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How Do You Define Professional Voice Actor?

What is it, exactly, that makes one a “professional” Voice Actor?

What is the definition?

Are there certain characteristics required?

Should one posses particular degrees, accreditations or certificates?

Does it have to do with names on a client list? Representation? Or union status?

Could it have to do with whom you list as a coach or mentor?

Would it be related to equipment in ones studio? The dollar value? Brands, makes or models?

Perhaps it’s connected to income? Cross a certain tax bracket and your “arrival” is declared?

Many have attempted to define what constitutes being a professional. People, agencies and organizations much more equipped for such a daunting task than I. Some have claimed success in the mission. Though, I can’t help but wonder who it was that ever gave them such a mission in the first place? Or how they were granted the authority to define.

Next week I’ll be heading off to Vegas for WoVOCon 2.

Can I be honest with you about something? I’m nervous. Really and truly nervous.

I’ve seen the names of many who will be in attendance. Voice Actors with accomplishments, skill, equipment, clients, income and status that no doubt far outweigh my own. Will I fit in, I wonder? Or will I stick out like a sore thumb?

One of these things is not like the other.

Have you ever felt that way?

The more I’ve thought about it these past few days, the more I’ve come to believe that, perhaps, just maybe, being a professional voice actor isn’t as much about a definition as it is about a state of mind.

How Do You Define Professional Voice Actor?

How do you view yourself?

Part-time? Full-time? Amateur? Wannabe? Pro? Fraud?

A profound and important question, don’t you think?

Here’s the thing; when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, I see a professional voice actor.

When I walk into my studio, I step into my domain where I set about doing professional work.

As I speak with each client, I try my very best to do so with the confidence and class of a professional businessman.

In every way, my goal is to conduct my business as a professional voice actor.

When I walk into the conference in next week, I’ll feel a little intimidated. A little outmatched (not to say it’s a competition). No doubt I’ll be a little star struck at some of the talented people I’ll meet.

But when I board the plane to return back to my cozy little studio in my sleepy little town, I’ll be better. Better for what I’ve learned. Better for whom I’m met. Better for stretching and stepping out of my comfort zone.

That’s going to make me more professional. If not by anybody else’s definition, at least by my own.

In the end, isn’t that the one that matters most?

You’re good enough!

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.

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A New Season; A New Hope

Being Canadian, I’m used to winter. I can handle winter. Or at least, put up with winter. I don’t like snow. I don’t like cold. I cope because it’s just part of the deal. Hey, at least we don’t have earthquakes or tsunamis or hurricanes. A little snow and cold for a few months doesn’t seem so bad by comparison, right?

This week, finally, for the first time in a very long time the temperature has begun to creep above 0C. That’s 32F for my American friends. We’ve endured a long hard February filled with absurd windchill values that I think may have even caused Polar Bears to migrate! I’m talking -40C which, I believe is also -40F!


It’s Tuesday evening. 11:34pm. I’m sitting in my recliner,  next to my patio door. It’s 3C (37F). My patio door is open so I can listen to the sound of melting snow.

There’s a lot of snow in my backyard. A lot.

Or at least, there was. Until the thaw started.

A New Season; A New Hope

I know that right now, some of you guys are struggling. You’ve got a desire. A passion. But things just aren’t working out the way you hoped. You can’t find the work. You can’t get the gigs. The bank account is running low. Or on empty.

It’s a hard, scary, discouraging and intimidating place to be. I know. I’ve been there.

What I was reminded of this evening, however, is that seasons change. Last week there was ice and snow and cold and it felt like winter was never going to end.

This week, there’s sun and warmth and I’m listening to the snow melt.

A new season. A new hope.

Hang in there. Your breakthrough is just around the corner.


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Pay Attention To Your Work

There’s a Facebook group that I’m a member of called the Voice-Over Fridge. I really like the concept of the group. Basically, it’s a place to post projects you’ve worked on to share and celebrate your success. Like hanging your child’s report card on your own fridge.

One thing I’ve noticed about the voice over industry is that it’s filled with very encouraging and supportive people.

Pay Attention To YOUR Work

It’s good to listen to what your colleagues are doing. It’s smart to listen to their demos and try to learn from them. It’s also good to engage in the encouraging and supportive environment.

Here’s where I think you need to be careful…

Don’t focus so much on the work of others that you stop focussing on your own work.

Don’t get so caught up in the projects your colleagues are booking that you become discouraged by the work you’re doing.

Don’t look at all the big name clients that others are working with and stop appreciating the clients you’re working with.

YOUR Work Is Important

My work is how I earn my living. My clients are the ones that matter most to me. My projects are the projects I’m most proud of.

Celebrate the success of others. Encourage each other. But never pay so much attention to the work of others that you stop paying attention to your own work.

As long as you keep this in perspective, success will continue to come.

QUESTION: Have you ever got jealous of another talent and realized it’s affected the attitude towards your own work?

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How To Get Out Of A Career Rut In One Simple Step

I shared a quote on my Facebook page yesterday. I can’t take credit for it. It’s something I came across on Twitter. It’s not an uncommon principle. It’s been quoted countless times with countless variations that all have the same foundation and meaning.

It really is the best advice you’ll receive today. Continue reading How To Get Out Of A Career Rut In One Simple Step