BOSS Mindset: The Perpetual Student

All voiceover actors are life-long learners but are you a perpetual student? The former is great. The later can be a scary money pit. If you take classes to further your career and increase your revenue you’re doing it right. If you’re taking class after class after class and continuously stalling your always pending launch-date.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. All voiceover coaches know at least a few students who never graduate – they just remain a student for a very long time and continue to take classes.

  2. Making the leap from student to working pro is an essential part of the voiceover learning process.

  3. Many people want to break free from this cycle but something is always holding them back from doing so. Usually, fear.

  4. Voice actors want to ‘get better’ before marketing or getting out into the work place. But you’re always getting better. So when is enough, enough?

  5. The voiceover industry is responsible for creating this fear.  We caution students not to seek jobs pre-maturely.

  6. Validation must come from your coach but also from within.

  7. There’s a lot of on-the-job learning in most every business.

  8. You can’t necessarily wait to graduate to a certain skill level before starting your voiceover business.

  9. Too many fledgling voice actors feel that they need to train with everyone and master all the genres before they can launch a career.

  10. Voiceover is made up of core-classes and specialties. You only need core classes to start.

  11. Being the voice for everything is a lofty and unnecessary goal.

  12. Ask yourself if you are learning a new skill-set or seeking validation for the skills you already possess.

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

Book a 15 minute consult with Anne if you’d like honest feedback from The Bosses on your career and coaching goals.
Recorded on ipDTL


>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Today’s voiceover talent has to be a BOSS.

>> BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.




Anne: Hey everyone, welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my bestie, Gabby Nistico. Hey Gabby.

Gabby: Hi.

Anne: Gabby, Gabby, Gabby.

[both laugh]

Gabby: Yeah? Am I in trouble?

Anne: I just celebrated with one of my students [laughs] the fact that they’ve been with me for a good couple of years. And it made me think, it made me think. I mean, I — don’t get me — I love my students, and I want them to, you know, progress and go on in their career, and there’s lots of reasons as to why the student is with me with a couple of years, but it made me think about, I’ve encountered over the years quite a few students that are students. And they never seem to kind of come out of the student phase. What about you?

Gabby: Yeah, oh yeah. I, I talk to people every week that will name many, many coaches that they’ve worked with. Well-respected names, colleagues, you, people that I know and I love in this industry, and then I go, “ok, so what have you been booking or what have you been doing?” And the answer is surprisingly, “well, I’ve been taking classes.” And I go, “oook.” So we have a little bit of an epidemic in the industry right now with people who are what I call perpetual students. They never quite make the leap. They never quite transition over into being an actual working voice actor. They just sort of stay a student forever. 

Anne: Let me play devil’s advocate here and let me take it from the teacher’s perspective, or from the girl, me, who was a perpetual student all of her life because she just loves to learn. This is one of the reasons why I stayed in education for 20 years because really, I was just that student. I just thought I’d get paid [laughs] to be a student. And that’s why I was a teacher.

Gabby: Hey, do you know what? There are absolutely people out there who are lifelong learners and really just the love of the process of being in an educational environment and of being in a class. I respect it. I dig it, whether it’s our industry or others. I mean, I’ve met plenty of other people in other sectors of my life, and you know, they’re always, they’re getting another degree, they’re getting their masters, they’re working on an MBA.

Anne: My brother is like that, yeah. He’s got like five degrees.

Gabby: Hey, that’s cool. If that’s your thing, like, that’s great. Where I get worried is when I meet people in voiceover who clearly want to break free from that cycle, and yet they’re not. Like something is happening. Something is stopping them.

Anne: I think that might be fear.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: Yeah. And I think, you know, they might be looking for something in their classes that will be that, I don’t know, that motivation, that light bulb that gives them permission maybe, to go out and trying get a job. I mean, I’ve worked with students who, I’m like, ok, so are you gonna get your website up, are you gonna think about, you know, direct marketing,” and that also is another stalling point for them. “Well, you know, I want to get better first before I market myself.” And so that’s a — boy, that’s a tough call. [laughs]

Gabby: The industry itself, ok, we created this animal, if you think about it. It’s partially our fault. Right, there’s no graduation, there’s no degree, there’s no certificate. There’s no completion. There’s never a moment where a person can say, ok, I’ve done the work, I’ve —

Anne: Graduated.

Gabby: — earned this.

Anne: Yep.

Gabby: And now I’m free to go forward and pursue it as a career. And since we don’t have that, it creates a lot of confusion for people where there’s this big gray area where, right, what does everybody say? “You got to be really good before you do this, or you’ve really got to, you know, really have honed your skills before you try to get an agent, or you really shouldn’t be on a pay-to-play if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Anne: Not unlike learning on the job, right? I mean, how many jobs did I take in my lifetime where it was like, it’s ok, it’s ok. You’ll learn that. And as a matter of fact, I was just talking to somebody, one of my good friends, colleagues that I used to work with, and he’s got a new job, and this is not in voiceover, but he got a new job. He said “yeah, I’m gonna be doing this, this, this.” And he said “I’ve never done that before,” and I said “oh, you’re, you know, don’t worry about it. Don’t stress, you’ll be fine, you’re a smart guy.” He said “yeah, that’s what the employer said too.” So you know, there’s something to be said for, at one point, you’ve got to like take that jump. You’ve got to take that risk and just start. And a lot of times it’s, peop