I have been working as an independent professional voice over artist for five years now. I have worked on diverse projects, including corporate presentations, YouTube commercials, explainer videos, IVR and more. I have lent my voice to video game characters as well. I work from my state-of-the-art home studio. However, if required, I can go to a studio of your choice. You can rely on me to provide the audio in less than 24 hours, and I am reachable 24/7.
Sunscreen by Baz Luhrmann
Well, I didn't know that in my early 20s too. That's the age when you're officially grown up, and your parents stop supporting you. I was not great at studies and had no intention to pursue my education further. I have always had a keen interest in performing arts, especially acting and mimicry. I loved re-enacting scenes from Indian movies. All my friends had their personal favourites, and I would act on to entertain them. I always took it as a pastime or something to entertain and engage small crowds at casual get-togethers. I had no clue that I would be doing something similar to make my living some time in the future.
Those were the late 2000s, and outsourcing industry was at its peak in India. Hundreds of companies were looking for young undergrads who could speak decent English. I accepted a job as a customer care representative with a company in Delhi for their British Telecom process. It was the first time I came across a professional voice coach. Someone whose job is to ensure your speech is clear and that you are using the correct intonation. I learnt about the British accent and got to know about cockney and Scottish accents. Though we were never asked to make an accent, the goal of the training was to help us speak more clearly and get rid of any regional tongue influence. I learnt about RP (received pronunciation) and studied the English phonetics for the first time. I found this training very interesting. I already had the gift of voice modulation, and in no time, I found myself speaking in different accents. I was kissing my Ws and biting my Vs. I continued working in the same industry for about ten years and kept entertaining my friends at small parties by performing acts and making voices. Things were good. I was making enough to support my lifestyle, and I was saving for my retirement.
When you have been doing the same job for a long time, it gets monotonous. Especially in customer service where you answer the same questions and resolve the same issues day in and day out. I was bored to the core. I started dreading the idea of going to the office and putting on those headphones. I wanted to make a career switch but had no clue about anything other than talking, acting and making voices. I decided to take a break from work and give time to myself to figure out my career. With that thought in mind; I quit my job.
They say you need to get out of your comfort zone to take a journey to rediscover yourself. Quitting my job was me getting out of my comfort zone. I promised myself that I would pursue my passion for voice acting. I enrolled in a professional voice acting course and started working on my skills. While I was doing that, I discovered that it is possible to work as a freelance voiceover artist and many talented individuals are doing it already. I knew that this is something that I can easily do. I created my profile on several online freelancer platforms. I was confident that I will be able to make a living out of my voice right away. Soon I realized that it is not as easy as I thought it will be. I was getting rejected everywhere. The feedback I got was that I do not sound professional. When faced with rejection, one has two options either to give up and try something else or try again until you make it. I started spending hours practising, recording, watching online tutorials, loud reading and doing vocal exercises. After several rejections and one year of dedicated practice, I got my first assignment. I still remember recording for the first time, my palms were sweaty. I had to record thrice before coming up with my best voice. The client loved the audio, and finally, I made some money doing what I would do for free!
From then on, there's no looking back, I have done a lot of YouTube commercials, explainer videos, corporate presentations, animated character voices, IVRs, narrations and more. I have created my studio at my home in Pune, where I live with my wife and daughter. Life is good, and I am doing what I always loved. I believe that every human being has a gift, and it is their responsibility to develop it, keep polishing it and let it shine in the world. Self-fulfilment is only possible when you are creating something and expressing yourself through your art.