Anne and Gabby have both gotten tons of questions from students looking for a new or second career. A popular one is… “Am I Too Old for VO?” You may have wondered the same thing or are worried if there’s a certain age that you’ll have to “retire”. Well, the bosses are here to give their two cents and share what trends they’re seeing in the vo industry related to age.
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
Consider the market you’re going for
Be realistic. Your age could play a factor in what you’re cast for.
You need to understand technology to flourish, but if you don’t you can always hire someone!
Your actual age and vocal age could be WAY off!
Your voice does change
You can be a boss at any age!
Chances are some of your previous work skills can apply to VO
If this is a side thing for you, then it might not be worth it.
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
Subscribe to VO B.O.S.S. on YouTube!
Our podcast is recorded entirely using ipDTL. Get better than ISDN quality with: ipDTL!
VO: Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss, a VO BOSS. Set yourself up with business owner strategies and success with your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS.
Anne: Hey, guys. Before we get started on today’s episode, we want to share some bossolutions. We have a brand-new product in our BOSS shop called Book-Out Build. I’m super excited about this concept. Gabby, tell us a little bit about this.
Gabby: This is how I communicate with my clients every single month to make sure that I am providing them with relevant information that they can actually use, and so that I’m not just, you know, spamming them or sending them something really annoying, right, because we all have to worry about that.
Gabby: And we’re offering it to everyone now. And these are Book-Out Builds. So with a Book-out Build, what you’re able to set up a system whereby you can communicate with clients on a regular basis about the number one they want to know about you, your availability and bookout dates in the studio.
Anne: Great stuff. And you can do this on a monthly basis or a quarterly basis. What’s really cool is that we incorporate your own list, and we manage it and send out the marketing blast on your behalf, all in your own brand.
Gabby: You want to go to voboss.com, click on Shop, and go check out the Book-Out Build and Book-Out Blast features.
Anne: Ok now, let’s get on with today’s episode. Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host Anne Ganguzza along with my VO BOSS bestie, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby, how are you?
Gabby: Hello! I’m fantastic. I have a question for you though.
Anne: Oh? [laughs]
Gabby: I’m really worried about this.
Anne: [laughs] What, Gabby?
Gabby: Am I too old to do voiceover?
Anne: [laughs] Oh my goodness, Gabby. You know, that’s funny. You know what, that’s actually a good question because I get asked that quite a bit.
Gabby: I know. So do I, and I’m poking fun, but I’m doing it, you know, we’re doing it in a lighthearted way. I’m actually stunned by how often I get asked this. And I have people who come to me, you know, in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, yes, I’ve even had a handful of students up into their 70’s, and it’s always the same thing. “Am I, am I too old? Am I too old to enter this market? Am I too old to start over? Am I too old for a new career?”
Anne: What a good question.
Gabby: So let’s explore.
Anne: Let’s explore. Well, personally, I don’t think anyone’s too old. I think that you have to, you have to really consider though the market, and how much effort you want to put into the market, and your career at, at whatever age you happen to be thinking about voiceover. I think that that’s really important.
Gabby: It is. I also think you have to temper expectations and be realistic.
Gabby: Because your age could play a factor in the types of jobs that you’re cast for, or the types of things that you’re suitable for.
Gabby: But I mean, you know, my thing on this is a personal perspective — so, growing up, I was the kid with older parents, much older. Sometimes people assumed that my folks were actually my grandparents. That has always kind of warped or twisted my sense of things like that because my parents were so much older than I, you know, I remember being in my 20’s, and like my friends were getting married and having kids, and I would be like, “oh my God. We are too young for that. What are you doing?”
Gabby: “Why, why in the world are you doing that right now? That, that, that’s crazy!” I got married much later in life myself as a result, and because I’ve always kind of how this, this thought process of like, we do have something of a luxury of time. You know, just 50 is not the end of anybody’s world.
Anne: Oh goodness, no.
Gabby: I mean, come on!
Anne: I, I’m, I’m going to say one of the biggest issues I think with maybe some older voiceover students is their uh adoption of technology, if I can say that.
Anne: You really, really have to understand technology, and you have to be, you have to be kind of technologically adept in order to really flourish and —
Anne: And succeed in this career, and I think that some people who are, are older may or may not be, you know, as technologically adept as they, as they could be. But I’m always suggesting, you know, you need to go take a course. [laughs]
Anne: You know, and, and make sure that you’re really familiar with the Internet, and the computer, and you can attach files, and you can edit audio files, and that is, that is a big component.
Gabby: There’s…yeah. There’s often a good bit of resistance from older generations —
Gabby: To learn new technology, but there are so many resources. There are so many classes and courses available, and then, you know what? I, I have friends now, you know, who, whose grandparents are like in their 80’s, and you know, they’re on Facebook, or they’re using, you know, social medias and email. And I think that’s frickin’ wonderful. And if they can do it, so can anybody else.
Anne: I agree. And you know what? Here is the other thought. Well, if you are not that great at technology, or you hate technology, and I would just, I would offer this advice to anybody, um hire somebody to do it for you. [laughs]
Gabby: Yeah. Yeah.
Anne: So you know, that could be a luxury.
Gabby: There’s always a smart, savvy workaround.
Gabby: Now, let’s talk a little bit about the performance side of this.
Gabby: So, vocally speaking, I think this is a really critical thing for anyone who is questioning this. “Am I, am I too old for voiceover? Am I too old to do this?” Here is really what it comes down to. You have to have someone, whether it be a coach, uh another voice actor, someone you can trust, assess your vocal situation —
Gabby: For what I call your vocal age.
Gabby: Your vocal age, and what’s attached to your Social Security card —
Gabby: Are not to say really the same thing —
Gabby: And are not a match.
Gabby: Chances are, and I don’t know about you, Anne, this has been my experience, I find many women, most women for that matter, do not sound their age.
Anne: Oh yeah. I’m, I think I’m one of them.
Anne: I like to think that I’m one of them. But you have to be smart about who the market is because, you know, for a lot of the genres for voiceover, you have to know that, once you, once you’ve gotten that vocal age assessment, who is that voice marketing to? Because typically advertisers or, or people that are going to hire you for that vocal age group have a particular target audience that they are selling to. And so that’s where I think you’re going to fit in into the voiceover industry in those particular areas. So for example, um maybe if you sound older than maybe 60 or so, you’re probably not gonna be talking about diapers for your daughter unless it’s your granddaughter.
Anne: That kind of a thing.
Gabby: Yeah. There’s definitely something to be said for making sure that you’re gravitating to age-appropriate copy.
Gabby: Age-appropriate content. I mean, but we all go through that. Like, right?
Gabby: So when I started in this industry, I was young enough that I could do some late teen stuff and early 20’s, and I, I could pass for someone, you know, in that age bracket, and I, I was able to do that successfully for almost 10 years. Now, uhh no. I’m not gonna be umm deluded enough to think that I’m going to legitimately pass as a, you know, somebody who’s college-age.
Gabby: It’s not gonna happen.
Anne: I have been in this industry long enough to know that your voice actually — well, at least a lot of people that I know and myself included — your voice does change.
Anne: You know? After a certain amount of years, I mean, it does — you know, mine got lower. And I, I keep listening back to things that I did, you know, 10 years ago, and I’m like, “you know, I don’t sound like that anymore.” And so that is something that to be considered, you know, to consider.
Gabby: Oh honey. I have —
Gabby: I have documentation of my voice from as young as 15 all the way to now.
Gabby: And let me tell you, holy mo — like, I, I —
Anne: It’s amazing, right?
Gabby: It’s surreal. I listen back to myself from 20 years ago, and I’m like, “oh my God, please shut that off. Please don’t ever let that play again.”
Gabby: Because first of all I sound like a completely different person. [in accent] Then you bring my Long Island accent to the table.
Anne: Oh my goodness, yes.
Gabby: [normal] And it’s a whole other thing. So yeah, I mean, you know —
Anne: [in accent] Talk about that later.
Gabby: We will.
Gabby: We, we all go through that. It’s, it’s commonplace. But yes, our voices change. They age. They mature. [laughs] Right?
Gabby: But there are still plenty of roles, plenty of resources —
Anne: Oh my goodness, yes.
Gabby: It is simply a matter of understanding where you fit in. For men, I believe — and my God, I mean, come on. Look at an actor like Morgan Freeman. He didn’t have — his first breakout role, he was like 50.
Gabby: Come on! I mean, and now look at him.
Anne: Those are the storytellers, if I can just say that.
Anne: I just had a lesson with one of my students who’s, you know, probably around my age. He has such a wonderful storytelling quality to him. There, there’s wisdom built into that voice. There’s, you know, there’s warmth, and there’s comfort, and I, I’ll tell ya, I love listening to him.
Gabby: The word wisdom, I love that you used that. To me, it’s always like the sage advice from, from the family or the community elder. And who doesn’t love that? And yes, it’s so listenable. It’s so long-term. Now, know that person is probably not gonna see a high demand for their voice in, I don’t know, radio imaging. Great example.
Anne: Right, right.
Gabby: There’s going to be no demand, but oh my goodness, narration, documentaries, storytelling. Yeah.
Gabby: Yeah. Tons of stuff. Yeah.
Anne: I’m always saying, I want to sit on your lap at the fireplace and have you tell me a story. [laughs]
Gabby: Uhh okay. That’s —
Anne: I don’t really say that to my students, but I think about, you know, that’s the scenario when I’m thinking about [laughs]
Gabby: Wow. That’s a very vivid visual.
Gabby: Just to let you know.
Anne: Well, when I am trying to get people into the scene [laughs] I am like, sit in that large, comfy chair by the fire and tell me the story.
Gabby: With me on your lap, yes.
Anne: I try to, yeah —
Anne: I refrain from actually saying that, but sometimes if I have a student that I know well enough, and we can laugh about it, I’ll say that.
Gabby: Now, now I know how you and Jerry can fulfill your voiceover fantasies. Now I have a very clear understanding of how that works.
Anne: Just let me sit on your lap.
Gabby: [laughs] So all of these things are hugely important, and then the one piece that we haven’t touched on is of course business acumen, right? And You and I are always talking about that because that is what we do.
Gabby: Anybody can be a boss at any age, and I think that for older folks —
Anne: I think they can be even more boss.
Gabby: Sometimes they are.
Gabby: Your, your experience in life, and your, um your resume basically, and your experience on the job is going to dictate so much of your success in this.
Anne: Oh yeah.
Gabby: You know, if you have a sales background, marketing background, if you’ve owned a company, if you have been in high-level management, all of those things are gonna suit you wonderfully, and it’s simply a matter of taking the skills you already possess and tweaking them and then applying them to voiceover.
Anne: Oh yeah. I think that you have such a wonderful opportunity for success in voiceover because of that experience, and I, I say, I say go for it. I mean, you’re never, you’re never too old.
Anne: And like I said, if you have got the issues where perhaps you are not as technologically advanced as your grandson or your granddaughter, you know, then, what the heck? You can hire them.
Gabby: Right. I say recruit the little buggers and put them to work for you.
Anne: Exactly. Yep.
Gabby: The one thing I will say is this however. This is my one negative. If you’re looking to do this as a hobby or somewhat willy-nilly, or on the side, because you’re going, “oh, I just think it would be fun to do, and you know, I’m really sort of enjoying my retirement. And I do a lot of travel,” and you know, you’re not looking to really take the steps that are necessary to create a business —
Gabby: Then no, then no, voiceover is not for you. But I would say that to anybody at any age.
Anne: Oh yeah. Me —
Gabby: Yeah, that is not age indicative.
Gabby: You can enjoy your life, if that is the case. If that is what you want to do. You’re not gonna be competitive at this with that attitude coming in.
Anne: Well, exactly. And if, if you’re not in it full force, if you want this to be, be your retirement money, then I would be very careful about that because you’re gonna have to work kind of hard. [laughs]
Anne: You know, for that to fulfill retirement money. Hopefully you have retirement money already, and this would be a supplement to it. But you still have to come at it I think with a business first attitude in order to really be successful.
Gabby: And outside of that, the running joke in my family has always been the same. I don’t care how old I am. I don’t care what’s physically wrong with me. Prop me up in my booth next to my microphone, and I can still work. And I believe that. I, I will do this for as long as I possibly can. It’s one of the beauties of this job that, as we do get older, and as we age, physical limitations that might hinder us in other careers —
Anne: No yeah.
Gabby: They will not hinder you here. We have a lot of individuals who thrive in voiceover, who have varying disabilities, and they do quite well.
Gabby: And you know, chronic illness, whatever the case may be, you know, you get — you and I both know, from just a medical standpoint —
Gabby: We can absolutely still do this and work around those things. And so yeah, age is but a number. It’s all a matter of how you feel at heart, and, and in your head.
Anne: Yeah, and you’re never, never too old.
Gabby: No. I think the only handicap, if there is one in voiceover that I’ve seen as we get older is the dreaded mouth noise. Right? It’s the [does mouth noise] and all that stuff, because it does. It tends to get worse with age just because the muscles in the tissue in our mouths —
Gabby: It becomes more slack.
Anne: I’ve got a spray for that.
Gabby: Exactly! oh my God, thank you! Hello!
Anne: I do have a spray for that. Yeah, lots of stuff that can help.
Gabby: What is, what is your mouth, what is that one called specifically?
Anne: My vocal throat spray. Absolutely.
Gabby: Vocal throat spray.
Anne: Vocal throat spray, which is available on VO BOSS, by the way.
Gabby: Yeah, and it’s amazing for that. There are a handful of other products as well on the market. I like yours because we know what the heck’s in it.
Gabby: That’s, that’s really the big push for me because some of these other things are a little questionable.
Anne: Yeah, I, I totally agree.
Gabby: Oh my God, super hydration, which, you know is good for you at any age regardless, so there you go. But other than that, I can’t think of any big downfall to being in this and being over the age of, I don’t know, 40.
Anne: Yeah. And the only physical limitations would be really, it’s, it’s up to — that really is just up to you. But based on roles, I would say if you’re gonna be in a videogame, and you’re gonna be, you know, fighting a battle, maybe, possibly uh that might be a little more difficult for you, but I actually doubt that. [laughs]
Gabby: I’m always amazed by the things that voice actors are able to do and portray from a seated position.
Anne: Yeah. Yeah.
Anne: Absolutely. Absolutely. So.
Gabby: So there you go. Bosses at any age, don’t let it deter you. Go at it.
Anne: Go out there and be a BOSS. Thanks so much to our sponsor, ipDTL. You can find out more at ipdtl.com.
Gabby: And for more things in the BOSS sphere, you can go to our website, voboss.com. Also all the socials, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and please be sure to subscribe to us, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play.
Gabby: Spotify. So many formats.
Anne: Hey, and I want to say thanks so much for you guys. We’ve kind of had a plea out there for you guys to go and rate us on iTunes. Thank you so much of the of you that have done that, and if you haven’t done it, it’s super simple. Simply go to our podcast on iTunes and go all the way down at the bottom where it says “rate,” give us lots of stars, and give us lots of love, and we’ll — we love you. We’ll love you right back.
Gabby: Yeah. We love stars, and we love you.
Gabby: Thanks, everybody.
Anne: Have a great week, and we’ll see you next week.
VO: Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved, Anne Ganguzza Voice Talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast-to-coast connectivity via ipDTL.
Anne: Hello and welcome! [laughs] [singing] Money, money, money, mo-ney — [speaking] can we do that without like —
Gabby: Do you know how many cease and desist letters I’ve gotten in my life?
Anne: Oh OK.
Gabby: The worst-case scenario is just that, they would cease and desist us, and then we go, “oh my God, I’m so sorry!” And then we take it down. I re-edit it, and we repost it. It’s like nothing.
Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO — I don’t like that. OK.
Gabby: [raspberry sound]
Anne: [laughs] Welll-come.
Gabby: Take two.
Anne: OK. Oh, I’m dry. So dry.
Gabby: Don’t be dry.
Anne: It’s dry. My tongue is dry. Let me spray something, just because. Crusty. It’s crusty like, you know.
Anne: My, my tongue is crusty. That’s just gross.
Gabby: Oh gross.
Anne: It’s just gross.
Gabby: Crusty Ganguzza.
Gabby: [singing] la la la la laaa la la. We make the promos. La la la la laa laa.
Gabby: [in accent] Is, is you Mac or PCs? She no hear me. I sit all alone in little box and talk to myself. No one hears me.
Laila: I can hear myself, but I can’t hear you.
Laila: Let me do one, one quick thing. I’m just, I just need one, one quick minute.
Gabby: You have to pee, don’t you?
Laila: Yeah. I do have to pee.
Laila: It’ll only take a second. Alright.
Gabby: That’s fine. Go, go pee-pee. [laughs] We, we understand the need for the pee-pee breaks around here. Very important stuff.
Anne: Pee is important. Pee, pee is important.
Gabby: She’s gotta, she’s got to pee-pee. Little lady’s got to pee-pee.
Anne: Very important. Pee is important.
Gabby: I, I remember the days, you know, when I had like the bladder of a 12-year-old, and I could hold it for like a day and a half. Not anymore. Yeah.
Anne: Oh, now I’m all about peeing though. I’m like, “oh, I got to get rid of the toxins.”
Gabby: Yeah. It’s not even that. I’m just, I drink too much freaking water. I am like, “oh my God.”
Anne: But that’s good. You’re flushing your system out.
Gabby: Yeah, my, my kidneys are delightful. You ever need one, you just let me know.
Gabby: We’re good. We’re very, we’re very big on urinary health around here.
Gabby: Very important things.
Laila: Yes. [laughs]
Gabby: A little, a little higher.
Laila: It’s too low? A little bit higher?
Gabby: A little higher.
Laila: How about now? A little bit now? A little bit more?
Gabby: That’s delightful.
Anne: A little bit higher now. A little bit higher.
Gabby: [singing] A little bit higher now.
Anne: [singing] A little bit higher now. [speaking] OK.
Gabby: Uh! I don’t sing, bitches.
Laila: Look at you now, om shacka lacka lacka om! om! Shake a con, shake a con, everybody shake a con. [laughs]
Gabby: Whatever we’ve got.
Laila: “My lonely ass and me” will be right back after this brief commercial interruption.
Laila: Dehydrated eggs. Mmm.