Fifty plus years of voice over…

As told to Harvey by da harv:
Fifty Plus Years of Voice Over
        …And I still can’t get myself to write a how-to book (until now). Some things I almost know for sure, other things are no more than an inkling of what may be the right way to get there. But of certainty and a fact of life, albeit a subjective one, is what has stayed essentially the same since an actor raised the first grand curtain on the first dimly lit stage. 
“At rise the audience must be grabbed,
or they may not be there for the second act!”
“Voice over is an acting craft. 
Those that don’t consider it as a trade for actors
will always be on the outside looking in.”
        Yes, I am an educator. As such I realize that there are a variety of ways to teach. Often times the term “teacher” is misused. I believe confusion sets in when an understanding of what the teacher and student goals should be is not clarified. When it comes to an acting craft, the teacher is extremely limited. He or she (the average teacher) usually can only present the student with the technical know-how. Of course, a good teacher is one that can inspire and stimulate a student to reach beyond what they thought their limits were. 
        On the other hand, the students’ responsibility burns forever. An actor’s process for learning is always subject to change, subject to the dictates of time and nature. Not to worry… if learning has become your personal driving force, then its propensity can never be satiated during one’s lifetime. The human spirit, in order to constantly remain as one’s most plausible nourishment for life’s desired fulfillment, is yours and only yours; the individual is free to cultivate what nature has endowed. You will never reach a saturation point. Your truth should always be treated with reverence.
        So while we, the teachers, present an endless parade of how-to tips and formalized instruction, the actors are asked to search on their own, or in tandem for a way to secure purity, by way of truth. While some actors might stay with a method for a lifetime, most will undergo some degree of change during the course of their life’s pursuits. Pursuing excellence is the actor’s responsibility. Constant pursuit guarantees endless growth.  
Getting Started
        Not an uncommon occurrence is the frequency of which I am asked for my opinion on how to get started in this wonderful voiceover world of ours. I use the term “ours” because voice over and the commercial world, in general, has been my way of life—almost upon my first utterances and for more years than I can recollect. Time alone has provided me with the entitlement of referring to voice over as “ours”, or on my more pompous days as “mine”. So, without further explanation, I’m going to charge into my world with the sole intent of sharing it with you. 
Disclaimer: Not to worry, just about everything I write has been registered and or protected by copyright— if you get my drift.

Written by: Harvey “da harv” Kalmenson
Editor: N.Chung

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