Does relying on data kill the creative mind?

Does the posting of online data to get more views, subscribers, and listeners, do more to harm the creative mindset?

How to make sure you bore people to deathdata

If you are a voice actor, you should consider yourself an artist. But what happens when your “art” becomes “consistent”? If you are a voice actor with knowledge of the book ‘Audition’ by Michael Shurtleff, you may be aware that chapter 3 of this book is one sentence long and reads:

“Consistency is the death of good acting”

Keep this in mind every time someone posts online advice telling you “how much you should say” or posts about the “right length for everything”. What this often reads like to the artist is:

a. Something great cannot be great if it is too long.
b. Everything online has to conform to a dogma of mob rule.
c. Forget creativity. Play by the numbers.

There is no greater way to kill a creative spirit than to constrict them to playing by the numbers. Playing by numbers is a safety measure to “copy what already exists”, and not seek “what is possible”. What new voice actors working online are lead to believe through a daily assault of data is that, “If I follow ALL the rules, I will certainly get work”.

In the process their creative mind shuts down and begins to follow guideposts for things like “length”, “characters”, and “numbers behind certain behavior”. All of it is nonsense because a true artist knows “consistency” is the quickest way to lull a person to sleep.

Real artists…they make their own rules

The perception on that statement alone leads one to believe, “Following your own rules makes you difficult to work with.” This is not true. The best artists in the world take chances and break rules. They give their interpretation of what they see, and if that interpretation works, they are successful. What is the antithesis of creativity is trying to drive artistic interpretation through data. To do such a thing is to copy what already exists thereby stalling creative evolution.

What makes certain voice over work better paying and higher quality, especially more than those jobs online who seek to follow what has been done, is that you work with voice artists who take risks with the script in front of them. Recently, Realtime Casting begin advertising their voice actors through the auditions submitted. In comparison to auditions heard elsewhere, the first thing you notice are voice “artists” giving their own interpretation of “what will make the script stand out”. Each audition is different. Each audition has its own “sound”. Therefore, they know if someone did not want to hire them, it is because what they did was not a good fit. They need no dictatorship of data to tell them, “You did something wrong.”

Wrong? Is an artist ever wrong if they are doing what they truly believe is right? There could be data to prove this is true in the minds of those who are guided by data, but the fact still remains: Those voice actors who are allowed to be artists, take the risk to do so, and only listen to critics when they know the critic has touched a creative nerve, are those who get paid better. If you consider the fact that these voice actors have to market themselves for what they do, their marketing will become boring if they abandon their creative ways because “a top marketing expert did a survey that said something should only 500 words”. This blog post was 603 words, so far. I hope you are still reading, despite my insubordination.

Great examples of people who broke the rules and ignored initial data

1. Casting websites

voice over casting







2. The inventor of the cassette tape, CD, and mp3

3. Any fashion style from the 1970’s

4. Any rock band between 1950 and 2005, before social media started to dictate “what people should do or not do”.  It is hard to tell who is still “creating”, and not just guided by data, these days.

Bob Dylan
5. Real and conversational voice actors


Where would the creative world be, if all they ever did was watch what others did, then let data tell them what to do next?

If you would like to sign up for our newsletter and see what Realtime Casting is up to in the voice over world, please create a profile or post a project today. We are debunking data and going after SAG-AFTRA voice work only. Despite the data, we do know this is the type of work people want to see more.

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