Voiceovers and Tough Love – The GKN Weekly Update 11/3/15

Tough love is, well, tough.


This is one of the reasons I’m not a full-blown voice coach and I HATE critiquing demos. I just don’t like telling people what they’re doing wrong. I mean, who the hell am I to tell you that you suck?

With that in mind, last week I was contacted by an aspiring voice talent looking for advice and a critique of their demo. The demo was not good. It was typical of most not-good demos. It lacked technique and range. Whether that’s due to a lack of training or talent, I’m not sure.

I told the aspiring talent in question that the demo would not serve him well and a serious investment in training, demo production, and the building of a home recording facility is necessary to move forward. He thanked me for my honesty and said that almost nobody would give him a straight answer about the quality of this demo.



Here’s the thing that bakes my noodle. If you want to be a doctor you commit to spending thousands of dollars as well as thousands of hours taking classes, studying, cramming, lab work, etc. with no expectation of a return for as long as 10 years, if ever.

If you want to be a voice talent, most people think “Hey! My voice is deep! Let’s try to make as much money as fast I can with as little training and money as possible. That’ll work, right?” Imagine what the medical profession would look like if that was the prevailing attitude.

I’m not saying this was the attitude of the aspiring voice talent in question. What I am saying is that I would want to know if I’m spinning my wheels and wasting my time, energy, and money on something I can’t be successful at.

But Tom, how do you know they can’t make it in the industry? Who are you to squash their dreams?

I don’t know they can’t make it. Nobody does, not even them. However, they need the tough love upfront. This industry is not for the faint of heart! It may take years of failure and wisdom before they make any headway. More importantly, they need to know what is required to have a chance to be successful.

The next time an aspiring voice talent approaches you, give them the tough love. If their demo sucks, tell them. Just make sure you empower them with the ability to make good decisions moving forward.



Happy Men Make Dinner Day and International Tongue Twister Day! My favorite is:

I’m a plucker. I’m a pheasant plucker. I’m a pleasant pheasant plucker. My mother is a plucker. She’s a mother pheasant plucker. She’s a pleasant mother pheasant plucker.



Lloyd Alexander 01


From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, GKN News…

Tom Dheere is a 19-year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently writing & producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.

To be one of the cool kids; subscribe to my blog, my newsletter, or the VO Strategist by clicking here!

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *