As a voice actor, this may seem unrelated but, did you know that the odds of winning an Oscar are 1 in 11,500?
Doesn’t that sound like your chances are amazing? It sounds like we need to do as the Beverly Hillbillies did and load up the truck and move to Beverly!
What I am discovering is that 1 in 11,500 makes things sound WAY too simplistic. It simply is not easy to get traction in the acting industry. At all. The names you associate as being the biggest of stars in the movies or acting industries, the chances they took, the luck they stepped into, and the work they put in to get there….it’s typically pretty astounding.
Sure, some are overnight successes and chance ‘discoveries’. But those are usually flashes in the pan. Here today and gone tomorrow.
To have a sustained, long-term career such as is enjoyed by the likes of Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Jack Nicholson, one has to do everything correctly. Especially in the early years of their career. Many times one stinker of a performance can sink a career for good. Here today and gone tomorrow.
He made a successful comeback but look where Kevin Costner was prior to Waterworld and where he was for a decade or more after Waterworld. It can be a cruel world.
These are things I find myself thinking about as I am 48 but still in the early stages of my voice acting career. It is funny because you always feel you are in some precarious position poised on the edge of a cliff and making the wrong move, especially this early on, could spell disaster and doom!
That is a tough thought to process. The good thing is that not that many folks know about me yet. But….isn’t that the bad thing as well?
On the one hand, it is important to keep moving and progressing your business one step at a time. On the other hand, you cannot afford to be bogged down and suffer from ‘paralysis by analysis’. The risks of a misstep are all around but the show must go on.
For these reasons, I have tried to take my time and make smart decisions yet continue with forward movement and forward progress. Trying to choose coaching, training, and marketing instruction wisely. Most have a limited amount of financial resources to throw at it so decisions need to be made with the ‘return on investment’ being kept in mind at all times.
For the first six months of this journey, I was almost convinced I had made a terrible mistake. To be honest, I still wonder from time to time. But, signs of progress can off that boost of encouragement one needs to continue. A shot of adrenaline, if you will.
That is what has been happening slowly. It started with finally getting a commercial demo created. That was the first real shot in the arm.
Then I began submitting the demo to talent agencies. The second BIG shot in the arm came with signing on with Crown North Talent out of San Francisco/Los Angeles. Wow! If you told this life-long resident of the Texas Panhandle that he would be signing with talent agencies at the age of 48, I just would not have believed you.
Then, more encouragement started coming along in the form of small little jobs. From auto sales and church programs to Cajun hot sauce! When you find out that you really can do this voice actor thing and you can do it in one or two takes while making the clients happy, it’s exciting and, of course, encouraging.
So, that is where I find myself at the moment. Slowly building a resume. Slowly building a client list. Slow building a voice over actor’s career.
The slow nature of this business makes me reflect again on what the actors mentioned before did and what they accomplished. It may look easy. But doors are shut. Until they are opened.
So…..here’s to continuing to open those doors!
Jeff Williams is a voice over / voice actor from Texas. Jeff is best described as having a young and middle-aged baritone voice lending itself nicely to a multitude of projects. Jeff can be described as having a deep narrator’s voice with a Texas, Southern charm when requested. His style pairs well with Home Depot, Ford Truck, Stick-this-burger-in-your-mouth style commercial. He has been described as the BLUE COLLAR voice for the WORKING MAN!
An equipment or tool commercial voice over project is ideal for his voice-over styling. Jeff has ‘folksy’ nailed down firmly.