I recently ran a survey to new voiceover talents who are just getting into the industry. One of the questions was, “What’s your biggest fear or pain point you want to avoid at all costs in Voiceover?”
The majority of the responses centered around one thing.
(Actual responses follow:)
“Biggest fear or pain point is that I don’t hear back during auditions.”
“What would people ( family,friends) think.”
“Not finding any success/opportunities”
“It would be Failure”
In a word, a lot of new talents are afraid of rejection and failure. (okay…that’s two words.)
And truthfully, you SHOULD expect rejection and failure. But rejection and failure are two different things. Let’s explore them.
You will encounter tons of rejection throughout your voiceover career. It’s inevitable. Why?
Because you are entering an industry fraught with competition, evolution, finicky clients, and more. However, rejection can be a GOOD thing.
Rejection, truthfully, is feedback. It’s a client or prospect telling you that there’s something that needs adjustment, or that this is not the right fit. That’s not necessarily a commentary on you, your talent, value, or ability. It’s simply a chance to gather information, and adjust course appropriately.
Our egos try to attach meaning to rejection, and therefore, we internalize it and think it has something to do with us. But try to process that information as feedback that helps you build a better career.
For (a somewhat silly) example, I have a fairly low-pitched voice, and have never tried to create a young female character for a Saturday morning cartoon show. Let’s say I send in 10 auditions with my brand new female character, and promptly receive 10 rejections.
Do I tell myself, “I suck. I’ll never succeed in voiceover”?
Or do I process the “rejections” as feedback like “my character needs work”, “I need more experience building it”, etc.?
I would take every opportunity I can to dive in and ASK for feedback. Talk to as many other talents, producers, voice talent buyers, etc. you can and get feedback. Take it all with a grain of salt, and then make adjustments to what you’re doing. You’ll find more success that way.
But, what if you decide instead, to internalize this rejection?
Failure is not an outcome. It’s a choice. It happens when you stop trying.
Successful voiceover careers are built on hard work, practice, realistic expectations, and not giving up. You may land 10 gigs in your first month of sending out demos and auditions. You may not get a paying gig for a year.
But if you continue to push through rejection and use it as a tool for course correction, you will NEVER fail. It’s about the mindset you apply to this.
How have perseverance and hard work kept you successful? How have you used rejection as a constructive tool? Let us know in the comments!