Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Getting Started in Voice Overs

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

September 19, 2006

Comments (11)

New to the industry and need some tips? Read this comprehensive guide on what you'll need to get started and develop your talent for voice overs.

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When getting started in voice overs, aspiring talent quickly discover that it takes more than just a great voice to succeed in this highly competitive market.

Although at first glance, there may seem to be few doors that open for amateur talent seeking voice over work opportunities, the avenues for personal growth, talent development and networking are overly abundant.

You just need to know where to find them.

The notion of becoming a voice over talent usually starts with a compliment from a friend, colleague, or family member. When someone hears similar sentiments from people outside of familiar circles, the individual is inspired to make an action plan and thoroughly research the voice over profession.

Aspiring voice over talent can find a wealth of resources and guidance from a variety of sources on the Internet. There are several good websites online that share information about the industry, providing solutions to nearly every "Getting Started" voice over question and career development resources. These resources may manifest themselves in an array of business templates, strategies, and eBooks.

If an aspiring voice over talent desires to fully explore voice overs as a career, there are multiple ways to research the field without having to leave the comfort of home. Some of these research methods include visiting the websites of professional voice over talents, listening to voice-over demos online, and reading up on what industry leaders have to say, including coaches, agents, authorities, and casting directors.

There's an abundance of voice over blogs online that reveal what it is really like to be in professional voice overs, providing excellent insight into what can be expected if one were to enter the voice over profession. Many professionals freely discuss their career objectives and thoughts about the industry as a whole, personal observations and their career progress.

Voice overs are very busy not to mention employed in an extremely popular field. The majority of professional voice overs do not have time to lead an aspiring talent by the hand and personally consult them regarding their voice and potential career prospects. Professionals often link to other helpful blogs or voice over industry websites. These links are available to aspiring talent as a means to discover more comprehensive resources that will aid them in starting out as a voice over talent.

Although reading the blogs or visiting websites of professional voice overs may be a fun, leisurely activity, your research should lead to more hands-on and educational endeavors such as contacting a voice-over coach.

A voice over coach will be able to identify what your voice type is, the kind of work you'd be best suited for, and will assist you in developing your vocal range, both artistically and technically.

Voice Over Coaches

Make an appointment with a voice over coach. They will be happy to assess your voice and set up a training program for you at their studio. Going with a private voice over coach has its benefits. Who else could provide an objective opinion on your voice, tailored vocal instruction, specific guidance, and career resources on such a personal level?

A voice over coach will help focus in on your strengths and develop your talents. Sometimes it takes someone else to let you know where you shine as a voice actor and the areas of voice acting that aren't necessarily your forte.

A voice over coach will also be able to identify your specialty skill sets, and if you would like, help you to plan and record your voice over demo. These preliminary efforts will define your voice over career at present and help you to provide extraordinary voice over services to your future clients.

As with anything valuable to your development, a voice over coach will charge fees for their services. When selecting a voice over coach, don't let their coaching fee be the sole deciding factor regarding whether you study with them or not. The fees that you pay should also provide you with a comfortable learning environment, a teacher who you can relate to, and the voice over skills that you want to acquire.

Workshops and Tele-classes

Some people prefer to meet in person, taking lessons in a group. A workshop is an open class that is run by a voice over instructor and attended by voice overs who want to improve particular skills, such as character voice acting, for example.

These workshops are often followed by a question and answer period. The environment is often more casual and free-spirited than a private lesson and enables you to network with people within your field, perhaps even meet colleagues who will become your friends.

Usually there is a cost for participating in a workshop to pay for the instructors' time, materials, and the venue. These fees can vary, but expect that in most cases, there will be a fee for the workshop.

Tele-classes are taught over the telephone. When participating in a tele-class, all you need to do is dial in to the phone number that your instructor will provide you with, and enter the class number for your specific class. Be sure that you do this on the date and at the time that your class is scheduled for.

There may be special code that you'll need to dial after calling in to be routed to the right tele-class, similar to how you would check the numbers on the door if you were looking for a classroom in a building. Once you're in on the call, the instructor will greet everyone, introduce the program, start teaching, and then have question and answers period. Bear in mind that there may be a fee associated with a tele-class.

These classes are convenient for voice over talent who do not live in large centers or have access to voice over coaches in their city.

Voice Over Communities

If you would like to network with other voice overs and aspiring talent, you can glean information and feedback from each other in person, through Internet chat groups, or by posting on voice over support forums.

These kinds of communities of professional and aspiring voice overs chat with each other about vocal technique, recording equipment, job opportunities, and more.

One of the most fulfilling aspects of joining a peer support group is that you can share experiences with fellow voice overs, learn at your own pace, and if you're in a position to do so, give insight to other voice overs.

Voice Over Books

One of the easiest and fastest ways to get a handle on the voice over field and voice industry as a whole is to sit down and read a good book. Aside from either going to the local library or ordering a book or voice-over eBook online, there isn't much legwork.

Good voice over books will help you with technique and some also guide you from the ground up, including how to brand yourself, how to record voice overs, be found on the Internet, promote your voice, make money as a voice over, operate your business, and give you the encouragement you need to get going.

Another good idea is to locate a royalty-free voice over script collection. You will need one to record your first voice over demo from. These scripts are also good for practicing with either on your own or with a voice teacher.

Getting started in voice overs is more complicated than one would think, but for those who succeed in this career field, it is one of the most satisfying, flexible, and lucrative professions in the world.

Best wishes,

Stephanie


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Comments


    Hi.

    Your blog is very fascinating and your article, "Getting Started in Voice Overs" gives me a lot of food for thought.

    Your article hits home as I've been told by close friends and business associates that I missed my calling and should have gotten into some form of work using my voice. I’ve heard this for over 15 years now but I never took it seriously. It was always a thought that I never seriously entertained. However, I’m now at a point where I would like to find out if it is something worth pursuing.

    My interest at this point is to get a solid unbiased opinion as to whether or not I even have a voice that has intrinsic worth for various types of voice over work.

    As such, I prefer not to fool myself or waste anyone’s time if my voice is not of the quality and caliber typically found in the industry.

    I am genuinely skeptical about contacting schools or training programs because they are going to tell me exactly what they want me to hear for the ultimate purpose of getting me into their programs so that they can make money off of me.

    I’m all for being coached if I really do have a voice that has potential but I’m not going to waste time and money if I really do not have a voice with potential.

    Is there an unbiased avenue that you can recommend I look into simply for investigating whether or not I have a viable voice for voice over?

    Thanks.

    Posted by:
    • Dennis Taylor
    • November 17, 2006 2:53 PM

      Hello Stephanie

      My wife is interested in finding a voice over coach in our area, Boston MA. Her brother, David Jeremiah, does voice over work in LA but doesn't know of any coaches in this area. If you know of any could you send them along. Any help you could provide would be appreciated.

      Thank You
      Thomas Sullivan

      Posted by:
      • Thomas Sullivan
      • February 11, 2007 10:20 PM

        Hi Thomas,

        I looked up the coaches in the Boston area on Harlan Hogan's list, and Danielle Seadia was listed as a Boston instructor.

        If anyone knows of additional voice over coaches in Boston, MA, please leave a comment with their name and website address.

        Cheers :)

        Stephanie

        Posted by:

          I have dreamed of a voice over career since I was 5 years old. I am 22 now, and am willing to learn all I can, however where the heck do I find a voice-over coach in Central New Jersey?

          Since I'm so close to NY I'm sure thats a good thing, but it doesn't necessarily make it easier when you don't know where to start.

          Posted by:
          • Dominique
          • May 13, 2007 1:43 AM

            I have always been told that I have a great voice and personality to power the voice. I have always dreamed about a voice over career but never considered it seriously until now. I still love the old Bugs Bunny shows and all the different voices of Mel Blanc. I've also done some radio commercials. However, with virtually no $$ at this time how does one find help to break into this career?

            Posted by:
            • Larry
            • June 5, 2007 10:11 AM

              Hi Dominique and Larry,

              Thank you for your comments.

              Dominique: Google "voice over coach" or variations on that query in your area and you're bound to have some teachers in the results :) Harlan Hogan's list may also be useful to you.

              Larry: May I suggest that you read everything you can get your hands on and take advantage of all the free resources out there to help you build your career. If you register as a Guest at Voices.com, you will have access to a plethora of business documents and exclusive white papers that we produce for our customers. Also, you can listen to the VOX Talk podcast for more tips and hints from pros across North America on how to get started and spend your money wisely in this industry.

              http://blogs.voices.com/voxtalk/

              I hope I've helped to answer your questions!

              Best wishes,

              Stephanie

              Posted by:

                Dearest Stephanie,

                Simply, Thank you. The information you've provided is precise, to the point, and exactly what i have been searching for. You are truly an asset to the world community.

                Sincerely, Bebe Bonet.

                Posted by:
                • Bebe Bonet
                • November 16, 2007 12:15 AM

                  Hi Bebe,

                  Thank you for your kind comments and encouragement. I'm pleased that you found everything you were looking for :)

                  Please keep me posted on your progress.

                  Best wishes,

                  Stephanie Ciccarelli
                  Co-founder of Voices.com

                  Posted by:

                    I am new to the idea and research on voice overs. I have been told by many that I have a THE voice! Not quite sure what that means, but I've heard it enough to know that I should do more research.

                    Does anyone know of any workshops, classes or voice coaches in the Cincinnati, Ohio area? I am flexible to travel to Indianapolis or Norther KY.

                    Posted by:
                    • RH
                    • August 26, 2010 9:46 PM

                      Where can I find good help on getting into voice overs?

                      Posted by:
                      • Eric Lehman
                      • August 25, 2011 12:12 PM

                        Hi - I took some voice over classes, and enjoyed it a great deal. I'm pretty strapped for time however, because of my fulltime job, and family. I registered two great domain names for a voice actor, but won't have the time to do anything with them. I registered "HEARMYVO.COM" and "LISTENTOMYVO.COM" - where do you suggest I post these for sale ? Or how would I go about selling these to a voice actor who would want a great domain name that was easy to remember ? Or even I suppose it could go to an agency...thoughts ?

                        Posted by:
                        • James Laviano
                        • November 1, 2012 11:29 AM

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