"I Voiceover, Therefore I Am"
by Peter K. O’Connell

aka "Why Peter Chose a Career in Voiceover"

EDITORS NOTE: Having presented a well received talk to broadcast and media students at a local college, O'Connell was told by a few academia in attendance (i.e. the grown-ups) that he should write down some of his ideas from his fairly improvised presentation. They thought the students found it really helpful and that others might as well.

O'Connell decided right then he should have charged the students more. ;)

So, the following was born of the question:

"How did you know you wanted to work in voiceover?"


TRUTH BE TOLD, for a good portion of my childhood, I thought my name was “Shushbequiet” --- probably because I was always talking, creating voices and making intentionally funny sounds. And it was not just because I was the youngest in my family (well, maybe a little bit).

In hindsight, it’s not that big a stretch that I would grow-up to become a professional male voiceover talent. When I was in kindergarten, our class went on a field trip to a radio station (WEBR) where I saw microphones and audio boards and I knew instantly that radio (and then later television) were going to play an important role in my life.

In early elementary school, I would draw radio and TV studios on notepads ---giant microphones and big ol’ cameras everywhere! In 2nd grade, a teacher pulled me out of class so she could hear my impression of then-President Nixon.

Yup, I had groupies in 2nd grade (as Foghorn Leghorn used to say: "That's a joke, son!").

In 8th grade, we had to create a realistic model of a theatre…I knew exactly how and what I wanted to make and got an A+, best grade in the class! In boring high school classes, I would draw TV channel logos in my notebooks. Weird, I know.

In my junior year of high school, I secured course credit for the school’s first-ever broadcast internship (at Foxy 93, no less), working early mornings in the News department and in the afternoons in the Programming department.

Then I went on to a major university that owned a 50,000-watt FM commercial radio station! You bet a got an on-air job at WVUD-FM and went on to win the ratings race in my time slot while also serving as commercial production manager.

From that point to today, I’ve always been recording voice-overs, even when I wasn’t doing voice-overs full time. From the first time I heard myself on a local radio spot (big thrill), to hearing my voiceover work on a national television commercial (huge thrill) to having my own voiceover company featuring my voice work, as well as other male, female and international voice talents worldwide, it’s been a great ride.

Looking back, all the signs were there...voiceover as my career really makes sense.

Let me know if you’d like to work together…we’ll have fun! Thanks!

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