ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 5.01 - APRIL 2000

Having A Voice In The Industry

by Gregory Singer

Inclusion in this article does not mean Animation World Magazine is endorsing these products or services.

So you just got off the bus from Kansas, and you want to make funny voices for a living? Sure, why not. Somebody has to do it. The big question becomes: How to begin?

Courtesy of Art Today.

In the noise and hustle of L.A., it may at first appear a little daunting. But fear not. There is hope. If you have the talent and passion to work in the voice over business, there are plenty of people here to help you. While this advice centers on resources in the Los Angeles area, some of the advice can easily be transferred to London, Toronto, Sydney and all points in between.

You Need Help
The general trajectory for any successful career begins with training. (After you have attained some level of skill and comfort in creating voices, you will put together a demo tape. And the demo tape will help you to find an agent to represent your talents. And the agent, God willing, will help you to find work. But all of that comes later.)

To prepare you for the industry, you need to take the time to hone your technique and explore your creative range as a voice over artist. Don’t be surprised to realize that you should devote a good six months to a year to develop your craft.

Demo tapes can be expensive to make. It can cost anywhere between $500 and $4,000 to create one. (If it’s any consolation, you can rationalize this expense as an investment in your future.) It is an incredible waste of money to make a bad tape, with only a few, poorly developed voices to show, thinking that your Bullwinkle or Donald Duck impersonation is going to make you competitive among all possible artists.

You need to know how to market yourself. You need to know how to conjure up fifteen different characters’ voices, and how to sustain them over ten pages of emotionally varying script. A teacher will help you to do this. Through beginning, intermediate and advanced classes, a teacher will direct you on how to perform: not just for your demo tape, but also for auditions, in front of agents and casting directors.

So, that’s the punchline: find yourself a good teacher. Find someone with whom you feel you can learn and work. She, or he, will mentor your introduction into the industry from there.

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Note: Readers may contact any Animation World Magazine contributor by sending an e-mail to editor@awn.com.


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