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

Disruption: Voice acting in an age of home confinement.

Facing the Challenges of VO + Social Distancing

The corona virus stay-at-home orders have put most studio-based voice recording in Los Angeles (and elsewhere) on hold. It is a shocking disruption to a traditionally face-to-face career. Actually, more a transformation.

Luckily, voice actors are uniquely able to work from home with the proper set up. This corner of the entertainment industry has rapidly pivoted to remote directing, recording and production. Most shows and games haven’t skipped a beat. Voice actors have rapidly moved to accommodate this transformation.

Like most professional creatives, we voice actors are freelance entrepreneurs. Uncertainty is an ever-present condition of our workspace. Adapting is in our DNA. This is part of why voice actors have been able to move nimbly to meet the challenge.

Aside from getting a home studio up and running, what is a voice actor confined at home to do to maintain readiness to work?

Even if confined to our homes, we can continue to reinforce our readiness by feeding our artistic fires and tending to our lives and loved ones as we did before things got crazy.

Our project is still to create, survive and thrive.

  1. For starters, despite the isolation and daily changes, don’t abandon ship! Commit to still be physically & mentally ready– charged like a battery.
    1. Be healthy, feel good, radiate health and well-placed confidence.
      1. The virus: do all you can to not get it or give it. Follow the science of contagion.
      2. Get enough sleep. Shoot for 8 hours.
      3. Keep physically vital & energized by working out and moving regularly.
      4. Eat clean, nutritionally dense food.
      5. Meditate regularly to calm reactivity of mind.
      6. Affirm social connections, keeping socially connected as best you can.
      7. Have fun, practice gratitude.
    2. Don’t lose your focus on cultivating your artistry.
      1. Focus on what you have control over- cultivating the irresistible bait that is your good work, not worrying about the fish you want to catch.
      2. Continue to fill your creative well with inspiration, ideas, human connection and enthusiasm- read and view for inspiration and keep learning.
      3. Keep your own creative fires burning by continually creating things you love.
    3. Keep filling your heart with what makes you happy.
    4. Ease your worry by helping others, pitching in.
  2. Keep your technical vocal skills primed; e.g. reading out loud.
  3. Have your home studio ready to deliver the goods remotely.
    1. Upgrade to a record-capable at-home sound studio.
      1. Have a sufficiently dead recording space, sound proofing.
      2. Have adequate mic, pop guard (+ pre-amp?).
      3. Confirm with a pro studio/engineer your studio’s sound quality and set a range of sound levels for your input sound levels (“gain”).
    2. Be able to self-record & produce with ease.
      1. Be able to seamlessly self-produce during a home recording session.
        1. Be well familiar with your recording software.
        2. Review needed tutorials/ online walk through of software.
        3. Be able to label and notate tracks and edit on the fly.
      2. Know how to transfer large sound files to a client.
        1. Be familiar with function of Google drive and Dropbox.
        2. Be set up to accommodate video conferencing for a home session (e.g. Zoom).
        3. Confiirm webcam and conferencing app function properly while you record with your audio software.
        4. Confirm good internet connection to your recording computer.
        5. If possible install Source Connect to your home studio.
  4. Stay positive, stay safe and keep an optimistic long term career time horizon in your mind.

© Dee Bradley Baker 2023

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