Years ago, I decided to transition from graphic design to a new career (a fresh choice). I decided to become a voice talent — an industry I have enjoyed for over ten years. Now, I often get people asking me how to get started in voiceover. An acquaintance who was very successful in the industry gave me some great direction at the time, which is how I ended up at a voiceover class in Burbank, CA. I learned way more than I even knew there WAS to know about voiceover, so this was key to getting started. You’re running your own business and immediately competing against professionals worldwide and also hit with all of the marketing, website management, editing and technical information, as well as the expected vocal delivery as a voice actor. At the end of the class, the instructor suggested I take an improv class. I Googled “San Diego Improv”. During my first class I thought, “Where has this been all my life?” Learning improv was so much fun and opened my brain to new ways of thinking. National Comedy Theatre has refined improv into a usable skill that has not only helped with my voiceover, but also in tangential arenas that I would have never predicted. It has been a joyous journey of jollification and has opened the door to even more fresh choices.

A (maybe-not-so) obvious benefit to improv is the ability to instantly change my acting performance and convey that through my voice. A slight change can make a recording believable or not. This quick-thinking comes in handy when recording live with a director that asks for a group of 3 takes with all different deliveries. This is a skill that can be learned. NCT has given me practice through game play. Sometimes, we can be crippled by the planning stage, as in, “ready, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim, fire.” Imagine going through life and realizing you don’t have to think through every detail of a decision before coming up with the “right” one. Doing three-minute scenes that are erased from existence after they’re over has helped me realize that the faster that I can execute, the faster I can try the next idea that either works or doesn’t. If that idea doesn’t work, I can try something else (fresh choice).

Today, I am still a voice actor and also fortunate enough to be on the Main Stage cast and even teaching improv to students the way I was taught way back when. Improv has helped with thinking on my feet, with thinking out of the box, and with my voiceover career. As I mentioned, a lot of people ask me how to get started in voiceover. What I’m about to say may require the use of these skills to make yet another fresh choice. If you’d like to be a voice talent, take a class, learn improv, and go for it. You can always try something else (fresh choice).

-Ernie Goyette
NCT Mainstage Cast