Coach’s Tip #1 – Train Like A Pro Athlete

I’m not saying you need to be able to run a sub-5 second 40 yard dash, or bench press 225 pounds for 20+ reps (though, those are worthy accomplishments). But, a professional athlete, whether a starter or a bench player, has to constantly train at their craft and be ready to perform at a high level on a moments notice.
The same can be said for the voice actor. We are called in, often at the last second, and expected to deliver a winning read starting with the first take. If you cannot do that every time, your VO career is likely not destined for longevity or success.
In order to be able to satisfy the lofty expectations placed upon us, we need to train … EVERYDAY. At the very least, if you are not working and/or auditioning several times a day, that means reading copy. If feasible, stand in front of a microphone and record yourself doing it so that you are in as real a situation as possible (plus, you’ll get to hear yourself back for some self-critique).
Whether you are working a lot or not, take some workshops or do some one-on-one intensive training. It is always good to get a trained ear to offer some advice to help keep your read current and viable. Just like an athlete, we need our coaches to point out when we are missing the little things that could help us reach our full potential.
When watching TV on your DVR, DO NOT fast forward through the ads! This is your game film. You can hear what the competition has done to actually land the gig. If you want to know what a winning read sounds like, listen to what the winners are doing … especially if you feel like you would have been right for that project or, more importantly, actually auditioned for it.
Bottom line, if you are not doing something VO related each and every day, you are opening the door for your competition (and, there is a TON of it these days), leaving your full promise untapped. Though, if you train like a pro, you may not win the championship but you can become a player at the highest level … and, we all know how rewarding that can be.

By VO Coach Mark AveryMark Avery

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