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.

Pandemic/ Work from Home 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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442 Responses »

  1. I’d like to give this a try…again..I took two voice over courses years ago,which basically lead to nothing..One tried to steer me into another followup course for $2700.00,which I never even considered. What I’d like to see is an Agency that not only teaches and coaches you,but will actively solicit jobs for you on a strictly commission basis acting as your Agent.

    • I wouldn’t trust an “agency” that both “trains” and “solicits” work for their clients. Their business model suffers from a split focus, which doesn’t serve you. That kind of “agent” would make more money by charging you for their classes than from a percentage of any work you may book through them. They are thus not incentivized to find you work.

      Their business is selling classes to the aspiring innocents using the potential of employment opportunity as bait. Not booking? Buy more classes. Repeat.

      It may seem convenient, but agenting and training are better if separated. An agent recommending a well-liked class that has helped their clients is a good thing. An agent who charges their clients for their own in-house (probably mediocre at best) classes feels to me like a racket, a “talent mill,” if you will.

      There are various versions of this “give me money and I’ll train you and/or find you work” scheme. Some unscrupulous managers or “talent companies” do this. Pay them the big bucks and they’ll arrange for you to attend a big pay-to-be-seen “talent showcase,” for instance. Nice work if you can get it!

      A legit agent just tees up auditions but you book the work. They earn money when you do. In effect, they work for you. Not the other way around. A legit agent gets 15% if you’re non union and 10% if you’re union.

      A legit agent shouldn’t be skimming more money off you than that.

  2. I don’t live in the US and I feel like a lot of this info is geared towards people who live in the US or even L.A. specifically. Does where you live really matter that much or can you find work anywhere?

    • Yes, this site is Hollywood-centered and with an emphasis on union level VO work and pay. Most union-based animation studios have headquarters in LA LA Land, most union content originates there and most top level VO is recorded there for movies, TV and games. Talent may be scattered but the nuts and bolts and corporate structure is still in the So Cal area for most (not all) projects.

      This site views non-union VO work as a stepping stone and so I don’t dwell on it. My experience is it’s something to get past rather than aim for. This site is for people who want to make a living at VO as creative entrepreneurs, while also encouraging amateurs and curious beginners.

      Regarding wanting LA-caliber work without having to move there, see my FAQ #11. You could maybe find VO work or some kind of a career from anywhere theoretically, I guess. But I don’t know anyone who has a good VO career and tempered talent who didn’t first establish themselves in the community of “gate keepers” and creatives face-to-face in the city where the work, the shows and games they wanted to be a part of existed.

  3. […] it’s only been a few months [I have] insecurity about my new agency dropping me because I’m not booking or getting callbacks[…]

  4. [should I…} upgrade [my set up ] to a mac mini for more memory and processing power for edits. […] should I wait to upgrade or jump the gun with the anticipation of getting work? [ ]

    • You don’t need much processing power for editing an audition. A VO session requires zero editing on the actor’s part. Most important checklist items would be: fast, wired internet connection, sufficiently powerful processing & memory to handle a Zoom session plus audio recording and good booth acoustics. Above all, acting and improv chops are key, for without those, auditions will stumble and work will not flow. I’m always more focused on upgrading one’s craft over tech, but if you can afford it, better tech is not a bad thing.

  5. […] Can you recommend someone I can send my auditions to get direction/feedback? Someone with a “great placed ear”? My agency always says I give great auditions… But I don’t book.
    Is there a place where we can submit our reads/auditions for feedback/constructive criticism? Can I send it to you? […]

    • Those who process talent (agents and casting directors) aren’t necessarily the best source for course correction or strengthening of one’s acting. They are familiar with what “talent” feels like and may well know good performing when they hear it, but they often (usually?) don’t come from an acting background or understand it from the inside, and thus can’t necessarily offer feedback that is helpful, except in only a basic way. They lack to vocabulary, so to speak.

      I wouldn’t ignore their advice or opinions, but to fortify or improve my voice acting or how I audition, I’d prefer to work with someone with direct experience who also books. I’d want to work with another actor.

      I myself don’t consult, but I believe some whom I recommend as teachers may. Try approaching any of those I mention on my page: https://iwanttobeavoiceactor.com/studying-with-vo-pros/. In any case, I like the idea of seeking course correction from someone who works a lot and that I connect with, as not every “great teacher” will have a style that resonates with you.

      And take heart! It may be that an experienced actor in a dry spell needs only a nudge to improve their voice acting and booking rate, like a stack of pennies with one penny out of alignment, causing the entire stack to lean precariously. When that one penny is slid back into position, it all comes together.

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