Voice over life and random advice for @JakeFoushee by @Voice123

Posted on April 18, 2012 by

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In the past 24 hours, the video with Jake Foushee impersonating “THE” great movie trailer voice Don LaFontaine, has surfaced and quickly became a big hit:

I have to admit that when I first saw it, the first thing I thought about were the blogs written by those who wonder why “everyone wants to be a voice over artist”.

Did the video remind you of what you thought when you started out? Let us take a step back and analyze with pride and gratitude what is happening here:

The natural order of voice over life.

  1. Find your inspiration
  2. Impersonate others
  3. Dump that and find your own voice
  4. Pursue what you want
  5. Ignore critics
  6. Listen to critics
  7. Ignore them again
  8. Stick it out until the honeymoon is over
  9. See if it is really what you want to do with your life, as a career.
  10. Get a 2nd job, if you said yes to #9, which doesn’t mean you are giving up.

Did I make this up?

Nope. It comes directly from the mouth of  the late Peter Fernandez, the voice behind Speed Racer. I met him in 1996, and that advice has helped me through good times and bad. There were a couple of things I noticed about the video that stuck out to me, but here is the major one:  His voice is still “changing”. He had better understand this because in 3 years he may sound completely different. The great thing is that he is starting now. The years between the ages of 14-17 is a time when we tend to be easily influenced by things we see and hear. The hardest part is that the portion of the brain that processes “consequences of actions” is not fully developed. So…he wants to be a voice over artist, and…

Who doesn’t?

Honestly, who wouldn’t love to be paid for talking?  For those who are working as voice over talent right now, instead of disliking the “wanting” to be a voice over talent, you should instead be proud. You made it look easy and fun. This video impersonates Don LaFontaine obviously, who passed away several years ago. He still has fans. YOU have fans, and your fans of your career choice are much bigger than any job you can ever do. You give people an “itch” to try something new.

In truth, it is hard to watch that video and not think of where I came from. I also think of Bob Bergen’s classes when he talks about wanting to be the voice of Porky Pig at age 14. I think about my tax accountant every year who asks me in that NYC-accent, “Can I do voice ‘ovas’?”. In 1980, I sat on my mom’s bed and imitated what voice overs should be in a videogame from an old system called “Intellivision”. It serves as a reminder that when you get an idea…you should act on it, or you will regret it later in life. Indeed, there is a difference between being a “fan” and “employee” in a career.

Will Youtube “views” turn into “a career”?

No, but going viral is not easy and he just did what many marketers try to think of doing every day…all from his bed with a snowball mic and no pop filter. And maybe that serves as a mini-lesson here…There are no absolute “rights” to this game. The absolute “wrong” is believing you cannot do it. As for sacrifice, if Jake really wants to do this for a career, he will have no problem with it. Even the best voice over coaches tell me there is something new they learn everyday.

Above all, if he is in this business in about 10 years and getting voice over work, I hope he never forgets this Youtube video he did that got so much attention. :D  I’d help this kid get voice work. Seems like a good person. Do I worry that Youtube will be the voice over demo platform of tomorrow? No. Working here I have gotten to see first hand what it really takes to work in voice overs full-time. When you see someone imitating what you do, maybe it is an opportunity to shape the future?

What do you think of the video, his voice, and the audio? Special props to the man below for his advice on the natural order of voice over life!

Peter Fernandez