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voiceover FAqs

  • How do I get into voice acting?
    An important thing to remember is that the emphasis on “voice acting” is acting. The importance of a foundation in acting technique cannot be overstated. Whether you have a theatre degree (like me!) or you’ve created your own path by taking adult acting classes at a local studio near you, understanding basic acting principles is not optional when pursuing voice acting (even in genres like commercial or corporate narration). I highly recommend you start with the building blocks of acting!
  • I already have acting training. Do I need voiceover-specific coaching?
    Once you’ve built a foundation, there are specific voice acting classes you can (and should) take as well, as an extension of your acting training. Voice acting is its own medium, just like screen acting or stage acting. But know that most voiceover coaches will not teach you to act. They will teach you how to apply your acting training to the medium of voiceover. Think about which genre most interests you and seek out a class in that genre led by a reputable teacher. I’ve included many resources below. In addition to the performance aspect, you need to learn technical things like mic proximity, basic editing skills, how to set up a quality home studio with proper equipment and soundproofing. I always say that being a voice actor is about 10% acting and 90% everything else!
  • Do you offer voiceover coaching?
    I do not offer voiceover coaching at this time, but here are some places and folks I recommend studying with (many of which have virtual class options): Places to Take Class: Actors Connection VoiceTrax West The Halp Network (I also recommend the book The Art and Business of Acting for Video Games by their founder, Julia Bianco Schoeffling) SkillsHub.Life On the Mic Training Coaches Who LOVE Working With Beginners: Gina Scarpa – Positive Voices Studio Maxwell Glick Rachel Alena
  • Does it cost money to start out in voice over?
    The good news is, the pandemic brought upon us a new age of accessibility which allows voice actors to work from just about anywhere. The bad news is (or more good news, depending on how you look at it), having a home studio is no longer optional. And yes, that costs money. It doesn’t have to be a lot – I myself and many of my peers have started in DIY setups. You will need: A large diaphragm condenser microphone or shotgun microphone and XLR cable A shock mount for your microphone An interface or preamp (to connect your microphone to your computer) Pop shield or wind screen to help with plosives Over-the-ear headphones A computer with editing software (ex: Reaper, Adobe Audtiion, Twisted Wave, Logic Pro, Audacity) AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: Adequate soundproofing to block out room reflections, ambient noise, street noise, neighbors, etc. DO NOT go out and buy the most expensive, industry standard equipment on your first day of voice acting. When I was starting out, I booked national campaigns on a $250 microphone – which then helped me pay for better equipment! Invest your money in your training first, your soundproofing second, and your equipment third.
  • I need help setting up my home studio.
    I would recommend reaching out to one of these folks: Jordan Reynolds and Audio Ninja – offers 1:1 consultations to help you with your booth, as well as self-paced courses on many different topics George the Tech - offers 1:1 home studio help
  • Should I have someone make me a demo reel?
    Have you spent a significant amount of time building your acting and voiceover skills? If so, an excellent coach will be able to tell you when you are ready to make a demo reel. Be very wary of demo producers and/or coaches who offer to record your demo reel before you have invested several months (or longer if necessary) into your training. A demo is a demonstration of your current skill set. Agents, clients, and casting directors care much more about the abilities demonstrated in the reel than the level of production put into it. Even the world’s best producer cannot make up for lack of skill or awareness of what the industry expects. When you are ready to record a demo reel, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1500-2500 for an excellent one. Do not make the mistake of thinking cheaper is better in this situation. I have seen so many talent opt for what they thought was “a great deal,” only to find themselves in a worse financial position because they immediately had to redo their reel with a legitimate producer. If you’re unsure of a producer’s reputation, ask around! Someone well-acquainted with the industry will be able to tell you if you’re making a responsible decision.
  • I was thinking I would make my own demo reel to save money.
    While there are exceptions to every rule, the vast majority of us at the start of our careers are not in a position to A. master a competitive, professional-sounding reel and B. know the industry well enough to craft spots for it that sound like they could be real (which is the goal, until you have enough booked work to make a reel out of your “real” work). In my opinion, “B” is what you’re really paying a producer for: their expertise in the industry. As you grow your skill set, you may get to a point where you can produce your own reels. But you’ve got a lot on your plate already as a new talent; let an expert do this part. That’s my recommendation.
  • What kind of demo should I make first?
    It’s important to note that in the voiceover industry, there are many different genres of work, and each one that you hope to work in, eventually should have its own demo reel. Some of those genres include: Commercial Corporate narration/B2B (business to business) Telephony/IVR Political Toys & Games Promo Radio Imaging Video Gaming Animation Audiobooks eLearning Medical And the list goes on… Many inexperienced talent (or producers) will combine genres on a reel – for example, putting animation and video gaming together, or putting medical narration snippet on a commercial reel. But those genres are entirely different – your potential commercial clients don’t need to hear your medical sample! Combining them into the same reel immediately telegraphs to potential clients, agents, and managers that you do not have a basic understanding of the industry. So which one should you make first? Many people will tell you commercial, because that’s the most-commonly requested demo by agents, managers, and talent rosters. But I think the answer lies in knowing which genres you want to work in. Do you plan to direct market to pharma companies? Maybe make a medical reel. Work on pay-to-play websites? Corporate narration or commercial may be a good option. Reach out to indie animators on Twitter? An animation reel with a heavy emphasis on anime might be the answer. I don’t believe there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to voice acting (and I don’t believe everybody can or should work in commercial)!
  • Should I get an agent/manager?
    I see a lot of new talent rushing to apply to talent agencies or managers. The biggest reason for this is that they think it will elevate their career overnight, net them lots of money, or get them a ton of cool jobs. While those things are possible with the right representation, those things don’t usually happen right away; and representation also isn’t required for a successful career in voice acting. I worked in VO for 5 years before I partnered with my first agent – and the last year of that, I was full-time! Most agents or managers will be interested to know who your past or current clients are and what experience you’ve had. Being able to position yourself as a competitive talent will increase your chances of striking up a relationship with a reputable agent or manager. A lot of talent only think about agents and managers as far as how they can help the talent succeed. But if you can bring any of your clients to your representation, you are providing value to them as well, and giving them reason to push you for more and better projects. Relationships are everything in this industry, and representation is an investment.
  • How do I find work?
    Here is an excellent resource I found on Twitter which includes many different online casting websites, rosters, and other sources of voiceover work (credit to @kingschoiceVO).
  • Additional Resources
    PODCASTS The VO School Podcast – Covers a wide array of topics, genres of work, and general VO education The VO Breakfast Show – Casual chats with industry professionals Carin Gilfry and Jamie Muffett about their day-to-day processes and work Alicyn's Wonderland – Hosted by Alicyn Packard, this podcast delves into animation and video gaming with industry legends The Everyday VOPreneur Podcast – Hosted by Marc Scott, this podcast focuses on direct marketing and networking strategies BOOTH/AUDIO HELP Jordan Reynolds – Offers 1:1 consultations to help you with your booth, as well as self-paced courses on many different topics (The Audio Ninja) George the Tech – Offers 1:1 sound treatment help for your home studio RATE GUIDES The GVAA Rate Guide – Commonly used rate guide for quoting non-union projects in the US. The Gravy for the Brain Rate Guide – A rate guide that allows you to input data by country and type of project, like a rate calculator. CLASSES Actors Connection VoiceTrax West The Halp Network SkillsHub.Life On the Mic Training – Vocal extremes training for video games with D’Arcy Smith BOOKS The Art and Business of Acting for Video Games by Julia Bianco Schoeffling The Anywhere Voice Actor by Sara Secora CONFERENCES VOcation – The only conference focusing entirely on the business side of voiceover; also has started a yearly retreat held at varying destinations (2022 was Cancun, 2023 is Costa Rica) eVOcation – All-virtual counterpart of VOcation, held separately from VOcation VO Atlanta – Atlanta-based voiceover conference including performance workshops OneVoice USA and OneVoice UK – annual conferences put on by Gravy for the Brain in the US and UK, culminating in the OneVoice Awards Ceremony That’s Voiceover! – LA-based conference culminating in the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences Awards Ceremony Get Your Game On – LA-based conference all about video games and voice acting MAVO/Mid-Atlantic VO – New England based educational and networking voiceover conference
  • I read this whole thing and I still have a specific question.
    I’ll do my best to help! I get a lot of messages every week about starting out, which is why I offer this guide as a starting point. Please ensure you've read it first before reaching out – and also check out the additional resources section! You can reach me at
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