left hand holding vintage microphone
While at Pat Fraley’s workshop over the weekend, we got talking and discovered that nearly 40-45% of voice actors are left-handed!
I’m curious to know which you are (left or right-handed?).
Leave a comment to let us know here at VOX Daily.

So, are you a Righty or a Southpaw?

Usually people who are left-handed are among the minority (if not the only person at the dinner table), but we were surprised to see that almost half of the people at the Pat Fraley workshop over the weekend were left-handed!
It’s a good thing we talked it over before sitting down to dinner. Us right-handed folks sat on one side and the lefties were on the other, among them Pat Fraley and Voices.com’s CEO, David Ciccarelli.
Does it really make a difference what your dominant hand is when voice acting and for audio engineering? Any advantages or disadvantages that you’d like to share?

Comment with the designation you fall under and let the discussion begin!

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Stephanie
©iStockphoto.com/Kek Wee Tan

55 COMMENTS

  1. I am ambidextrous! But I usually write with my right hand, but my left handed writing is ledgeable…My Dad is the same way. We both have technical careers (My “day job” is a Registered Nurse and my Dad is an Engineer), but we both have artistic hobbies, painting, acting, music…hmmmmmm right brain vs left brain…..
    Bergie

  2. Southpaw here!
    Hardly surprising there are an elevated number of left-handers in this field though, as we favor the right hemisphere of the brain; the side more associated with creativity.
    Incidentally, southpaws also have slightly faster physical reactions due to the shorter path from the brain to the left hand (apparently this really does make a difference). This means there are more left-handed Airforce pilots and, by extension, more left-handed astronauts. So many, in fact, that the Saturn V command module on the Apollo missions were all built for southpaws only!

  3. Hi Stephanie.
    I’m a left hander but I don’t believe it makes any difference to my work. Both my parents were right handed and all three of their children were left handed. Go figure.
    After learning the piano I became more ambidextrous (but I prefer to call it ambisinistrous) and it’s mainly writing and eating I use my left hand for.
    I am also left eyed, right footed, right thumbed and right eared. When I play the drums, I play left handed but with a right handed set up. Enough said I think.

  4. I gotta tell ya…. I’m floored by this revelation! I’m a righty. Makes me wonder if I should try another career path. What do ya think??? Maybe lefty’s are more artistic??? I wonder. I’m interested in knowing if some of the big names in voiceover are lefty’s. Harlan Hogan? DLF? How about some of the folks that have had some association with voices.com. Joan Baker? Rodney Saulsberry?
    Tom

  5. Hi Stephanie,
    Interesting observations regarding lefties and righties! The large number of left handers at Pat Fraley’s workshop must mean something… but what???? I am right handed and can only say that during my recording/auditioning sessions being a leftie would make computer/mouse manipulation a lot easier… only based on my space configurations. Hmmmmm!
    Susan Herrman

  6. I’m a righty. I’m a little better with my left than most people, but not enough to call myself ambidextrous. I was a switch hitter in baseball, I can throw a football lefty, and I can dribble and shoot a basketball left handed, and I can even bowl lefty, but none of those are at near the level of my right handed skills. And none are fine motor kinds of things.
    Just a theory, but I think more people are lefties than statistics have shown in the past. Just a generation or two ago, many students were taught to be righties when their natural inclination was to be a lefty. The superstition persists in some cultures today that being a lefty is a bad omen, evil, or unfortunate. Even my younger sister was told that kicking a ball with her left foot was wrong when she was in grade school. These kinds of pressures and influences could certainly result in the under-reporting of left-handedness, and probably did in the past. As those pressures have eased, more people are being “allowed” to be lefties.

  7. Shoutin out—from a proud southpaw here on the left coast. I’ve always subscribed to the theory that us left-handers are in their “right” minds. haha! Have a great week, everyone!
    All The Best,
    Bobbin Beam- ISDN Voice Actress

  8. I’m a Lefty in a right-handed world.
    As a small child I’m told that my grandfather tried to force me to use my right hand. He would say “Put that fork in your right hand” and I would reply “That IS my right hand.”
    Only left-handed people are in their right minds, you know. 🙂

  9. Let’s see now… writing and more complex movements are with the left hand. Throwing, hammering and the like are with the right. By virtue of five years of Tai-Chi, I am building more stamina in my left side. It’s all about balance and symmetry, you see.
    Thanks for the question!

  10. Hi Stephanie,
    Just another right-handed genius checking in!
    I’ve heard the left and right argument for years since my sister and best friend are lefty’s.
    I will say this, the lefty’s are forced from birth to conform to right-handed ways alot of the time so I guess they can brag that many of them have had to learn both sides unlike the righty’s which don’t usually aspire to use their left dominantly nor are we usually forced into conforming to a lefty’s ways.
    While playing golf a few weeks ago my left handed friend was up against a tree that forced him to either move the ball and take a stroke or hit without a swing. He reached into his bag and pulled out a right handed club and chipped the ball right back into the fairway. He carries a right handed club just for these instances.
    Do you think I do the same? Not!
    Lefty’s have alot to brag about and there are quite a few of them out there!
    Sincerely,
    Kirk Greenhill

  11. I am left handed…
    The only thing I can see, is that a TON of creative type people are left handed…. as we seem to think with our right brain…we are more apt to take risk and not follow the lines….
    Left brain thinkers are much more by the book…it has to be proven first etc…. hence engineers and the like.
    I know that I kind of like being left handed….I do hold the mic with my left hand, but I tend to do most things (except writing) with my right hand…so it’s very interesting.
    I too see the common trend in southpaws in the entertainment industry.
    All my best,
    Deb Munro

  12. Funny question!
    I guess I’m a bit like Randy Thomas, in that, I write with my right hand and do all fine motor skills with my right, however I throw ball with my left. But get this…I shoot basketball right handed, shoot rifles left handed, shoot pistols right handed, bat left handed, eat right handed…..
    Welcome to my freak show…I’ll be here all week!
    Brian in Charlotte

  13. Interesting revelation, Stephanie. Thanks for sharing. So perhaps:
    -LEFTY VO’s should read only ‘situational’ copy
    -RIGHTY VO’s should read straight announcer copy
    Talk amongst yourselves…

  14. I’m a righty.
    But, I do some things with my left… like open jars and tons of other things.
    I remember as a teen, I was trying to open a pickle jar, and my mom said, “Well, no wonder you can’t open it…you’re using the wrong hand!”
    It was my left. It was then I realized that I do a lot with my left hand.
    Ok, weird story… I know.

  15. Good topic, Stephanie!
    Severe and profound left-hander here….
    My left knuckles still sting from getting hit with a ruler (repeatedly) by my teachers when I was 7 or 8, and ordered to write with my right hand. And then getting lots of red X’s on my work because it was illegible!
    Maybe I could have been a right-hander, but I think I deliberately and obstinately stayed left-handed out of sheer bloody-mindedness. Poo to you, Mrs. Stott! 🙂
    Since then, I’ve learned that everything in the world is designed for right-handers….billiard cues, footballs, pens, pencils, cricket bats, door knobs, tv remotes….all completely inoperable to a true left-hander.
    That’s my excuse anyway, and I’m sticking to it! 🙂

  16. I am right handed, for the most part, but can switch to the left hand for some activities … including writing … just not as “pretty.”

  17. Hi Stephanie:
    I’m a South Paw(that’s a lefty) and proud of it. It’s funny how being left handed allows for an instant conversation especially when the person you are with is left handed too.
    Take Care,
    Liz Somerville

  18. Great topic, and great comments, everyone!
    I’m basically right-handed, as is my Dad, though we both do a lot of things lefty. I can edit on computer with either the right or left hand. (Hand-neutral track balls make that much easier.) My Dad shoots pool lefty, shoots guns lefty, and solders lefty but otherwise is a right-hander.
    Someday when science has this all figured out, anthropologists will look at this thread and see the vision and native insight that was evident in the Pat Fraley seminar!

  19. I’m a Left Hander too!
    They say the most creative people are!
    It’s great being left-handed and you feel different, in a good way.
    Don’t necessarily know whether it makes a difference in voice talents. It’s the talent that makes you good!
    Posy
    POSY BREWER

  20. Hi Stephanie:
    Actually, I’m both left AND right handed….. ambidexterous. I think I should have been a true lefty, but as a baby, my mom would take things out of my left hand and put them in my right hand. When I was in elementary school, I started doing things with my left hand again. I write right handed (but my left-hand writing is still very legible). Other things, I can only do left handed. So, I guess I use both sides of my brain. Will this help me get jobs faster???? I sure hope so.
    Berni

  21. Hi Stephanie,
    I’m just a newby in the voice over business, but I really appreciate all the great info!
    I’m a righty, by the way!
    Thanks, Ron

  22. I’m like Randy – I write, sketch, and do anything requiring delicate accuracy with my left hand… but I bat, pitch, shoot, and punch harder with my right hand. I thought I was the only one.

  23. Dear Steph,
    Where this is of practical value is knowing which eye is your focus eye. If one is left-handed, they usually left-eye focused, and visa versa. When a performer places their copy on the stand, and must deal with the HUGE pop screen, which may obsure sight, they should always place the copy so that they can clearly read the copy from the focus eye. A little tip from the world’s worst reader.
    Regards, Pat

  24. Firmly ambidextrous. I can simultaneously write normally with my right hand, while writing upside down and right to left with my left hand. I can play the guitar and voilin both ways, thoug of course much better righty, since that’s the was I was taught. I have noticed, that in various classes among engineers, that there are a LOT more than 10% lefties. Easily at least 1/3. By far most of my boyfriends, from first grade onward, have been lefties. My father was a righty, but played sports left. My mom started as a lefty, but the Nuns corrected her. She’s a righty now, but suffers from mild dyslexia. I’m a gleeful switch hitter in softball. I get away with a sly hit my first time out, so everyone arranged themselves when I’m back up to bat. So I switch and end up a different relative angle and distance. My left is stronger, and my right more accurate. I have never golfed righty, because both borrowed sets were left (my father and boyfriend), but putting righty in the store was pretty easy. In my poor elementary school, I quickly learned that my lefty boyfriend’s scissors were always nice and sharp, so I switched to cutting lefty to get better grades (most righty scissors were horrendously dull, due to over a dozen years of use). I eternally turn the wrong way out of rooms, but never get lost in the woods. I purposely train my horses to be both lefty and righty, in both being led, and mounted. It’s not easy if they only saw one way before. It really helps in unusual and stressful scenarios, or if I’ve hurt something that makes it tough to mount from the left. It also helps the horses be left one-side, as they have to compensate you dragging them down on one side. Race horses are only lunged left, and you have to literally hand walk them a few times right for them to walk and trot a circle on their own right, after years lunging left. They can also be spooky on one side, yet not on the other, since their visual fieds have little overlap(whcih seems to continue to their visual memories).

  25. I’m left-handed, but I also use my right hand for a number of things. I throw and catch with my right hand, I can eat comfortably with my right hand, and I use knives with my right hand. I do use my left hand for using scissors, though- and, of course, all we have is scissors for righties.

  26. Hi Steph!
    I’m a righty ‘cept when I pick up a golf club. (Hmm? Oh well.) That is an interesting stat regarding the overwhelming incidence of lefties in the biz!
    See you at your book signing!
    Doug

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