The Ministry of Voiceovers (revisited)

Read, or enjoy the audio version below...

Warning!  I am a satirist!  If you do not have a sense of humor or are easily-offended, these blogs may not be for you. May I interest you in an innocuous episode of Peppa Pig instead?

*originally published June 7th, 2019. Revisited and appended


Voiceovers is an outreach of epic proportions


Voiceovers are a Ministry

Let us talk about ministry for a moment.  Uh-oh.  There goes Josh Alexander again using all those offensive Christiany words.  Where is some garlic and holy water when you need it?!?!

There are all kinds of ministries out there.  Yet sometimes, the very word “ministry” can be a term that just makes you cringe, conjuring up smoke-and-mirrors televangelists who are as hollow as a straw.  Ugh, not those Christians again.

Or maybe you had a bad experience with a ministry.  There’s no way I’ll donate to that ministry again – they’re a bunch of crooks!

Or perhaps you served and just gotten burnt out on ministry and lost love for it, and have nothing left to give.  So you pulled a Buttercup and are now saying "I will never love again."

As a voice talent, how does ministry even pertain to voiceovers in the slightest?  What do they have to do with each other in any way shape or form?

Said in my best Spanish accent: I essplain to joo, so that joo will not escream.

In short, they have everything to do with voiceovers, according to, uh, this blog, and, uh, my opinion.


What even IS ministry?

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First of all, what even is ministry?  Is it not some kind of outreach, an attempt to connect with others, to serve them, for their benefit, so that they are edified, affirmed, helped, or loved?  Bravo.  Yes.

To explain further, ministry and Christianity are indeed mutually exclusive; they do not really have to belong in the same sentence.  Kind of like using "mushrooms" and "delicious" in the same sentence.  Or "Michael Bolton music" and "enjoyable" in the same sentence.  Or "Lauren Boebert" and "sane."  Some things just do not go together.

Ministry is a term coined neither by the Christians nor the Red Cross.  It is not owned by either, and there are no exclusivity or dominion claimed over it.  Ministry is, simply, according to Mirriam Webster:

  • ministry
  •  noun
  • min·​is·​try | \ ˈmi-nə-strē  \
  • plural ministries
  • Definition of ministry
  • 1MINISTRATION the ingenuity of destruction … had outrun the ministry of healing— Dixon Wecter
  • 2the office, duties, or functions of a minister was well prepared for the ministry
  • 3the body of ministers of religion CLERGY joined the Presbyterian ministry
  • 4a person or thing through which something is accomplished AGENCYINSTRUMENTALITY heroic believers become such by the ministry of heroic pain— Austin Phelps
  • 5the period of service or office of a minister or ministry.  Many reforms were enacted during his ministry.
  • 6 often capitalized
  • athe body of ministers governing a nation or state from which a smaller cabinet (see CABINET entry 1 sense 3b) is sometimes selected
  • bthe group of ministers constituting a cabinet
  • 7aa government department presided over by a minister the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • bthe building in which the business of a ministry is transacted


Personally, I prefer definition number four: a person or thing through which something is accomplished.

So what is something then?  Correct!  It is the opposite of nothing.

YARN | Bing again! You are sharp as a tack today! | Groundhog Day (1993) | Video gifs by quotes | f60440e6 | 紗

When I do nothing for anyone, no one benefits.  Except maybe NOT serving mushrooms while Michael Bolton music is playing, or like when I need one of those movie nights with my feet up and thankfully my children did not detect the Benadryl in their milkshakes.  Joking.  Stop dialing CPS.

When I do something for someone, both of us benefit.  Both the server and the servee (I just coined that) benefit.  We both receive some kind of joy and fulfillment through the service.

Ministry is, to me at least, an outreach of giving, whether that is conducted through finances, service, or other resources.  Personally, I love being ministered to through finances.  How about you?


How are voiceovers a ministry?

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I am not going to say anything else before I show you this video.  I do not expect you to watch it in full, but I would hope that you would listen to it.  I did the voiceover for this video a few years ago.  I had no idea what I would be seeing, which is often the case with our scripts.  I was simply given the words to say.  I could not yet see the end product, and had no clue what they were producing.  They honestly did not tell me.  It was up to ME to breathe life into that script and hopefully whack that pinata correctly, like last week's blog.

Another example.  I was recently tasked with narrating an audiobook on tithing.  I am unabashedly a Christian...  (cue Paul Strikwerda getting his panties in a bunch again over my public declarations. See our exchange in his blog comments.  Hi Paul!  He knows I love him...) this is an easy fit for me, because it is Biblical, and I believe it.  So I narrated it.

However - I was not prepared for a story of giving (cited in the book) to hit me so emotionally while voicing it.  It was absolutely moving, and I had to choke back tears as I read it.  My friend and colleague Patrick Kirchner recently shared a similar story about narrating something that made him sob.  This is because Patrick sobs, and I only occasionally sniffle, because I am a man.

I am again just joking.  Patrick, a veteran, is a man's man, and his post was beautiful.  Like his, my script actually ministered to me, the voice talent.  I was nearly crying!

Ultimately, however, this project, and the previous one mentioned, were opportunities for me to minister to people.  I was not hired to simply read words.  I was hired to lift them off of the page, to float them through my microphone, down the XLR cable, into the computer, into my DAW, into the mp3 file, into WeTransfer, into the client’s computer, into their video editing program, into their video, into the finished product, into whatever medium they were broadcasting it in, and then into the listener or viewer’s ears.

But it does not stop there.  It is supposed to go into their heart too.  At least, is that not always the goal?  The goal is to minister to your listener.  The goal is be a person or thing through which something is accomplished.

The ministry of giving is the ministry I employ here.  When I narrate, I give.  It is my job, my pleasure, my ministry, to give through narration.

Thom Pinto says "give a damn."  I believe it.  Damn us if we do not give a damn.  There.  Now we are back to religious equilibrium and you can continue reading as your buttcheeks unclench.


What is the "something?"

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As a voiceover artist, it is always my goal to bring words to life.  To transport the listener.  When I was hired by Discover Long Island to bring their words to life, I had to envision all of the places that they were describing, as I am neither from there, nor have I ever been there.  But when I saw the finished video, it ministered to me, much like the yellow yarn video I linked to above.

The “something”, whatever it is: only you can figure out what you are supposed to do with any given script.  But for me, the “something” that I am supposed to accomplish is:

  • Not sound like I am reading
  • Whisk the listener away to a different time or place
  • Make them feel emotion
  • Try to give them goosebumps
  • To compel
  • To urge
  • To inspire


I can only accomplish that something when I earnestly believe what it is I am reading.  That, truly, is the only way that something can be accomplished through what I do.  That, truly, is the only way real ministry can happen.

Now, when the Red Cross serves, or the Union Gospel Mission doles out soup or soap, or World Vision brings support to communities, or Habitat for Humanity builds houses, they are all performing a ministry, a something that is being accomplished through them.

Why should voiceovers be any less of a ministry?

I am hired to help accomplish something through what I do.  That, my friends, is a ministry.  Whether you are being asked to tug at heartstrings or appeal to pocketbooks, the end goal is the same.  Whether you are being asked to promote a car or a homeless shelter, to plead the case for that new truck or saving those feral cats and dogs, the goal is always the same.  Even if you do not like cats.  Which I do not.  Period.  My favorite scripts to minister are the ones where all cats have to leave the planet and go live on a distant meteor.

Think of the horrific earthquake and loss of life in Turkey and Syria.  Think of the abominations happening daily in Ukraine.  Think of the human trafficking all across Asia.  The rape and plunder in Burma.

We have a chance to believe, and to motivate others to believe.  But not only that, we have a chance to speak for all those who cannot speak for themselves.  To minister, and be ministered to.

The something I am trying to accomplish is every bit the something that the video producer wants to accomplish…or at least it sure needs to sound like that.

Do I always hit my mark?  Not always.  Some are goofy reads…some are less emotional.  Some do not make you weep; they make you smirk.  Are those any less of a ministry?  Nope.  A child can be inspired through a goofy cartoon.  A family can dream about that new minivan.  A businessman who works too hard can dream about that vacation in Long Island and getting away from it all.

It is my job to make that as real as possible… minister to them.

What’s your ministry?








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Joshua Alexander
The Voices In My Head Blog
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16 thoughts on “The Ministry of Voiceovers (revisited)”

  1. i never really thought about it that way… but you’re right josh — they really are. i hope one day I can get the chance to really MINISTER to somebody thru ising my voice to inspire them, no matter what the script may be. Thanks for ministering to us through this blog!! :0

  2. I think I’d replace ministry with purpose here. For me, ministry has a very narrow meaning, unlike miss Miriam who’s such a bloody know-it-all; trying to tell people what words mean and stuff,… never in all my life! I told her not to gossip with Aaron, but oh no, nobody listen to me! hahaha.

    Seriously though – I’d definitely replace it with purpose for me, because I’ve been more radical. Having been so radical and having gotten a reality check, I can see, at least partially, how and why it turns people off, instead of drawing them in. Example, my dad told me about some dude claiming that ChatGPT is Satanic and I think I facepalmed so hard the neighbors felt it! My purpose is to become like JESUS. He was invited to things. Most radical Christians have to get coached on not offending people before they arrive, if they aren’t uninvited first – think we might be missing the point somewhere, LOL. Example, someone was invited to my mom’s funeral, but this person, the morning of the funeral, starts stirring trouble. Before the hour was even over, I had warned everyone who helped with arrangements and had any say in those matters to be on alert – they’re on the loose. I don’t want that said of me and I don’t want to be the reason people don’t want to know Christ. My goal is to live it and share it – and no, it does not mean a perfect sinless life – only JESUS got that one right.
    Nothing worth going for is easy, hehe.

    I don’t really know what that would look like entirely for me. Atm, I share a little through the content I post and things I create to help people with content creation, and while I’d really love to do more, it kinda feels like that’s what is expected of me for now – like it fits.

    Gotta share the irony about this post for me though. I go to a store regularly that’s very close to where we live and one of the employees there wants me to play Jesus in his music video (I look a bit like the catholic interpretation). That’s not what I mean with “be more like Him”! hahahaha. The filming is this weekend.

    1. Well that’s awesome! Work some miracles while you’re there, will ya? Tell everyone that ChatGPT is actually God’s messenger. It stands for God’s Perfect Transcription. Or…something. Yeah? Give that a whirl and see what people say? You might ne on to something! 🙂

      I hear you about the verbiage. I think it’s all in the semantics. Strip all of the religiosity away and you have “ministry: a person or thing through which something is accomplished.” It’s that simple. It’s a ministry for me, and I want something to be accomplished through me. That’s, in fact, what they’re paying me for.

      1. Haha, it’ll be a miracle to finish the costume in time!! I got some linen Friday, but still need to cut and stitch (by hand). I’m definitely going to take some shortcuts, like tracing one of my T-shirts’ shape, to just make things easier and go faster. I have asked the LORD to help me represent Him as best I can, for my shots to be nothing short of incredible quality. It’s extremely low-budget, but I want my shots to be “heaven-class” if you will, hehe.

        I agree – it’s something I’m still trying to get away from. When you’re that level of crazy, you look for issues around everything and you kinda forget that this is a fallen world, haha.

        I think you do! That ad you did for that nursing service was insanely good! I’m not that old by a long shot and wanted to make use of them! haha.

        1. Fallen world indeed it is! And thank you! I LOVED that spot. Again, it’s always wonderful to see what it is you’ve actually voiced. But for this one, I knew the script was Christian in tone, I just didn’t have the storyboard relayed to me in order to envision what it was I’d be seeing. I was just told “be passionate and powerful” (or some variation of that direction.) BLOWN AWAY when I saw it brought to life with my voice and their visuals. BLOWN AWAY.

          Have a great week and send pics of you in that costume when it’s done! And may I be so bold as to ask to see you turn water into wine please?

          1. You did a great job on the video – I love string art and that DOF effect is very popular with product reveals too – working on some of those, hehe.

            I don’t think a storyboard would’ve given any direction, imo. “So what is the video part going to be?” “Don’ worry ma’e! I’s jus’ gonna bay string ar’ ” “- …” hahaha.
            It’s truly a fantastic piece of work! Well done to everyone involved.

            Yeah, I have no idea how it’s going to turn out – outfit or video. I decided to pull in the help of my late mom’s brand new old machine, so, yeah, it was quite the new experience, LOL. I did, by HIS GRACE and youtube videos, get it working and have made most of the outfit. I still need to add elastic to the bottom and create the top that’ll attach to a white button-down shirt. Need more fabric, so we’ll go get some tomorrow.

            Will send you a pic – just make sure you’re not eating or drinking at the time, LOL.
            For some reason it just always looks ridiculous outside of context, haha.
            No promises on the water and wine thing, haha. We’re focused on the resurrection for the video.

          2. OK, well, I’m intermittent fasting right now, so if you time the disclosure right, I promise I won’t even be able to spew or vomit because there won’t be anything in me! 🙂

  3. Not much of a spiritualist or religious fan, quite honestly, but I get the inference and the implication. Ultimately I do believe that voiceovers are an extension of oneself, and that the chosen instrument is your voice and the soul behind it. But I don’t believe that voiceovers themselves are a ministry, and to draw any parallels between that and any kind of outreach seems fuzzy to me. After all, we get paid to them; they’re not passion projects or chosen charities that we strive to support, right? Enlighten me. 🙂

    1. All fair points, Craig! I agree to the extent that we are paid to voice a script…but in acting, when we step inside a role (in this case, the script), it’s up to us to bring that to life and understand the outreach behind it. To know who we are in that role, and to whom we are speaking, and why. There’s a connection that must be made, and that’s when we become the someone through which something gets accomplished. That’s what I was trying to convey. Granted, anytime I veer towards the highway of apparent religiosity, it can stir embers of discomfort in people. That certainly isn’t my intent, and I tried to convey that the word “ministry” isn’t a dirty word, though some have certainly made it so through their actions.

    1. You are very welcome, my friend! It truly is. There are those scripts where you just have to bow your head….breathe…let the script deliver itself through you. It’s an amazingly royal feeling. I pray you book a HUGE score of ministerial work, while you minister….ministerially! 🙂

  4. As an audio book proofer, I make sure narrators words match those on the page, sometimes fix typographical errors, and generally just make narrators sound as good as they can be. (Sharon’s #1 Commandment – “Incomparable” is NEVER (EVER) “In-Com-PAIR-able. Commandment #2 — Slow the F down). Great blog. Enjoyed reading it.

    1. Thank you Sharon! Keep on proofing so that we have great scripts to voice passionately instead of stopping, pulling back, crinkling our brow, looking at the inane babble on the script in front of us, and saying,

  5. Man. This makes me stop and wonder, how many times have I NOT paused, closed my eyes, and found that proper mindset or headspace for a read? How many times have a misunderstood “sincere” and just what that was supposed to entail? I suppose a little headspace can really go a long way when conveying the correct message, eh? Got me all second-guessing over here!

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