Getting Into Voiceover

On average, I’m asked about “getting into voiceover” once a month. First of all, unless you have a serious speech impediment or thick accent, ANYONE has the ability to do voiceovers – any age, any gender. Actually, even if you had a thick accent, you could still do some VO work. Seriously, it’s really not about the voice. It’s the ability to interpret the script and convey the intended message. In some genres, there’s not as much “acting” per se, but in other genres (commercial VO, animation, gaming, promos, documentary, etc.) the acting skills are paramount.

A few things you have to be in voiceover that some may not realize though: an actor, sound engineer, marketing pro, business manager, self-starter, and accountant. Most of these can be learned along the way but it takes time, like with any profession to become successful.

The first step I would take would be to do research on the field of voiceover work. Get a feel for what it’s all about, learn the genres of voiceover. It’s not sitting around the house and waiting for a $10,000 VO job to come in and then going back to watching the tube. It may be that way for a few of the elite, but for the rest of us, you have to hustle. You have to continually train. You have to market, network and become the best you can possibly be. For most of us in the field it’s taken years to be successful. I know many voice actors that do this as a side-hustle and are completely content with that too.

After your research, the next thing to do is start with beginner acting classes. Then take some more acting classes. Then take some improv classes. Then, more acting. After all your training you decide you want to keep pursuing the world of voiceover, you are then ready to setup a home studio. You need a quiet space in the home, treated with acoustical sound absorption materials to deaden any echo or “open room” sound. You can build a decent home studio for under a grand if you already have a good computer.

When your studio is ready (make sure the sound is perfect) you then have to have demos professionally produced. Demos are your calling card – an example of you sounding your very best. I’d say 3 at minimum to start in different voiceover genres. There are over 20 voiceover genres, by the way. I’d start with commercial, corporate narration and e-learning. A GOOD professional demo will run between $1500-$2500 each.

After your demos are made, you’re then ready to dive in with marketing yourself. This includes having your own website, sending emails, making phone calls, writing letters, and joining voiceover websites that provide leads and opportunities.

With all that stated, I cannot stress enough that it doesn’t matter how good, deep or great your voice sounds, it’s all about the acting. The most successful voice actors are the BEST actors and the one’s that hustle the most.

That’s just a basic overview of things. It’s a very competitive field and requires a lot of hard work, time and financial investment (similar to obtaining a college degree.) But it can be very rewarding. I’d be glad to answer more questions but there are a ton of resources online as well. Hope this helps!

To learn more about voice acting and getting into voiceover, Google these terms:

  • “Getting into voiceover”
  • “What is voice acting”
  • “Voiceover for beginners”
  • “Acting lessons for beginners”
  • “Voiceover genres”
  • “Home voiceover studio on a budget”
  • “Voiceover coaches”
  • “Voiceover demo producer”