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voiceover career help please

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by tigerpilot1995, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. After being told I should persue this for years I am finally going after it. I want to explore voiceover work. I have done some reseach on the net and find all kinds of workshops but don't really know what I am looking at. Does anyone have any experience here and could you offer some advice about how to not get totally ripped off and learn a little about this subject in the process. Thank you all for any imput.
  2. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Just what I need - more competition.

    In the interest of fairness, though, here's a thought or two(Don't tell my long-suffering wife I told you this stuff!).

    Casting directors in major cities(Assuming you live within driving distance of one) almost all offer classes for such things. For VO classes, they may even "end" with a "demo CD" for you to use? Actually, they make a considerable portion of their incomes from the classes they hold. While all courses may not be the same, casting directors I've known are honest, not out to rip you and if they "learn you", while you're learning from them, they will be the first(Especially after you've spent your money with them) to try to get you work. Keep in mind that they will want you to do on-camera work, too!(Hey, if I can do it, you can do it.)

    NOT "modeling agencies" - who often just want teenage dreamer girls money - period - for 'classes', photo shoots, etc., with no chance of ever seeing any return, but, Casting Directors, with "free" open calls, actual PAID casting credit for TV/VO/Movies, etc. Every big city has at least a few.

    Oh. Don't be in a hurry to join any unions... When it's time to join a union, the union will let you know it. On the other hand... Yeah, go ahead, join a union - first thing!(Last I'll have to worry about you.)...

    And, yeah, me too - lots of people said "Oooh, Teddy, you ought to go to the city and do VO, you're so wonderful! Crap. First audition I ever went to(And every one after) I ran into at least several dozen people(Most ALL of which I NEVER saw again!), all going after the same part, who had grown up hearing the same thing... If you're FANTASTIC and YOU KNOW IT, have at it. If you're so-so(Like me), you'd be better off to take classes in sales - they'll be a lot more valuable... Fact is anybody that can read aloud can "do" VO(And alot of people that can't!), the job is getting the gig.

    End of free advice to help you get my gigs.

    Teddy G.

  3. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    My wife has beeen a newscaster for years and had andagent for VO jobs... said had, as the dude hardly ever got her any jobs- she says that the first step is to get a 'good' agent, though.
  4. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Never mentioned it myself, as the agents I deal with do no(Or very little) with VO. Mainly because the casting directors(At least around here) do that themselves, effectively by-passing the agents. AND mostly because few, if any agents would consider taking-on someone for the rather tiny community of VO-types with "0" experience "0" knowledge and no demo - many casting directors will at least hear you out at their monthly "open call"(And, give you a class schedule!). Yes! Some agents have Open Calls, too! Give 'em a try! Only reason I squeaked into the system is that I was, by then, a long-time - though never great - broadcaster and had done(ON MY OWN) some freelance VO. The William Morris Agency will find YOU when they think, from seeing what you've already managed to do yourself, that they can make a worth-their-while buck on you.

    Frankly, getting VO jobs... No... Finding how to even try to get VO jobs is... tough. Finding an agent that will do anything more than submit a headshot to a casting director, so you can drive into the city, pay your 20 buck parking fee and do your 987th. audition, with only 7 - 150 dollar halfday OC "hits" is much tougher - especially if your REAL goal is VO. That said, I had never done ANY on-camera and even I got OC parts from this silly system and eventually, from the CD's, and some producers, VO gigs. Did an OC for an AT&T(Remember AT&T?) industrial - while I was auditioning for that, the casting director(Bless his pea-pickin' little heart!) mentioned to the producer that I could also do VO for the gig! They wanted someone who could "do" a "radio announcer" - ""Hey! Me, Me, Me!!!"" One of my first(Relatively speaking) big "shots" in the game. I'll bet that video was eventually seen by..? Almost... a dozen people! Cool, man... Actuallly, the shooting location was 104 degrees! Not that cool. It was one of the first videos distributed on CD, which was kind've neat-o.

    Essentially, ALL the VO jobs I've ever gotten, I got myself((How? That's a whole other "secret" story...)) or through a casting director directly, or through some friend/aquantaince who took pity on my pitiful situation. Actually, my first VO job in Philadelphia, came from a suburbian music recording studio manager, who moonlighted in Philly at a commercial producer(But that's just another "Small-town kid hits the big time in a miniscule way" story, wonderful - only to me...)

    Again, if you're truly grrr-eat, a natural, better than almost anyone you've ever heard anywhere doing VO, go for it! You'll be a VO "star"(?) within seconds. If you're a person with a nice voice or semi-interesting voice, well... go for it, too, but, I hope you're willing to get intimitely familiar with the terms "thick-skinned" and "haven't worked in weeks..."

  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I had an agent....once. He was to busy getting his female clients the work. I ended up getting contacts through my voice coach. Try working in a broadcast gig, even a part-time night job. You get some time honing your craft, working with the "right" gear, and getting some exposure to the "ad people". You never know, many of my VO stuff I got was at my "regular day job". I did the VO's for one employer's "on hold" systems, ended up for 36 markets. I worked at a car dealership (service dept., no less) and got work through their internal ad dept. Be creative, and don't be fooled by people who schmooze you excessively...
  6. Thank you very much for the help guys. I am seriously going to look into finding a class or voice coach. I will ask more questions as I learn more and I appreciate your openess. I am an airline pilot by trade and am just looking for something else to do on the side. Is is far fetched for me to think I might be able to do some of this on the road if I have the right equipment? Take care and good luck to you all.

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