Dee Bradley Baker's "All to Know About Going Pro in V.O."

“HOW DO I GET INTO VOICE OVERS?”

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Welcome to the web’s most comprehensive resource covering the art, craft and career of voice acting!

This site is for all levels of ability- from those utterly new to voice acting to amateurs to working pros. You’ll find no fees and no adds- just practical, encouraging insight.

I’ve distilled for you what I’ve learned from my over three decades as a professional voice actor in Hollywood, as well as five decades of live performing.

Whether you’re looking for a quick overview or a career-expanding deep dive, you’ve come to the right place!

Check back often for frequent updates and additions!

Dee Bradley Baker

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Beginners

Those new to voice acting and all curious amateurs should start by reading my FAQ and VO Myths pages.

If you are new to acting check the pages under the “Starting from Zero” dropdown menu above.

More advanced performers

More experienced performers will find specifics on advanced topics like how to make a demo, how to audition, what happens in a session and how get an agent, as well as broader discussion of the career of voice acting for those suited to it.

New Pandemic Pages!

For a breakdown of risks of early return to in-studio recording CLICK HERE.

COVID has rendered VO fully mobile! For my Working from Home pages CLICK HERE.

For a new page for experienced performers ready to start: CLICK HERE.

After giving my site (as well as posted comments) a careful read, if you still have a voice over question, post it (below)!  

If my site doesn’t already address your question ask it, and if it is relevant to others, I’ll try to answer it. 

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If you enjoy my site, I encourage you to make a donation of any amount to the American Humane Association, a wonderful charity that helps protect children, pets and farm animals from abuse and neglect?

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428 Responses »

  1. I am just getting everything set up for my home studio and am in the process to creating demo reels. For a person who hasn’t done any projects and is just starting out, what do you recommend in on how to create a voice acting reel?

    • Setting up a home studio is fine, but I would rather hear about what you’re doing to get good at acting and improv. Creating a demo is for after that and all my demo creation advice is on my “Your demo” menu drop down.

  2. […]
    1. Is it okay to make a demo of your YouTube work? Like originals, Comic dubs, Fanfics, etc.
    2. Do voice actors travel far to record a season of a show or a movie? If so where do they go to stay?
    3. Has a random fan of voice acting ever visited the recording studios during a session?
    4. I’m trying to teach Cari what it’s like to be a voice actor in LA. What do you think is the best way to teach someone about being a voice actor in LA?
    5. Are there any voice actors you’ve worked with that have autism?

    • 1. Do as you like.
      2. Most all VO is recorded from home now.
      3. Not that I can think of ever seeing.
      4. Read my site.
      5. Yes. Some creatives are “on the spectrum” or work with various personal or psychological challenges.

  3. Hi Dee! Could I join a US voiceover agency if I live in England? Would I need to be registered with SAG AFTRA? Or Equity? (UK actors union)

    • The best US agents are ATA members (the agents’ union) and only rep union projects, which for VO are SAG-AFTRA projects. The Equity union covers stage only. Non-union is more work for less money and few protections for actors and agents- including the hassle of making sure everyone is paid. If you’re not yet a member, an ATA agent may sign you if you’re either eligible to join SAG-AFTRA (have already had your first union gig but haven’t yet joined) or are so good that they are confident you will quickly be hired. In the latter case, they may “hip pocket” you, which is to say, they’ll send you auditions, but without the exclusivity of a contract. When you start booking, then they’ll sign you.

  4. […] I recently signed with a great VO agency in LA as I used to live there but now live in New York […] how likely [is it that] I’ll need to fly to LA [?…} do you think the production would be alright with my recording [me remotely out of town} with a proper sound engineer & source connect? […]

    • I’ve not entered a proper recording studio since Covid hit and to my understanding most VO is still recorded remotely. Whether solo or in a cast record, most all VO is still recorded remotely. I wouldn’t anticipate this changing much.

      Auditions and callbacks are also no longer in person.

      Some studios apparently will bring in actors to record one at a time with Covid protocols in place, though all the shows/movies/studios I’ve worked are fine to accommodate remote recording- even feature films. All studios are familiar and comfortable with recording talent remotely now.

      The key is having excellent acoustics in your home set up and the ease of working with you remotely. Not all voice actors have a solid home set up and it may ding their work flow.

      Consult with a good engineer to get your home set up as good as it needs to be.

      Understand that a company will have to pay extra if they are required to book a sound studio in your city to record you remotely. That extra cost may impede their enthusiasm for working with a remote voice actor. But, if your home booth rocks, it’s not an issue.

      To my mind, the key is to have dead acoustics and a voice actor able to pull off a seamless Zoom record, as I lay out on my site. It’s relatively simple to engineer and not terribly expensive to set up.

      Riding the gain level is about all the engineering needed. Leave the engineering to the pro on their end. All they need from you is a clean .wav file with good levels.

      With an acoustically dead booth, Source Connect up and running on your computer (though many studios use IPTDL and other services instead), a decent mic (not necessarily expensive) and sufficiently fast wired internet connection, you’re set.

      Just make sure your home studio set up is as bullet-proof quiet as you can muster. Kill all echoing and extraneous sounds. A closet can be a good start, but you can do better.

      And don’t forget: you need to nail your auditions. The best booth in the world won’t bring work if the voice acting isn’t top drawer. Too many focus on tech when they should be focusing on their acting and audition skills.

      The focus for a remote VO’er, then, is two-fold: 1: A simple but solid home studio that is quiet as hell and 2: Auditioning better than your competition. With that, working remotely shouldn’t be an issue.

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