The longer I’m in the voiceover game, the more I realize that you’ve got to discover your strengths and weaknesses and the ins and outs of this business largely on your own.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t get training, because you definitely should.  I’ve received my fair share of it and will continue to do so.  What I am saying is that much of the critique I’ve received over the years has been contradictory.  

Recently I got hammered on an audition where the person critiquing me said they liked my voice and how I read the script but because I added a “crowd cheering” sound effect, they wouldn’t hire me in 100 years.  On other auditions I’ve been told I didn’t get the job because the talent I went up against added sound effects and that’s why they got the job.  I’ve been told on one audition that my conversational read was like the “old style” of trying to sound authentic and that this style of read would never cut it.  Yet, I’ve been hired numerous times doing this and been directed to do it exactly that way.  I’ve even been criticized for my tag line “The Guy Next Door Voice” because they said it was limiting me as a Voice Actor, which I can understand, yet have landed many jobs as a result of this tag line.

 So what do you do with feedback and input that’s all over the board?  I think you take the good and the bad critique and use it to get better.  You ultimately have to be your biggest critic and encourager.  If you disagree with the critique, ignore it or use it to modify and improve your style.  If you get a lot of good feedback that’s similar, maybe you have a strength in that area.  By the same token, if you get a lot of similar negative feedback, maybe there is something you need to work on, or perhaps a style of read you’re not cut out for.

 The reality is you’ve got to try to figure out what the Casting Director or the person hiring you wants to hear.  That’s the tricky part, especially in an audition situation where the direction is vague.  I once auditioned for a job where they wanted “the conversational voice of a short man”.  What the heck are you supposed to do with that?  I gave it my best conversational read… while on me knees… and no, I didn’t get the job.

 The bottom line is, keep practicing, keep working at your craft and try to stay positive.  Eventually you find your niche or niches and get hired more often.

Paul Hernandez, 

The Versatile, Animated, Confident Voice Actor with the Conversational Guy Next Door Voice 
 (How's that for covering the bases?)