This is something I hear weekly, and I’m sure most voiceover agents do. We love great voices (duh) but my advice to those who hear this statement is to get some experience. How do you do that? Voiceover classes, theater, improv classes, acting classes, etc. Anything that helps you learn how to listen and take direction. In voiceover, those are two very important skills. Of course, we generally want nice sounding voices but if you don’t know how to listen to what a client wants, it does not matter what kind of voice you have.
Listening and taking direction go hand in hand. As a voiceover talent, you must learn how to listen to a producer or writer and deliver what they are asking of you. Offering your own ideas or how you think a spot should sound is probably not the best way to get hired back. Your job is to listen and make that spot sound awesome. You need to be a mind reader and, as agents, we have to do the same. We know how difficult it can be but it sure is fun when we figure it out!
There are a couple places in the Twin Cities that I recommend for voiceover experience.
Guthrie Theatre. It’s a great place to find out if you even like voiceover, as it can be a vulnerable experience. I often compare it to singing. In the Guthrie classes you learn the basics about the business and what voiceover is actually about. You will receive and read script, meet others in the industry and learn how important a demo and networking is.
Voiceresults. Sarah Jones-Larson and her husband, Dave Larson, have created a unique way to teach. They have workshops where you move from room to room, taking direction from different coaches and working through different types of script. At the end of the workshop they have a great Q&A where you are able to ask any and all questions to a panel of working talent, producers, and agents.
Voiceover is so fun when you’re able to listen and willing to learn!
Moore Creative Talent, Inc.