Join seasoned professional voice over actress, performer, and life coach Aurelia Michael as she walks us through finding, honoring, and projecting your vocal P.O.W.E.R. Her acronym for powering up your voice over career – and life! From Passion to Reputation, this episode covers everything you need to build and sustain a thriving voice over career.
Learn more about Aurelia Michael: https://www.aureliamichael.com/ and her community: https://www.ourvoiceondemand.com/
Hey there, and welcome to Voice Over Experts, your monthly educational podcast helping you bring your voice acting career to the next level, with insightful lessons presented by Voice Over coaches. This is Aurelia Michael, your Voice's March featured coach. I'm originally from the Boogie Down Bronx, New York, currently living in sunny Los Angeles. I'm a life coach, motivational speaker, musical theater performer, and the proud founder of an incredible VoiceOver community and training ground called Voice On Demand.
We're dedicated to the connection, support, and accountability of all new and seasoned VoiceOver artists. This month, we're diving into My Voice is My Superpower, and power is an acronym, so feel free to jot it down as we go along. Within each word, I will provide two to three tips or tricks that I learned or discovered along the way.
The reason I chose this topic is because I think sometimes we can easily forget how much power we have on our side of the mic. With the day-to-day hustle of networking, marketing, auditioning, hopefully working, and then following up, it can almost feel like we're always on the needing side of the equation, which is actually true. But the thing is, both sides are the needing side. Just as much as we desire to be heard, understood, and booked, casting and clients are desiring to hear their products, games, documentaries, and more shared with the world through beautiful writing and powerful voices.
So let's dive into our superpowers and ways that we can stay encouraged in times of motivation lack, inconsistency, or waiting for our quote-unquote big breaks. So first, we're going to start with P for passion. I truly believe that how we express passion through our voices is what actually separates us from other voice actors. How we choose to connect to the copy, the situation or person we decide we're communicating to, and the intention we put behind our sound allows us to create a lane that allows no one else to swerve into. But this first comes with falling in love with your voice.
There have been so many times where I've worked with people who had equipment, demos, websites, even business cards, but hated the way they sound. The love of your voice is the foundation of building a VO house of success. If we start with the external, it's like building a house from the attic down. I'm not coming over to visit if you're doing that. Here are three ways I work towards going from tolerating my voice to liking my voice to ba-da-ba-ba-ba, loving it.
Number one, create an affirmation and say it in the mirror every single morning. Before we can begin to like hearing ourselves speak others' order of words, we first have to like how we sound saying our order of words. Jot down two to three sentences that speak life, prosperity, abundance, and joy into your day. First thing, here's my example. Girl, do you know who you are? Do you know the legacy your voice is going to leave behind? Do you know that all you deserve and desire will be yours if it's meant to be? There's enough gold for everyone. I'm off to get mine today. Did you feel that? I got a little tingly for a second. Feel free to email me at [email protected] with yours.
Number two, practice a weekly act of patience. Sometimes our passion gets the best of us when it comes to our journey. We can easily become impatient with the next gig, first shortlist, or steady income. But can I keep it real with you for a second? Booking work is an outcome goal. This means it is a goal that's partially and sometimes majority out of our control. So all we can do is create process goals to achieve and find acts of patience. What I suggest is finding patience in other areas of your life and allow it to creep into your voiceover process. For example, when you really want to switch lanes to pass someone on the street, even though you're in no rush, hold back. Or when you're shopping and you just want to run through the self-checkout, get in line. You'll learn to value time more and find ways to spend it not worrying about the next VO thing.
Number three, make sure your passion matches your practice. You can have all the passion for this thing in the world. But does your practice match it? Does your work ethic show it? Are you working smarter and harder? Or are you hoping the two auditions you felt really good about come through and we can take the rest of the day off? Evaluate your weekly dedication and put it up against the goals you've set for yourself. Are you living out the habits of a person who is accomplishing the goals you desire? Are you working inefficiently but afraid to take a step back and take inventory of how things could be better? Passion can only get us so far. Re-evaluate how you spend your day-to-day and make sure your desires match your dedication.
Next up, we have O for ownership. I don't know if you know, but you are a business. You may not always have the open sign on, but you are in business 24-7. If you aren't already, take ownership and responsibility of your voice and your career. Make sure we're not blaming the folks on the other side of the mic for our misfortunes. One way to do that is come to the mic like you own it. You are the true mic. The Neumann mic ain't got nothing on you. Don't come to the mic in a state of desperation, confusion, or doubt. Step up with confidence and a mindset of abundance versus lack. I want you to have a hungry approach without sounding thirsty. If you don't know what thirsty is, email me. Just know what doesn't have to do with water.
Number two is to play, play, play. I always imagine my voice over journey like a playground. There's the kids swinging off the monkey bars having a good time and letting loose. There's the kids playing hopscotch safely by the swings. And then there's the kids reading the unrequired extra books on the planets. Can you guess which kid I want you to be? Get on the monkey bars. Don't leave play just to animation and video games. Take risks. Soar high and don't be afraid to fall. If we didn't take the risk of learning to walk and fall, we'd still all be crawling around. So don't play it safe. Push a little outside of your comfort zone. And don't mistake taking classes and having coachings and taking more classes substitute for taking time to get in the booth and get a little uncomfortable. Bigger risk, bigger reward sometimes.
Number three is to own your mind, body, spirit, and peace of mind. You can't put a budget range on peace of mind, okay? VO is an asset to life. It should not feel like a liability or a stressor. There will be challenges, of course. But not to the extent of affecting your mental, emotional, or physical health. That's the true wealth. And speaking of wealth, RW is for wealth, so let's talk about it. Have you ever found yourself going, man, when I book that first job, when I book that national, I'm gonna XYZ. Number one, don't wait to make it to start living. Because guess what? You've already made it. This is it. This moment. You listening to this right now is the only moment that actually exists. If you approach every day as if you've made whatever it is, that sends an energy out to the universe that you are ready and excited. But also grateful and present. Two, wealth is not just about money. Wealth is abundance. You can have a million dollar VO contract and a poverty-stricken mind. Seek and expect abundance in all facets of your life. And that includes voiceover. And number three, if you want more, give more. If you want more love, give more love. If you want more support, give more support. And if you want more opportunities, find ways to give more opportunities and or connections to others. There's nothing like volunteering, helping friends, or stepping into leadership positions that will remind you of your value. You are not what you do. What you do is a part of who you are, not all you are. Voiceover is what you do. A human who loves to use their voice to make people feel something is who you are. Never forget that.
E is for energy, my second favorite of all the words. If you can't tell by now, I got lots of energy. I carry gratitude in my heart on my sleeves and in my eyes and smile. I want everyone who hears me or meets me leave feeling better about themselves, their situation, or heck, the world. Let's talk about some ways to protect, project, and express your energy. Number one is to set the tone. Listen, when I go into a directed session, I don't follow the energy. I set it. You never know what folks on the call may be dealing with on the other end. Personal and professional. So when you enter, let them know that you have arrived, okay? Even if it's a 7 a.m. gig, get up early, have some coffee, do some push-ups or jumping jacks, say your affirmation, don't forget that one, and go in ready to be a light to the entire room.
Two is to honor your temple. You are what you eat. Now, I'm not talking about your favorite Trader Joe snacks or, for me, the sugar cookies at the supermarket, but what you consume on a daily basis. Anything you see, hear, say, encounter affects you, either for good, bad, or indifferent. Make sure that you're filling your days with positive conversations, progressive action, and infectious energy. Don't let anyone's story of booking the first audition they did or the 100th audition they did infect your mind. Protect your energy and your time. Time is money? Nah. Time is more valuable than money. You can earn, burn, rip, cut, lose, fold, duplicate money. But time goes on whether you're intentional with it or not. So honor your temple in a way that you know is leading you toward your highest level of excellence and keep your foot on the gas.
And three, block the haters. Okay, not all of them are haters. Most actually aren't. They're concerned friends and family who don't understand that you can make a great living doing this in your pajamas. Don't feel pressured to explain or defend your VO choices. They're yours. Respectfully let them know that this is what you've been doing, what you're doing now, and what you will be doing. So send support on over and hold on to any judgment or fear because where we're going, those two can't come along.
Finally, we have R for resilience. We all know how important resilience is in this industry, right? We hear it all the time. But what does resilience actually look like? Number one, it looks like bouncing back. We may get a lot of nos, but it's important to remember that each no is just one step closer to a yes. Celebrate those nos. They're a part of the journey. They're feedback, growth, and a reminder of what you're pursuing. Bounce back and keep going.
Number two is to build a support system. We all need a tribe. Find like-minded individuals who understand the industry, who can offer guidance and support, and who can provide honest feedback. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your voice. They will be there to lift you up during the tough times and celebrate with you during the victories.
And number three, embrace the process. Voiceover is a journey. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Embrace the ups and downs, the learning curves, and the challenges. Take each opportunity as a chance to grow and improve. Enjoy the process of becoming the best voice actor you can be. Remember that success is not just about reaching a destination, but about the journey itself.
And there you have it, my friends. Our superpower lies in our passion, ownership, wealth, energy, and resilience. Embrace these qualities and let your voice shine. Remember that you are unique, you are powerful, and you have the ability to make a lasting impact with your voice. So keep honing your skills, stay dedicated, and never lose sight of the power you hold. Thank you for joining me today on Voice Over Experts. Until next time, keep using your voice to inspire, entertain, and make a difference.
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