Voice-over: You may be in the minors, but play like you’re a major

I took my family to a hockey game last night and we had a really good time, cheering on the Everett Silvertips. Never heard of them? That’s because they’re a minor league team. You won’t see them going up against the Kings or the Sharks. They play against teams from Kamloops and Kelowna. Unless you’re a diehard Canadian hockey fan, you probably haven’t heard of them either.

But these guys played with all their heart. They checked with the best of them, they played different strategies: Zone, man-on-man, whatever. They shot hard and accurately, and if it weren’t for their fantastic goalies, the game would have been higher scoring than it was. They played like real pros.

The point is, these guys were in the minors, but they didn’t act like it. They played as if the Stanley Cup was riding on this game. At no point did any of their playing indicate they took the attitiude of “hey, I’m only in the minors, I’m going to play like I’m less than excellent.” They know that while they may only be in the minors, but the only way they’ll get to the majors is to play the best game they can.

You may not be Joe Cipriano or the late great Don. Your Voice over career may be in the minor leagues, but you need to act as professionally as the big guys.

You need to be as confident as the major leaguers.
You need to bring the best quality you can.
You need to be as professional as the CEO of a Forbes 500 company.
Don’t ever make excuses for a poor performance. Make the performance better. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the minors. Don’t ever give the attitude to your clients that you are anything but a consummate professional.

In short, like those minor league hockey players, you need to play your heart out.  So keep practicing, keep training, keep working out. Keep being the best talent you can be, no matter where your position in the industry.

And go Silvertips!


About Jeffrey Kafer

I am a Seattle-based voice over artist specializing in audiobooks, but also working in corporate narration and commercials. You can find me at http://audiobook-voice-over.com View all posts by Jeffrey Kafer

5 responses to “Voice-over: You may be in the minors, but play like you’re a major

  • Robin Halcomb


    Just the inspiration needed. Thanks!


  • Ralph Hass

    Hello from Kelowna, BC Jeff!
    Your team just traded it’s best player, Kyle Beach. He is from Kelowna. #10 pick overall last year in the NHL draft. Could you please add an “S” to Kamloop to fix the spelling? NHL captains like Jarome Iginla, Scott Niedermayer and Shane Doan all played there. I would hate to see them come after you:) Kamloops has been Kelowna’s biggest rival since the team moved here from Tacoma years ago. I also would like to say the Western Hockey League (WHL) is not a minor league. Players are not paid but many are only a step away from the BIG leagues:) The WHL is a member of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) whose membership is comprised of three major junior (sounds better than minor I think) hockey leagues: Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and the WHL. Besides doing imaging work for a third year now wih the Buffalo Sabres on MSG-TV, I am in year two wih Shaw Cable in Canada for WHL broadcasts. Our promos always mention: Catch the N-H-L stars of tomorrow today… The Western Hockey League… building the world’s finest talent. Glad to hear you like hockey Jeff!

    Best, Ralph http://www.HasTheVoice.com

  • Jeffrey Kafer

    Interesting, Ralph. I’m actually not a huge hockey fan. I go once a year with my son’s cub scout pack. But of all the live sports to watch, I’d prefer Hockey. Though, it boggles me why fighting is accepted. The refs just stand there and let it happen until someone hits the ice.

    And I really hope you didn’t miss the point of my post. 🙂

  • Karen Commins

    Hi, Jeffrey! I love the analogy that you presented between hockey and voice-over. Even minor league players are paid professionals, but they were playing and training long before they entered the minor leagues. Everyday, they aspire to improve and rise to a higher level of play.

    Before we ever see the major leagues in our reality, we first have to see — and believe — it exists for us in our minds. To quote Anatole France: To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

    And, to quote the signs of corporate America: ALTITUDE is defined by ATTITUDE!

    Thanks for the great post, and best wishes for your continued success!

    PS. I also liked your post about being firm on price and not haggling like a flea market vendor anxious to make a sale. The stories really make your point, so keep up the great work!

    Karen Commins

  • Ralph Hass

    Hi Jeff,
    I did enjoy your post very much! When you mentioned “these guys played with all their heart” I thought of all the fine voiceover people we know who bring a real passion to their work. I also really like having a flexible schedule.

    Last night at about this time I finished a “rush job” for an elearning client. Unwinding afterwards, I had an email from a local Buffalo Sabres fan looking for some advice on getting started in voiceover. As I have done in the past, I sent them this link from Karen Commins:

    Yes, it really is a small world Jeff – and Karen:)

    Ralph http://www.HasTheVoice.com

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