In a Women’s Voiceover World!


in a world

Women in Voiceovers!

Attached is a great article by Carrie Faverty a casting director I’ve taken classes with. She talks about the industry (like many others) that is set in a man’s world. I know and love many men that are fantastic voiceover artists and are perfect for the roles they’ve booked. However, we need a shift to change in the advertising world. A shift that fits today’s day and age.

Women today are not housewives, we’re CEO’s of our entire household.

Hello Advertisers! Statistics prove that these Household CEO’s make many of the important decisions …We ARE your target audience for many of your products that need to be presented in a confident, trusting and friendly way. We are powerful and educated buyers, we are Global COO’s (shout out to Sheryl Sandberg), and Household CEO’s (shout out to my mom!) …making sooo many financial decisions: researching automobiles to buy, banks to use, and yes, even purchasing tickets to sporting events (and merchandise), and determining which TV show or movie we will see on our next date night.

Doesn’t it seem about time to rewrite this story from “In a World” to “In an EEOP World!”?

I can’t wait to see “In a World” this September and needless to say I can’t wait to book my first In a World Trailer!

Nice Feedback and New Agents

So my current Agent who I was freelancing with is not sending me out on auditions anymore. I’m at a point where I’m getting 1-2 jobs/week on my own. So I haven’t been hounding him to send me out OR to sign me.

I went to lunch with an old improv friend today and he mentioned how much he loves his agent. He then offered to connect me if I was interested. I of course agreed.

I left lunch and headed to an audition I was called in for…through Voices123 (weird it was in a production house right!?) and by the time I read the part of “Woman” I had this email forward from my friend’s agent waiting for me:

As they say, you know within the first minute and I do.
Please have her get in touch…she’s got a great sound.

It’s always so nice to get nice feedback. 

To hear my reel go to:

(Constructive criticism welcome, constructive compliments too!)


Don’t take it personally!


Sometimes you’re just not right for the part. When I go on an audition and I leave feeling like I gave it my best shot and really showed off my talent I leave feeling like I booked the spot. If I actually do book it it’s just icing on top!

On the down side, when you’re on an audition and it’s not going so well, again don’t take it personally. We all have our bad days so take a deep breath, try to let go of whatever it is on your mind-be it you’re last take was terrible, the food you ate for lunch is making your stomach do cartwheels or the lunch you didn’t eat is making your stomach growl (it’s natural and happens to all of us) or your fight with your boyfriend last night is weighing on your mind. LEAVE it at the DOOR. And if you brought it in with you shake the energy out of your limbs. Literally brush that crap off your body and flick it off your fingertips. Jump up and down to get in touch with the young, fun, creative you and start from scratch…even if it’s your third take!

I recently auditioned for a spot that I thought I nailed. The client came back with “we like her voice, but she sounds tired and jaded.” Wow! Worst feedback I’d ever gotten (and took personally). I WAS tired when I recorded and I could very well be jaded when it comes to talking about the subject matter – corporate jobs. But hey we’ve all been laid off at some point in this economy-right? 😉 So the client was dead on. Smart. Gave great notes…all I could do was let it go and try again-when I wasn’t tired!

So instead of saying fine, forget this job, let someone more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed have this gig. I took a deep breath and said great, thank you for the honest feedback and here’s my take 2. I did jumping jacks, smiled beyond my face’s range and sped through the copy faster than I felt was normal. Somewhere between there and tired, jaded me I booked the job!

So, Leave your crap at the door. Don’t take ANYTHING personal. Take it all as constructive criticism because that’s just, what it is. The client isn’t there to insult you. They’re there to help you, so they can get exactly what it is they want. And if all else fails remember the wisdom of Jerry Maguire – “Help me Help you!”


Getting started in voiceovers


I get asked all the time how to break into the voiceover industry. Many it’s because they’ve been told they have a great voice and they should do voiceovers, others are acting friends who know what the industry is like but never focused on voice acting and lastly are the ones who think it’s an easy way to make a lot of money. To all of them I say, Great! Go for it. But it’s not that simple so here’s my advice…

My very first suggestion is to learn how to read (hehe) and then take a class, actually take lots of classes because you’ll learn something new from every single person you listen to!

In the mean time here’s some stuff you can work on to see if you like what you’re doing and enjoy the types of challenges VO’s may bring. Try these exercises to see if you’re up for learning these skills that you’ll need to become a working voiceover artist.

OK, seriously learn to read-out loud. It’s not as easy as it sounds (if it is for you, you may be a natural at this-quit your day job!) Practice every day for a half hour. Record yourself on your iPhone, computer whatever tech gear you have, quality doesn’t matter just listen back to what you’ve read. When you start sounding like these are your words and you’re not just reading out loud you’re ready to graduate onto the next level. (But keep practicing daily).

Now that the words sound natural really add your voice to the words. Give them feeling and make them jump off the page as if they were your own. Everyone interprets things differently so say what it means to you, just make sure you give it meaning. Don’t be indifferent, indifference is boring and it won’t get you the job. Once you’ve added meaning try heightening what you’re saying make the words life or death, like it’s the most important thing you ever said. Of course when you’re reading a commercial for sneakers we all know you won’t die without them. But generally your client pretty much wants you to convey to the audience that they will in deed die without them. Then you let your director pull you back. Some times all the way down to, “That was great. Keep that intensity but throw it all away.” The point is play with it. Push your voice and acting abilities beyond a range your comfortable with to see just how far you can go.

If you like doing this and you still want to pursue voiceovers decide what genre you’d like to get into. If you’re in NYC like me, TV and Radio Commercials are where most of the high paid work is. It’s a very competitive industry but if you love it you can find work. Here’s what I recommend to start training for commercial work.

For Commercial Work:

I highly recommend Roger Becker’s Basics to Business class at Shut up and Talk. He’s a casting director and gives you honest feed back and a clear breakdown of how the industry works. This is a 6 week class that meets once a week and is worth the money ~ $350. Roger is fun, energetic, knowledgeable and honest. He’ll give you honest feedback and work with your uniqueness rather than try to mold you into the industry standard.

In general I find workshops or classes with Casting Directors much more valuable than with Voice Actors themselves. They may be able to teach you their personal technique but that’s a narrow point of view. Casting Directors are in the business knowing what they’re looking for everyday. But if you find a voice actor that you feel you can learn from by all means continue training with them.

There are some great affordable Meet and Greets around the city with various casting directors and agents and usually only cost $35. It’s a great place to learn some stuff and can sometimes act as an audition because casting directors are always casting something and if they are impressed with your work that day and your ability to take direction well, they may bring you in for an audition. So do your best work and bring your headshots or demos to these events. I get the Ripley Grier Studios newsletter which has all types of events. Sign up I think there’s good workshops for new and working VO artists.

And honestly, don’t even consider doing a demo right away. Practice for a few months because the more you do it the better you will become and you don’t want to spend money on a demo that doesn’t show off your skills!

If you have any tips, exercises you do or know any great coaches or classes you’d like to share please feel free to comment!