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Friday, October 9, 2015

Dealing with Criticism in Voice Over

Criticism is something that none of us like to get, but unfortunately, there’s usually no avoiding it.  After all, you can’t make EVERYONE happy. In the voice over industry, criticism is just part of the business, and if you plan on succeeding in VO, you need to learn how to handle it.  Here are some tips for helping you listen and learn when your work is being critiqued.

  • Getting upset is not going to help the situation, even if you feel the criticism is unfair or off base. You need to keep emotions out of the situation, as difficult as that may be. Instead of getting mad, focus on really listening to the person critiquing you and trying to understand where they’re coming from.
  • Check your sensitivity at the door. In this industry, there’s no room for softies. You need to have a thick skin, because there’s always going to be someone who is not operating on the same wavelength as you. Try not to take the criticism too personally, though. Most of the time, it has nothing to do with you as a professional, but more often is a miscommunication about the project.
  • Keep your confidence up. Even when it feels like no one is on your side, remember that you are in this business because you have something valuable offer.
  • Respond to the criticism. After you’ve eliminated the emotional aspect of the criticism and you understand what the other person is really saying, you can better respond to it. And you should – responding shows that you hear what’s being said, and you’re a professional who is willing to work toward making it right.
  • Embrace it. Criticism is, after all, a tool that you can use to your advantage. When someone is giving you feedback, whether it’s good or bad, you have the choice of whether to take it and learn and grow from it, or to simply ignore it and remain stagnant. Go for the first option – when you are growing as a person, you’re much more likely to find success.
  • The above also applies to auditioning for work. Which you will do a lot of.
  • In this day of fast-paced, on line auditioning you will usually not even GET a chance to be critiqued. You often won't receive any feedback at all regarding auditions. Again, don't take rejection personally. There are a half million reasons why you didn't get a job you auditioned for. Don't waste your time and your sanity fretting over auditions that didn't yield jobs. Just get over it and move on! Concentrate on always improving your audition technique... there will always be another audition! An acting coach I had once always said, "Don't feel dreaded about auditioning. Think of it as another chance to perform. On camera or on the mic!


  1. Congratulations, you have expertly explained to me that I don’t know enough and yet succeeded in telling me nothing. I’m looking for a voice-over coach in the NY area, preferably NJ. Any ideas?

    1. Andrew,

      I'm sorry that you missed the point of the article. It was meant to be advice for the working pro. And it is the same advice that you would receive from a knowledgeable coach. In fact, I'm sure they would elaborate on my thoughts.

      If you reached way back to October when I wrote this article then you must have seen my many other articles that should prove more helpful to you than this one.

      Regarding the NY area for VO coaches... you are located in or near the largest VO market in the country! If you are resourceful, you should be able to find a multitude of great coaches there. Personally, I don't know of any there since I'm located near Nashville, TN. For a personal recommendation you should contact some of the talent living in that area. Besides going on line and reading about what they have to offer, what their real world experience is and if you are compatible with them.