Do I Have What It Takes for Voice Over?
Do I actually have what it takes? It’s the most-asked question I have received from students in my eight years as an Education Advisor at Edge. What’s my response? Yes. Always yes.
When I first took the Investigate Voice Over class in August of 2014, I was a complete beginner. In the evaluation portion of the class, I was told I had a variety of vocal issues that would make it challenging to become a professional voice over actor. I had bad diction and articulation, my natural accent was all over the place, and the list goes on. I’m not kidding; it’s the truth. Fast forward to today, 2022, I am a working voice over actor and I advise students everyday on how to accomplish their own VO goals. How did I get here? Training.
After my first Edge class, rather than feeling discouraged by the constructive criticism I received, I took this as an opportunity to learn and build myself up from scratch. My previous training on stage and in film had prepared me for honest feedback and I was used to working with directors and producers who had notes about my performances. I decided to take my voice over assessment in stride and see if I truly did have what it takes.
I began training and taking private coaching with my coach, Anne Hartung, who helped me recognize my strengths and weaknesses as an actor, and addressed so many of my vocal issues. I worked on my choppiness and became aware of my glottal stops, and with Anne’s advice to keep practicing and practicing, I was able to train my ear to hear my own missteps when listening to playback. I cried with relief knowing that I was able to hear myself and make adjustments. It was only the beginning of my training and I knew that I was on the right track.
At first, I trained in English alone. I completed my telephony demo, and soon after began booking work in telephony and e-learning. When I gained enough confidence and thought I had what it takes, I decided to apply the technique and skills I had already learned toward a Spanish demo too. I worked extra hard at this; it was almost like having a second job. More gigs started coming in and I was able to pay off my Edge training with the revenue I received from my first-ever Spanish e-learning project. I even started auditioning again for print/lifestyle projects, film, and theatre again.
Now, as an Education Advisor with Edge, when students tell me they don’t know how to begin following their voice over dreams, I tell them anything is possible. Students come to me with a plethora of problems – financial, time constraints, other responsibilities, I tell them not to let these obstacles get in the way. I speak from personal experience when I say that anyone can have what it takes to work in voice over, you just have to go for it, because look at me! I put in the time, and now I’m a working actress across several disciplines. I even recently became a published playwright.
With hard work, patience, solid training, and a good support system EVERYTHING is possible. Just do the work and you too will have what it takes.