Someone trying to sell me voiceover coaching, is not going to be honest with me. So if I have an ugly and/or unpleasant voice, tell me. That’s something I can’t change and I don’t want to waste my time. Thank you in advance.
Hi Amber. I’ll brutally honest. It sounds like you’ve already made your mind up about your voice, and whether you have the potential to develop it properly. If that’s the case, then we’d be wasting our time giving you feedback.
Let’s dial it back a bit. Who told you that you can’t change or improve your voice? And why couldn’t you?
I listened to 4 or 5 of your demos. Without knowing anything else about you or your background, I’d say you have an adequate voice by itself, but the way you use it needs work. In terms of voiceover, the audiobook demo seemed to be closest to what a producer would like to hear. The commercial demos need to be a higher quality and delivery. Record some commercials off the radio or TV, and then record yourself reading the same script, then compare the two. You’ll start to see the difference, and experiment with changing your delivery, breathing, inflection, pace, etc. the way you hear voice actors do.
Are you capable of learning how use your voice more effectively and make it more marketable? I’d give an unqualified “yes”. The question is, are you willing to take the time to learn and develop yourself?
Yes, coaches and studios are in the business of selling their services. However, soon or later, you’re going to need those services. Very few voice actors, if any, get started and achieve commercial success on their own. I have a nice resonant baritone voice, but it didn’t take me long to realize I had no idea how to use it properly for VO work. I completed 22 weeks of intensive training, started getting a few jobs right away, but I’m still learning and getting better even now.
If you want to work in voiceover to earn an income, you’ll have to bite the bullet at some point – make an investment in money (training and equipment), and time (practice, auditioning, marketing).
I’m not making any money on this: you should find yourself a voiceover coach, and at least invest in some consultation sessions. Find out what they do and how they do it, and give some expert opinion on where you are now, and where you need to be. The best coaches will not guarantee that you will instantly be successful, they can only get you to a certain point. But if I hadn’t sought out a coach, I would not have made it even that far.
Look around, ask around, check references. There are enough reputable coaches and studios you can find. If not, you can watch Youtube videos and read books.
When I was 12 and wanted to play football in middle school, I was too slow and too weak to be a running back or make tackles, so they stuck me on the offensive line. I complained to my father about it, and he told me that I could get stronger and faster if I was willing to put in the time doing pushups, chin-ups, and wind sprints for a year. I just said, “No, it doesn’t matter what I do, I can’t change the way I am, I’d just be wasting my time.”
Do you think I’ve ever regretted saying that, and not following my Dad’s suggestion? Only about a million times. I squandered that opportunity. When I decided to go into VO a few years ago and understood I needed to get better, I was determined to not make the same mistake. My hope is that you will not either.
Best of luck and success to you. If you want to chat some more about this one-on-one, shoot me an email. Take care.
Joe “Zunardo” Jankowski JoeKatVoiceover@gmail.com
One has to realize when they suck at something. I have auditioned 7 times and 4 of them I got 1 star. On one I got 2 stars. The rest were never opened. I’m out of a couple hundred dollars and failing at every turn. Luckily for me, I insisted on a 30 day trial of this site before I dished out $400. It’s time to sell the Yeti, and stop wasting my time.
Amber – I understand. If you feel it hasn’t been worth it, and the passion for it isn’t there, then maybe it is time to pursue something else. I wish you the best in whatever that is.
However, I will leave you a few thoughts to consider
- purchasing a 30-day membership showed good judgement, always best to try something else on temporary basis before committing to something much longer
- if you have only done 7 auditions and are basing your self-worth as a voice artist on just that small sample, you are selling yourself short. I was successful 2 times in my first 40 auditions when I started on Voice123 in July 2016. However from then to February 2017, I got only 2 more jobs on Voice123, so a total of 4 in eight months, and nothing since then. However, that February job let to a second job from the client because they chose to contact me directly – so 4 direct jobs and one indirect job.
This year has been much better, especially the last two months.But then again I do anywhere from 5 to 7 auditions each day on V123. I’m picky about what I audition for, it has be a voice type of style that I’m good at, but I like to give myself as many opportunities as possible to succeed. And the thing is, I really enjoy it despite the fact I haven’t been as successful as I’d hoped.
Unless you are in the top echelon (which I am not) where you land 2 or more jobs each week on a Pay-to-play site like Voice123, it should be considered just one avenue from which to pursue income.
Some other things you can do (if you wish) to develop your voice which won’t break the bank:
- look for a job as a public-address announcer at local middle schools and high schools. Most of those are on a volunteer basis, but it’s fun and great experience. Some schools are willing to pay $20 per event, but it’s not that common. I’ve done it for over 20 years, and I landed a paying job at a local community college’s basketball team because of it.
- if you have a mic, computer, and recording software, volunteer to be a reader for the nearest reading service for the blind. I’m a reader for VoiceCorps.org, and I’m able to record my weekly show at home and upload it on Dropbox for their engineer to put in the broadcast queue. Great experience for cold reading.
-pick up a copy of Rodney Saulsberry’s “Tongue-Twisters” book, and look for books on voiceover in your library. Great info to read and digest, and for planning where you want to be down the road.
That’s all. Whichever path you choose, the best of success to you.
Joe “Zunardo” Jankowski email JoeKatVoiceover@gmail.com
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