My 8yr old son is a child voiceover artist, and today he had a VO gig. He’s been doing this since he was 5. In those early days, before he could read, I would sit in the booth with him, read the line and he would “parrot” the lines back to me the way I read them. These days… he’s almost entirely on his own.
Today was harder than most, probably because I was still involved. I think he tends to overdo it a little when I’m around. I sat behind the scenes on another session he did a couple of weeks ago, with another engineer, and he was nearly flawless. His interpretation was spot on from the very first take. I guess we really know how good our kids are, or maybe how good we’re doing as parents, by how they behave when they think we’re not looking.
Today’s job was a full 30 second spot where he had to say things like “free frozen” and “fifteenth”. He also had to say “particularly”. These words are a mouthful for some adult voiceover talent and especially for his (still) chubby cheeks. After only a few takes he began saying everything so well that the client and I decided to use some earlier takes simply because the stumbles were cuter.
What is probably most exciting though is hearing the progress he’s made over one year. He worked on this campaign last year as well. Today we updated one of the three spots he did last year (all full 30 second spots with him carrying the entire spot). Two of the three are being used again. After warming up a little, his interpretations came together quickly. He didn’t need nearly as many takes as last year and the editing took no more than a few minutes. He did a great job and the spot came out very nicely. Needless to say, I’m proud.
Although both of my son’s have been doing VO work, I’m pretty sure they won’t pursue it as a career and I’m not sure I would want them to. But I do want both of my sons to do what their daddy does… so I tell them, “do what you love and figure out a way to make a living at it.”
Speaking of my other son, my 6 year old wanted to know why he didn’t have a VO job today. He clearly understands this business pretty well already… don’t you think?