Before you write or contact me about your interest in voice-overs, please read this…
I receive a dozen or more calls and letters a week from people interested in becoming voice-over performers. Most of them begin the same way:
“People have always told me that I have a great voice and that I should pursue a voice-over career…”
“I have an interesting voice and people continually comment on it…”
“I heard a commercial on TV last night, and I could have done the voice better than the person that did it…”
“Through the years, many of my friends, associates, and even strangers have let me know how much my voice sounds like a professional broadcaster’s voice…”
There is something very basic about the voice-over world that you need to know right now. Simply having a “great voice” is not enough. I’m not denying the fact that it’s necessary..it certainly helps…but your voice, by itself, is only one facet of your ability to succeed as a voice performer.
Along with that voice, you’re going to need many other skills and tools. Among the countless things required of you as a voice-over performer, you’ll need sharp reading skills, the ability to communicate, the ability to take direction, acting ability, voice control/vocal versatility, a creative imagination, excellent auditioning skills, marketing savvy, business acumen, an excellent demo CD, solid representation, the ability to create broadcast quality recordings of yourself, and many, many other things. Oh, and there’s one more very important thing you need to know.
The voice-over industry is among the most highly competitive of the entertainment fields. It is a well known fact that only high-fashion modeling is more difficult than voice-over in terms of level of competition. No kidding.
The best place to begin an exploration of this field is by learning as much as you can. One great way you can begin learning, no matter where you live, is by reading one or more of the great books available on the subject. I recommend that you go to a book site like www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com and type the keyword ‘voice-over’ or ‘voiceover’ into the search block. You’ll be taken to a list of books…and there are several to choose from. I personally recommend the books by authors Alburger, Cronauer, Blu & Mullin, Clark, Shaw, Weiner, and Douthitt. Some of these books also come with audio tape/disc companions…be sure you get what you pay for. I also recommend that every performer read a book called Audition by Shurtleff. I do not profit from these recommendations in any way, I just believe they are all excellent and worthy of your attention.
Also, here are some resources for information about VO:
(I do not maintain these sites, so please do not report problems to me.)
The next step is to find some group or individual training. This one is hard, because voice-over education is not available in every city. In Dallas, Texas, we usually have 4-6 different classes ranging from beginner to advanced. Famous voice-over gurus also travel to other cities around the country to give seminars, but you’ll have to do some exploring to find out the particulars. One place to start is to call a few of the talent agencies in a large market near you. They often know of classes or seminars in the area. Please do not write me asking about voice-over classes around the country for I do not maintain a database of classes.
Good luck in your quest for voice-over knowledge.