Voice Over Education Blog

January 2017

Are you addicted to voice-over training?


An Edge Studio student of voice-over asked us, “Is it possible to become addicted to training?” Wow, what a good question. We don’t mean, “Are you addicted” in the way that you’d answer “yes, they’re always fun!” This time we mean, are you so addicted to the point that you don’t let go and take the next step, which is to start your VO business?

It would not be professional for us to say, “No, keep taking all the courses you can.” In fact, it would not be correct, and there are a number of reasons why:

As Edge Studio founder David Goldberg told that student:

“Certainly some voice actors become addicted to coaching sessions,” he said. “Coaching at the beginning of your career is absolutely necessary for learning standard industry practices, preparing your personal capabilities, and building your voice-over business. But once you’ve learned, it’s time to cut the link, because voice actors ultimately need to do this on their own.”

Why do some people hang onto coaching too long? And when is the right time to stop for awhile?

Timidity.

Given the word “addicted,” we also spoke with a clinical psychologist, Bennett Pologe, Ph.D. (He is also an actor, currently recording the audiobook version of his book, “Stop Lying: Getting Un-lost and Un-stuck in Your Life.”)

“People cling to lessons, coaches, therapists, et cetera beyond the time when they're still learning,” said Dr. Pologe, “simply because it's a bit scary to go out and be on your own, without a net ... without asking the teacher ‘is that ok?’. That applies to anything, but especially something as personal and difficult to quantify as voice acting.”

Are you addicted to voice-over training?


An Edge Studio student of voice-over asked us, “Is it possible to become addicted to training?” Wow, what a good question. We don’t mean, “Are you addicted” in the way that you’d answer “yes, they’re always fun!” This time we mean, are you so addicted to the point that you don’t let go and take the next step, which is to start your VO business?

It would not be professional for us to say, “No, keep taking all the courses you can.” In fact, it would not be correct, and there are a number of reasons why:

As Edge Studio founder David Goldberg told that student:

“Certainly some voice actors become addicted to coaching sessions,” he said. “Coaching at the beginning of your career is absolutely necessary for learning standard industry practices, preparing your personal capabilities, and building your voice-over business. But once you’ve learned, it’s time to cut the link, because voice actors ultimately need to do this on their own.”

Why do some people hang onto coaching too long? And when is the right time to stop for awhile?

Timidity.

Given the word “addicted,” we also spoke with a clinical psychologist, Bennett Pologe, Ph.D. (He is also an actor, currently recording the audiobook version of his book, “Stop Lying: Getting Un-lost and Un-stuck in Your Life.”)

“People cling to lessons, coaches, therapists, et cetera beyond the time when they're still learning,” said Dr. Pologe, “simply because it's a bit scary to go out and be on your own, without a net ... without asking the teacher ‘is that ok?’. That applies to anything, but especially something as personal and difficult to quantify as voice acting.”

Acting classes for voice-overs: Beyond the introduction. Part 2 of 2.


NOTE: This is the second post in a 2-part article. Click here to read part 1!

Are you an established voice artist? Is it time for you to become a voice actor? Even if a lot of the jobs you’ve been doing can be properly described as voice acting, there’s always something more you could learn. The added experience could be helpful. It’s sure to be interesting. And if you choose the right teacher, school or studio, it will ultimately be fun.

How should you go about it?

If you haven’t yet read Part One of this discussion, please do that now. Like most things educational, you learn better if you understand what you’re trying to learn and why. You’ll benefit from getting a proper introduction to acting before you really dive in.

In fact, rather than formally pursuing acting further, you might decide instead to broaden your foundation to include voice and speech training, or singing. Or consider adding another genre to your skillset, or working with a business coach to develop a particular specialty that is not genre-specific. All these skills are useful in expanding your voice-over capabilities.

But let’s assume you’ve had an introduction to acting, or some experience in school , and you want to take it further. What should you look for in an acting curriculum or teacher?

Ask around. The best sources are working actors who know you and have had a variety of experience themselves. By all means, ask your VO coach, vocal coach or other people you work with. Agents are another good source (if you don’t waste their time), even if not your own. Check out your candidates online, and if you can, talk to their more experienced students.

Acting classes for voice-overs: Beyond the introduction. Part 2 of 2.


NOTE: This is the second post in a 2-part article. Click here to read part 1!

Are you an established voice artist? Is it time for you to become a voice actor? Even if a lot of the jobs you’ve been doing can be properly described as voice acting, there’s always something more you could learn. The added experience could be helpful. It’s sure to be interesting. And if you choose the right teacher, school or studio, it will ultimately be fun.

How should you go about it?

If you haven’t yet read Part One of this discussion, please do that now. Like most things educational, you learn better if you understand what you’re trying to learn and why. You’ll benefit from getting a proper introduction to acting before you really dive in.

In fact, rather than formally pursuing acting further, you might decide instead to broaden your foundation to include voice and speech training, or singing. Or consider adding another genre to your skillset, or working with a business coach to develop a particular specialty that is not genre-specific. All these skills are useful in expanding your voice-over capabilities.

But let’s assume you’ve had an introduction to acting, or some experience in school , and you want to take it further. What should you look for in an acting curriculum or teacher?

Ask around. The best sources are working actors who know you and have had a variety of experience themselves. By all means, ask your VO coach, vocal coach or other people you work with. Agents are another good source (if you don’t waste their time), even if not your own. Check out your candidates online, and if you can, talk to their more experienced students.

When to choose an acting teacher. And how. Part 1 of 2.


NOTE: This is the first post in a 2-part article. Click here to read part 2!

As we’ve written before, much of voice-over involves acting. Feeling at ease as a voice actor helps with all sorts of things in a voice-over performance — from sounding genuine, to widening your range of voicing techniques. So, when and how should you find yourself an acting teacher or class?

When? If you’ve just gotta act, you’ll know when the time is right.

Otherwise, if you’re aiming at a voice-over career, first focus on that.

Learn and hone VO skills. That will help assure you won’t later have to unlearn acting habits that may be wrong for voice-over. It will also leave you more time for creating your demo and building your business. And it will give you the perspective necessary for choosing the sort of acting course you want to follow.

But let’s assume you’re well along in that, and the time is right — you want to learn more about acting, or maybe your VO coach has suggested it. What now?

Some types of acting relate more directly to voice-over. In particular, screen acting is more like working at the mic than stage acting is. But even more important – as far as actor training is concerned – is how you relate to the acting course, and how the teacher’s approach to acting relates to you. Furthermore, acting experience provides you with more than "just" a performance technique. Acting also teaches you confidence, range, and powers of observation. All these things are important in voice acting.

So, for the rest of this article, we’re talking about Acting with a capital A, not just acting for VO.

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