opinion-Coaching & Value for Money

There are a lot of resources out there for learning about voice-over. Whether you’re an experienced pro, or just starting out.

When it comes to ABOUT voice-over,the internet is by far the best resource. There are SO many free videos, podcasts, vlogs, articles and webinars. You’re really spoiled for choice, and the best part is that they’re all free!

You really can’t beat it as your first source for understanding the basics of the business.

When it comes to coaching and actually practicing voice-over with feedback, there are many ways to do it. If you live in a major city, you can do it in person. Go to a studio and work one-on-one with a coach or in a group setting workshop. Also, via Skype, you can study with the best coaches, directors and talent, anywhere in the world. And again, either one-on-one or in a group workshop.

There are pluses and minuses in both settings. What’s important to keep in mind, especially if you’re a newbie to VO, or even Acting in general, is Value for Money.

One of my first coachings was in a workshop.

  • It was a two-day course over a weekend, 4 hours each day.
  • It cost $208 at a reputable acting studio in NY.
  • It was conducted by a really solid VO actor, with lots of experience in animation, commercial, and audio book work. 
  • It was open to all levels of experience.
  • The first day, there were 18 people. The second, only 12.

We each had various copy to read at the mic, and in my estimate, we each got 5 minutes or so of time at the mic for each selection.  Over the eight hours of the weekend, I maybe got half an hour of time at the mic. 

The rest of the time was spent listening to others perform and be critiqued, and joining in on discussions that covered a VAST array of subject matter, as the experience level of the students was so diverse. Some very experienced, some intermediate, and a ton who were newbies who knew nothing about the world of voice over.

The point here is: Use the internet to become knowledgeable.

  • You’re paying for time in a coaching session, especially in a group setting. Time at the mic. It’s not the best time to ask about getting an agent, how to buy a microphone, or what a DAW is, or also, what internet resources are available. Google your question. You can do it for free..

For me, it was great to see where I was at performance-wise, in taking direction, in thinking creatively and learning better technique and approaches, and being immersed for 8 hours over a weekend.

Also, observing the others, and listening to questions and opinions from a large selection of folks trying to be in the business, who knew a lot, some, or next to nothing.

For me it was worth the $208. I followed up with the coach and sound engineer afterwards and got great feedback, I asked their opinions on some equipment purchases (after I’d done my homework on the internet), and also areas for me to work on. The coach was very knowledgeable, provided great feedback specifically for me, and also for everyone else, was kind, encouraging and supportive, and also gave you 100% of her focus when you were up at the mic.

That said, going forward in group workshops, I learned that the VALUE for me would be in working with only other students who were intermediate, advanced, or seasoned working voice actors, so that we were all able to get as much value from our time and money. And class size. For me, class size is really important. Going forward I’d max out at 8.

Just keep that in mind when you think about purchasing classes. I’ll follow up with another scenario in another post soon. In the meantime, check out my INFLUENCERS blog post. All of the folks on there offer hugely valuable instruction, advice and opinions on everything voice over. And did I mention….it’s free?

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