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On a typical weekend morning, you can find me in front of my laptop, checking my email. My inbox always contains some questions and testimonials from Voice123 voice actors. I love sitting down with a cup of coffee (and maybe a chocolate chip muffin) and reading what’s on your minds this week.  I’ve had some really good questions recently that I think many of our voice talents, veterans and newcomers, can benefit from, so I thought I would share:

 from:KS - Voice Actor
 to: tara.tyler@voice123.com
 date: Sat, Feb 1, 2014 at 5:26 AM
 subject: Hey Tara

Hope you are having a great start to your New Year!  I have really enjoyed your advice and blogs and learned a lot from your tutorial on Adobe Audition.  My question is this:  lately I’ve been getting no reviews at all just “listen to” with no feedback.  Should I assume that the client is just dumping my audition in the trash and moving on?

I hear from a lot of voice actors who are concerned that voice seekers (clients) are not ranking their auditions. Here’s my response to “KS”:

Hi KS –

Thanks so much for taking my course and for reading my posts! It really does mean a lot.

As far as the rankings, most voice seekers are just busy. They listen to the first 9 seconds or so until they hear something that piques their interest. They don’t bother to go back and rate them after they’ve found the one. I also think that many of them feel guilty rating someone with 1 or 2 stars, so they just don’t rate anyone. That being said, I will be emailing voice seekers to let them know how the rankings affect talents and how many talents are eager to get feedback.

My advice to you is to audition and forget it. I never check my rankings. If I, for some reason, start to get a lot of bad ones, then I might wonder what’s up. But for the most part, it all evens out. I get some great ones, some mediocre ones, and some bad ones, so there’s not really a point in worrying over them. If they love me, they’ll hire me! If they liked my audition, but didn’t want me for this project, maybe they’ll add me to their favorites list and contact me later. Maybe it’s because I was used to auditioning offline where you have no idea who got the job or if they even listened.

If the audition says “listened to” that means that yes, they did listen to your audition. :)

Don’t sweat it too much and just keep pushing forward! I hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions.

from:PP
to: tara.tyler@voice123.com
date: Sat, Feb 1, 2014 at 6:48 AM
subject: New comer

Tara,

I have never done any voice over work. I am the guy that people have been telling me my whole adult life that I should be an announcer and do something with my voice.

I want to know how I can get started in this profession at the age of 59?

and another one:

from: TH
to: tara.tyler@voice123.com
date: Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 8:36 AM
subject: Hello

Tara,

I’m not sure how to go about getting voice over work. I live in a small town and I’d like to make a change in my life in doing voice over work. Any pointers?

Thank you,
TH

The majority of emails I get are simply, “where do I start?” This is such a difficult question! It’s hard to tell over one email where a person is in their life, career, and their level of dedication. Recommending a course of action is tough, but here’s my answer:

Hi!

Thanks for your email! You can find all kinds of great info about getting into voiceover here: http://thevoiceoverguide.com/ and also, be sure to check out Voice123 Academy if you’re interested in taking some classes.

Also, check out this blog post on getting started: http://voice123.com/blog/contributing-voice-actors-and-writers/what-is-voice-over-and-how-do-you-it/

I also wanted to share this story with you of one of our voice actors who began his career at age 60 and landed the job of narrator for CBS Football documentaries: http://voice123.com/blog/testimonials/how-i-landed-my-dream-voice-over-gig/

Also, be sure to check out our forums. They are full of great advice from veteran voice actors: http://voice123.com/forum/

I hope this info helps! Be sure to check out our webinars on our YouTube channel too: https://www.youtube.com/user/Voice123voiceovers/videos

My most frequently asked questions to talents

Usually when I get an email from someone who is curious about getting started, I ask these questions:

Have you worked with a coach or a trusted mentor who can help advise you on your career? Even if you don’t find someone in your area, reaching out to other voice actors online via G+, Facebook, or our forums can be a great place to start. They can tell you what to expect, listen to your demos, and give you specific advice on next steps. While the voice over industry is competitive, there is enough work to go around and most people in the industry are happy to share their stories and tips for success with you.

Do you have a home studio? Working online as a voice actor requires you to be able to record auditions from home and, honestly, these days most voice overs are recorded in the talent’s home studio. It’s very rare that a client will book a recording studio and ask you to come to them (although it’s awesome when that happens!).

Do you have a professional demo? Your demo is your resume! If you don’t have an awesome sample of your work to show to a client, how can they hire you? For more info about getting a demo produced, check out Deb Munro’s two part series here.

I love helping people get into this industry that I love so much. When a Voice123 voice actor emails me (or Facebook messages or Tweets) about work they booked on the site, it absolutely makes my day. This is what I love to do. I wish I had more time to mentor and coach individuals, but Voice123 just keeps me too busy! :) Plus, there are just so many awesome coaches and mentors out there and with the power of the Internet and Skype, you can work closely with someone remotely who can really boost your career.

I hope this info helps and keep up the great work!

photo credit: idogcow via photopin cc