What IS it that a Voice Actor is paid to do?
The copy writer thinks you’re an illiterate mouth breather, the director thinks you’re a prima dona who can’t listen, the engineer thinks you are the luckiest SOB on earth to make what you make for reading out loud, the client thinks you’re a large, needless, debit on his personal compensation, and the target audience out there trudges on regardless, unaware that you even exist!
Just what the heck IS IT that you are DOING?
You, my friend, are performing magic.
You are doing something that these people not only cannot DO, they cannot even put it into words! You are doing something for which there is no vocabulary. You are making the Intellectual Leap.
Where the others proceed from A to B to C in a perfectly linear manner, the Voice Actor moves from A to B to Z.
The copy writer bashes out his words, vaguely relating to some product, and it makes it way to the hands of the director who tries to figure out how to describe something he can’t really put into words (make it a little more red!), all the client wants is the product name billboarded, and they all heave and strain and struggle mightily to achieve something that is unnameable; and that unnameable thing is what you do.
You are the one who can take that cold, flaccid, lifeless script and literally give it the breath of life. You are the one who can divine the intent, the message, the audience, and fashion the perfect voice to reach into those people’s heads and touch their emotions and shape their thoughts without them even knowing it.
You were born with a powerful but crude tool. You spent years studying and practicing the arcane art, and finally one day you knew you were ready and you closed your eyes and you took a deep breath and you made The Leap.
That is what you are paid to do, and that is what they can’t do, and that, my friend, is magic.