Welcome to the very new and very exciting (at least to us) complete-voiceover.com.
On our home page, you may have seen this phrase: Rethinking voice over training. Here’s what we mean by that.
Today’s voice over industry has seemingly unlimited potential. The world’s demand for voices has exploded and the barriers to entry have dropped away. There’s room for literally everyone.
What hasn’t changed is the need for training. Voice over auditions and jobs still involve taking a script, bringing the words up off the page and delivering a performance that best serves the project. Voice over is so much more than reading out loud.
Training is still an essential key to getting a voice over job, and it’s one of the things that’s within a voice actor’s control. In a business where many things are out of your control, the smartest thing is to focus on what is.
So how are voice actors, both beginner and working pro, getting their training?
There’s the old standby: a real, live voice over class. They’re great, but they’re expensive, time consuming and only available to folks who live near them. We’d also put private coaches and VO training groups in this category.
Then there’s a new twist on the old standby: online voice over courses. Log in and learn. But not everyone likes learning via video conference, and pre-recorded videos are being marketed by anyone and everyone (read: self-annointed gurus). Plus, they can cost as much as in-person classes, which we think is crazy.
Finally, there’s the online information loop: Google, YouTube, blogs, comment threads and generally winging it. Tips and tricks are great, and you may be able to learn quite a bit in this way. But eventually you’ll hit a wall and need some organized guidance. VO membership sites are littered with the inactive accounts of self-taught hopefuls.
We thought there might be another option.
Who are “we”? You can read about us here, but in short, we are a group of career voice actors who have worked at the highest levels of the business. Voice over has been good to us, and we’re excited to give back. We’ve come together to affordably train the next generation of voice actors, because we believe that if you aspire to do something, you should hang out with people who have already done it.
And you shouldn’t have to pay out the wazoo to do it.
But this isn’t about us. It’s about what we could contribute to an industry that has given us so much. We wondered what would happen if we did this:
Get a group of industry veterans, ones who have voiced just about everything there is to voice, and have them write books explaining everything they know about their VO specialties. Then, throw in audio files so readers can learn two ways: visually and with their ear.
It was an interesting question. So we gave it a go.
Each one of our books (there’s one available at launch, more on the way) is available in e-book, audio book and paperback. Inside you’ll find a combination of step-by-step instructions and well-written scripts that explain concepts very clearly.
Then, we provide corresponding audio files recorded by the book’s author. This allows readers to connect what they’re reading in the book with a delivery the author is describing. Sometimes, hearing a performance is what makes it click.
That’s what makes our books a little different than traditional VO books. Our simple approach to explaining things makes the material easy to pick up, and the audio elevates learning close to what you’d get from a class environment.
The best part? Books are inexpensive, and the audio files are free.
But the other thing that makes us a little different is our philosophy about the industry. We think you should aim high. There’s a lot of low- or no-paying voice over jobs out there, but we’ll never encourage you to take them. We think you should know what you’re worth and expect to be compensated accordingly.
While every voice over job serves a purpose, think about what could happen if you aimed for larger, more visible corners of the industry like movie trailers, animation or TV promos? We think big in our own careers and have reaped benefits, financial and otherwise, beyond anything we ever expected. You can, too.
Success will look different for everyone. If you want to use VO as a side hustle, great. If you’re a freelancer who wants to smooth out income bumps, fantastic. Are you an actor looking for a lucrative form of creative expression? This industry is a great choice.
So join the team and come along for the ride. When you’ve got the right information and guidance, the right tools and training, you can go as far as you want in this business.
Let’s start working.