Here’s a bit about me and why I made this site:
I was born in Indiana and grew up in Colorado. As a kid I loved sci-fi and horror movies, acting, running, astronomy, computers and reading sci-fi and fantasy. I never saw acting or performing as more than a hobby before my mid-twenties.
My folks were both teachers, my Dad, a celebrated trombonist.
I got a great liberal arts education at The Colorado College, studying German, biology and art and graduated with a degree in Philosophy. I emerged from college with no particular goals or aspirations at all. College had me acting and singing and open-mic-ing a lot, but I took only one acting class. Thank god.
After enjoying all kinds of performing for fun since second grade– on stage, on-camera and behind a mic– I improvisationally found my way to a full time acting career in my late twenties. I settled on voice acting exclusively in my mid thirties after moving to Los Angeles with my wife in 1993 just in time for the Northridge Earthquake.
I maintain this website because it’s fun for me. I like the feeling of saving everyone time (including myself) with this online compilation of all that I’ve learned over my five decades as a performer. I hope it’s a constructive and practical resource for those suited to voice acting- and for those who aren’t.
After a good run of success voice acting in L.A., I figured it was my turn to lend a hand to a new generation of performers in the most friction-free manner possible. I learned on the stage that acting is a voluntary family- a collaboration- you help each other out, the experienced share their insight– so here ya go!
It’s rare in this world to share what you’ve amassed by luck and sweat with others for free. But this is part of the DNA of a creative person. It’s good to be entrepreneurial but ultimately, what you create, what you learn, is a gift to be given and shared not merely sold.
I hope this site brings you clear-sighted insight and practical benefit. I wish you an enjoyable and lucky path towards becoming yourself!
For a more detailed account of my life and career and how it led me to voice acting, CLICK HERE.
Instagram & Twitter: @deebradleybaker
Check my “Dee’s Interviews & Podcasts” page for much more of me in audio and video formats plus a list of questions I’m often and never asked.
*Want an autograph? CLICK HERE
If you enjoy my site, why not 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?
[Do you teach or coach via Skype? What about creature sounds?]
I think trying to learn voice acting online via Skype is like trying to learn karate via Skype. Many will happily take your money to show you some moves, but if you go out and get in a brawl, I don’t think you’ll have learned anything that will help you hold your own. I’m just not sure learning voice acting remotely is possible, as I don’t know anyone I’ve worked with that has done that. I think you learn acting in-person or in front of an audience. And every voice actor’s path is different.
This applies to creature sounds as well. I suppose you could learn to make certain vocal “effects,” but making sound effects is not the heart of it, in my view. It’s acting and improv channeled through your own weird collection of vocalizations you’ve accumulated through a process of experimentation and exploration. It’s an ability to connect with those that create and diagnose what is needed to make a scene or creature work. It’s having a well of vocal possibilities at hand and the confidence to dial up a good idea quickly and deliver it quickly with variation, if so directed. It’s putting specific intent or implied conversation to non-verbal sounds. It’s the ability to inspire confidence and solve very particular puzzles consistently. I know a few voice actors who can make some awesome sounds, but the rest isn’t in place, so it doesn’t really matter.
My experience in improv and theater helped me explore without inhibitions, plus I love animals and monster movies. Not sure there’s a general path to lead anyone to this. For me, it was mostly a process of driving around in my car and trying stuff vocally for years while I worked on other actor-y things like doing improv. My only advice I can think of is experiment vocally relentlessly and keep learning to act and improv.
I occasionally do voice acting presentations in LA or maybe at a convention, but it’s pretty rare. With family and work, there’s little time for it right now.
Hi Dee I live in MA. I don’t have a recording studio but I have a cd demo that has over 24 voice demos from me. I’m also a P.A. Announcer for my high school sports teams. My question is do I need an agent and also do I need to leave MA to go to NY or LA to have a better chance?
Dude, a careful read of my site will clarify.
Thank you for sharing your gracious, open, frank, positive wisdom. Maile Flannigan turned me on to your site and I am so glad she did. My mantra is now – BE THE BABY! Also – it says a lot about who you are that you offer the American Humane Assoc. as a place to honor your work. Thank you.
I’m reading through your website carefully as if I have a lice comb; carefully & diligently. Your terrific website is a gift of cheery intellect & common sense, and I’ll happily donate to the website you listed (YAY! Animals!). You are the much-needed goodness in this world. Mucho gracias, Dee!! – A Mama Bear from the Burbs of Denver