June 4, 2022
A coach is a mentor.So from the first step into the field, you want your coach to hold you by the hand and be your mentor—be somebody that is literally guiding you.Your coach should teach you everything that they know from in the voiceover field—lingo, the equipment, training, how to rehearse, how to read copy, how to take care of your voice, demos, marketing, and beyond marketing—a lot of the psychological stuff that goes on.
Benefits of Voiceover Coaching
A voiceover coach provides you tips and example on what really goes on in the industry. In addition to mentorship, they are there to answer every question that you might have about the industry. If they don’t know how to answer it, they will find a way to answer it for you.They can help you to get started in voice acting.
A voiceover coach can help you find your strengths and your weaknesses—your blind spots. They can teach you what you don’t know. Of course, you can try to figure out things on your own—but it might take a while for you to figure it out via Youtube or Google. So you want somebody to be able to hand on a silver platter, what is going on out there, and the voiceover world.
Hiring a voiceover coach fast-tracks the process for you. For example, winning voice over auditions is one of the most important parts of a successful. Your coach will help you through the entire process of auditioning to increase your chances of booking the good jobs.
A voiceover coach will guide on when is the best time to make a voiceover demo—to know where you are in your voice-over journey. Everybody is different. People have come to me where they’re complete beginners, but they are pretty close to making a demo because they have certain abilities and then there are people who come from the radio world and they have to tune up and have other abilities. So the coach should know where you are specifically. There are no recipes. There is no, in my opinion, way to take somebody from point A to point B in the exact same way because everybody’s different.
How to Find a Voiceover Coach
You can find a voiceover coach by talking to people, networking, voice over actors websites and searching on Google. But that’s not always the best way. The way I would find a coach is to go straight to the top, find out who the best of the best have worked with and go to them. That to me is the ultimate way to find a really great coach.
1. Is there a demo on the horizon?
Whether you are a newbie or an established talent, you will likely be coming at this from different angles. You may just be honing your skills, so a demo is not in play. If a demo is on the horizon, that changes things. I find it helpful to find other talents who worked with that coach. Listen to their demos. Are they booking? Do they have agents? Who are their clients? Do you actually like their demos? Do they sound current? Is this the sound you want for yourself? I have some demos that I am very very proud of and others that I am not happy with. I was not happy with the coach and for a multitude of reasons I still moved forward with the demo. I very much regret both the money that I spent, the time that I spent, and my own inability to see this coming, especially because it did not happen at the start of my career, but instead when I was a seasoned professional. It is what it is but I will not make that mistake ever again.
2. Does this coach give feedback in a way that you respond to feedback?
Do you actually know how you learn? I am sensitive and while I wish that I could say business is business, I do best with positive reinforcement and constructive guidence. In my career I have worked with a few coaches who are harsh. One of them I could not tolerate and had to stop after several sessions. Another one I did persevere. The result is possibly my best demo. That coach was not mean, he was just also not sweet, and every session was very hard for me. Some coaches use a lot of acting techniques. Others have their own inventive, creative approaches. See what works for you and what you enjoy. Since you invest a lot of time and money in this, I actually believe it should be pleasant.
3. Is the cost within reason?
The reality is that this is a business and you need to earn money. often we hire coaches either while we are still working in other jobs and segueing in to voiceover. We all want to avoid demo mills that promise a demo after 5 lessons; but, at the same time, we don’t want to be on the hook forever. I once worked with an amazing coach who said a “demo is a reflection of where you are now.” So in a few years when your work changes you make a new demo, right? I like that, especially when I was starting out. But we all have room to learn and to grow, so at some point we can pull the trigger and move on. I have also supplemented coaching with classes. I have attended online classes through groups like GVAA and VO Peeps that are amazing. I have taken live classes at our local theaters in advanced acting and improv. I have gotten a lot out of these classes and just like with coaching, the classes are only as good as the teacher.
4. Think about who is choosing the scripts- you or the coach.
I have had this work both ways for lessons as well as for demos. I have had to come up with scripts and write scripts. I have also had to work on scripts that I have never seen before, just like in real life. I think ultimately, for me, I prefer to have the scripts given to me. As a working talent, we don’t pick our scripts. And when they are well written, it seems like a miracle. An absolute miracle. So why would we write scripts that are brilliant, witty, pithy, and not at all like the majority of our actual day to day work? It’s practically a farce. I also think when the coach here’s our raw read it helps with audition technique too.
Thank you for your reading.Good Luck!