"I love a challenge and will do whatever it takes to meet the complete satisfaction of my clients as well as their clients." - Tom Chalker
After working for 15 years as an announcer for countless sporting and fundraising events, including gigs at the Ford Field in Detroit and at the Pontiac Silverdome, Tom Chalker decided it was time to heed the advice of those around him and make his voice-over career "hit the big time." Tom signed up for Such A Voice's Premier MasterClass—and the rest, as they say, is history!
Since training with Such A Voice in 2006, Tom has taken his career to the next level. We asked him how many jobs he’s gotten since. "There are too many to list here,” he answered. “I’ve done numerous commercials for both radio and TV. I’ve even been both on camera and behind the camera as a spokesperson for a local lumber company." Tom's success demonstrates not only his drive to succeed but also the amount of time and effort he invests into every project he completes. In his words, "I love a challenge and will do whatever it takes to meet the complete satisfaction of my clients as well as their clients.”
His dedication has paid off, opening doors to many voice-over opportunities. He’s proud to have landed a job narrating two seasons (2007-2008) of the TV show Americana Outdoors, airing on the Versus channel. Although he lost this account for the 2009 season when the company took the show in a different direction, the disappointment has not stopped him from continuing to pursue his dream. "Like any other business you win some, you lose some, so I keep pressing on," he says.
And he is pressing on—impressively. While already associated with talent agencies Productions Plus and The I Group, Tom plans to get noticed by other talent agencies and expand his acting career through classes. He’s increasingly involved in films as well. After working on the set of "Whip It," directed by Drew Barrymore, and "Betty Ann Waters," directed by Tony Goldwyn, he discovered that working on film sets is not only a lot of fun but also a great way to network.
How does Tom succeed over and over again? Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up! Tom works diligently to market himself throughout the United States and has even sent his demo to a company in Poland. According to Tom, the key to a successful marketing plan is "being consistent with what you're doing" and "following up within two weeks. . . especially when you send your demo as a MP3 file." In this case, Tom usually follows up in 72 hours or less because the client receives it immediately via e-mail. Tom also checks in with clients and prospects once a month, so he generally makes sales calls every day. He makes sure to keep his demos fresh and consistent with the work he is trying to get.
“If what you’re doing to market yourself as a voice artist isn’t getting results then it’s time to review what you’re doing and [find] what changes need to be made to make the results pour in,” Tom says. “You know what you’re doing works when you get a response from the prospects and clients, a response that is either positive or negative. Either way, you want a response from your efforts!”
Such advice demonstrates just how positive Tom is about what he does. And why shouldn't he be? He’s doing what he loves! Not only does Tom love the freedom and flexibility that comes with working for himself as a voice-over artist, he loves the feeling of being able to create his own success. "When you work for yourself, you control your destiny," he says.
Tom has done just that. Meanwhile, he’s also turning the other thing he loves about being a voice-over artist, the income potential, into a reality. Tom recently provided a voice-over for a new client. He invested a very short amount of time for the $900 he got in return. "Most people would have to work over 40 hours to make that kind of income. I did it in less than 5 hours."
“Don’t give up,” Tom advises. “If you truly believe that you have a good voice and the desire to succeed as a voice artist then never ever give up! There are times when your e-mail inbox is flowing with steady streams of projects … and then there are weeks … maybe months where the flow is down to a trickle … It’s at this time that you need to really increase your consistency and keep your attitude in check. Business is like a wheelbarrow: It only works when you push it!”
Can he sound like the late, great Don LaFontaine? "Heavens no,” Tom says. “But then again, Don LaFontaine couldn’t sound like me, either."
To listen to Tom's demo or to learn more about his voice-over career, visit his Voice Fact page at http://www.myvodemo.com/such/index.cfm?world=2115 or his Web site at http://www.tomchalker.com/38201.html.