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

COVID 19 has transformed the voice over industry over night. I’ve created new pages detailing how to set up an affordable home VO studio, along with an unpacking the new realities of working from home that voice actors now must adapt to in animation and games. I also consider the risks of an early return to studio recording. For my “Working from Home” pages: CLICK HERE

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“HOW DO I GET INTO VOICE OVERS?”

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Welcome to a comprehensive overview of the art, craft and career of voice acting for both beginners and more advanced performers. It is a distillation of everything I’ve learned from over twenty five years of earning a living voice acting in movies, video games, commercials, promos and television animation in Los Angeles. 

I hope these pages provide you a practical and encouraging “launch pad” for exploring voice acting and how to become a professional artist. 

Keep checking back, as I continually add new content while polishing the old!

Dee Bradley Baker

For Beginners

Beginners will find a broad overview of the art the craft and business of voice acting. I show the many paths available to begin exploring the fun of acting and whether a career might eventually be a good fit for you:

If you’ve never acted before: CLICK HERE

If the idea of acting or voice acting sounds scary: CLICK HERE.

For a quick overview of where to start your journey: CLICK HERE

For a more detailed roadmap of how to become a voice actor CLICK HERE.

For a quick look at what a professional voice actor needs to bring to the table: CLICK HERE.

All newbies should also read: “VO Myths,” “Learning to Act,” and “FAQs.” These pages are relevant to all beginners, whether you live in Nowheres-ville or a Big City, whether you are clueless or confident, young or old, local or international.  

To start improving your VO skills right away, click on over to my “Voice Acting Academy,” for lots of at-home practice material. It’s by no means a comprehensive course, but a good start.

Those new to VO will learn that becoming a voice actor means becoming a specialized kind of actor.

For those who already have voice acting experience

Actors further along in their careers will learn how the VO business works and what to do or avoid in pursuing a professional acting career. You’ll also find specifics on more advanced topics like how to make a demo, how to audition, what happens in a session and how get an agent.

I also discuss handling the ups and downs of being a professional artist and discuss the importance of keeping your artistic “fuel tank” full, among other topics.

For those actors looking to earn a living at this, I show you the “long game” as well as the “short game” of being a professional voice actor.

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 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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336 Responses »

  1. Do I have to become a Brilliant Actor by taking Acting Classes like you and the others did if I wanna get into the Voice Acting for Cartoons and Anime on TV?

  2. Hey Dee,

    I’m 28 with a degree in History just doing volunteer work, but decided that Voice Acting should be what I do, the problem is that I never have done acting, plays, or any acting classes in my life. I live in the Bay Area and wondering is taking acting class the best I can do?

    • Start with an acting class and see how it goes. If you like it as much as it likes you, you keep going.

      I think it’s great to decide you want to explore and get better at a new thing, but it’s a bit of a stretch to “decide” you want it as a career without any experience or confirmation of your talent or that you actually enjoy it. Go for it, but don’t put unhelpful pressure on your exploration and growth. Follow the fun and enthusiasm as long as it burns bright for you.

  3. Dee is one of my personal heroes and gives you truth from the trenches. What a brilliant resource!

  4. Does having a small mouth give you a disadvantage?

  5. I’ve sung my whole life and am used to performing in front of large crowds but would love to be involved in voice acting. I currently reside in Florida as a 21 year old woman but never know how to find authentic auditions to get in the industry like yourself. I’ve heard that it is all about knowing the right people, being in the right place at the right time or living in Hollywood. Do you have any advice on how to find the right people willing to give me a chance to look at what I can do?

    • My only insight is from my own life- I did over four years of theme park work in Florida, plus local musicals and improv and I got good singing training. I landed work doing VO on a non-union television game show, shot in Orlando. I started doing local non-union local work along with everything else and it became clear that VO was a good fit for me. Non-union was good for getting experience, but I wanted better conditions and better projects and pay. I attended a “going pro” lecture sponsored by SAG that got me considering doing just that- going bigger. My career was going about as well as it could in Florida (which wasn’t a bad life at all- lots of variety of performing, enough work to pay the bills plus health insurance from Disney) but I had reached the ceiling and could either accept that (not a terrible life at all) or try for more (which would require moving to a bigger market for my skills- comedy, live performing and VO). I was young (29?) and unencumbered enough to check out LA to kick things upstairs. I decided with my wife (also an actor) to take the leap. All of the things I considered before making that leap to LA I detail on my site.

      At this end of life’s telescope, I see it getting professional creative traction as less a matter of “networking” and more a matter of continually fortifying your talent and confidence and attracting work and representation from that. Yes- you should socialize and connect and seek advise and perhaps a leg up (not as a favor- if you are good, a pro helps on condition of able talent). If you have the talent, experience and ambition- be smart about it, but you must go to where the opportunity is at a level of your expectation, aspiration and objective capacity. You must be as ready as you can be before leaping, in my opinion.

      I’ve found people tend to “give you a chance” if you are demonstrably ready and worthy- so that is always your focus. What merits an enthusiastic recommendation from a fellow actor or casting director who has seen your work in class? If you know that, then you have your goal.

      If you have knock out chops and are ready to go as a business prospect specific to the market you target- you will find those willing to assist, represent and hire you. Nobody does it as a favor and you should never view it as asking for one. You are not begging, you are presenting a rational business offer, an opportunity.

      Remember, you are the power, the talent- you have built yourself into an irresistible business proposition- and you are favoring an agent or casting director or show runner with your creative and problem solving powers. You’re doing them a favor, in fact.

      Creative power is not arrogant. You must be generous, grateful and thankful for all the luck you have taken advantage of. But you are the power. Never forget that and always carry that with you into auditions and into the gig.

      It’s not about “knowing the right people,” it’s about the “right people” knowing you and being enthusiastic and trusting of your talent and all that you bring. Again- you are the power, the authority, the expert. You are not angling for anyone’s favor.

      To find “authentic auditions” you must go to where they are- assuming you are ready to do this as a talent, with an eye to the pragmatic concerns of digging in for months or years until you get traction- as I describe on my site.

      I mention above specifically Florida but this could apply to a creative pro in any smaller entertainment market, upstream from Los Angeles, or even New York, with aspirations to raise the creative and financial ceiling of her/his career.

      Hope this helps.

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© Dee Bradley Baker 2020

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