It’s one thing to “GET SOMETHING” in class but it’s another thing to have it MASTERED. But on your voice over journey, how do you get to that place of mastery? 

Before we get to that, let me tell you why even mastering voiceover is important. In voiceover, you have no boss asking you to turn in a weekly report. There’s no lunch talk with your coworkers to ask if your reports were done right. You can’t evaluate your performance based on colleagues promotions or accolades. It’s a very INDEPENDENT job. 

So, to succeed you’ve got to be the master of your performance. And the greater you become at understanding all the subtleties, the better you’ll be at being directed. You’ll know where they’re taking you before they even say. 

I’ve been coaching with Eric Romanowski this past year in Radio Imaging. Every genre of VO is different and I’m learning a lot. Just last week he said, “I think you’re ready for a demo but what do you think?” And I said, “Not yet.” There’s too much processing still going through my head when I have an imaging script. This made me wonder, how DO YOU KNOW when you’ve mastered something in voiceover? 

I think it comes down to these things: 
1| You’re Self Correcting
     If you’re reading copy and can hear yourself making a mistake, then are able to self correct, that’s huge. That means the correction your coach gave you stuck in your mind. 

2| Notes Not Needed
    My first radio imaging script packet is FULL of notes. I have reminders of what the Hot AC format sounds like, where the “A” phrase is, ideas on improv and more. Notes are great! But…when those notes are solidified in your brain…you know you’re starting to master something. 

3| Understand the Big Picture 
    The voice is a small part of projects. Eric, being a producer, constantly tells me “I’d add a sound byte here” or “a nice song hook would be good here.” It’s helping me to see what the big picture of the imaging will be. Doing so, helps you to contribute in an even more valuable way. 

4| Know How to Take it in Different Directions and STILL work 
    You can always “do something different” in your reads but to know that when you do, it could still work for the particular VO genre, script, style, etc…takes a deeper understanding that comes with practice, application, listening and learning. 

5| The Performance Feels Effortless
     One of my reasons for wanting to keep coaching instead of doing my radio imaging demo is because there’s too much technical stuff running through my brain for my performance to be effortless. There’s still a million things I’m thinking through, trying not to forget all I’ve learned. We’re performers and messengers, not reciters and readers. 

After writing this I do wonder if the term “mastering” isn’t correct. Mastering seems to be like something that comes with all of the above PLUS years of practicing it. Maybe I should’ve said being a professional OR excelling? 

Either way, it’s exciting to know there’s so much more to learn and understand. 

-Mike and Heidi

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