Learning the skills, no matter what your level (By Debbie Munro)

Posted on October 2, 2007 by


When I began my venture into the world of voice I was under the impression that I was a natural. When it came to theatre I was correct. Aced every audition I ever went to…so I just assumed that this would carry me through into anything, such as film/TV and Voice. Boy was I wrong.

When I began I managed to land a lead voice over role in an international Cartoon Series titled, “Benjamin Bluemchen” This was a great gig and lasted for a year. In the first 6 months I was getting tons of little roles and some bigger ones within the series and then suddenly nothing. They started bringing in people for other roles instead. I got extremely paranoid and insecure of course and questioned them all….What am I doing wrong? They would say, “Nothing, all is fine. We just want to bring in new talent” I bought that at first, but I knew better.

It wasn’t until I finally broke down and took my first film acting class with Tom Logan (director from LA), that I understood exactly what it was. Tom is an amazing acting coach from LA that teaches half time and directs for the rest; an honest look into the industry. When I was trained in Voice Over, I was trained as a broadcaster. Broadcasters tend to read everything in a sing song fashion and that’s exactly what I was doing; reading every character and every script in a sing song fashion. For my main character who was a roving news reporter, that worked very well, but for my others, not so good.

I decided to take more classes from others (specifically in film and improv) and that enhanced my skills and taught me what I needed to learn to break the habits (Unfortunately with this specific animation house, too little too late). I had made the impression that I read everything as a DJ type style and therefore, I wasn’t seen in auditions anymore. (It’s possible I was just too helpful, I’ve learned a lot about over stepping since then….or not directing, when you’re not the director. Learn from my mistakes).

I tell you this so that you’ll understand even the pros had to learn at some point and continue to do so to this day. They either had to enhance skills they already possessed or they had to discover new ones. Education is key! The more I train, the more skilled I become, the more I can charge. We understand that to pay a lawyer 250.00 per hour, it’s just a part of the process. They paid a lot of money to become a lawyer so you have no problem (well we have to) paying them their scale rate. The more you educate, the more you are worth. Of course experience is all a part of the training process but you need to take courses in order to gain the experience and in my opinion, you should never stop.

Once you’re at a level of professionalism, don’t let that stop you from continuously learning from others. There are always new techniques and new trends and as a professional talent, you must be up on them at all times. There is always someone else who will be prepared in that area if you’re not.

The catch 22 for most is that you can’t afford to take the courses. For many of you, I’m sure this is true, but can you afford NOT to? I couldn’t afford ANY of the courses I took either and they were all expensive. Some cost me over $2,000 to take, while others cost a few hundred. The bottom line is that you CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO! You have to compare it to becoming a surgeon or lawyer or tradesperson. There is education involved. The difference is that in recognized institutions, there are funding options. In this case there usually isn’t so it comes straight out of your pockets. There is always a business loan, and you are starting a business. DON”T LET ANYTHING STAND IN YOUR WAY!

I can’t help you gather the funds, but I can tell you that if you really want it bad enough, then you’ll find a way. You’ll make the sacrifices that you need to in order to follow your dreams. Regardless of what those dreams might be. Make your life count and follow what you love. You can do it but only if you want it as bad as I did. I hope this gives you incentive to move forward and not procrastinate what could be an amazing venture for you.

Until next time everyone… follow your passion and money will come…
To learn more about Debbie Munro’s coaching services just follow this link: http://www.debsvoice.com/