Dee Bradley Baker's "All to Know About Going Pro in V.O."

How We Voice Actors See Ourselves

Valuing what we do

It is easy for an aspiring voice actor to buy into the mistaken view that voice acting is less than acting, that we are somehow some lower species of performer. 

Why “lower?” Well, our work is invisible. We don’t make millions of dollars per project and we aren’t featured in the tabloids’ newsfeeds. We aren’t part of the fake royalty of fame that garners such attention, such fawning deference, such hollow respect. We aren’t household names. Our booking a gig triggers no media frenzy. 

Our modern “entertainment newsfeed” is dominated by click-bait TMZ distraction that is obsessed with on-camera actors. They get the attention, the buzz, the media mind-space. This is the on-camera carnival of visually branded success. Its desirability is linked and even conditional to its conspicuous visibility. 

The televised awards of the actors’ union doesn’t even have a “voice-over” category- and if they did it would probably dominated by the forces of on-camera branding.

For these, and other stupid reasons, many industry pros, including other actors, don’t consider voice actors to be real actors.

It is little wonder that even voice actors buy into this horse crap. It’s no wonder that voice actors might think less of themselves than they should.

I think this mis-framing of our value is an impediment for many beginning voice actors, who under-value their talent and their work as something inferior, less worthy. 

Here’s how it plays out: You see yourself as less and you thus end up allowing yourself to bring less. You then give others permission to see you as less too.

So many in this world earn their living by maintaining things or copying things or shuffling things around on a desk, but we actors create things for a living. We solve impossible puzzles. We conjure magic from thin air.

To create with our acting, with our voice, is our unique and remarkable power that deserves respect and appreciation— especially from us. 

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© Dee Bradley Baker 2019

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