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Recently my wife and I watched a PBS documentary about the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. It was a fascinating and tragic exploration of this extraordinarily gifted young man who died too soon.
We watched his meteoric rise into the art community, his relationship with Andy Warhol, how he was traveling the world and making ridiculous amounts of money selling these amazing works of art and then he died tragically. He became part of the '27 Club' for those of you who are familiar with that.
As we were watching it, it got me thinking. Am I an artist?
Am I a part of the community, or am I some kind of hack?
What is art?
Art is when you create something that makes people feel something.
Do my eLearning modules or medical narration work make people feel?
I don't know.
I try very hard to create a safe environment through my voice by being engaging and sincere and kind.
Whenever I narrate one of those videos about helping people pick their insurance benefits, I think about that single mom who's got kids. One of them may have special needs and that single mom is terrified of picking the wrong prescription plan.
I do everything I can to make that single mom feel safe and confident that they're going to make the right choices. So yeah, I'm using my voice to make someone feel better.
I don't know if this is some kind of narcissistic, self-indulgent exercise that I'm doing right now, but watching that documentary about Basquiat moved me. It reminded me why I decided to want to do voiceover in the first place.
My point is that no matter what kind of voiceover work you do, you are engaging. You are emoting. You are feeling. You are trying to connect with people. And if that isn't art, I don't know what it is.
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He's the VO Strategist, a voice over business & marketing coach and demo producer since 2011. Tom Dheere is also a voice actor with over 25 years of experience who has narrated just about every type of voiceover you can think of. When not voicing or talking about voicing, Tom produces the sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.