• Michael Barrows

VO Blog: Starting From the Beginning

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

My journey began in December 2020, however this has been waiting in the wings for a while. The direction though remains a little uncertain.

For months now i have been feeling despondent in my current job as a therapist for a children's mental health service. The move to virtual work has brought fatigue and a feeling that i am not making the changes that i was before. I do nit feel like I'm doing the best job. On top of that, in the UK we are on our 3rd lockdown and not only are my clients suffering with this, but I too am feeling its effects.

Voice Over work appealed to me as something wholly different for me. The idea of going to work, making something meaningful and then coming home sounded great. Now doing get me wrong, the job i do is very meaningful, however i come home with nothing tangible and with working in therapy, you never know what happens to a client when they leave.

So anyway, practically I have very little skill, so it would be a harder journey to start there, but I have often been told I have a relaxing tone and nice manner so like most others who get given this message, I thought...lets use that.

So the first step was to learn about the profession. I joined a group called 'Gravy for the Brain' (GFTB), who provide courses, webinars and mentoring for becoming a Voice Over/Artist. So far, I'm enjoying that, learning a lot, but despite my having little practical skill, I'm oddly a practical learner so, I needed to have a little play around.

So I brought my Rode NTA-1 along with a Focusrite Audio Interface. Sound some audio and video editing software, which nicely came from a Humble Bundle sale, so i got something and so did charity! I completed a sound test with my new gear and submitted it to the mentoring section for home studios at GFTB. Feedback was as expected that my noise floor was too loud.

So now is the challenge of sound proofing. But at the same time my head is filled with the other messages I'm getting around branding, marketing myself and creating relationships. So with what time I've had, I've made some acoustic panels, made a website, signed up for social media and started to feel a little overwhelmed. The brand is still in development and will take the most work i think. I've spent 15 years training and working in mental health, it's also my current income for my family. So brand wise... I want to have some connection between my VO work and mental health. This is starting to mount up to be a lot of work.

Next steps? Work on soundproofing overtime, perhaps apply for some e-learning work as I don't have any acting experience so my Voice Acting potential is a little limited at this time, but hopefully with logging my journey with Youtube and blog, this is going to give me experience of recording and editing, with hopefully benefiting a few others along the way.

Thanks for's going to be a long and hard road ahead

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