HAVE YOU PEAKED?
Published July 12, 2010
I’ve been watching the World Cup. In fact, a few days ago I watched Spain win it all. In all of the TV commentary someone said, “They peaked at the right time.”
A doubtful comment at it’s best, but I got to thinking about my VoiceOver career. Have I peaked, or is the best still to come?
It’s a valid question. Is your best work still in you, or are you on the backside – the downslide – of your best work?
Well, the immediate answer is “No! I’ve still got it. I can still produce.”
I was the stadium announcer for the Kansas City Royals for 14 years. Through those years I had the privilege of getting to know some of the best players of the game.
Frank White is one of the great major league baseball players, and certainly the best 2nd baseman the Royals ever had (8 Gold Gloves). At the end of his career on the field we were having a conversation shortly after he scored his 2000th hit.
We met at a little watering hole after one of the games. He knew that the organization was trying to phase him out and he was really hurting over it (and rightly so!).
He said, “Why do they want me out? I can still play!”
The truth be known, he most certainly could still play! The organization was just playing the odds, and they were pushing him out after such a brilliant career. It was just cruel.
By the way, the player they brought in to replace him was gone after 2 years.
I’ve often thought about that exchange. Especially with reference to my career. When do you peak as a voice talent?
The good news is that you probably have what it takes to produce for a long, long time! Certainly far beyond what a professional athlete can expect. The difference is that you have to adapt to your voice and capabilities.
And speaking of voice and capabilities, one of the things that drives me nuts when I get requests for an audition is the reference to the requirement for a middle-aged voice.
What does that mean? What is middle-aged?
I mean, I figure I’ve got another 20 years of voice work left in me. Am I still middle-aged?
On the other hand, I’ve got one of those deep, rich voices. Is that middle-aged or are they looking for a lighter voice?
And I’ve been in this business for over 25 years. What are the parameters for “middle-aged?”
Hey producers, it’s time to lose that “middle-age” reference. Explain yourselves. Do you want a lighter voice or a heavier voice? Because good voice actors can deliver either. It’s all about acting.
For example, today I did a “middle-aged guy buying a car” and “a tough old mountain man.” In both cases, the client had specified a deeper voice.
See what I mean? How do get from a “deeper voice” to those other styles? It’s all about voice acting…not just the voice of the talent.
So…whom do you want me to be today?
By the way, my favorite voice/style direction ever was “kind of a cross between Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas with less hair.” I swear that is exactly what I was told.
It’s all in the delivery!
And NO! I haven’t peaked yet!