…I wouldn’t have thought so. There are already many qualified people doing this. I’ve studied with some of them myself. Still do.
So why now, after 40-plus years as a working voice actor, have I finally started saying “yes” when someone asks? Mainly it’s because people keep asking. And repeatedly, when I’ve asked those I work with if they’ve gotten something valuable, the answer is an enthusiastic “Yes!”
Being a Voice Talent myself is my primary “job” and I’m not doing this “side hustle” to get rich. But I’m also not just giving it away anymore, though I certainly don’t mind answering a few questions and sharing some resources when someone’s truly interested.
When I asked some of my VO friends who are coaching/teaching “what can I offer?”, the answer was usually – “just teach what you know.” That makes a certain amount of sense, since I’ve learned different things from the different teachers over the years.
My strengths are in acting, figuring out how to create a personality or character – even when the copy just says “Announcer”. I’m pretty good at connecting with a listener (you know…that “empathy” thing). I can draw from people I’ve met, situations I’ve either observed or been part of, working my verrrry healthy imagination into creating a read to blend with other actors who haven’t even recorded yet. Being a long-time Production Guy, I can feel and react to sound effects or situations just by how I use and position my voice. That’s allowed me to voice anything from a grouchy penguin in a snowstorm – to a guy telling you how helpful Hospice was while he tries to hold it together.
I’ve even developed an internal stop-watch that helps me shave a few precious seconds off a commercial read, or expand to match the leisurely flow of an elaborate narration. These are some of the things I can teach…along with the basics of freelancing, naturally.
NOBODY KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT VOICEOVERS.
…and if they claim to, run! Too many newcomers get conned by someone promising to reveal “all the secrets” in just a few easy lessons (and not-so-easy payments). They’ll offer some great deals on equipment (most of which you won’t need). They’ll tell you you’re terrific after just a weekend seminar, and push you into paying for a Demo you’re not ready for.
I don’t do that. Heck, I don’t even have a book to sell you – though I can recommend some truly professional folk/friends/coaches who’ve published some very valuable stuff. My focus is primarily on performance, getting people to really think about what they’re saying, not just reading all the words in the right order. That’ll help you become a valuable resource to producers – rather than merely another person with a nice voice prospecting for a job.
HERE’S WHAT I WILL DO.
Our initial conversation is free (usually about an hour). I listen to find out what you’ve already done, what you’d like to do, get an idea of your personality and preferences. This helps me personalize everything around you. I don’t have a set course. Who knows? We might discover something you can do which neither of us had thought of before.
If we both agree there’s a good fit between us, you decide the schedule and drive the direction we take. If you don’t feel I’m right for you…perfectly okay. You won’t hear from me again, pestering you to reconsider. I like to keep things casual, comfortable, and fun.
Sessions can be online, on the phone, or in person. Everything is done at a pace you’re comfortable with. I’ll supply sample scripts based on your experience, ability, and goals. You can supply ad copy (magazine ads, etc) to try out different styles as well. You decide how many sessions you want to do, and at what pace.
I record each take, then we listen to a playback together while it’s fresh in your mind. We talk about what worked, what could be done differently, and record again.
In my experience, it’s easier for someone to learn something new by being able to instantly hear it back, rather than relying on notes and memory after both may have faded a little. I don’t know anyone else who does it this way, but I feel it’s important. You’ll get a copy of the recorded session, complete with our discussions.
Sessions last about an hour, at a rate of $125.00. Venmo preferred. References available.
HERE’S WHAT I WON’T DO
I won’t tell you something is “great” when it’s not quite there yet (though I always point out something good in a read first). And I won’t push you for more takes if you decide it’s not a style you want to pursue.
I won’t try to sell you books or gear or websites. There are already plenty of good people out there who can provide those things.
I won’t try and bluff my way through something I don’t know about, should you stop and ask a question. I’ll find the answer from a trusted source. Who knows? I might learn something that’ll help me!
Voiceover people are some of the nicest folks you’re ever going to meet. And if we work together, I plan to be an example of that. I don’t really even like the word “Coach”. Consider me more of a Guide, a Resource, a Teacher.
I’d enjoy hearing from you.