Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Confessions of a Voice Talent

Ever since I got pregnant and eventually started caring for my son, doing voice-overs for TV and radio commercials took a backseat. Oh how I miss all those recording sessions! When I feel nostalgic, I try to recapture the past by viewing some of my projects and silently thank those people (most especially Janie, Bonski & Raize of Hit and Dhang & Zed of Sound Design) for having given me eight enriching years as a voice talent.

                                  Audio House: Hit Productions

                                  Audio House:  Hit Productions

                                   Audio House:  Hit Productions

                                   Audio House:  Sound Design

Lessons learned during this time are priceless. Punctuality. Humility. Teachable spirit. Respect. Without these ingredients, a voice talent can't thrive in the industry. I also learned not to take each recording for granted for it was my chance to work with some of the best producers, writers and sound engineers in the country. Frankly, I felt ill-equipped at the beginning. Although  I had some sort of media background, doing voice-overs is a whole new genre, most applicable to those who have theatre experience. Since I didn't have any, I struggled each time and hoped that the producers won't see right through me. But they were seasoned pros, experienced in the art and science of making commercials. They knew if my delivery was fake or genuine, conversational or too announcery and if it lacked sincerity and expression. In short, they knew if I didn't have a clue on how to attack a script.



Now, I'm mostly a recluse, living in a virtual world trying to deliver voice-overs electronically to any part of the world. Recording from a modest whisper room at home, I try to apply all the things that I've learned from those highly-creative people who I consider my mentors. Sometimes though even my best is not good enough. Very recently, there was a European client who was so keen on hiring me but decided not to pursue the negotiations when he and his partner heard my custom sample. If I were too soft-hearted, I would have cried my heart out 'til the wee hours of the morning. But you see, I've faced this kind of rejection many times before not only in this business but also in mainstream voice-overs here in the Philippines. There was a time when I was asked to audition for this bit in a particular commercial. I felt so humiliated because no matter what kind of interpretation I did, the producer wasn't satisfied. The audition lasted for almost an hour. Guess what? I wasn't chosen. But that's life.  As they say, "what won't kill you, only makes you stronger." And years of rejections taught me not to take each seemingly negative situation too seriously.



I'm not really a technical person, but if I wanted to make an honest living, I guess, I need to be flexible. In the process, I discovered how much I love editing! Although I still need to learn a lot, I believe that if I always put my heart into it, sooner or later, my passion and dedication will pay off.


                                At a recent voice-over recording in Q.C. 

I have a dream. I dream that someday, I can provide voice-overs to two networks: Discovery Channel and National Geographic. That's a long road ahead. Most of the time, I feel I have inadequate skills and equipment to compete internationally. I force myself to smile, draw strength from inside and  press on. What works for me is when I remind myself that I have a responsibility to make the most out of life by using my gifts. That way, I can thank my Lord and bring glory to Him every step of the way. Then I will have more courage to dream, to continue what I do for a greater purpose, a higher calling, so that someday, these words will be whispered in my ears: "Well done, good and faithful servant."  

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3 comments:

  1. I've never known anyone who has done voice overs! How cool is that! You have a very beautiful voice! It's comforting. I pay really close attention to the voices I hear, too...especially on documentaries where there's a narrator. I've been known to watch the end credits just so I could see who narrated, because the voice made an impression...yeah, I'm nerdy like that I guess, but maybe it's my musical ear, I just pick up on things like that.

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  2. Thanks so much Kimberly!Yes, I believe it's your musical ear that makes you appreciate voice-overs all the more. I bet you also have a gift for voice-overs. Hugs from the Philippines!

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  3. this is one cool job/ career.

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