So….in page 8 of last week’s Parade magazine, I revealed my almost-6-figure income for all to see:
This was my 15 seconds of fame for the spring….about how long it takes to turn the page and move on to something else – like, say, how much Beyonce and Sandra Bullock make.
Why did I participate? For fun. For the attention, sure, not gonna lie. But also as another slice in my marketing pie. As a member of WoVo, (Worldvo.org) the industry association for international Voice Talents, I want to promote our industry as a field where professional talents are seen – and paid – as the professionals we are. And my fairly-decent income for 2013 was another way to make that point.
Of course,as you might imagine, I got lots of e-mails, messages, and even a couple of phone calls (one really weird one in the middle of the night from Los Angeles, but he might have had a different, um, agenda) saying “wow! you make so much money just for talking? I have a nice voice!”….well, you get the picture.
How to Get Started in Voice-Overs.
Judy Carter says it beautifully in her book The Comedy Bible (for aspiring comics and comedy writers)
- Get good.
- Get noticed.
- Get paid.
In that order.
And then, she continues with a terrific book full of chapters with concrete steps to accomplish all that – chapters that most people, sadly, probably don’t read. “Really? I gotta do all that?”
And so it is with Voiceovers. In the words of Mama Rose (a part which I just auditioned for, and btw, did not get… sad face…but hey that’s show biz. indeed.): “Got the dream, yeah, but not the guts.”
Got the Guts? Here’s What You Do First:
(In the interest of public service, the contents of the letter I usually send to aspiring talents – tho I do tailor it a bit….
As you might imagine, I get this question at least 5 times a day!
This is a business that requires you to be self-starter. Get good at it, learn all you can, and then you must build your business.
My best advice is to do the research first – learn what it takes.
Here are some articles to get you started: http://voiceoverxtra.com/articles.htm?cat=biz%3A+newcomers+to+voice-over
There is also a terrific resource called The Voice-Over Entrance Exam, which spells it all out beautifully
In addition, I highly recommend Edge Studios. They have a 4-hour “Investigate voice-over” class that will answer many of your questions, and it’s a very reasonable rate. Here is the link to that: http://www.edgestudio.com/voice-over-class
regarding audiobooks, some great info is here: https://www.audiopub.org/faq.asp#narrator
There are also some fabulous blogs from the VO community.
additionally, here are some great books :
There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is : A Complete Insider’s Guide to Earning Income and Building a Career in Voice-Overs (latest edition) by Elaine A. Clark. Lots of script examples with detailed discussions.
Art of Voice Acting by James Fourth edition – an excellent book with CD examples. Complete overview of the business.
Technique Guidebook, available at Edge Studio, www.edgestudio.com-
Sound Advice, by Dan Friedman – clear home studio info from a voice talent/engineer
Voice-Over Garden – Jonathan Tilley (online purchase);
Voices of Experience – Doug Turkel – FREE e-book, how VO superstars got there!
also, look for books by Dave Courvoisier, Paul Strikwerta, Bill DeWees…
That should get you started!
good luck, Randye
It is not complete, but it is a place to begin. Feel free to chime in with comments, fellow talents.
Ready, set, go!