Recently I got another email inquiring about some super-duper, lots-o-flash-no-picture – voice over class available to people on the internet for the low, low price of who cares – it’s garbage anyway…
Below – you’ll find more of my opinion on things:
I personally, in 15 years or so of recording and 12 or so of coaching have never run into anyone who was working, or hired anyone for that matter who was a “graduate” of the “boot camp” you’re talking about. The program is marketed by a master marketer looking to snare people into a canned, non-customized program built on the backbone of successful marketing techniques – full of pamphlets and CD’s laced with more buzzwords and marketing lingo. The information available there is freely available on the web. It has simply been scraped from the world and compiled into a package that is in turn sold to people looking for information. That is not to say that there isn’t valid, truthful information included – but there isn’t anything in it that can’t be obtained through a lot of research and asking questions in internet forums.
For someone looking to actually get into the business on any level you’re going to need 4 main things before you can get started:
1) A small studio setup with the proper mic, digital audio interface, editing software and the knowledge of how to use them properly.
2) A quiet, acoustically treated environment in which to record.
3) Some direct, personal, one-on-one coaching to learn performance and delivery techniques at a level that is required by the business.
4) The ability to take direction and record your rehearsal sessions – as well as having someone to review them and give you further guidance.
None of those things come cheap, or fast. And it takes a lot of effort to obtain them and maintain them. Any class you take that doesn’t get you further along in that direction is wasting your time and money. Anyone can sit back and listen to you read some scripts over the phone. Not everyone can do that and teach you all of the above. And many won’t try either. Why? Because it is much easier to sit back on the phone and make comments for a while and then head off to Nobu for dinner.
The one truth that I wish people would share with prospective students is that you couldn’t pick a worse time to try to be a novice in this business – nice voice or not.
Right now the lower end of the business – i.e. the entry level – is flooded with rank beginners and many experienced talent who have lowered their standards and started taking lower paying work out of pure desperation.
This has built a significant hurdle for anyone trying to get into the business on the cheap. There are simply too many people fighting over the same scrap of meat and the only way to elevate yourself above them is to not be like them – and go out and get some hardcore quality training, great equipment, develop a great sound and learn how to deliver (over a period of years) a tremendous product. None of those things are going to be found in a short term, band-aid class that was written and compiled long ago and occasionally retread and then sold again.
My suggestion to you is that you need to continue to do your research before making any kind of investment. There are no easy breaks. It will be years before you see any kind of decent return, if you see any at all. Without bringing yourself to the level of other talent in the industry you won’t be able to adequately complete against them.