Since the late 60s, our society has idolized youthfulness by discarding the old and driving to the new. While such thinking grabs Media headlines and Social Media likes, meeting daily challenges in business and life can be more complicated. I’ve recently celebrated a birthday and still like what I see in the mirror. However, as a voice talent, learning to continue to like what you see in the mirror as you age and your performance as an actor can be a constantly moving target. So, looking back on my life, I’d like to share what I think can help you mature gracefully as a voice actor and continue to perform at your best for as long as you like.
Know why you do what you do
Regularly review your voiceover goals. Your goals will focus your motivation and methods for the following. If you don’t know why you’re in the business, you won’t last long in the business.
It’s okay to lose…sometimes
As voice actors, we do a ton of auditions. But, for most of us, we lose more auditions than we book. No one wants to lose a good-paying voice job. Yet, if you’re sending out quality auditions on time, you will sometimes not get the job you thought you were the best fit. So, remember to pat yourself on the back for doing your best for the audition/client and move on to the next opportunity.
You can’t do everything
Sometimes, we get overwhelmed by the business of voice acting. Make sure you’re not wearing too many hats. Social media, website management, marketing, and more can be done using software or hiring help. Even if you have been doing everything yourself, you may find some tasks can become a heavier lift as you age or as your personal life requires more attention. Look into what needs to be farmed out to keep you from losing your love for the business.
Practice, get coached, practice
We know things change, and things change twice as fast in voiceacting. While the fear of the Artificial Intelligence takeover in all voiceovers may be subsiding, that does not mean read styles stop evolving. Continue collaborating with a good coach and also record yourself and make sure your sound is current and marketable within your genre.
Check your speed and articulation
As we age, we tend to slow down. Others can hear the speed change in our delivery before we may notice the difference ourselves. Continue to practice your regular articulation exercises to keep your diction on point. Moreover, listen to your auditions to make sure you’re not speaking too slowly or losing momentum in long-form narrations. With a little review, you can keep your voiceover game up to speed.
Keep up with the changes in the industry
As we accumulate years in business, we may get slack in keeping up with changes in the voiceover industry. Moreover, changes in technology, payment methods, communication, and the like directly affect the voiceacting industry. So, make a point to set aside time each week to engage with forms, webinars, online sessions, and blogs to keep an eye on industry changes.
There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” Sophia Loren
Know your changing voice/style of delivery
You may have been good at sounding like a teenager a couple of years ago, but today you may not be so good at that. Or your auditions for commercials may not be getting you the jobs. No worries, it may be time to add the middle-aged or senior voice to your repartee or change your voiceover niche. Be open to your coach’s recommendation about your sound and other voiceover genres that you may have become vocally qualified.
As we age, it’s important to take safe care of our voice. In the article, “Does Your Voice Get Deeper as You Age?,” WebMD Editorial Contributors provide some useful tips to prevent or slow vocal issues and significant vocal changes.
Have Fun in business and life
While we all love getting those big-ticket voiceover jobs, make sure you are still having fun working your business and enjoying your life. Each of us has finite time on this Earth. We should never work to live. Whatever your beliefs about the afterlife, if you’re reading this, your last day of life will come.
With age, you can get better, so keep making those revisions and breaking that lip!