Training and Coaching
The one question any working voice actor gets more than any other is, “How do I break into voiceover.” The fact is you don’t.
I think voice acting is one of those areas of performance that the average person thinks, “How hard can it be? I’ve got a great voice.”
You can have a Stradivarius. Doesn’t mean you can play. But a master can play an old country fiddle like a virtuoso.
Voice acting is not something typically broken into. For the vast, 99%+ majority, it takes years of practice, auditioning, and booking increasing amounts and variation of work.
High level performance in any discipline…sports, business, meditation, whatever it is…is a collaborative pursuit. That is, it takes dedication and passion and talent on the part of the performer and a deep collaboration with an experienced and expert coach or trainer.
Finding an experienced, reputable expert coach is a foundational step in any performance oriented career. Finding one that’s a good match for the performer is part luck, part research, and part art. The combination of well-matched talent and coaching can do special things. As much as it pains me to say this, think of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. No one disputes that either would not have had the success they’ve had (a record 5 championships together) without the other.
“But I train hard on my own, why do I need a coach?”
Because an experienced, expert coach can see things that you can’t. They can see weaknesses and strengths in you that you can’t. They can pull potential out of you in a way that no one can do for themselves. They can encourage you when you feel like giving up, pull you back when you need it, and give a well-timed pat on the back or slap upside the head (metaphorically of course).
And the really good ones will tell you things you don’t want to hear to challenge you, motivate you, and sometimes check your ego.
Training and coaching are part of my growth as a professional. My current coach it Terry Daniel and his staff at Universal Voice Talent. One of the advantages and one big reason I train with them is that I can work with several different coaches, each one of whom has individual strengths, but also each one of who sees different strengths and weaknesses in me and is able to
Over time, I work with other coaches and take other classes. No one coach can teach you everything.
As a side note, I mentioned the word reputable above. Our industry, like many others, sadly has its share of snake oil salesmen who will sell you a dream and gladly take your cash. “Make 6 figures working from home in your PJs! At our half-day seminar, you’ll learn how to take the world of voiceover by storm, AND get a professionally produced demo!”
No. No you won’t.
You’ll get hardly any real training and a slapped together hack demo from stock scripts that sounds like someone with no real training read them. Because someone with no real training did. A reputable coach won’t let you record a demo until you’re really ready to compete.
Do your research. Ask around. Join several Facebook groups. Lurk and listen for weeks or months. Get references. Then interview the coaches yourself. Most reputable coaches will give you a first session for free so you can vet for fit and chemistry.
Whether you’r an athlete, actor, musician, artist, salesperson, accountant, doctor, partner, spouse, or craftsperson, ongoing coaching and training are essential to your development.