Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Do Workshops Get You Work In Voice Overs?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

September 15, 2008

Comments (12)

Coach timing swimmer

Do You Get Work as a Result of Education?

Have you experienced success studying with a voice over coach or by applying something you learned at a workshop, from listening in on a teleseminar or a podcast?

Share your insight as a comment.


Good Teachers' Students Work

The mark of a good teacher is that they are able to help you succeed in your professional life as well as meet your personal artistic and technical goals.

In other words, a teacher's proudest achievement should be that their students find work through the application of their instruction and guidance.

This is a crowning glory for teachers whose students do succeed and find consistent work.


Zoiks!

Recently, I received a message asking if workshops and classes are worth it and if people are actually getting any real work in the industry from the classes that are advertised here on our blog as well as on other voice over blogs and news sites.

After some consideration, I decided that the answer would sound a lot better coming from peers than anyone else.


Success is Relative

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

As with anything in life, success is relative to the amount of time, dedication and effort that is invested, including voice over.

If a voice talent (or anyone for that matter) isn't willing to put in 110% effort, then no teacher, no matter their qualifications or rave reviews, will be able to help in this regard because it all comes down to action on the part of the student by means of creating or taking advantage of opportunities presented to them.


Can You Refer a Voice Over Coach Whose Instruction Has Helped You?

Please leave a comment that shares your experience and provide the name of the coach(es) as well as their geographic location.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Sven Hoppe

Related Topics: industry


Comments


    This post speaks directly to the last two years for me. I attended Voice 2007 in Las Vegas and decided to take the plunge learning from a bunch of different teachers. It was fabulous!! I met Rodney Saulsberry and had one hour presentations from Pat Fraley, MJ Lallo, Penny Abshire and James Alburger, Bob Bergen and more. They played my demo for the group and I received a thumbs up review, met an agent in LA and Vegas who said they would represent me and had a great time networking. This was just the start of my voiceover workshops. I was making good money doing commercial tag work and decided to invest more. I took a Voiceover Immersion class in New York City with Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins at Push Creative. This was awesome and a great value. Joan is a fierce spirit, vocal talent and coach who is very generous with her skills and put together an immersion class that rivaled all the ones I've spent triple the money on. She warms you up with exercises, Rudy directs you in the booth so you can make adjustments, Johnna Gottlieb comes in to talk about the business with you at lunch and then JJ Adler an agent with Abrams Agency gives you feedback on your reads. I learned a tremendous amount that one day that I applied instantly and landed a job with Mervyns doing radio and tv spots for six months after that workshop. It all helps to tune you up and prepare you for the work because it can be isolating working from home and doing the same kinds of reads over and over. We forget it's voice "acting" not "reading" and other colors and emotions are required for every read.

    Recently I took a three day Bootcamp with Susan Berkley and she invited guests Rodney Saulsberry and Jay Ginsberg with her for the weekend. We produced a spot that is now on my promo demo reel and I learned from Rodney how to deliver a promo read that sounds professional even if you've never done them and hits the mark. That was invaluable!! The new reels helped land me a top agent in LA and I've all ready recorded more audition in one week than I had all summer long with my local agent.

    Take the classes!! You're investing in you. It motivates you and gets you to tune up and get excited about doing voiceovers which is what we all love to do right!!

    Tina Marie Murray
    http://www.tinamariemurray.com

    Posted by:

      Hi Stephanie--

      When I first started in the business, I took private classes with Lainie Cook, in NYC (212-874-5865). She helped me understand the basics and a whole lot more about VO delivery.

      Working one on one is very important, as is working in a group, where you can learn from others as you watch and listen.

      Also, in my experience of attending many one-night or multi-week workshops, not only do you stand to learn something, but you are also being exposed to the people in the business, who you will ultimately be working with.

      Education is so important, and while sometimes hard, almost always rewarding!

      Best,

      Debbie

      Posted by:
      • Debbie Irwin
      • September 16, 2008 8:52 AM

        Susan Berkley remains a leader in voice coaching for all levels of voice talent. Her teleconference course and Bootcamps are an excellent starting point and her Silver Inner Circle group covers material for those with experience in the business. In addition to voice work, she offers insight into the marketing needs that are critical to success. Any list of top coaches would be incomplete without her.

        Mike Turnbull

        Posted by:
        • Mike Turnbull
        • September 16, 2008 8:52 AM

          YES! I had heard that I should do voice overs so many times that I thought I’d better look into it and I found Deb Munro from Canada. (I’m Canadian too, eh).

          Well since then I’ve taken numerous “Mic’n Me” courses through her and even though I had “that voice” we got through it. Deb’s an outstanding voice coach from Vancouver and I have learned so much from her. If I would only dedicate the time that is required to get this business off the ground I know I would go far but it’s a very difficult road and decision to make. Deb has recommended me and I have landed a couple of jobs thanks to her. The other jobs I have landed are, I believe, due to the teachings of her classes and the classes of other coaches too. The teachings of those who have travelled the road we want to go down can never be taken lightly. If we are careful we can sidestep the VO snares that they have encountered before we find them.

          Greg Hamilton

          Posted by:
          • Greg Hamilton
          • September 16, 2008 11:21 AM

            Stephanie,

            Good timing Steph. I have been a voice actor since the 70's and have had the opportunity to be coached by several voice coaches several years ago.

            I am at that point in my full time voice career to begin some steady voice coaching and thought this would be a great time for you to do a Coaches comparison or at least show who offers what to whom. This would give those of us out here searching for a reputable coach to find out WHO offers WHAT and what costs are involved.

            Possibly a half dozen talented coaches or more? I'm looking for someone to refine my thinking and make me bring out the spirit and talent from within. "What do I need to do to take it to the next level" type of coaching answers.

            Sound interesting? Would love to hear your thoughts.

            All the best,

            JG

            Posted by:

              Hi Stephanie,

              I'm a huge proponent of contining education, and love to listen, learn and actively pursue my craft by investing in coaching, seminars, books, conferences, and all learning opportunities available.

              I strive to learn from the best of the best, and I know that over time, the things I've learned to internalize and apply to my craft help keep me working and continually building my career. So yes, it does pay off. One must invest, but invest wisely.

              Even after being in the business for 20+ years, picking up a single new nugget or several is clearly worth it to me!

              And of course, casting people look at your resume to see who you train with.

              My recent favorites, obviously attuned to my So. Calif. geographic location are; Joanie Gerber, Pat Fraley, Chuck Blore, Bob Bergen, James Alburger, and Marc Cashman.

              I have plans to expand my voice over coaching and learning experiences to include the counsel of other fantastic coaches on the East Coast, Chicago area, Canada, and Northern California.

              Thanks for listening,
              Bobbin Beam Voice Actress

              Posted by:

                Hello ALL- I am just starting out and live in Louisville, KY. Does anyone know of a great (or decent) coach in the KY, OH, IN area? I think, since this is so new to me, I would prefer in-person coaching sessions but certainly, if necessary, I can do coaching by phone.

                Thanks-Nikki J

                Posted by:
                • Nikki Jackson
                • September 16, 2008 2:15 PM

                  Hi Stephanie!

                  I've just entered the world of voiceover, having taken an Intro class at local community college, then went to Albany, NY in May for a 3 day workshop with Voices For All. The coach, Andrea Langworthy, is tireless, attentive, knowledgeable, and supportive any time I call or email her since. They have tech support as well as hosting your own website (www.vfademos.com/cnicholson) and the best part was that we all completed a professional commercial and narration demo on the third day with much coaching! The workbook is filled with great info as is their website and lifetime support for all graduates of their program.

                  It's a start, and I've spent the summer reading everything and practicing with Voices.com scripts. I still have much to learn but the dilemma now is that I'm retired on fixed income and have to limit what I can spend on travel and workshops until I start to earn some money! One step at a time...

                  Being an RN and educator, I see myself doing e-learning, podcasts, instructional CD's, which utilize my background.

                  I do have a home studio set-up in north central FL. Right now I'm intrigued by an offer from Phyllis K. Day to do a voice analysis. That can't be a bad idea!

                  So far I'm very impressed by the helpfulness of the Voiceover community and love being part of it!

                  Posted by:

                    Hey Stephanie,

                    Yes, continuing education is paramount. You need to keep learning all the time. If it wasn't for Marla Kirban in New York, I wouldn't have a career. She inspired me and guided me and gave me the tools to go out into the big (sometimes bad) world of VO and start my business.

                    And it didn't just stop there. It's incredible how much you learn every time you go to class. Even it's as simple as remembering to breath, you always learn something. If you go to class you'll stick to good habits and keep on the ball. Since I did my demo with Marla I've booked work consistently - this is mainly because even if i didn't win the audition I've been able to book other work off the demo.

                    Thank you Marla

                    James

                    Posted by:

                      I have to say that in one session with Phyllis K Day - my first real coach (after my 20+ years in the biz!), she helped me get over some emotional baggage I carried since childhood, and which no doubt hurt my performances. This wasn't what I expected, but was what I needed. Perhaps as a coincidence, I landed a good gig right away. Now I am going to a local workshop which is very basic - last night we worked on breathing and relaxation... the journey has just begun for me, even after all these years.

                      Posted by:
                      • Robert Wood
                      • September 17, 2008 1:53 PM

                        Hi Stephanie,

                        Is there anyone who can shed light on the VoiceOver acting industry that isn't trying to get you to join some type of training class for thousands of dollars? I would love to do this, but everything I have read has been on the internet, is this a scam?

                        Posted by:
                        • Frank Grimes
                        • September 1, 2014 6:53 PM

                          Hi Frank,

                          Thank you for your comment and question! I hope my reply finds you well.

                          There are definitely alternatives to taking classes that cost thousands of dollars. You need to be cautious about who you are working with. What I can do is connect you with someone on our Voice Talent team who will advise you of what you can do.

                          Something that comes to mind is to go to your local library and borrow books for free on the subject of acting and voice acting. Check to see if Voice Acting For Dummies is available. Other authors you might want to look up in the library system are Elaine Clark, Rodney Saulsberry, Harlan Hogan and Joan Baker. Those are just a handful of people who have written books about voice acting. The Voice Acting For Dummies book was authored by my husband and I as co-founders of Voices.com.

                          You might also want to check out voice-over workout groups. Depending on where you are based, there might be a group nearby. What city are you in or closest to? Perhaps I can point you in the right direction. When you network with other voice actors, be sure to ask them about who they recommend studying with.

                          One way to get a good taste of what's out there is by listening to the Voice Over Experts podcast. You can subscribe for free in iTunes and also find it here:

                          http://podcasts.voices.com/voiceoverexperts

                          Keep me posted on what you're up to!

                          Take care,
                          Stephanie

                          Posted by:

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