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I'm Looking to Get into Voiceover...
Where Do I Start?
First and foremost will be: 1.) Training, and 2.) Practice.
Chances are someone has said to you, "You have a great voice, you should do commercials!" or some variation of that. The fact of the matter is, having a great voice is like having a great piano. It's nice, but will do you no good until you learn how to play it! The skills necessary to delivering the spoken word are not intuitive.
Edge Studio is a great example of what should be looked for in Voiceover training. Contact them and make training your number one priority.
Edge offers studio training in Connecticut and New York, holds workshops in Washington, DC, and offers training and coaching by telephone for distance learning. Edge offers an Industry Guidebook that is highly recommended. In the "practice" department, Edge also has a Script Database for download. "Practice makes Perfect" and "Use it or Lose it" are not new ideas. If you want to develop and maintain skills at anything, practice!
NANCY WOLFSONis a private Voice Over Consultant and freelance Casting Director for Commercials, Animation/CD Rom, Audio Books, Promos and Narration. She also writes, produces, and directs demos for Voice Over talent, and is recommended by top-market talent agents as the premiere “Go To” person in advising talent on Personal Branding.
Her coursework has been accredited at the university level, and beginners, working pros, and celebrities have profited from her curriculum in private and group classes throughout America, Canada, Australia, and Europe.
With over 15 yrs. experience in the Entertainment Industry, Nancy has served as the head agent of the Commercial Voice Over Department at ARL Talent Agency, a Talent Manager, and Producer of On Air Promotions (Playboy, FOX, WB/CW, ABC.) Recent freelance roles: Corporate Consultant for VH-1 & Nickelodeon, and ongoing Casting Advisor for Muzak, and Clear Channel Communications. Launch a private course of study with Nancy via phone through her website, BrainTracksAudio.com.
You also have a universe of teaching tools being given to you FREE, every minute of every day. Record and transcribe TV and radio commercials.
You don't need a studio for this; an inexpensive portable recorder will suffice). Do you have a great voice? Good! Now develop great ears! Record yourself voicing them and compare the result to the pros. What's different? Do you have any speech patterns or peculiarities that need to be addressed? Check out this article on the current trends in voiceover by Seth Stevenson: The Voice-Over gets a Makeover
3.) Study. School is never out, especially for the pro. You'll find a wealth of material on my Voice Over Books page. Check out what's available and invest in some study materials. If you want to focus on one to start with, you can't do better than The Industry Guidebook .
4.) Networking. Check out on line communities and off line in your local community. Learn what's going on and become a part of what's going on by networking with others in the voiceover field. Get Dave Courvoisier's Free Tele-Seminar: "Leveraging Social Media in your Voice-Over Career"
The Voiceover Message Board at VO-BB.com is populated by a community of Voiceover pros of unprecedented civility and willingness to help. The answers to any voiceover-related questions are available here, just ask; these people are tremendously helpful.
"The Media Communications Association International is the leading global community for media communications professionals that will drive the convergence of communications and technology for the growth of the profession." With local chapters and international affiliates, it's a great place to hook up locally with people in the industry.
Join Facebook and do a search for "voiceover", "voice talent" and similar search terms and connect! The same goes for Twitter and Linked-In. And let's not forget YouTube . Use these resources.
Subscribe to the voice actors daily resource for building voice over success: John Florian's
As the voice over industry's online news, education and resource center, VoiceOverXtra is a MUST HAVE resource for anyone involved with the voice over industry, and the best place for newcomers to begin researching and learning about a career in voice overs. It is the voice actor\'s #1 place for learning about voice acting, demos and the voice over business, complete with a comprehensive voice over industry directory; the most extensive calendar of training and networking events; classified ads; how-to instruction from voice over professionals and coaches on success in voice acting, auditions, marketing and business; an online store for voice over home studio equipment, books and CDs; sample voice talent demos and more. A free career newsletter subscription includes a series of 14 free reports from industry pros on How to Ace the Audition"
My Links of Interest page is updated regularly with links to voiceover resources.
5.) Record Demo
Your "Demo" (short for "Demonstration") audio files will be your calling card, showing your capabilities to those in a position to hire you. No details here, you'll be learning that through the avenues listed above, but one caveat here is worth mentioning: When the time comes, find a studio you're comfortable with that specializes in Voiceover production. They will know the demands of the industry and how to best emphasize your particular strengths, whereas a studio focused on music may not. Listen for: "Yes, we do that", not: "Yes, we've done that". There's a difference. Edge Studio Does That. | BrainTracksAudio Does That |
Don't wait for business to come to you. Once again, no specifics here, you'll learn what to send to whom in the course of your training, study and networking. But here are some general principles:
Make the absolute commitment to provide the best possible service for your clients. As much fun as this business can be, ultimately, "...it ain't about You". Remember that "develop your ears" advice? Well, put it to work listening to the concerns and needs of your clients.
How are you going to get from where you are to where you want to be?
Set goals. If you don't know where you're going, what are the chances you'll get there? Goofy sort of a question, but you know what I mean. Whatever your goal, write it down and set a target date for reaching it. Divide the time period into blocks of work that are reasonable. Work consistently toward accomplishing short term, medium term and long term goals. Goal-setting is a must. A goal without a time schedule attached is most often a passing fancy. Establish your work schedule, and stick to it. Get organized and focus. Set aside time daily to list all the things you want to get done. That gives you an organized approach to your day. As each task is finished, scratch it off your list. Set up a file listing prospective clients and repeat clients, and keep it up to date at all times. You will be adding to it constantly.
Maintain a positive attitude. The Nightingale-Conant website has a ton of material to help you do just that. Enjoy what you're doing. Success isn't a destination, it's a journey. "Success is the progressive realization of a predetermined goal." Don't take "turndowns" personally. This isn't an indictment of your worth as a human being! You're offering a service here; Your work is your product, and if your product isn't appropriate for a particular application, learn how to improve it. Play the numbers. Be aware of your yes/no ratio. It will help point out areas for improvement in your method and your product. Sometimes, "no" is a request for more information about your service. Assure your client here by your helpful attitude and your commitment to provide what is best for him.
There are three kinds of people: Those that watch things happen, those that make things happen and those that say, "What just happened?!" Launching and maintaining a voiceover career is an endeavor requiring the investment of time and money, commitment, dedication, constant action, constant "course-correction" and perpetual study. It's demanding, it's hard. And if you have the desire and develop a passion for the process, it's a lot of fun.
Go make things happen.
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Nancy Wolfson's BrainTracksAudio.com
EDGE STUDIO CAREERS IN VOICE OVER
Edge Studio's Free Practice/Demo Scripts
PAT FRALEY is the most sought-after voice over teacher in North America. He has been performing and teaching voice for 38 years. As a performer, he has created voices for over 4,000 characters, placing him in the top ten of all time to be cast in animated TV shows. As a teacher, Pat has guided more performers into meaningful voice-over careers than anyone in the history of VO Instruction.
Pat teaches and hosts learning events in Los Angeles, New York and Boston
COMPOST PRODUCTIONS VOICEOVER CLASSES
RODNEY SAULSBERRY TELECLASS
Dan Levine's Acclaimed WebCast
HOW TO REALLY MAKE IT IN VOICE OVERS
Learn voice-over skills from a leading UK TV & Radio voice artist
THE ACTOR'S VOCAL GIFT AND THE VOICEOVER INDUSTRY
Informative Article from The Actor's Checklist
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