This is a short list of resources to get you started on your VO journey. I’ve used many of them myself and others have been recommended by trusted colleagues.
Classes for all levels
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, ongoing education will always be part of your career. Here are some excellent places to check out. Choose from in person and on-line education.
- The Voice Actors Studio (TVAS) Founded by Melissa and Troy Moats in 2015. Based in Las Vegas, NV, TVAS offers a range of classes and workshops in VO techniques and the business of voice acting. Their prices are reasonable and they have assembled an outstanding team of instructors. They are a wonderful and talented group of people.
- Edge Studio Comprehensive training in all aspects of the business, from performance to marketing. They also have an extensive list of resources to that you can access for free once you create an account. New York based Edge studio has been in business for over 30 years.
- Global Voice Acting Academy GVAA. Another top-notch academy with fabulous coaches and instruction on every aspect of craft and business, as well as resources to help you along the way. GVAA is based in Los Angeles.
Books about the biz
Reading a book is a great way to get an overview of the business and get answers to questions you might not even have thought to ask!
- Rob Marley: So You Want to do VO? Just published in 2020. Rob is a voice talent, coach and mentor. This book has practical, easy to follow guidelines to help you start your business. This is a wonderful place to start.
- Harlan Hogan: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-over Actor Published 2014. If you don’t know the name, you surely know the voice. Harlan Hogan is a giant of VO. This book is wonderful for historical perspective on a fast-changing industry. Harlan has seen a lot and has tremendous wisdom to share.
- Dan Friedman: Sound Advice This is an absolute gem of a book. A guide for the VO actor from the point of view of an audio engineer. Don’t know anything about microphones and are afraid to ask? Dan can explain it all to you in language even I can understand. Dan runs through the technical aspects of recording at home, covering subjects such as acoustics, in-studio protocol, choosing gear, understanding recording software, and more. It’s an essential companion guide to understanding the technical side of the recording business.
- Audacity. It’s free. Works on PC or Mac. Don’t think less of Audacity because it’s free. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on expensive software, do your pocketbook a favor and start with a product that’s free AND has all the features you need to produce beautiful audio in the comfort of your own home.
- Good thing you saved that money because you still have to learn how to USE your free software! Take the money you saved and make a worthwhile investment: Have Larry Hudson show you how to make the most of your new software. You’ll be glad you did. I took Larry’s class after I’d been using another product for years. I learned a lot and still occasionally refer to my class notes He’s an excellent teacher and you’ll be way ahead of the game from the outset. You can reach Larry by clicking here.
There is a treasure trove of great information on the internet. Here are some of my favorites but there are lots of other excellent options. Find ones that speak to your heart.
- John Florian’s Voiceover Xtra! Short articles on everything under the VO sun.
- Dan Lenard and George Whittam’s Voice Over Body Shop. (VOBS) A wonderful talk show with two fabulous hosts that you will surely enjoy. Tech talk, special guests, business matters and more.
- VO Buzz Weekly with Chuck Duran and Stacey Aswad Chuck and Stacey host a fun and informal talk show featuring superstars of the industry. A great way to learn about the careers of successful VO artists.
- The VO Marketing Podcast with John Melley John thinks way outside the box. If you’re stuck in a rut and wondering how to get out, this podcast will put your brain into overdrive.
- The VO BOSS Podcast with Anne Ganguzza Anne has combined her passion for VO and strong background in business to make this one of the most popular podcasts in the industry. She’ll show you how be the BOSS of your VO Biz.
- Terry Daniel’s Voiceover Café This is a really fun show and it’s also beautifully produced. Get the scoop on the state of the industry from this group of 5 VO superstars. They’ll cover things you never even knew needed covering. Like what not to wear….in the booth!
- Ann Richardson: advice for new Narrators It makes me so happy to say that I knew Ann back when….she was just starting out– dreaming of a career in audiobook narration. Well, guess what? She DID it!! She’s a three-time Earphones award-winner and she’s written a wonderful blog article for those considering a career in audiobook narration.
- Tom Dheere: The Not So Silent Blog In addition to his talents as a voice actor, Tom is also a strategist and business consultant. He’ll help you make a mission statement, set goals and reach for the stars. He blogs frequently on matters of interest to your career.
Ringo Starr said it best: I’ll get by with a little help from my friends.
- World Voices Organization The premier professional organization for voice talent. Put yourself at the heart of the VO community. This is a place to learn and make friends and promote excellence in our industry. You can join at the associate level if you’re just starting out.
- Facebook groups. There are several niche groups for VO on FB, but you want to find one that’s specially created for newcomers. Here are two that you can check out:
- Start your own community. You can create a mastermind group by meeting in a virtual space once a week. I started one almost 8 years ago with a handful of VO friends and we still meet every single Monday night on Zoom.
There are enough resources on this list to keep you busy for at least….a while. These are starting points. Once you open the box you’ll start to discover all the other hidden gems out there. I hope you will find these helpful!