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What I Learned Teaching Voiceover To Children

Back In The Blogging Saddle!

Remember last week when I said I didn't have time to write my blog like I usually do? It was for a good reason! I had the pleasure of being a guest artist at the Ocean County Vocational Technical School Grunin Performing Arts Academy. My old friend from college Doug Bollinger is one of their acting teachers and he asked me if I could talk to the kids about the world of voiceovers. I happily accepted his offer!

Tom Dheere: high school teacher! Sort of.

For three days, I worked with the school's Acting majors in all four grades. On day one, we talked about show business in general and the voiceover business in particular. On day two, we talked about how to market yourself as an actor. On day three, we went to the school's (very impressive) recording studio and we worked with some scripts. During one of the four periods, they phone patched in a client who directed me in a booking so the kids could see how a professional recording session works. One of the students volunteered to be my reader and she did a fantastic job!

See what I mean by an impressive studio?

Tip Of the Week

For ten years I have worked with adults on their narration technique as well as their understanding of the voiceover industry on both a marketing and business level. What did I learn teaching the same content to teenagers?

  • I was about to write that kids don't know what they don't know and adults do but that's not necessarily true. Most people entering the voiceover industry have very little understanding of what they need to be, do, and have to become an effective voice actor in the 21st Century. Many of the students thanked me for explaining what it takes to be a successful actor in an organized, thoughtful way so they can make informed decisions about their own career path. And some of them were bored out of their minds. And that's fine, too. Voiceover isn't for everyone.

  • Acting is scary but thrilling when it feels right! It was so much fun to coach up the students and see them grinning from ear to ear when their read improved. Of course I see that with my adult students too but it was more visceral with the kids. It was a blast watching them go from nervous & timid when they stepped up to the mic to laughing & smiling when they stepped away.

  • Regardless of age, everyone has dreams. You are never too old to change your life and do something that brings you joy. What was interesting was that I saw the same look in their eyes as I do in my adult students' eyes. The look that says "I want this but don't know what to do. I'm not even sure what THIS really is." And that's okay. It's not okay when you have those thoughts & feelings but don't take steps to empower yourself. So, empower yourself! Take more classes, and not just the cartoon & video game ones. Take the classes on the business-side and the marketing side. THAT will empower you to make the right decisions for your career!

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Tom Dheere

Tom Dheere is the VO Strategist, a voice over business & marketing coach and demo producer since 2011. He 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, he produces the sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.


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