How important is a good voice for voiceover work?

From time to time I get emails from people interested in getting started in voiceover. Sometimes the emails come from the interested party, sometimes from a loved one. For example, a mom wrote some time ago asking for help for her son because she thought voiceover work was something he could do well. And the other day I received a note from a lady who wrote to say that her husband has a really good voice and she wanted to know what he would need to do to help him get started.

Here are 4 observations in response to these questions that come my way from time to time.

1. In spite of what you may think, successful voice acting careers are not built on the “voice.” In other words, it’s not about how nice your voice is or how many compliments you’ve received about your voice. Success in voice acting has everything to do with how well you can deliver the story, the message, that your clients hire you to deliver.

2. It’s for the above reason that professional coaching is imperative. Without a foundation of solid voice acting instruction you have virtually no chance of making any money in voice acting. Even with solid coaching, you stand only a very slight chance. There are quite literally thousands of people every day who decide “I’m going to be a voice actor” and yet never make any money at it.

3. Yes, I’m trying to be discouraging. You have to want this. Really want it. And be willing to spend quite a bit of time, effort and money to get ready before you make dime one. A realistic estimate would be 6 to 12 months, a significant amount of money (figure at least $5,000, possible much more). And a great deal of work.

4. Assuming you read over the above and want to press forward go to www.breakintovoiceover.com and order the first of the MP3 teleseminar files that you’ll find there. It’s called “Your Voice Over Business.” Everything you really need to know to get started is in that hour and 45 minute recording. (If you’re really serious and can afford it, take advantage of the special deal they have on the full library, but ONLY do that if you can afford to spend nearly $300 right now.)

(post edited for greater clarity and accuracy)

15 Comments

  1. You are as right as you can be on this Bob!

    Comment by Brian in Charlotte — January 5, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

  2. Brian,

    Thank you.

    Be well,
    Bob

    Comment by Bob — January 5, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

  3. Hi Bob,

    $5000? Wow, that’s a deal. Where can I get high quality training, demos, web site and logo design, a professional studio and a real marketing budget for that? Sign me up!

    (Sorry for the sarcasm.)

    I have a friend who made a go of it in one year. She did have a little radio background, natural talent and one heck of a work ethic, but it still cost her around $45,000.00 to get it all in and start a proper career.

    Like any other business, it takes a real investment of time and money to make a go at this industry.

    Be well my friend,

    Dan

    Comment by Dan Nachtrab — January 5, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

  4. Dan,

    Thank you for offering this valuable additional insight and perspective. I have edited my post. You’re right. It can cost a great deal more. And, as we both know, the costs don’t stop after one is launched.

    Be well,
    Bob

    Comment by Bob — January 5, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

  5. timely, informative and realistic. thanks bob for a great post.

    Comment by Donna — January 5, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

  6. Donna,

    Thank you for your kind comment.

    Be well,
    Bob

    Comment by Bob — January 5, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

  7. It cost me £90 to hire a studio for an afternoon that’s about $140, I’ve yet to have one day of coaching or training and I sent out 13 demos before getting my first job on 28th Feb 1990 which paid £63.75($100ish).

    No radio, TV or any other kind of broadcasting, acting background.

    Word of caution – Don’t do what I did and don’t do what I do.

    Comment by Philip Banks — January 5, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

  8. Excellent points Bob.

    I remember an L.A. based acting teacher coming through Dallas now and then who would spend the first 15 minutes of the workshop explaining why we should accept our money back from him and forget any notions of an acting career. Of course we were all too stubborn to listen, convinced that we would be the exception to the long odds against us. Stupid pride.

    Best,
    Bill Pryce

    Comment by Bill Pryce — January 5, 2009 @ 6:27 pm

  9. Bill,

    Thank you for your commit. And Philip, I can only say you are the exception that proves the rule.

    Be well,
    Bob

    Comment by Bob — January 6, 2009 @ 7:12 am

  10. Mr. Banks is a l w a y s the exception. Lol.

    Rob

    Comment by Robin Halcomb — January 6, 2009 @ 10:16 am

  11. Rob,

    How very true!

    Be well,
    Bob

    Comment by Bob — January 6, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

  12. Hooray Bob!
    Very good advice for the up and coming voice actor. Yes! It is NOT just about the voice, it’s about so much more. I especially liked your reality check. You do have to really really want it.

    I will be blogging about your blog on my site and send aspiring voice actors (and seasoned ones) your way for some sage advice.

    Happy New Year!

    Comment by Tracy Pattin — January 6, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  13. Tracy,

    Thank you for your very kind comments.

    Be well,
    Bob

    Comment by Bob — January 6, 2009 @ 10:15 pm

  14. [...] M­­ore­ h­e­re­: How im­p­ortan­t is a g­ood voic­e f­or voic­eover work? | The Vo… [...]

    Pingback by How important is a good voice for voiceover work? | The Voiceover … — January 14, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  15. Observation 1 is 100% true. Very useful article Bob. Cheers :)

    Comment by Jakub Banner — October 29, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

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