One of the first questions people ask me when they learn that I do voice over work, is usually "Don't you get nervous? Nervous with all of those people staring at you outside the booth?"
Absolutely I get nervous. But not in the way people think. You see, this business is my passion. And, as such, I feel an intense sense of responsibility toward every client and every brand who invites me to represent them. Also, by day (my full time, day job), I work as a marketing / IT consultant at Level Seven creating and managing advertising campaigns for ourselves and our clients - so, I know first hand the incredible amount of time, money and expectations companies have tied into advertising campaigns. And, I don't take it lightly.
I may feel nervous going into an audition or a call back ... or, waiting desperately to find out if I got the gig. But once I've be selected - that's when the fun and really nerve-racking work begins. The ideation. The planning. The work to bring the client's vision to life with my words. I'm typically given a script, a recording date / time / location and usually some sort of a creative brief to help me understand the vision, concept and the overall goal of the spot. But, that's it. The rest is up to me. Up to me to appreciate and harness the incredible power I have by simply varying the speed, intonation, cadence and phraseology of my delivery.
It's incredible how you can completely change message with a single WORD!
So, yes ... I get nervous, because I want to deliver a performance that not only makes the client happy that they picked me, but ultimately helps them achieve their goals. That's tremendously nerve-racking and exhilarating at the same time.
Now, to finally clear the air and to once and for all answer the question everyone seems to ask, the way I believe they intended it... No, I don't get nervous. Honestly, once you're in the booth, you're so focused on delivering the lines the way you practiced them that you don't really notice the audio technicians or the client. And, you most likely have on headphones blocking or restricting what you can and can't hear. Typically, I don't have to work hard to block out the distractions - the sound booth does it for me. Or, maybe it has nothing to do with the isolation of the booth or headphones, maybe I don't get nervous because I'm only child who's parents spoiled me with attention and helped me break into the business helping me perform in dance, theater and choral groups since age 4.
Who knows? Whatever the reason, I think I've figured out how to make it work for me and my clients! If you have any tips for helping people get over their fears or nerves about breaking into or becoming successful in this business, please share them below!