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Getting Started in Voiceovers

Voiceovers, or "voice acting," can be defined as the dramatic art of acting in commercials, audio books, narrations, and cartoons using only your voice. Because artistry is required to bring a script to life, those who do voiceovers are properly called "voice artists" rather than "announcers." (Delivering announcements over the PA system did NOT make your high-school principal a voice artist!)

Perhaps you've been told that you have an impressive or interesting voice. That's great, but even if it's less than sensational, you can still make your voice work for you. Today, people with "average" voices are succeeding in voiceovers, too, because the natural style of the "next-door neighbor" is in demand. This is fantastic news for those who don't possess a booming "announcer" voice. Aside from the type of voice you'll need, there are other things you've probably wondered about, such as: How much money does voice work really pay? Is it as easy as it looks? If a spectacular voice isn't essential, then what is?

First, the pay: Yes, as you've probably heard, voice work can be very lucrative. With residuals, a voice artist can receive $20,000 from a single network TV commercial. A few major voice artists (such as Don LaFontaine, the legendary "king" of movie trailers) make millions, but even at the local level, you can expect $100 to $500 or more for a mere 30 seconds of your voice on a cable TV spot. Voiceovers pay big money because the human voice has the power to SELL things...goods, services, concepts...and producers are happy to reward the voice artist who makes the sale.

As for the work being easy: Well, it IS a blast to spend your day being creative in a sound studio (which can even be in your home), and you'll never tire of the ego kick that comes from hearing yourself "on the air." But NO, voiceovers are NOT as easy as they look...and be thankful! If absolutely anybody could do voiceovers without training, the work would pay minimum wage! As with any type of acting, it takes skill, acquired through training and practice, to make a performance appear effortless.

That brings us to the final point: SKILL is that essential element you need to achieve YOUR star potential, along with MARKETING KNOW-HOW.

Now, take a look at the great options we offer at the New York Voiceover Academy to get your career rolling!

Workshops
You owe it to yourself to learn all there is to know about the business of voiceovers, before you jump into it. NYVA's Intro to Voiceovers Workshop is the best way to get an overview of how the business works. Discover your options as a performer, learn how to market yourself effectively, get the secrets of auditioning like a pro, and even find out how to work from the comfort of your home!

Private Lessons
Once you've gotten a taste for doing voiceovers, and you and can't wait to get your voice "out there" on-the-air, you'll want to receive in-depth coaching from our outstanding staff. We'll guide you in using your voice to its full potential through one-on-one private lessons. Learn at your own pace...and, while you're at it, you'll record a killer demo that will get you noticed.

Demos
The Demo CD is the voice actor's calling card and resume. It is the culmination of all the hard work you've put into your lesson sessions and hours of practice behind the microphone. Unlike those shady voiceover demo mills, New York Voiceover Academy builds your demo as you progress through your training. Once you've nailed that commercial, character voice or narration spot, we fully produce the segment together. This helps you to not only understand how the voiceover track is produced, but it allows you to have full involvement in selecting the music and sound effects required for creating and finishing your customized Demo CD. When you've achieved your goal through lessons and have produced enough spots to complete your 2 to 3 minute demo of your choice, we'll simply put on the finishing touches and package your demo for presentation to the casting directors and agents of the world.

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