For many actors, this subject brings up a lot of questions.
How do I know if I’m qualified?
Do I need a demo reel?
If so, what should my demo sound like?
How long should it be?
How much money could I make doing voiceover?
Do I need to be trained or is my acting training enough?
Do I need a voiceover agent?
These (and many more) were MY questions.
When I first came to LA, I was incredibly intrigued by the idea of getting into voiceover acting.
But the list of questions above always stopped me.
Every few years, and I would get a hit of voiceover ambition and make a move.
MOVE #1: Write a check for $500 and take a voiceover class.
MOVE #2: Write an even bigger check and make a voiceover demo.
MOVE #3: Get discouraged by my lack of knowledge regarding what to do next, and quit…
…Until the next time.
Obviously, none of this led to voiceover jobs for me.
It only led to a depleting bank account.
What was I doing wrong?
Well, for ONE, I lacked consistency.
TWO, My goals weren’t specific…
… Was I interested in COMMERCIAL voiceover work or ANIMATED voiceover work?
At the time, I would’ve said:
“Anything! I’LL DO ANYTHING as long as it pays!”
NO SPECIFICITY LEADS TO NO WORK.
So, before I tell you what I SHOULD HAVE DONE, let’s quickly answer the above questions.
– How do I know if I’m qualified? You don’t. The question is: Are you passionate/committed?
– Do I need a demo reel? Yes.
– If so, what should my demo sound like? A compilation of your best voices.
– How long should my first V.O. reel be? 30-60 seconds.
– How much money could I make doing voiceover? A lot. Enough to live on in L.A.
– Do I need to be trained or is my acting training enough? You need to be trained.
– Do I need a voiceover agent? Ultimately, yes.
Okay, so what should I have done in the early days to prepare for a career in Voiceover Acting?
#1 Make a clear and firm decision: Is voiceover something I SERIOUSLY want to pursue?
#2 Determine if I’m interested in commercial v.o. work or animated v.o. work.
#3 Research voiceover agents and listen to their clients’ demos so that I know what I am working toward.
#4 Listen to everything I possibly can IN the genre I have chosen.
#5 Set up a consistent schedule (20 minutes a day) in which I practice.
#6 Find a friend who has the same goal and PRACTICE together once a week.
#7 Find a reputable voiceover class and sign up.
#8 Create my own practice demo on my iPhone and get feedback from friends.
#9 Go to a reputable voiceover demo house and record a demo.
#10 Begin reaching out to the agencies that I researched (in #3 above) by sending them a cover letter and my voiceover demo reel.
Stick with it! Even if you don’t get immediate responses, don’t get discouraged!
IT ONLY TAKES ONE “YES!”
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