For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to do voice work - be a radio DJ, read commercials, do anything in front of a microphone. When I was young, very young, I would spend hours just talking into a microphone about anything that came to mind. (Those closest to me aren't at all surprised that I was a talker from an early age) I would read books aloud and add in all the inflections and emotions of each character. I was an only child, so I didn't annoy any siblings with the chattery behavior.
My Dad had a mini-studio in our basement, complete with microphone and reel-to-reel recording equipment. He used to sing in a quartet and had friends in a bluegrass band, so there was always southern gospel or country music blaring from our basement. Dad would hook up the tape recorder to the official microphone and I'd take off. I'd sing, chat, tell stories, and even do my own commercials. Station breaks consisted of me saying "Thank you for the interruption."
As I've grown older I've taken voice and speech training and done some non-professional recordings. Every time I do it, someone would tell me to pursue voice work based on what they heard. I guess it's more flattering to hear "you have a voice for radio" than to hear "you have a face for radio." I never really knew where to start, and didn't want to do this gig full-time, but still held on to the dream.
Last Tuesday evening in the torrential rainstorm we had in Louisville, I left work and headed for a class to take the first step in my dream. Our local public school system offered a "Voice Over Class" - one night, two hours and it only cost $35 and my delaying of viewing American Idol (not a big loss this season). The voice coach did a quick overview of the industry - how to get started, how to market - and then did some coaching and we all were recorded reading a few lines. I loved it! Due to my early love of the microphone, those electric ice cream cones don't scare me at all. He promised we'd each get evaluated and receive it via e-mail the next day. The promise included the disclaimer that if you aren't good, he'd tell you.
I anxiously awaited the e-mail and when it came, he said "You have quite a bit of potential. Your voice is young, real, and believable." I don't know if I was happier that he noted my potential or said I had a young voice. Either way, I was ecstatic. Now, off to create a demo as the next step of my dream.
After a week of research and phone calls on the best way to proceed, I am scheduled to talk with a producer this evening and record my demo, if he thinks I have potential. I'm amazed that only a week ago I thought this would be a fun way to spend a couple of hours and now, I'm within hours away of starting to see my dream come to life.
The moral of this story is to never let go of your dreams. You just never know when the right doors will open and your dreams may come true.