A Newbie’s Guide to VO Without An Agent

Posted on Posted in ebooks, Voice

So you wanna get into VO, but you don’t know where to start. There are so many resources, blogs, venues (paid access and/or not) and forums that you have no idea what to do.

Believe…I’ve been there. Oh man, I’ve been there. So what if I told you it can be done? Like right now? Would you believe me?

You can find the work you want without an agent, and believe me, many people who do audiobooks and freelance work don’t stay there in that circuit for long if they are professional and talented! You can do this! Believe it or not,  I get VO work for games and cartoons via Fiverr, so now is a good time to start!

So Why VO? Aren’t You An Actor? You know, the theatre kind?

In response I’d say, yes…yes I am, but I’m not only an actor: I’m also a product of 10+ years in the entertainment industry and corporate America. I’ve also endured the disorganization, and the pigeonholing, movies, theater and television do to talented actors based on looks, gender and race.

Frankly, I got super tired of being called in for slave, maid, sassy ‘black’ friend and ‘Baby Mama’ roles only to be turned away due to moral standards or ‘not being ghetto’ enough.

Secondly, the set/stage is at a level of jaw dropping disorganization. There is too much money spent and there are too many egos who don’t invest in making the audience happy…they invest in making themselves known. So after multiple years of being out in the cold on set for 14 hours at a time, or watching actors quit in frothing rage because ‘they can’t work like this’, I decided to turn to the internet as my stage and connect with people who just want a good tale to listen to.

Is my theater teacher disappointed? I think so, but not entirely. I know he wants to see my name in lights somewhere (Sock it to ’em, JC! ), but he’s happy that I’m working.  As long as I take the craft to those who need it, then I’m doing ‘The Work’ and that’s all that matters. Luckily, I get paid pretty well,  I get to keep my own schedule, my text is always different and my craft always improve.

I will never quit theater; I’m just holding out to find my Spielberg and do cool stuff that is a bit more like a business and less like a daycare!

 

So Where Do I Start?

What you need before you do anything is to know how to ACT. Yes, many blogs say this, but this is standard. Get some acting chops and then come back to VO goodness!

 

Okay, I DO Know How To Act! Where Do I Start Again?

 

Audio Engineering Links and Resources

When starting off with VO work, having an online portfolio is vital! It gives people a chance to view what you do and it let’s them gauge what they will need you for. Here’s the breakdown to get started:

Software:

Audacity : Windows

Lame Plugin [MP3 files]

 

Noise Reduction - Located In Effects

 

– EQ Files (go to EQ and make your Settings in -3DB)

– Noise Reduction (12 | 6 | 3: find Noise Reduction in Settings)

 

Where to Find Work W/O an Agent:

Fiverr

  • I recommend this, as you will get exposure, get paid and learn how to become a working VO actor. Find your niche and sell yourself. Here’s my profile, if you’d like an example of what I’m good at.
  • I worked with video games (PC and Mobile), cartoons and short film all through fiverr.
  • If you’re good at informational stuff, be sure to have a vid showing your impersonations and reel. Videos are super important. I see you already do, but it’s vital to have multiple.

ACX

  • This is the best place to find audiobook work, get royalties, learn about being a working 1099 contractor and grow your portfolio. This is also the best place to grow a fan base for voices.

r/voicework

  • If you have a portfolio already made, this is the perfect place to audition for projects and get a fanbase, especially if you do the above. I go here for fan fic work, games and cartoons from time to time.

Soundcloud

  • This is where you should have your portfolio with easy to find hashtags of what you’re good at! This is a great place to get traffic and have referral links to what you can do.
  • As you can see, I have range and do a lot of things; my biggest gig has been work for UNICEF and NYT!

Casting Call Club

  • This is great site for fan dubs, anime, visual novel and video game work if you’re an otaku at heart.

Equipment

 

Pop Filter

Foam Windscreen

Blue Yeti Mic

Rode Boom Arm (Optional if you want to stand)

 

Tips

– Join the Voice Acting Alliance if you haven’t done so already! They have auditions up all the time!

–  If information work is your thing, then surf the web and find as may scripts with well known characters for your range. I’m known for sexiness, male voices, villains, business types, sages and the age range from late teens to mid 50s. Look for scripts that reflect your strong points and do those. It also helps casting directors decipher easily since they have a gauge of an established voice to go against.

– Make a lot of content! Lots! Anytime you do snippets of anything, but it up on soundcloud and connect your SC to twitter and FB so everyone knows you’re doing stuff.  Some folks may think it’s spam, but you’d be surprised how many people need VO work and don’t know where to look. Soundcloud and Social media make word of mouth easy!

I hope this helps. I just want to say you can do this; I started doing this sort of work in Feb and it’s grown for me. It’s not difficult as long as you’re prompt, professional and consistent. I think that’s what gets me more work than anything. Let me know if you need any help; I’m glad to answer any questions you need.