voice over question #4


I promise you by this point, Stu is so sorry he tagged me on this he may never blog again. But he should anyway 😉

4. What’s the best book(s) you have read to help you become successful at what you do?

Someday I may write a book about the voice over business and on that day I am going to be really pissed at myself for writing this but it’s what’s in my heart and my heart’s edit button seems to be on the fritz so here ’tis: voice over books are not very helpful for being a voice over talent.


If you are at a point in your career where you have no idea about the technical and/or business side of the voice over business, well then you’re really behind the 8 ball and some of those book will be helpful.

Make no mistake here, the authors aren’t bad people nor are they full of beans. They have tips, they have tricks and some shortcuts.

But to be successful in voiceover, you have to be able to perform and performance comes from doing not reading a book (unless it is out loud). Focus on your talent before you touch a voice over book.

You need to get to a group class, especially if you’re new to the business. I do not recommend you go to an individual class. Do that later. First, get with a group. Audit the class, listen to the performers, and talk with them. Assess your own performance either internally or externally based on what you’ve seen. Do you have the voice for the business? No? Stop. Yes? Then go to about 4-6 classes.

Do you feel the passion going to class or does going to class get in the way of other stuff you want or need to do? If it’s because of the teacher or the group, find another one. Chemistry is important, to be sure. Is it not about the chemistry?

If going to VO class feels like a chore, stop! Get off the voice over horse. You’re done.

Go be a lector at church or call a bingo game for charity or offer to help with a local blind reading service. All sincerely noble and charitable tasks for which you will be greatly rewarded.

But you will not make it in the business of voice over so don’t even try.

Ouch? Oh please, not even close. When the door of voice over rejection smashes the cartilage in your nose to beyond repair then OK, maybe a little owie. But what I am doing here is saving you the pain.

You have to want it, this voice over dream. Thousands share that great passion every day. The art of performance has to be so deep within you that you dream about doing the work, not making piles of money or dating Scarlett Johansson (see, you thought we didn’t know).

If you don’t want to perform voice over so badly that a chance to get on mic makes you delightfully happy, if the thought of being picked for a voice acting role doesn’t really thrill you for more than just a paycheck, no voiceover book in the world will help you succeed in this business. Period.

You know, except maybe mine.

So endth the lesson. Blame Stu.

Thanks for reading.

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2 Responses to “voice over question #4”

  1. Peter,

    That’s some pure straight talk, yo (lame attempt at sounding cool).

    Truly though, if you don’t have the passion to drive you through the ups and downs of a career ( I think our good friend Seth calls that The Dip ), let alone keep going in the very subjective and critical arena of voice over, do some volunteer work as Peter suggested and leave it at that.

    It’s a business, an art form, and you’ll learn best through performance. I completely agree that people should audit a class first in a group setting to get a feel for what goes on and to fully understand the industry before jumping into it prematurely by going “pro” too soon.

    You can buy books and CDs if you like. Some people learn differently, however, a book or CD is no substitute for personal instruction. Reading a book may help you to light the fire within and give you the confidence to take the next step but do realize that you cannot buy a career in a box. It’s more complicated than that 😉

    Thanks Peter for the goods.



    P.S. When you write that book, reserve the foreword for me 🙂

  2. […] HUGE Thanks to Peter for taking 4 days and 4 posts to answer these […]