A long long time ago… when people sought to learn new things, they would seek out the masters. This process meant a great commitment, and most likely, a lifestyle upheaval. Then mastery of craft led to guilds, and guilds, they say, led to universities, and great institutions of learning were built. In fact, they are so great, that the very best of them are often extremely expensive to attend, and still may mean a lifestyle upheaval, or a debt to last for all eternity… *sigh* However, to those who value a good education, it is indeed worth it.
It is human nature to seek knowledge, and for those of us who are constantly seeking, and have shamefully long since lost track of our library cards, a great and powerful invention has made almost anything we can imagine, or wonder about, just a search field and enter button away! Yay Interwebs!
I am the type of person who never reads instruction manuals, at least, not unless I really have to. Now, if I want to avoid fumbling through on instinct alone, I can just call upon the wise people on the interwebs to show me exactly what I need to do… or at least what not to do through their mistakes.
These are the masters of today, and they usually have the subscribers to prove it! I know most are not technically masters of any kind, and some have no clue what they are doing at all, but there are still a great many who choose to share their wisdom with the world. For that I am grateful. Like seriously, thanks guys.
Every day I consult google scholars to learn facts, then fact check those facts, and then fact check the fact checkers who fact checked those facts. If I have the slightest curiosity about anything, ANYTHING, the great and powerful google (or bing, or whatever search engine scholar you may prefer) will present me with information on the subject. Seriously, anything. Don’t believe me? Click the pic.
Then there is the acclaimed YouTube University (at least in my mind), of which I am a full time student of. YouTube is not only a great source of entertainment that makes me marvel at humanity, then lose faith in humanity, then marvel at humanity one more… YouTube is an incredible hub connecting us with people who can’t wait to tell you what they know, or show you what they can do.
We humans are so creative, It’s scary. Yes, some of that “creativity” can literally be scary, but I still appreciate the platform. Then, on top of that, I can consult all the great masters, the mediocre masters too, the great and kinda ok thinkers and philosophers, and the actual or self-proclaimed professors that YouTube has to offer!
What does this have to do with voice over? Well, I’m glad you asked.
As a voice actor, I not only use YouTube for general research, or to follow specific voice over mentors (How awesome is Bill Dewees. Hint: Very!), or listen to voice over related interviews (seriously, you must watch vobuzzweekly), but it has become an invaluable resource for refining my skills, and gaining new ones (from accents, to vocal warmups, to how I built this very site).
So I guess this is really just my love letter to YouTube. It’s not perfect, but perfection is overrated anyway. A major part of YouTube U’s curriculum is discerning what information is actually valuable to you.
Yes, I still read books, and see live performances, and attend classes taught in person by people with things like certifications, degrees, or actual experience, but I do truly heart the freedom and the FREEness (monetarily and figuratively) of YouTube.
I’m sure most of you can relate, but for those of you who are reluctant to embrace the idea of YouTube University, I would like to encourage you to take a few courses. Don’t worry if you find a bad teacher. Even in school that can’t be totally avoided, and there are probably many more experts teaching the exact same subject. Is your inner skeptic giving you the side eye for even considering learning from a YouTube channel? When in doubt, just fact check, and then fact check that fact check. There are countless learning opportunities waiting for you to search , enter, and find them. Browse forth, new knowledge awaits!