I see these videos about "anyone can do voice overs" and I think, really? You know, the one... with the woman reading aloud on the subway. I think it's very misleading.
Not everyone can be as committed to spending the money and hearing no as much as you do as a voice actor. It isn't for everyone, and I'm afraid those who profess that "anyone" can do it are only preying on people's hopes and making a profit from it.
Sure, just sign up for our subscription and we'll send you auditions for jobs that you'll never get, and if you do it's only because you'd do it for 10 dollars.
Nothing personally against these sites, but buyer-beware they are for making money not for the advancement of the art. I do realize that a lot of you have made good money from these services and you see them as a marketing tool. That's fair, I'm just thinking of the newbies.
I'm not trying be crabby about it, but it reminds me a lot of people I meet that tell me they could do voice overs too. I tell them, watch this video. It'll change your life.

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J S,

Thank you for replying. I love getting as many opinions about stuff as I can. As far as the 'video' I mentioned..... There was one posted on this site a week or so ago that got me thinking of some poor soul thinking it was 'just that easy'. I couldn't find the link.
I just get a bit upset when I see and hear of people thinking they can just crack the radio shack mic and be doing what I've worked for almost my whole life. It's like saying, I could be an electrician, give me a pair of wire strippers or I could be an artist, give me a paintbrush.
You need talent. Bottom line. And those people who are trying to make a dollar off of you won't tell you that you are talentless.
Lololol!! Preach on, Pastor Peppin! I couldn't agree with you more! There's nothing like going into an actual voiceover class, and hearing it right from the mouth of the coach "This may not be for you at this time in your life, and I'm going to refund your money." Well...maybe not the last part:)

NO Kidding. It isn't easy. My husband says he can do it. So I took him into my studio and let him voice one of my scripts. He spend about a minute on it. Got frustrated and blamed me. To tell you the truth. He just doesn't have a knack for it, and he thinks it's easy money. Not always. I think you have to have talent, drive and be ok with hearing NO once in a while. It's not for the thin skinned, that's for sure.
I teach a beginning VO class in Chicago...and frankly I do lay it on the line as to what it takes to be a working VO. I would say that an average of 1 to 2 people in each class may have what it takes to be a working VO. The truth is, that there isn't much work to be had! It's globally competitive and there isn't a lot of work out there. But! That shouldn't stop someone if they are really determined. I've only told one person that I didn't think she should pursue it because she just wasn't directable. (She did not like hearing that.) But far be it from me to make that judgment about someone because I could be completely wrong. Not everyone can be a VO. And if they do want to be a VO, they need to learn how to act and learn how to improvise. I always teach a little improv in my classes because it does make a difference in character creation and general creativity. You must be able to take the direction and run with it.

Plus, our lives are about rejection. You audition, and don't get the job way more than you do. But, we do it and forget about it which saves our sanity!
Not a lot of work out there???? Let me read it again>>>> yep, that's what it says. lol..not sure I agree with that one. In fact i'm POSITIVE I don't agree with that one>>>But who asked me? These groups/discussions are healthy and fun. Not a combo you find in many other things, huh?~~
Thanks Rick, for everything really. Karen, you're the best.
I agree with you Mike. There is a TON of work out there. It depends on how low of a rate you are willing to accept, but yes tons!(For the record, I've been known to take a low rate if the audience is small as well.) I get work from all over the world. I'm doing work for the Canary Isles, Jordan, Britain, Spain and PayPal is awesome!
I'm a bit confused though, Kathleen. If you TEACH a beginning VO class then you ARE the one who should be telling these people that they should stick with their day jobs. I think as a teacher, you are one of the most qualified people to make that judgement.
I couldn't agree more. Recently, I've been put to the test with huge financial hits from storms that raged through the Pacific Northwest way back in December. It will be the hallmark of my professional career to have discovered the essence of my training through sheer dedication to cause. Professionals in any artistic endeavor must be taught perserverence, humility, ability to listen to all opinions concerning his / her work(s) and so much more.

"You Too Can Take A Beatin'..." should be the title of damn good expose' on just what it takes to be a voice actor or any kind of entertainer.

BUT... I do have these antique bottles of snake oil right here....
I guess my main gripe is the term voice actor. These hacks that are making the money by puking all over the mic are not voice actors, they are announcers and deejays. I agree that anyone can be an announcer, but they'll never understand the subtleties that make us voice actors. And yes, I too have clients that want me to be that annoying announcer and it's hard to turn down money but I also have the ability to turn it on an off. I just treat is as another character, an annoying one.
I was just about to write a post about the same subject! I get at least one email a week from a VO hopeful. Almost every one of them starts with, "People tell me I have a great voice..." I always begin bluntly with, "While that may be true, it takes more than a great voice to be a voice actor."

Michael, I might just borrow some of your words the next time I receive one of those emails.

Well said! I get sick and tired of all these wanabees out there who think if they go into a little room, put a duvet over their heads, (and badly read ad's which anyone genuinely in the biz would know they could not have voiced,) and have the audacity to say they are voice talent!
If i tell anyone what i do, i can almost guarantee that someone will say (often with a speech impediment BTW!) Oh i've been told i've got a good voice, can you help me get some work?!
Being a voice over/actor/talent, call it what you will, is a skill and in most cases a gift. People outside of the biz just see it as an easy way to make money, thanks to those stupid ad's...'your voice could make you up to X amount a day'... Often the people advertising these services have no clue how to direct the voice. Don't have the moral scruples to tell someone they haven't a hope in hell of making it, and are just after making a quick buck. These ad's are an insult to any voice over's who have honed their craft, and make a real living out of this very insular industry!
Right rant over, I'm off to the pub!
I agree with a lot of what most of you are saying. I will also say that you can have the greatest pipes in the world but if you don't how to market yourself, you're toast! :)

First off, your Internet grammar skills are appalling. It offends my eyes, sir.

Secondly, it's probably better in the UK for the voice over industry because here in the U.S., there is very little voicework outside of LA. And, despite what some "industry experts" have to say, it's very cliquish. They just don't want to take a chance on someone new. They're in no condition to take risks with the economy the way it is, although the motion-picture industry as a whole is doing surprisingly well.

That being said, stay where you are, man. Over here, it's going to hell in a handbag.


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