STEPS TO BECOME A PRO VO TALENT
From A to B or bean to sprout, here are the first STEPS AND GOALS to GET STARTED IN VOICEOVER. Use this list to launch your journey, and you'll know if you want to pursue VO further.
1. Find a reputable COACH:
The Goal: Learn basic skills & tools; Get honest feedback & evaluation; Gather information about your next steps; Create a personal plan.
2. After a few coaching sessions ASK yourself:
+ Do I enjoy being on mic?
+ Am I able to take the basic direction given at this early stage?
+ Am I excited at the thought of practicing outside of coaching sessions?
The Goal: If “YES” then taking the next steps (outlined below) is a good idea. If “NO”, it’s okay! Voiceover isn’t going anywhere, you can always come back to it OR you realize that it’s just not what you expected.
3. Set-up your HOME STUDIO:
The Goal: To find the voiceover actor in you! Practice, experiment, play…GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE MIC. A “professional” home recording studio is not the goal of this step.
4. PRACTICE and EDITING:
The Goal: The ability to edit audio files and convert them to .mp3 audio files.
5. Sign up for ACTING CLASSES:
The Goal: Remember, the name of this industry is voiceover ACTING and learning to act is necessary.
6. Take STOCK. It’s truth time:
The Goal: Understanding that this is a competitive business, so you have to feel motivated and find joy in the full picture, separate from thinking of it at this stage as just a future income.
Before we get into expanded goals, get a first listen from GSiVO!
No home studio needed. Whether you have a mic or just the record button on your phone, we will listen.
This is an opportunity to get an honest, initial reaction to your voice acting potential. Not a YES or NO. It’s a here’s what we’re hearing.
Gathering information is what GSiVO is all about.
CHECK OUT MY VOICE is a peek through that window into your next steps - one of the many tools that will help build your VO career.
The STEPS AND GOALS Expanded
More resources and more guidance, including how to check in with the best guide on your VO journey—yourself!
The Value of Coaching [Steps 1 & 2]
Ask Yourself: Is my coach a good professional match for my goals? Do they want a suspiciously-large amount of money right up front before they'll work with me?
+ Honest evaluation and feedback.
+ Tools, skills, and on-mic training.
+ Personal planning for career goals/next steps.
Your Home Studio [Step 3]
Ask Yourself: Do I feel free to play, be loud, do silly voices and whatever it takes in my studio? How can I make a comfortable yet inexpensive space for myself, so I can spend my money on coaching and classes instead?
+ Private practice space where you can hone your skills.
+ No need to break the bank on construction/equipment when starting out.
Intro To Editing [Step 4]
Ask Yourself: Can I go from a script and my voice to an edited mp3 file ready for submission to a client? Are there loud crackles, breaths, etc. in my file? What are the specifications for this job, and how can they guide me toward creating the best audition from the reads I've recorded?
+ Be patient: This is where technology meets your voice, and there's a learning curve.
+ Identify and edit together the best takes to create a whole audition.
+ Files must be cleaned of extra noise and pauses, but they don't need SFX or music.
+ Software/computer equipment can be surprisingly inexpensive.
The Value Of Acting Classes [Step 5]
Ask Yourself: How can I bring what I'm learning in class behind the mic, even though it's a stage/on-camera workshop? What tools, warm-ups and skills do I already know from my acting experience for relaxing into roles, analyzing scripts, etc.?
+ Translates to voiceover work, especially improv.
+ Confidence, expression and community.
+ Backbone of your skills as a voiceover actor.
The Gut Check [Step 6]
Ask Yourself: Has my microphone stand become a coatrack? Is this a fun, invigorating new pursuit or a grueling rat race? Has the “homework” of coaching, classes and editing practice fallen off the radar?
If I really want to do this work, what do I need to do to remove obstacles in my way?
Say it: Practicing for voiceover work fills me with feelings of total ____.
If you answered “dread,” that’s okay. We still like you, even if you don't love being a voice talent.
+ Free, no matter how often you do it.
+ Trust it and own it; it's yours.
THE NEXT PHASE OF THE JOURNEY
Finally! - Moving Forward
Ask Yourself: Now what? Am I ready to do what it takes for the next steps on my journey?
If so, you will need the proper tool kit:
Professionally-produced commercial demo and website
+ Distinct social presence.
+ Solid understanding of rates, terms and industry commerce.
+ A business and marketing plan.
+ Experience, confidence and passion.
Been There, Done That - Launching
When ready, you’ll need help creating your brand, producing your demo, advice on contacting potential agents/clients in a positive, professional way…Keep your eyes on this site for expanded discussions on these important topics.
Our VO STRAIGHT TALK blog will provide up-to-the-moment articles on how to get noticed the right way, direct from the industry's top coaches, agents and thinkers.