Book Review: “How to Succeed in Voice-Overs Without Ever Losing” by Jack Angel

Regular listeners to the Voice Acting Mastery Podcast may remember the interview I had with my good friend and legendary voice actor, Jack Angel. You can listen to the interview in episodes 13, 14 & 15 of the podcast. During that interview, Jack discussed his thoughts and insights from many years working on such famous animated series as Superfriends, G.I. Joe, Voltron and the original Transformers. Many of my listeners found Jack’s wisdom helpful and encouraging.

Well, Jack has now published a book about his approach to voice acting. It’s called:

How to Succeed in Voice-Overs Without Ever Losing

This book takes an inspiring and refreshingly candid look at the world of Voice Over, offering some perspectives you may have never heard anywhere else. In it, Jack expands on many of the concepts we touched on in our interview together, especially the idea that auditions in voice over are not a “rejection” process, but merely a “selection” process. To quote Jack on page 5 of his book:

“The plain truth of the matter is that there ain’t no damn rejection! The process of auditioning is one of selection, not rejection. Rejection happens only when you cause it.”

The power of Jack’s book is in the upbeat yet professional mindset he shares with his readers. His explanations are detailed, accessible and entertaining. They also come from experience. Jack’s view of the industry has been battle-tested, yet he remains essentially optimistic about a newcomer’s chances of breaking in to the world of voice over. On page 1 he begins his book by saying:

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “You can’t break into voice-overs. It’s a closed profession.” Well, it may look that way, but guess what? All you have to say is, ”I’m in!” and everyone will scooch over a tad to make room for you.”

In Jack’s paradigm, it’s almost like the world of voice over is a mirror that reflects back to you what you believe about it. However, this doesn’t mean Jack believes that all you need to do to make it as a voice actor is to think positively. Far from it. He continues on to say:

“Of course, we’ll eat you alive if you jump in without knowing what you’re doing. That’s why classes were invented. So take a few classes, learn the language of the game… Then, practice, practice, practice!”

Clearly, in addition to fostering a positive outlook, one needs to develop the craft of voice acting in order to succeed. Voice over is a competitive business. But what I truly appreciate about Jack’s approach in the book is his belief that the mindset of a professional voice actor is the first ingredient. Working on one’s craft comes after the mental and emotional decision that one is fascinated enough with voice acting to make a career out of it. If you can commit to identifying yourself as a voice actor first, the actions you need to take in order to realize your dream will begin to appear to you. While this approach may sound a little mysterious at first, trust me: many successful voice actors have had personal experience applying it in their careers, and those who know Jack appreciate his viewpoint.

Case in point: I was recently filling up my car at a gas station not far from my home in southern California. A man on the other side of the pump recognized me. He asked, “Are you Crispin Freeman?” I was a little wary at first, not knowing who he was, but my fears were quickly allayed. He introduced himself as Scott Menville, voice of Robin in the animated series Teen Titans in addition to many other famous roles. I was honored to meet Scott and was surprised our paths had not crossed before. Scott complimented me on the Voice Acting Mastery podcast, and I thanked him for his appreciation. As we were both turning to leave, he stopped me and said, “By the way, I really loved that interview you did with Jack Angel. He was dropping science!” I totally agreed with him. When Jack speaks about voice acting, it really feels like you’re getting profound life wisdom directly from a veteran of the voice over world.

I highly recommend How to Succeed in Voice-Overs Without Ever Losing to anyone looking to become a professional voice actor.

You can purchase Jack’s book on Amazon, or you can find out more about Jack and his experiences on his website at www.JackAngel.com. I hope you find Jack’s insights useful and best of luck in your voice acting endeavors!

 

17 Responses to “Book Review: “How to Succeed in Voice-Overs Without Ever Losing” by Jack Angel”

  1. Eric Rivera says:

    Excellent. I shall add it to my collection as soon as I am able. Thank you for your time and wisdom.

  2. Erin Cushing says:

    Your interview with him was so informative and enlightening; I’ll definitely have to look into his book. Thank you for the heads up, and the insightful review.

  3. Michael says:

    I’ll put it as a note here in my office so I can purchase it in some time. But this is nice information Mr. Freeman thank you for the insights on helping us for our voice acting endeavors. You’re a very generous man, I salute you, and you also might be a great voice acting veteran someday too. Just keep up the good work kiddo you’re getting there in the voice acting business. As they say “It’s show time” and “Break a leg” while as I’ll keep practicing as you quoted for Jack Angel himself. But thank you very much really Mr. Freeman for that much gratitude.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Thank you. That’s very kind of you.

      • Michael says:

        you’re welcome my good man. 😉

        • Michael says:

          Plus you’re still young and alluring, you have a long way to go to become a voice acting veteran like Jack Angel. But don’t fret you’ll get there chap all in good time and actually for a young man at your age you must be 29 I assume correct Mr. Freeman?

          • Crispin Freeman says:

            Thank you for your kind words. A quick google search will let you know how old I am.

          • Michael says:

            Alright I will this should be suprising thank you.

          • Michael says:

            You’re 41! But you look so young Mr. Freeman I mean I’m pretty young myself but you its like an exaggeration youth. My you have been taking care of yourself very well Sir. I am suprised.

  4. David Nelson says:

    Wow i can’t believe i just now found out about this book! I’m going to order it right now. Thanks for posting this Crispin.

    Can’t wait to see you in the months ahead.

  5. Adam says:

    Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into all this, I really appreciate all the sage advice. I love listening to Jack Angel. I keep thinking to myself, “wow, Zarkon really turned out to be a pretty nice guy. Team Voltron never really gave him a chance, I don’t think.”

    Anyway, I’ve been trying to move forward with a career in voice acting, but I can’t seem to find any classes or coaches in my area. I live in Syracuse, NY which isn’t exactly a big market as far as the arts are concerned. Any advice for where those of us in similar situations should look?

  6. Ed Moran says:

    For those of us who prefer the Nook to the Kindle, you can pick up How To Succeed In Voice-Overs Without Ever Losing for less than 4 bucks as a Nook Book! I’m halfway through it already and I’m enjoying the heck out of it. Thanks for the heads-up!

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