If you don’t like to read, voice-over is not the field for you.
In addition to reading, interpreting and performing others’ scripts for pay, I am convinced that the most passionate and successful voice talent seem to have an inherent love of reading. For instance, my friend Bob Souer finds and reads all sorts of interesting things on-line, which he shares with us on his blog. I recently had a discussion with another friend Dave Courvoisier about the merits and pleasures of the Amazon Kindle wireless reading device.
I plan to buy a Kindle for pleasure reading, but I may also use it in the recording booth to perform some auditions and possibly longer material. Since I have remote control of Pro Tools through my handy TranzPort, I’m really thinking of setting up a second computer monitor in the booth…..but I digress.
Any reader of my blog would know that I love words and language. I frequently refer to books that I am reading or have read since they help shape my perspective as a person and voice talent.
you will find the blueprint for success
by carefully reading…”
I have loved books since childhood. I can remember my mother taking me to the library so I could check out armfuls of books. At that time, I could read 50 books in the summer. I still frequently utilize my library card although my time for reading is more limited. These days, I might read 50 books in a year, and I am in the midst of several books at any given time.
I can tend to read a lot by one author at a time and/or in a certain category of book. I constantly find myself reading books about marketing, success principles, the Law of Attraction, biographies, spiritual fiction like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and other fiction and non-fiction.
I also avidly listen to audiobooks, especially for biographies and fiction requiring numerous characterizations. I think everyone who is or wants to be an audiobook narrator should spend time listening to and learning from others. In fact, whatever you want to do or be in life, you will find the blueprint for success by carefully reading, observing, and applying the success stories of those who have achieved your desired status.
I have often sprinkled quotations in these blog essays. Reading quotes from Emerson, Thoreau, and other great thinkers inspires me as I move foward in the life of my dreams. No matter what challenge I face in my voice-over career and life in general, I find encouragement and advice by reading the words of others:
Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve.
He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.
— Leonardo da Vinci
Write down the thoughts of the moment.
Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.
— Francis Bacon
The world belongs to the energetic.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Reading has been the underlying foundation for my every achievement. However, as Seth Godin reminds us in his blog entry describing how to read a business book, achievements also require action.
Godin maintains that business books are 95% motivation and 5% recipes for achieving success. He advises us to read business books with an objective in mind. Actively highlight and write down passages and ideas that inspire you to action toward the changes you wish to make. He states:
If three weeks go by and you haven’t taken action
on what you’ve written down,
you wasted your time.
In your voice-over career, you will spend time every day reading from scripts. I encourage you to read just as much, if not more, for your own improvement and enjoyment, as well as for the improvement of your voice-over business. When you read something that inspires you, write it down and take action toward the life of your dreams!
Chad Levitt says
Wonderful post Karen! I share your passion for reading and have learned much of what I know about success through reading books. When I was a little boy, my parents would make me read for 30 minutes before bed every night — funny thing is I enjoyed it then and still do now.
The greatest thing I’ve learned is to take action! So many people burn through book after book because they get addicted to the emotions it creates while they read — the key is to transform those emotions to action.
All the best!
Hi, Chad! Thanks for telling me your story. Bob Souer also wrote about his childhood reading on his blog today. These stories tell me that our passion for reading is even greater than I realized!
I loved your phrasing about transforming emotions into action. As it happens, I am currently reading the classic work Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude by Napolean Hill and W. Clement Stone. They devote a chapter to the secret of getting things done. I won’t hold you in suspense: DO IT NOW!
Yep, you heard it here because I read it in a book! 🙂
Thanks again for the interesting discussion, and best wishes for your continued success!
Liz de Nesnera - Bilingual English/French Voice Talent says
I got here through Bob’s blog (doesn’t everyone read his blog 😉 and am SO glad I did!
I too was a voracious reader as a kid, and continue to read as much as I can…sorry…can’t go to Borders without buying at least ONE book!…and what’s the first thing I always did when I moved to a new town? Get a Library card of course!…That armfull of books you talked about reminded me of my trips to the library with my mom!
Thanks so much for this post!…Oh…AND the reminder to check out the Alchemist….and BTW, I LOVE Napoleon Hill!
Hi, Liz! I’m so glad you got here, too! 🙂 I’ve boosted the revenues at Borders, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million….and those are just the main places I shop for books in person! 🙂 I’m working to become bilingual on my way to multilingual, and fluency in another language is just going to open the door to even MORE books!
Thanks for the note, and best wishes for your continued success, both in the bookstore and behind the mic!
Brian Tracy echoes the importance of reading in today’s Early to Rise e-zine. He states:
Some things in life are optional, and some things in life are mandatory. Taking your next vacation to the Caribbean is optional. Building a personal library and becoming an avid reader is mandatory. It is no longer something you can choose to do. It is absolutely essential and indispensable for your success.
Tracy outlines a reading plan in the article that you will find beneficial.