When I first started to think about my career choices in high school and started travelling towards the path I am now on, I had many compliments on my voice. A lot of friends and family noticed it and encouraged me to look for opportunities in radio. I thought I had it made and that my voice would carry me through for many years to come.
Over time, I’ve realised that it takes more than just a smooth voice to get ahead in the field of media. I’ve tried many times to be professionally represented by any agent, who I thought would take me on based on the strength of my voice alone. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Every time I’ve sent demos to agents, they’ve come back with the same response, telling me I’ve got a good voice, but there was no emotion in my reads. I think it stems from my newsreading days, when I formed some speech patterns that ultimately took some time to overcome.
At the start of last year I undertook a voice class run by professional actors and casting directors, and again I thought all I needed was my voice. I walked into the class full of confidence, and after hearing that many of the other people participating didn’t have the level of experience that I did, I thought it would be a walk in the park. Again, I came to realise that I fell short in the most important area, not being one dimensional.
To be a good voice artist, you need timing, the right mix of emphasis and emotion, confidence, quick thinking, a willingness to learn and take direction, the ability to adapt to any script or situation, plus plenty of hard work and determination. Having a nice sounding voice will get you so far, but it’s only when you add all these other skills that people will begin to take notice.
So if you’re like me in my younger days and think that you’ll automatically be able to advance your career on the strength of your voice alone, please reconsider and recognise that it’s about more than just having a good voice.