I have lost count how many times I’ve been asked this question. And I don’t blame people for asking either…it’s a pretty cool gig 😉).
I usually respond with a PDF that includes general thoughts on the biz as well as resources to get folks started on their research.
Here is an abbreviated version for your reading pleasure:
Ok…there’s a lot of info to digest here, but it’s all good stuff. Some of what’s written involves, not just my input, but also the collective input of many successful people in the VO business.
First, some thoughts about the business in general:
Voiceover is a really fun occupation, but it’s also a BUSINESS and needs to be run like one. Not only are you the talent, you’re also the Marketing Department, Communications Director, Billing, and sometimes even Collections (you DO want paid for all that hard work, don’t ya? ;))
Being a voice actor is much more involved than just having a good voice. In fact, that is the LEAST important aspect. A successful voice actor is…an actor 🙂 It’s all about how you read and interpret the copy. Any chance you have to take an acting or improv class…do it!
Training is important and should continue throughout your career…it never really stops, the type of training just evolves as you do.
A few things to keep in mind:
– Do not pay money to produce a demo with anyone that does not first offer you training. Research every coach and/or class you consider. Get testimonials from SUCCESSFUL voice talents. Some businesses/coaches offer a weekend course that includes a demo at the end…run far, far, away from them.
– Along similar lines, the point of a demo is to showcase what you can do. If you can’t actually perform on the promises of the demo, then you won’t last long in this industry. Do NOT make a demo until you’re ready!
Here are a few books and websites to help you with your research. There are literally hundreds of great sites and books available out there. These are just some of my favorites.
Books about voice over:
– There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is by Elaine Clark (I cannot recommend this one enough)
– The Art of Voice Acting by James Alburger
– Sound Advice: Voiceover from an Audio Engineer’s Perspective by Dan Friedman (Dan absolutely knows his stuff. He’s an audio engineer as well as an established VO Talent)
-The Voiceover Entrance Exam – A free e-book by Peter O’Connell. He’s a great guy, an established VO Talent, and very knowledgeable. You can download the e-book at http://www.voiceoverentranceexam.com
– Anything written or taught by Pat Fraley if you are interested in animation, character, or audiobook VO (or anything…he is just full of awesomeness :D) https://patfraley.com/pf/free -LOTS of free lessons from Pat…did I mention they’re FREE?
Podcasts (a great FREE resource):
VO School Podcast –
VO Boss –
Mike Lenz –
Talkin Toons with Rob Paulsen –
Voice Over Café –
3 AmiVOs –
Websites/Web shows about voice over:
-Interviews with people from various parts of the biz. It’s a great show…I try not to miss it. They also have a YouTube channel
– The Voice Over Body Shop
Great site for technical info and tips. I know these guys and they are very knowledgeable.
-Dee Bradley Baker’s VO info page
-Lots of great VO articles here
– WoVO (World Voices Organization)
-GVAA – Global Voice Acting Academy
-VO resources from Edge Studios
That should be plenty to keep you busy in your research. I hope the information is useful to you!