Joshua Seth's 10 Steps to Voice Over Success
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Be a student of life, not a student of classes
"Show business is the business of show," said the wise old teacher to the wide-eyed student as he took his money and prattled on into the night. There's no end to the classes you can take as an actor: voice, dance, speech, movement, improvisation and on and on and on. There's certainly a value to proper training, but you must have a clear idea of what your goals are and take it as your own responsibility (not the teacher's) to achieve them or it will all become nothing more than an endless stream of high priced information. You learn from everything in life, but to be a student of life, you must apply those lessons to a larger goal.

Joshua Seth's voice over success gives him a lot to smile about. Photo courtesy of Joshua Seth.

Set goals
It's often said that life is about the journey and not the destination. Bullshit! If you don't ever bother to determine where you're headed you'll only wind up going in circles. Take a little time each day to think about where you're going. Where do you want to be in 5 days, 5 months, 5 years, 50 years? Write these destinations down and revise them from time to time. It'll save you from having to go through a midlife crisis in order to figure them out.

Think of yourself as a business
You are a piece of meat. Or a can of dolphin-safe tuna, if you will. You are a product and you don't want to spend your shelf life unconsumed. Every product needs good packaging, placement and marketing. Every product must fulfill a need. Who needs you? Why? How will you call attention to yourself and keep it there? At a certain point in your career, these become questions for your agent, manager and publicist. In order to get to that point, you need to answer them yourself.

Know thyself
It all comes down to this: all you can give to anyone else you must first be able to give to yourself. Be good to yourself. Have respect for yourself and you'll have respect for your profession. Take an interest in yourself and you'll find an endless fascination in others. Everything is a reflection of you: your mindset, your outlook, your desires, your fears. Believe it when someone says that this business is hard to break into and it will be. But know in your heart of hearts that voice acting is in your future, and act accordingly, and the future may be closer than you think.

For more articles about voice overs, acting and casting visit the Animation World Magazine Archives and type in the above key words to get an array of past articles.

Joshua Seth is a voice over actor with the Arlene Thornton Agency in Los Angeles. He trained at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where he holds a BFA with honors in Film as well as Philosophy. He can be heard as "Tai," the starring role in 20th Century Fox's animated feature film Digimon the Movie. Arlene Thornton & Associates: 818-760-6688.


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