I was thinking today that for my 99th post I wanted to make it special. I wrote up a nice chunk about my history… then deleted it. Who cares what my history is… I’m 34 and God is still throwing me curve balls left and right to test my Mettle.
What I wanted to bring to your attention today is a focus on the amount of power we wield. In 1839 Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote:“The Pen is Mightier Than The Sword”
And what are these scripts that we read as voice over talent except words written down using a digital pen on a bed of letters and keys.
Why is it that when we get casting direction we get told to be Authoritative or Warm, or Convincing.
Because the Voice is even mightier than the pen. For though the pen writes eloquently the voice expresses infinitely more.
Why is a Podcast so much more entertaining than an article written? is it because we are lazy and don’t wish to tire our eyes. Or is it because as human beings we make connections with each syllable from the caster, with each inflection, with every emotion that seeps through the words that flow out of them we relate.
I believe in accountability. I believe that what we say should be a reflection of what we are willing to be accountable for. Just like a lawyer who defends a murderer… and knows he is a murderer and yet still gets him acquitted because he wants to show off how good he is, or how convincing he is. Or get a big fat Paycheck.
There is a saying attributed to Samuel Johnson (but it is not confirmed as his originally) that states:
“The Road to Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions”
This goes against Islamic doctrine since according to the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
“Deeds are only by intentions, for each man is only what he has intended, and so whoevers hijrah is for Allah and his messenger صلي الله عليه وسلم, then indeed his hijrah is only to Allah and his messenger صلي الله عليه وسلم. But whoevers hijrah is to the world he wishes to acquire or a woman he seeks to marry, then his hijrah is only to that which he has actually immigrated.”
Hijra : Immigration
Allah: God in Arabic
So … what does that mean? It means that you are accountable for your intent. If I am preaching Goodness to you and then go and commit evil behind your back… then that only makes me a hypocrite and makes my word less meaningful.
So if we take any and every voice over job that comes our way… does that make us Hypocrites… promoters of things we do not believe in. Is that all that we stand for? Making money?
I don’t believe that we are hypocrites. I believe that we are people who God has given the gift of oration. A gift far mightier than the pen and in turn the sword.
We are the voices of authority that convince people and teach and command. We are the convincers, the negotiators the promoters.
It is funny that such profound words of wisdom were propogated via a comic book character.
“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”
I don’t know who wrote those words for Spiderman… Stan Lee… that other guy Avi or Ari something. But the words ring true to me in almost everything I do. If I am given the responsibility of being the voice of authority.
Then I should treat this great power with great responsibility. If you doubt what I say and don’t believe that the power of the voice is so profound. Then read up on the War Of The Worlds panic that occured in 1938.
Maybe its not my place to talk about ethics… to each his own… but as a voice among many other voices I can’t help but think that being a voice over talent means much more than just an mp3 sound file that someone puts on a documentary or an advert.
These are words of power.