Want to get involved in voiceovers? Best ideas? Classes (are they a scam?)
December 28, 2004 5:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm interested in getting into the field of voiceover and vocal acting. I've seen the ads for classes that offer to help you get started (check the Google ads to the right, most likely), but I don't know if any of these are helpful or just a waste of money. Anyone here involved in voiceovers?

Oops, no Google ads on AskMe. Ads like these, I mean.
posted by al_fresco to Work & Money (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

My father has been doing it, and I actually know a lot of people around Wash DC who do it. If you send me an email via my member page I could send your info on to him and he could give you some advice. He takes a long time to respond, but his reponses to these types of questions are well considered.

My observations from outside the process are that the classes did teach him to modulate his voice like you hear on commercials. When I listen to his demo CD he sounds very professional, and very unlike my father. However, depsite that, and despite paying for a mailing list of commercial producers etc, he has gotten called for few jobs and has not actually gotten any jobs. It's hard for me to say, or impossible to say, if this is because of the quality of his demo or a glut of voicers or some other thing I'm not aware of.
posted by OmieWise at 6:45 AM on December 28, 2004

Voice-over work has a rep as the hardest kind of acting gig to land. Less opportunities, filled by a small core of actors who tend to work over and over again.

I'm sure there are exceptions, and I know a few actors who have landed a gig or two over a span of years (usually booked the first time through their regular acting agent). . .buuut, I think it's generally true.

Never, ever, pay an agent, or buy a contact list of people who might be able to get you work. A class that advertises that it can get you work is also highly likely to be disreputable.

Take any acting class for the same reason you'd take another type of class - to challenge yourself, get better, meet people, grow, etc.
posted by rainbaby at 7:06 AM on December 28, 2004

Response by poster: …small core of actors who tend to work over and over again.

So that's why its that same guy's voice in *every* movie trailer out there…
posted by al_fresco at 7:21 AM on December 28, 2004

well i act mostly but have done voiceovers in the past. My advice to you is to be a sponge. If this is something you are serious about then soak up everything you can about controlling your voice. Learn how to use your diaphragm, whic is very important. Learn proper vocal exercises and technique.

And one of the best ways to learn all of that is through classes. Even acting classes. I mean, doing a voice over is still acting. Perhaps take IPA courses (international phonetic alphabet) and learn dialects.

If you are serious about this then I would definitely recommend taking classes. College classes can be good, and there are acting classes specifically for this. Educating yourself is not a waste of money, it is the best thing you can do. But it's not always very cheap. Good luck!
posted by freudianslipper at 7:33 AM on December 28, 2004

Check out Virgil Anderson and Ann Utterback.
posted by cribcage at 9:42 PM on December 28, 2004

The best advice I ever heard is everything is way over the top. The actors doing voice overs are at their most free.

I really think this is a hard career to break into though. Getting one of these jobs is a lot like winning the lottery. Every actor in the world ALSO goes out for voiceover work.
posted by xammerboy at 10:36 AM on December 29, 2004

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