(This applies to all the voiceover categories, I chose to speak on what I personally know... Promo, but the rule is the same.)
Recently I was apart a panel at VOICE 2010
called, "Diversity in Voiceover,"
moderated by Big Llou
and in that panel I was between two of the most prolific voices in the industry, Dave Fennoy & John Garry
, and got an earful :)
These guys have been in the "game" for a while, and have seen, heard and experienced some things that some of us would have liked to have been a fly on the wall to witness.
While many look & listen from the outside in, some of what you hear can be a little shocking to your pure, virgin ears. When asked "How did you get to where you are today?"
John Garry let it rrrrriiiiiiip! While explaining he also said, "If you want what I have you will have to kill me, this is not a game."
This was the first I had ever heard jaws drop, but I totally understood for the first time, and Don LaFontaine instantly came to mind when he said, "It's the world's dream gig, just wait until I die."
Even still, a miner can't break in that easy.
Here's the truth about voice-over, on the outside it is glamorous, fun, mysterious & exciting all in one, but until you experience the non-stop calls from the network clients at odd hours... even holidays... you won't understand.
In late June 2010, I was in LA for the opening of the SAG Foundation's Don LaFontaine VO labs, and it was also the same weekend for the 2010 BET awards which I am the voice of, I wasn't prepared for what would lie ahead....
Plans were made with character coach/talent Erin Fitzgerald
, Marice Tobias, Busken photography and LUNCH... all of these important meetings fell through!
In the parking lot of the Cheese Cake Factory in Marina Del Ray, I had to whip out my VO 2 GO
kitt >> DELL mini, Sennheiser 416, MicPort Pro, Virgin Mobile prepay wireless card... with the engine & AC turned off, the 90 plus degree beat down in the car for45 mins
worth of VO sessions began.
The network called me non-stop for promos, tags and redos for their biggest event of the year, and I was obligated to do them IF I knew personally that I wanted to keep my job and enjoy the life I have, and I had to be back in Miami in time to pick-up my daughter, and for my ISDN session with ABC for the "Detroit 187" promos at midnight on Sunday!
If we think for a second that the networks are looking for the next VO star just because... unthink your thoughts.
For the most part, the networks have their guys, but there are some rare times when some aren't available right now
, so they have to go to the next voice in line. The promo is due right now! If "Voice 1" isn't available for another 30 mins, "Voice 2" gets the call, but "Voice 3" gets the gig because "Voice 2" wasn't ready right now, but would have been ready in 15 mins.... not good enough sometimes... it's business.
If this continues to happen with "Voice 1," he all of a sudden is not the go to voice
anymore, and his life suddenly changes, so he will not leave the dungeon very often... it's a catch 22.
The gig is fun, exciting and also incredibly demanding, but the most reliable person KEEPS the gig and KEEPS his chops moving forward and sets the standard for others to follow.
The Network Voice enjoys his peace & quiet w/family & close friends, tennis, golfing, hiking, biking, rides down the PCH with the top down or perhaps taking flight over the land in which his over-worked voice resides.
Because on Monday, It's back to the daily grind if he wants to live his peaceful life.
said it best,"For me, Heaven is a Friday and you get a call that you've got a Monday booking. It's always good to know you got a job come Monday."
The faces, names, voices and top
coaches that you've hear(d), are the same ones the eat, sleep, and bleed VO. So if you feel snubbed because you didn't get the 100th hand shake... don't be... jetting out with a smile, wink, and wave (s)he's got more work to do and time isn't on their side.
If you want true success in this game, note first, that the voice-over industry is really not a GAME
at all, it is a SERIOUS BUSINESS
, and when the phone rings
... you'd better answer the call.