What now? If you start to feel that way, your coach should be picking up on it in your reads and maybe suggest some other genres you could tackle. Always ask, your teacher is your mentor and your guide. 

This leads me to my next point. You may not know what you are good at just yet and that's okay. I myself am still feeling out (after 2 years +) on which genres I take to easily and which do not appeal to me. Being passionate about one genre is important but that shouldn't be your only focus. Find what you like and really charge full steam at it. You'll amaze yourself on how much you can improve in a year. 

You may not like your 9-5 job, the same will happen in VO. You will have projects that make your soul light up and there will be jobs where you can't wait to wrap it up. There is no escaping the grind unfortunately. 

Now I don't live in LA, I live on the East coast in Maryland, however, I have made strides to land jobs which have been lucrative and fun. Does it mean I won't move to LA when the time comes? Who's to say but that would be nice for sure!

Bottom line is, don't get discouraged so easily. Everything in life is hard but if you really enjoy your VO work, you will find your slot in the industry and truly grow. 

Here are a few links with very successful VO professionals who talk about their struggles and victories in this business: (Helpful to know even the pros have bad days!)



My personal favourite is Dee Bradley Bakers site. Very honest but there's a lot to read, which is a VERY good thing.