Get out now, while you still can
Since there is such a renewed interest in voiceovers these days, let me take a quick moment to nip all that accursed passion in the bud. There’s certainly no need for you to be excited about voiceovers. It’s like what the teacher said to Truman. There’s nothing left to explore. You should really just drop it and move on to being a quality Burger King employee and flip those burgers. After all, what a stupid pipe dream. Voiceovers? Wake up and get your head out of the clouds.
Here’s some hard and fast rules to help you utterly fail at voiceovers and let those pesky dreams sink into the quagmire of lost hopes.
#1 – Don’t have any passion whatsoever
Stop. OK? Just stop. No one wants to hear about how excited you are that you got a new mic, or new software, or a TV commercial. Stop it. Just crank it down a few notches, there, Turbo. We’re all just SUPER impressed with your ability to do this and that, but…….wait a minute, actually we’re not. So really dude? Knock it off. We’re trying to sleep here and you’re being far too loud. You kids and your music these days, anyway. *eye roll*
#2 – Don’t market to anyone
Leave everyone alone? Seriously? Why would ANYONE want to hear from you. You’re just white noise. You have NOTHING to offer. Oh “I’m gonna be the best voiceover artist there ever was!!!” Sure. Screeech. Needle noise now. Like no one’s said THAT before. How unoriginal! Leave people to their own miserable lives and just go back and sit in the corner and be a nice human and don’t disturb the dreamers and doers. You belong there. That corner looks good on you. You really shouldn’t come out and try to connect with anyone ever again, or be allowed to talk to other humans, because we’re all just going to yawn at you.
#3 – Don’t join any P2P’s
Oh come on. Yeah yeah yeah pay to play gets you lots of audition opportunities. So? You should really just listen to all the naysayers who say the P2P’s are shoddy and shifty and crafty and they’ll take you to the cleaners: after all, they’re right! You won’t make ANY connections or be awarded ANY jobs or make ANY money, or improve in ANY confidence whatsoever. Those P2P’s? They’re for the winners. You’re just a tryer, not a winner. Leave that for the big boys and just go back to your karaoke machine where you belong. You’ll never make any money, and honestly, you’d be better to save that $399, even though there’s been talk that some people can make that back, and double, or triple, or quintuple, in a single job. That’s not you. Simmer down there, mister, and get your head outta the clouds.
#4 – Don’t convert any of your P2P clients to direct
What? You’re already on a P2P? Well what did you want to go and do a silly thing like that for? Hmm. No matter. Now that you’re on, just leave all those clients there. You’ll never talk to them again, nor should you. They stay in that funnel, and you belong out here. They’ll never want to work with you outside of the P2P’s anyway, so why would you even try? It’s like that note you pass in 3rd grade: “Will you go with me? Check this box. (Yes) (No) (Maybe)” No one will check yes or maybe. You’re wasting your time.
#5 – Don’t attend Meetups or help other VO Talent
Network schmetwork. Leave the chumming for the social folk. You really should just stay in your studio, nose to the mic-stone, and just keep at it. What do other voiceover people have to offer you anyway? They just want your secrets, and they want to be better than you. So why should you help scratch their back, when they’ve never offered to scratch yours? Seriously. Freeloaders. Vermin, the lot of ‘em. Stick to your guns. And use ‘em if necessary, to keep off the parasites.
#6 – Don’t learn from others and certainly don’t join any of those accursed Facebook groups
Fleetwod Mac sang it best. You know everything already. I mean, come on. Be social? What for? You’ve got auditions to do, and there are people waiting. This goes along with #5…there are too many scroungers out there, human umbilical cords who want to plug into you and bleed you dry. They don’t really have anything to offer, and it’s quite obvious that they are out to sap you of all your time. Facebook Schacebook. LinkedIn SchminkedMin. Who needs 'em??? You’re fine on MySpace where there are only 3 people left.
#7 – Don’t be generous with your money
Every single hundred dollar bill you’ve made from voiceovers (all one of them) are YOURS. Why should you give back? Don’t others have a job and can’t they earn their own keep? Why should you sacrifice of your own resources just so someone else can benefit? That guy on the corner. Pretender. That gal in your voiceover Meetup who never contributes to the raffle because she can’t. Slacker. That man who wants to do coaching but can’t afford it. Joker. Why should you give to any of them even a little bit to help them, when they’re just going to want more and more and more and more of your time and money, for FREE?!?!? What kind of a world is this anyway, the land of the free home of the brave? Or the land of the dependent and home of the cowardly? *shakes head*
#8 – Don’t practice or try to refine your craft in any way
You know everything already. ‘Nuff said.
#9 – Don’t invest into your business with new equipment or software
That Radio Shack mic has worked well for YEARS now. It doesn’t matter that the shack is no longer in business… this mic is the shiznit. I mean, just listen to the quality stuff you’re able to crank out with that beast! It sounds of such muffled goodness and it’s SO not EQ’d in any way: MUSIC TO YOUR EARS!! Ahhhhh. Rest content knowing that you’ve made a sound investment of $29.99. This sucker has what it takes to get the job done, and it’s only a matter of time before the world knows who Joe Voiceover Guy is…and is forced to reckon with him and his beast of a mic. Watch out, world.
#10 – Don’t treat your voiceovers like a business; treat it like a hobby
Licensing. Why? Registration. What for? Paying taxes. Who needs it? Official stationery, logo, letterhead, invoices, contract documents, CRM, and all that. Bah humbug, why should you? You have a system, and it does just fine, thank you very much. You don’t need to overcomplicate things with this influx of structure and organization. Cray cray!!! People who try to wrap everything up in such a nice bow are just heading for disaster. Systems fail, computers go belly up, you have so much more to maintain, which means it’s all going to cost so much more to fix! And your Dot Matrix printer works splendidly. No need for an upgrade. And even if you did need an upgrade, all you need to do is pull out your discounted Motorola DynaTac 8500x and dial Bob’s Quick Fix and get a new ribbon on there lickety-split. Systems? Structure? P’shaw. Who needs it.
#11 – Don’t pay for any advertising anywhere
OK Listen. You have vinyl lettering on your car like a champ. Sure, it came at a discounted price and it’s missing every third “E”, so it actually spells out Voic ov rs…but p opl ar smart nough to figur out what you’r talking about, ar n’t th y? You don’t need to put up a sign, or pay for advertising, or run any Facebook (what is that anyway???) or Instagram (never heard of it) ads. You don’t need to pay Google a single cent to promote your business. You got this. And hey, nice shiny bell on your Schwin bike – when the car’s in the shop and the vinyl lettering’s being re-affixed, that bell will do nicely to draw people to you as you shout vigorously, “I’m a voiceover guy! I’m a voiceover guy! Hire me! Hire me!” Make sure to bring lozenges. And hey, by the way, nice Hanes Beefy-T with Sharpee “I do voiceovers” writing on it…very creative!!!
#12 – Avoid VO Atlanta (and any other conference) like the plague
This goes right along with #5 and 6…as well as #8. Seriously, what a colossal waste of time and money. Airfare. Hotel. Registration. X-Sessions. Food. Time away from your dog. All of that quality TV programming you’re going to miss. I mean seriously. What fools to take time away from their schedules and go hangout with other voiceover talent (!?!?!?!) who just want to steal your ideas, profit off your success, pirate your model, siphen you for information, and extract all your secrets. Four days’ worth of such nonsense!!!! What sheer lunacy!
I sincerely hope this helps you on your downward spiral. I’m here to hinder you. I genuinely want nothing more than to see you grovel in the mud and pound your fist and scream “Why God why?!?!?” while your dreams evaporate.
You’re on your way to an Epic Fail, and I congratulate you!
Oscar the Grouch
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Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Talent for hire