5 Questions for a Professional Voice-Over Talent – Roger Tremaine

Today’s 5 Questions for a Professional Voice Over Talent are answered by Roger Tremaine, a professional voice-over talent based in Central Kentucky.

1. The beginning: When did you know you wanted to be a voiceover talent; how did your career begin (please include what year it started) and then when did your passion for voiceover develop into something professional?

“And now for something completely different” as was said on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. After hearing previously from all these superstars of VO and those I consider my heroes, now you’ll hear my story, a relative newcomer and a work in progress.
The first spark that ignited my interest was my dad’s Wollensak R/R recorder. I amused myself by recording newspaper and magazine ads and clumsily adding music. This was in the early 1960’s. I involved myself in school shows and plays and loved the response of the crowd. In between then and when I got my first paying VO gig in 2010, a lot has transpired. I graduated high school in 1964 and compressed four years of college education into six years and three institutions. I changed majors and schools too often. Although my final degree was in Speech Pathology & Audiology ( a special ed. degree) I hung around the college radio station and a local commercial station. I came to love the work, the equipment, the people and even the smell of these places; stale cigarette smoke mixed with the smell that warm electronic gear gives off. I was now a DJ. Wow! I got to interview “Cousin Brucey” (Bruce Morrow – WABC radio). When I graduated college in 1969, I signed up with the US Air Force to participate in that little police action in Southeast Asia (SEA). I was able to by-pass the job they had in mind for me (medivac specialist in Guam) by passing a test in military broadcasting and was then made a Radio/TV Specialist and served in Thailand for two years as a DJ (“good morning Thailand”) and TV tech and on-camera host. Then “back in the world” as we SEA returnees phrased it, I got a job with Kentucky Educational TV (KET), the world’s largest educational network, first as a camera operator ,then film soundman and finally network audio supervisor. Along with “other duties as assigned” came on-air announcing and VOs for specials and docs. After doing this for a 30 years, I came to the realization I was giving my voice away free when I saw others profiting from it. That’s when it started for me, albeit a little late in life, I was in my sixties.

2. What is the one thing you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started out in voiceover?

How competitive it is and how many talented people there are to compete with and how I wish now I had participated in more theatrical activities.

3. What do you see as the biggest professional or personal obstacle you face that impacts your voiceover business and how are you working to overcome it?

Having to unlearn my old DJ approach to announcing, not being a very astute business person and being painfully shy and reluctant to “sell myself” and my services. And, of course, starting a new career so late in life (I’m 66). Mostly the lack of financial resources to avail myself of solid training, workshops and conferences. I do participate in free and low cost opportunities for career enrichment.

4. What personal trait or professional tool has helped you succeed the most in your career so far?

Patience, persistence and my undying love and passion for audio and performing. Also my audio abilities garnered after 30+ years of experience in broadcasting and what other skills God has gifted me with.

5. In your development as a voice over performer, who has been the one particular individual or what has been the one piece of performance advice (maybe a key performance trick, etc.) that you felt has had the most impact on your actual voice over performance and why?

I must confess there really hasn’t been an influential artist or mentor, although I would covet such a relationship. I’ve been reluctant to “bother” some busy talent to barrage them with questions and advice and where I live (central Kentucky) there isn’t a plethora experienced folks in the field to hang with. I come up with zero in the performance “tricks” category as well. I must give credit to my association with the VO-BB family from whence I’ve received much info and support. Thanks Deebs and crew. Finally, I believe success is result of hard work, practice and persistence. And some luck.

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