Your Voice...It's Not Necessarily Your Voice

I hesitated to write this blog, but then I thought...I can't be the only one.

As I was putting together a new demo I ran into a real awakening. Piece by piece, I thoughtfully decided what went where. I then posted it for critique and emailed it to some trusted friends in the industry. The feedback..Well, it shocked me. I'll get to why in a moment. First let me re-introduce you to me, sort of.

Going back as far as jr. high school, people would mistake me for my father when I answered the phone. Teachers and friends would make remarks about how a kid my age could have such a deep, resounding voice. Ok, let's be fair, no 6th grader has any reason to even think about trying to force themselves into a voice range. They are just kids, being kids. I heard these comments forever. Was asked to sing in choirs, speak at various events, etc.. People loved "the voice". By chance I played softball one summer with a guy who was a PD at the local radio station. His remark was "HOLY CRAP, WHAT A VOICE. You want a job?" Sure. So, i get into radio. I like it, but it isn't what I want to do. People constantly tell me, you should do "monster truck spots and movie trailers, etc.." I finally embark on a journey into voice over. All the while hearing the remarks, comments and suggestions in my head. So I am plugging away and getting some work. Slowly but surely, I get more. Then comes the wake up call, which I told you I would get to..

I am putting together my demo as I mentioned. The feedback I got was unanimous, one particular spot was no doubt MY signature sound. It was authentic, warm, real, marketable, those were a few of the remarks I heard. Why is that odd? Because, it was not at all what I thought was my signature sound. Nor was it what anyone else had ever told me I should do. It was the farthest out of my vocal comfort zone I had ever been. It was way higher in my range than I would normally think about going, but I can't argue with that many people randomly giving me the same feedback. So what does this mean? For me, it is re-inventing the wheel. It is rediscovering who and what I am as a voice talent. It is learning that my signature voice is not what I thought it was, or what I ever expected it could be. Does that mean I should stay away from my comfort zone? Probably not, but it certainly means I need to push myself to go places I really never thought about going. Why? Because MY VOICE was not necessarily MY voice as I heard it, or anyone else for that matter. The voice is like a guitar or any other musical instrument. There is more than 1string on a guitar, even a bass guitar.

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Comment by Barry Trussell on April 28, 2009 at 4:43pm
I totally relate to this Eric. Though I don't have the "deep voice" I can get quite ouf of my normal range - and it's out of this normal range that I get the most kudos. I have found a signature voice that I didn't think had a ice cubes chance in the desert. And as you say, it's because of the fantastic mentors and friends that helped get me there, finding those other strings on the guitar. Also, it was definitely not the way I heard it in my head, but turns out it's pretty awesome. Eric, the analagy fits and what an excellent way of describing it. Thanks, I am sure many can relate to this.

Barry Trussell

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