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Getting the EDGE in Voice Overs

Paul Strikwerda

“Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

“They’re taking advantage of newbies.”

“They’re just interested in your money.”

“I wasted more than $1000 on a demo and nobody wants to hire me.”

Spend a day on social media, and you’ll discover that talking about voice over coaching can make certain people a bit … edgy. Usually, they’ve had a bad experience or they know someone who was ripped off.

One aspiring voice talent had studied with the same teacher for years. This coach was supposedly an authority in his field and he acted like one. He was of the “break ‘em-down-and-build-them-up” school. Unfortunately, he was great at the first part and never got to the second.

The day she dared to ask him when she would be ready to audition, he said: “Voice acting is harder than you think. I’ll let you know when you are ready.” He never did. Thousands of dollars and three years later, she still had no demo, no experience and she had lost her confidence and enthusiasm.

Those types of horror stories make me cringe.

Being a coach myself, I don’t shy away from a bit of tough love. Some students believe they’re the best thing since sliced bread, and they deserve a playful kick in the pants. However, students don’t hire a coach to be verbally abused. They want to learn something new.

So, how can you tell a good coach from a rotten apple?

We all know people who have made it in this business and all they can talk about is themselves. While that may be entertaining, I don’t think you should spend your hard-earned money on a narcissist.

A good coach focuses on you.

A good coach does more than teach an old dog new tricks. A good coach sees your blind spots and takes apart your rusty routines. Rather than create a clone, a good coach taps into your unique potential and draws things out of you, things you never even knew were there. Great coaches help you rekindle the fire that’s burning inside of you, and inspire you to step into the light and shine like never before.

Bad coaches make their students dependent. Good coaches make themselves redundant.

Good coaches want the best for you, because they see the best in you. They’re not threatened by your talent. They are proud of your accomplishments.

If you want a great coach, don’t look at his or her credits. Look at their students instead. Successful students are their best credentials. At the Edge studio we have trained and hired many of them!

If you were an Edge Studio student, this is what I would say to you: Coaching is a partnership. It’s about cooperation. As your voice over coach, I want you to grow, develop, and achieve your professional goals. While I will challenge and support you to reach your potential, our relationship starts with your agenda and your initiative.

The increase in the level of your skills and success will depend on your willingness to take risks and try new approaches. It also depends on the amount of time you are able and willing to invest in this process. The more you put in, the more you will get out of it.

My role as your coach is to use my expertise as a mentor, supporter, sounding board, and champion of all your efforts. It is also to hold you accountable for action steps you have agreed to make.

So, if you really want to take your skills to the next level, get a coach.

That’s how you get the Edge in voice overs!

Paul Strikwerda is Edge Studio’s International Marketing Expert. To schedule with Paul, call 888-321-3343 or email [email protected].