Today’s installment of my VO Atlanta 2017 Panelist Profiles series features CourVO, the irrepressible Dave Courvoisier, voice actor, TV anchorman, and President of the World Voices Organization. Dave will sit on my Ethics in Voiceover panel at VO Atlanta 2017.
JMC: You are the President of the World Voices Organization. How does that shape your outlook on issues affecting the industry?
CourVO: That unique vantage point gives me a hopeful outlook. But it also underscores the spectrum of challenges and personalities that make up the Voice Over community. From within our approx. 800 members, a profound organization-wide exuberance and quest for excellence buoys the community at large. Outside WoVO, the lines blur, and an every-man-for-himself attitude seems to pervade the viewpoint.
JMC: As a respected voiceover blogger, what subjects do you find yourself most passionate about?
CourVO: Being a geek, my attention is often skewed towards “shiny new things,” like hardware, software, and digital advancements. Those are more of a tangential concern to voice actors, though, so I try to rein it in, and focus on things that I think matter to my readers, (and matter to me, too;) challenges I encounter on my road to VO success; topics like compensation rates, auditioning, agents, marketing, prospecting, coaching, demos, and the challenges of being a freelance business person.
JMC: In addition to your many other hats, you are also a bit of a local celebrity as a prominent Las Vegas television news anchor. How has that shaped and informed your voiceover career?
In news broadcasting and voice acting, the talent must use their voice. That’s the only point of intersection. I mistakenly thought a segue to VO from TV would be a cinch. It is not. The greatest challenge in the transition is not the talent demands but the new responsibility of being in charge of my own business. There is also a bias against ex-broadcasters in the land of voice-acting due to the belief that TV/Radio guys are announcers. The bias is not without merit, but can be overcome with coaching and persistence.
JMC: What advice would you offer talent just starting out?
CourVO: Practice due diligence as you would entering into any other career. Research. Ask questions. Find a mentor. Train/practice. Check references. Buyer beware when it comes to coaches and demo producers. Success in voice-acting generally is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t give up your day job…yet.
JMC: You are a panelist on the Ethics in Voiceover panel at VO Atlanta 2017. What does Ethics in Voiceover mean to you?
CourVO: The phrase “taking the high road” comes to mind. Most people have a sense of what that means. Humans are imperfect, but the conduct tends to follow when the goal is lofty. I believe freelance business people should espouse honorable actions… revealing the right intentions and conscientious outcomes. Also: good or bad behavior doesn’t occur in a vacuum. The ethics question should always be considered in the community context, but with the grace to know that harsh judgment rarely engenders solutions in grey areas of unclear choices.