How Voice Actors Reach their Hollywood Goals
Military personnel who go through survival training are taken out in to the desert and given 24 hours to find their way back to base. Armed only with a compass and canteen the soldier must return to base before running out of water and risk being lost in the desert. Before setting out in any direction, the first thing the individual must know is where they are going. If they have a clear direction and know how to get back to base they can orient themselves and return safely before their water runs out. Yet knowing where to go is only half the battle….
Voice actors who are passionate about their dream to perform share a common goal with soldiers sent out for survival training. They know what they want! Like a soldier, an actor must determine what direction to take to achieve their goals. Only after knowing what direction to travel in and knowing what their starting point is; are soldiers able to make the harsh journey back to water, food, and safe shelter. Before taking a step in any direction, the individual stranded in the desert must determine where home base is. This allows the individual to make the correct choices and calculations as they travel alone on their journey.
For Voice over actors knowing the goal or having a target in mind to shoot for gives the individual direction. If an actor is determined to win an Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, People’s Choice, Screen Actors Guild or Tony Award they must have a path to follow. Even without a map to provide step-by-step guidance a soldier lost in the desert relies on a compass to guide them. For a professional voice over actor, their compass is a talent agent; someone who is available as a resource to guide the actor’s journey to stardom. Talent agents have an obligation to help the people they represent find their way in the entertainment world. Having an agent that understands that the starting point is different for each individual actor is like knowing how to navigate the desert.
It is important to know where you want to go as you walk the path of the professional voice actor. More importantly, know where your starting point as an actor is. The soldiers who are dropped off in the desert and given water and a compass, knows where they want to go, but until they take the time to know where they are they are lost. Know what your starting point is as an actor. Once you know where you are you can plot a course that will take you where you want to go. Point B (the goal or target) can be reached once you realize where Point A (your starting point) is. Know your talents, your strengths and your weaknesses. Know who you are right now, today; and who you want to become. You will know what steps to take and which direction to move forward in after you identify where your Point A is. Your agent is your compass and is there to guide your career as you share your vision and goals with them.
As an agent, I see some voice actors struggling, spinning their wheels or turning in circles. These professional voice over actors need to know where they are and set specific goals for where they want to go. They are lost in the desert without direction. I also see actors who know where they are, know what they want, and are on track to reach their goals. These actors have a passion that defines them; that drives them. These actors know where they are today and consult with talent agents to get them where they want to be tomorrow. An actor that understands they must work as hard as their agent works; who communicates the dream, vision, and goals they want to accomplish is an actor who will gain everything they want from their passion for performing. After all, the soldier does not rely on the compass to get them out of the desert without doing their part to continually move and reassess their position. Agents that take the time to orient voice over talent, and offer the necessary course correction, give direction to cross the wilderness of the sometimes treacherous entertainment desert; allowing the voice talent to reach their desired destination.