Updated: Nov 23, 2019
I want to answer some of the questions I get asked the most! I love to help others starting out from ‘re-inventing the wheel’, so have a read below and we can share a virtual high-five!
Q: How do I get started in voice over work?
A: Start with where you’re at, in 3 main areas: Your goals, your experience, and your finances.
Goals and intentions: Why are you interested in voice acting? What are your expectations?There are many ways to get into the business, so figuring out what you love doing or are naturally drawn to, is the best place to start. For example, do you have a passion for performing in commercials, podcasting, audiobooks, animations/cartoons, video games, phone messages, documentaries, educational or corporate training videos? You’re going to want to do voiceovers because you love it. This is an investment of your time, money and energy. A voiceover career is a marathon, not a sprint!
You’ll want to be able to manage your clients and your business for the long term.
Experience: If you are starting from nothing, it is essential to train your voice and learn how to use a microphone and recording equipment properly. Take voice classes, improv lessons and discover what style and quality of voice you have (eg. a natural alto? Higher-pitched? Warm, friendly, husky?). Learn how to not just voice, but perform! Voiceover is voice acting. Use your body, use your breath, use your imagination and emotion to connect and deliver a message. Find out what market you could be of service to and what fits like a glove! Read ads, scripts and comics out loud – anything to start building that performer muscle! Practice is lifelong.
Finances: Like any business, there is always initial outlay of funds. You will need: 1. a microphone 2. a good sound-proof space to record in + set up your home studio 3. recording software on your computer Do not waste money on fancy recording equipment! Research before buying and avoid getting the cheap mics that are out there – the sound quality will cost you jobs! Roughly, anything under $100 is not going to be great. There are fantastic microphones and equipment in the $150-$300 range that will sound professional and will last years for your career.
Q. How do I get a voice acting agent?
A. Firstly, I am going to query why you want one! Let’s get one thing straight – nobody will work harder on your career than you do!
If you’re being proactive in your career, you will be sourcing about 95% of your own work, even if you have an agent. Expecting an agent to supply most of your work while you sit back and think that your training as a performer will pay off, can set you up for disappointment, anger, frustration, blaming your agent and then riding a slow descent into bitter-city.
Having an agent does not guarantee you will be working full-time, and conversely, not having representation does not stop you from earning thousands a week!
In a similar vein to the first question above, it’s important to ask yourself ‘why’ you want an agent, what your expectations are and what kind of voice work you enjoy.
“Coz I want money” is just not a good enough reason – not when there are so many great VO actors with positive, non-desperate attitudes in this industry, who come from a place of service.
Approaching an agent is more of a matter of ‘how can I help this agent get more work?”
It is essential that you have a professionally produced voiceover demo reel first!