I have been a full time Voice Over Artist since 1998 and a Voice Coach since 2000. I have been fortunate to have done a fair amount of quality Voice Over work in every genre , not only for India, but overseas as well. However, as a child, I was the most unlikely candidate to ever become a professional Voice Over Artist. Certainly not a voice Over Artist whose voice would one day be heard around the globe. I had a speech defect, and could not form words and make myself understood clearly like normal children till the age of eight. Children with such handicaps were dismissed as being mentally retarded in those days. There was many a night when I went to sleep in tears from the relentless teasing by other students in the Nilgiri Hill station Boarding School where I was admitted. Even after that, speaking clearly was a battle for me, all the way to my early teens.
Now this was at a time when Child Physiologists and speech therapists didn’t exist and words like Autism and dyslexia were unheard of. But I was determined to speak clearly and struggled very hard to overcome my handicap. I would go into the surrounding forests of the school campus and try to recite aloud, passages from Shakespeare or the Psalms. By the time I reached high school, my efforts began to pay off and I was actually able to take part in dramatics. This gave my self esteem and self confidence an enormous boost. I was also active in dramatics throughout my college days and even won a few all India Inter collegiate awards too. I have not mentioned all of the above to pat myself on the back. I have done so, in order that children and also the Parents of children with similar handicaps never give up hope.
After almost 28 years in the Merchant Navy, I felt the need to quit and do something ashore. As a single parent I felt the need to be home for my son who was staying with my brother in Bangalore at that time. So during my leave, I joined a workshop being conducted by Mr. Partap Sharma who was a legend as a Voice Over artist. During this workshop I realized that maybe, I could possibly make a career of Voice Over. This was a risky career change at the age of forty seven. From a secure tax free US dollar job, I took the plunge into the unchartered waters of the performing art of Voice Overs. Initially the going was tough because nobody would take a chance with an unknown beginner. But after two years of struggle, my career began to settle down and I had some good clients and a steady income. For a newcomer, I was very fortunate to get some rather prestigious assignments too. From here on, there was no looking back after that.
Documentaries and campaigns I gave my voice for represented India at various international film festivals including Cannes. Many of my documentaries were being heard worldwide on National Geographic , Discovery and Fox History. Some are available on DVDs too. Some of the Corporate Audio Visuals I gave my voice for, were being awarded the ABCI Awards for excellence in corporate communications. At the 2013 Goa Fest, out of three projects I gave my voice for, two of them won Gold and one of them won bronze. One of these projects that won Gold, went on to represent India at the 2013 Cannes Film festival.
I guess you could say I had finally arrived from a long hard journey. Today apart from being a full time Voice Over Artist with a loyal clientele in India and abroad, I am also a voice coach. I am very happy to say that as a Voice Coach, I have had many aspiring Participants who have made very successful careers as Voice Over Artists, TV Anchors and corporate executives today. Apart from that, young MBAs to CEOs in the corporate sector began to join the voice coaching classes in order to improve their Voice Modulation, Neutralize their Accent and pronunciation. They joined the course in order to acquire more effective vocal presentation skills. Beauty contestants began to realize how crucial their speaking skills were in order to be a winner. Aspiring Talk Show Hosts, News Anchors and Celebrities saw the the advantages of this Voice Coaching course and signed up in order to get that edge over the competition.