Dee Bradley Baker's "Basics of Going Pro in V.O."

“HOW DO I GET INTO VOICE OVERS?”

“How do I become a voice actor?” “How does the voice-over biz work?” “How do I get an agent?” “How do I make a demo?” “Where and how do I even start?”

If you have questions about voice acting, you have come to the right site. I’ve created for you a thorough, practical overview of the craft and career of voice acting by distilling everything I’ve learned from four decades of performing and over two decades of voice acting in television animation, commercials, video games and movies in Los Angeles. Much of what I have to say applies to on-camera acting as well.

If you are new to voice acting, start with pages “Starting from Zero,” “Classes,” “VO Myths,”  “FAQs,” “Workout” and “Homework.” Everything will apply to you, whether you live in Nowheresville or a Big City, whether you are inexperienced or already on your way, young or old. (Check back often– I continually add new content while I polish up the old.)

The rest of my site offers the more advanced aspiring voice pro ideas to improve your readiness and hopefully up your odds of sustained career success by pointing out missteps to avoid and what I think you should shoot for with your demo, auditioning, getting an agent and how you handle yourself as you navigate your career. I hope my site saves you time and effort.

To be a good voice actor means to be a good actor. Voice acting is more than a skill or a group of activities, it is an art form. In addition to all the external considerations of the commercial enterprise of being a voice actor, never forget to fuel and fan your inner and artistic fires.

Beyond talent, your career’s progress depends on ambition, persistence, and much “paying of dues.” There are no short cuts to the hard work ahead, even for the few that are right for this line of work. The road can be long and hard, but if acting is fun for you– if you love it– none of that will matter.

Best of luck and maybe someday I’ll see you in the studio!

Dee Bradley Baker

135 Responses »

  1. Is there a chance that a filipino with a talent in voice acting could work in america?

    • Most of the work I am familiar with is straight ahead “American English,” but having other languages or experience abroad could be a speciality that could, for instance, be of use doing dubbing (ADR) for occasional feature films or television series– if you are good enough, have a good agent and the right kind of project comes along. I used my German language skills, for instance, to book “American Dad.” I know a few Asian actors who get a fair amount of work voicing roles that are Asian in animation, as well. Filipino I’ve never heard used, but it’s not impossible to imagine that. I have a friend with a Peruvian parent who gets a ton of hispanic roles because of that. Also, shows get “brownie points” with the actors’ union when they hire “ethnic” actors.

  2. I’ve always wanted to be a voice actor, [but] I’m afraid I could never really be an actor of any kind. …I’ve always felt […] awkward when I’ve had to perform in a skit or for a class project. But still, I love doing voices… Any advice for me?

    • My advice to you is the same to everyone “afraid” to try acting: Try it. What do you have to lose? What’s the worst that can happen? You don’t like it? You feel “awkward?” It doesn’t “go well?” So what? If it’s fun, you keep doing it. If you don’t like it, you stop. That’s it. Read my “Starting from Zero” page and go from there.

  3. …what’s your best advice on how to get in to the creative side of voice acting and not just commercials?

    • If you mean you want to work in animation instead of commercial work, my advice is essentially the same- you’ll just need a demo that fits your goals and will need to gain the trust of those who cast the kind of work you enjoy. You’ll need the right kind of personality too, and live performing experience of some kind, I’d say. Study what you love and keep at it!

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© Dee Bradley Baker 2014
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