Creativity

Exploring Another Option

You know, it’s funny how we can fall into opportunities. For example, I’ve worked a lot of different jobs over the years. I’ve done landscaping, loaded beer trucks on the graveyard shift, cashiered in convenience stores, cooked in restaurants, and made prescription eyeglass lenses. However, my dream was to be a writer, and eventually, I became a professional. What I mean is, I finally got hired at an actual company and was paid to write. It was for an online continuing education provider and I outlined and wrote the courses. It wasn’t terribly exciting, but I had the opportunity to be creative and have fun.

As part of the courses, we included short Flash animations to illustrate certain points in the lessons. That was the part I enjoyed the most. One day, probably about two months into the gig, the head of our AV department asked me to come in a read for him. I guess he’d heard me speaking in a meeting and liked the tone of my voice. I read a narration part under his direction, then did a few character voices. He liked what he heard and I ended up spending about half my time in the recording studio. It was almost as fun as writing. It was also my first foray into voice acting.

That was back in 2000/2001. Since then, I’ve done a fair amount of voice work. At another company, where I worked as a marketing copywriter, I ended up narrating about a dozen sales videos and provided character voices for a handful of marketing animations. For a video on the importance of dental insurance, I got the chance to do the voices for four different teeth. The woman recording me kept encouraging me to try different voices, different accents. It was a blast.

Since then, I’ve recorded narration and characters for a variety of training videos, voiced Interactive Voice Response systems (you know, those phone trees you hit when you call a customer service line), and now host a podcast.

But I’ve usually done voice work as part of my job, or been asked to do so by another division inside my place of business. Recently, however, I began to question why I’ve never done it professionally. I mean, I’ve been told many times that I have a pleasant, soothing voice. In fact – and this is slightly embarrassing – a fair share of women have told me they could “listen to my voice all day.” I take that as a compliment, not as a warning of potential stalkers.

So yeah, I’ve gone ahead and tossed my hat in the ring. Or in this case, my voice. I’m exploring opportunities to do more voice work, to do it professionally, to be creative in a new way. Voice acting is interesting and fun. And besides, I have a face for it (That’s a joke. I’m actually quite ordinary looking). Whether I’m using my natural speaking voice, my professional narration voice, or simply doing silly characters, I feel it’s an opportunity for me to expand my portfolio, to express myself, and to have fun creatively.

Of course, I have no idea how this will pan out. There are a lot of voice actors out there, many who have been doing it for years, so my chances are slim. But hey, there’s no harm in trying. I’m willing to take whatever I’m offered, but honestly, I’d love to narrate audio books. Story telling…I mean, if I’m not the writer, I’ll at least be the reader.

Wish me luck. And maybe you’ll hear me talking to you in the near future.

RB

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