1. Pay attention to trends. Watch TV, surf the web, listen to the radio. Are the commonly heard voices quirky, real or announcer-y? Do they have texture, smoothness or crispness? Trust and train your ears; they are your best assets. Use them well so you can continue in this business for a long, long time.
2. Don't let other actors' egos interfere with your confidence or performance. Trust your work and forget comments and posts that get to you.
3. Learn from your mistakes as well as your successes. Personal growth comes through experience. Tough clients make us better performers.
4. Get to know your agent(s) and clients on a personal level, not just as hands that feed you. People like to help friends.
5. Develop a strong stomach. Divorce yourself from any life or client tensions and concentrate on doing the best voice-over job possible.
6. If you're working in a professional recording studio, learn to "read the room." Are you the first to perform or the last actor of the day? You're there to do a job. Don't let your insecurities or need for attention add to the problem. Don't overstay your welcome, either. Be brief, be brilliant, be gone.
7. Use your body rather than your brain. Thinking too much lessens the believability. Trust and commit.
8. Don't get discouraged. It takes time, commitment, marketing, and talent to succeed. Set goals and work toward them.
9. Prepare yourself for lean times. Contracts come and go. You may be a top earner one day and lose the account to a competitor the next. You'll have busy spells and dry spells. That's freelance for you.
10. When you perform, never become less than who you are. Keep your personality alive. Feel the power in the gut. Trust your intuition and creativity. Let your inner child out to play.
11. Strive on a consistent basis to perform at the highest level: unconsciously competent. Creatively, this business isn't that hard. We just make it that way by getting in our own way. Trust, relax, breathe, and believe.
12. Prepare yourself before each meeting, audition, or job. Think and feel first before speaking. Practice, commitment, and trust are the keys to your success.
When you open up your imagination and let the words come alive, the real fun begins! Bank on it.
Excerpted from third edition of "There's Money Where Your Mouth Is," by Elaine Clark. To order your copy visit: Amazon.com