The idea was that by not wearing headphones you could thereby avoid or distance yourself from the possibility of “falling in love” with your own voice. I then wondered if this happened and what one might do to avoid it.
When this concept was posed to our Voices.com Facebook group, the responses started to pour in with people overwhelmingly stating that they did not love their own voices… in fact, some hated them!
Find out what was said in today’s VOX Daily.
What Do Voice Actors Think of Their Own Voices?
Isn’t it amazing how many differing perspectives and opinions are out there? Everyone has their own unique voice and each person sees their instrument in a different light.
Each voice artist also has their own opinion of their voice.
- Strongly dislike their voice
- Feel indifferent so long as the client is happy
- Have a balanced perspective and appreciation for their voice
- Are fully embracing of their voice
- Love with their voice
Let’s get the comments about demonstrating a strong dislike out of the way first.
Strong Dislike or Discomfort
People who feel this way about their voice may say things like this:
- I HATE my own voice!!!
- I have issues with my own voice hence the constant attempts to sound like someone (or something) else!
- I never like what I have done, and hate to hear it
- I really can’t stand the sound of my voice!
- I am a radio producer and despise my voice! I have to pre-read everything at least 4 times before I can run through it. YUCK!
One voice over pro shared, “It isn’t for nothing that I’m a believer of Debbie Munro’s words: ‘You don’t have to love your voice. You just have to love what you can do with it.'”
Disliking Your Voice Can Make Editing a Nightmare
If you don’t like the sound of your own voice, imagine then how painful it would be to edit your own voice and sift through mistakes, breathes, coughing and all that goes with the territory!
Here is a story from a gentleman who illustrates this well:
“After reading and editing 10 short scripts whilst smiling constantly (as it was an ‘up, hard sell’) I was sick to death of me!! I just wanted to lay in a dark room for half an hour and be happily miserable!!”
One person shared that during a coaching session her teacher played back something she had just done, and upon hearing the playback the professional actually asked the coach to please stop, stating, “It was shocking and painful to me. I don’t see me falling in love with my voice any time in the near future.”
Along the same lines, someone said, “I just don’t like my pronunciation. Like if I say underground I can say undergroun but the nd sounds way odd to me. But that just may be a tinge of that not liking my voice seeping in there. So it may be very true but I still love my voice.”
Beauty is in the Ear of the Beholder
Of the 25+ respondents, some people mentioned that they were indifferent to their voice, neither loving it or disliking it citing that the client was the only person to whom it should matter.
One person said, “I only get to appreciate my own voice when I sound so much different than I normally would. And appreciation is still a far cry from loving it to bits but I do love how people would react to the sound of my voice, and that pretty much keeps me going.”
Another shared, “I’m thankful for the reactions from others who tell me that my voice makes them feel comforted and reassured–so, I don’t think I love the sound of my own voice, but rather I’m glad for what I can do with it. I also think that is why I try not to do things that I know others can do better with their voices.”
Perhaps Lance Blair puts it best when he says, “I like my voice, and so do my clients. I’m a VOA because I know I have something to offer, I make no excuses for it.”
Cherish Your Uniqueness
If all voices are different, and each voice is used well, we have much to celebrate! Check out this interesting perspective and see if it resonates with you as a person whose instrument is their voice:
“I love my voice and I always have. Why not? It’s who I am. There’s nothing wrong with that in my book. To me, hating your voice is like saying you hate your piano or you hate your paint brush. You may not always love what comes out of it, but like any other instrument if you practice, play with it and keep it in tune it will give you great rewards. Not every voice is a Steinway, but your ‘Whurlitzer’ voice is uniquely your own. Cherish your uniqueness.”
– Elisha Anderson
Loving Your Voice…
Whenever you think of a voice actor, arrogance doesn’t typically come to mind nor does narcissism, however, one can all too easily slip into becoming a diva or divo.
There were a few people who shared their thoughts, some more into their voices than others, one in particular saying:
“I actually love my voice. My demos even my ringtone.”
To even out the scale, another woman shared that too much of a good thing, even voice over, can become tiresome.
Here’s what she had to say, “I don’t mind the sound of my own voice, unless I have been in the studio ALL DAY. The exception is a local 15 sec bumper I did that runs several times each morning during the news. When I hear it so much, it kind of makes me cringe. Now I know why my family sometimes gets tired of the sound of my voice.”
… But Doing So in Moderation
Diane Havens shared a wonderful piece of advice, saying “I think the danger of being ‘in love’ (as in love for anything or anybody) is that it needs to be TRUE love, in that it doesn’t lead you down the wrong path. Rather, genuine love brings out the best in a person — and a voice. When infatuation with one’s voice distracts from the meaning of a piece, thread of a story and authenticity of the character, it is a negative.”
Three other talent were happy to add their thoughts about the fine line between arrogance and performance.
“I love it when I can do a voice impromptu for the first time and nail it. I don’t think it’s good to be too cocky because I think the arrogance would translate in the voiceover. Just my opinion.”
“It’s nice when people tell me they like something I’ve done, we have to be so many voices, and arrogance would show if we loved our voice and we only use that one. It’s a job we do it get paid, however I do enjoy the work.”
Michael Gregorash added, “I think what could end up happening (by falling in love with your voice) is that you could lose sight of the work. When we have a job, we’re given a direction and a tone in which to take it (sometimes with some license to ‘make it our own’ but that not often the case). If we ‘fall in love’ with our voices, we might end up taking the work in a direction that ends up taking us out of that job.”
Help! I’ve Become the Voices in My Head!
Rajiv Hasan quipped, “I’m not entirely sure I have a voice of my own, as other peoples’ voices tend to inhabit my head most of the time. Recent residents have included David Beckham, Jose Mourinho, an Indian Aunt and, naturally, Homer Simpson (who appears to be a permanent squatter.)”
Someone else said that they sometimes get bored of hearing their own voice and that they use a character impression or accent to make themselves more palatable.
Others still do characters so well that they can’t even recognize their own voice.
What If The Grass is Greener on the Other Side?
Paul Hernandez saw this topic from an entirely different angle. His comment may resonate with you and I am posting it in full.
Paul exclaimed, “Maybe in addition to what Stephanie said, it’s the grass is always greener scenario. I spoke with a voice actor who has great action movie trailer type of voice and I said, ‘Man, I wish I could do that.’ He responded with ‘I wish I could do your guy next door voice.’ So I guess be content with what God gave you and find your niche.”
Someone wondered how James Earl Jones feels about his voice? While I can’t speak for Mr. Jones, it is possible that he feels and has felt any or all of these emotions over the course of his career.
Regardless of your success, we all feel and have insecurities and things we’re grateful for regarding our voices… maintaining a healthy perception of your voice, whether you see it as simply a tool that makes others happy or an instrument that brings you joy is the primary objective when building a career in this business that will endure.
How Do You Feel About Your Voice?
If you enjoyed this article or would like to comment with your own thoughts pertaining to your voice, I’d love to hear from you!