May The Voice Be With You!

Can I do voice over work part time?

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Lately, I have been getting questions from friends and family that sound eerily similar to the same questions that I had when I started looking into doing voice over work. Questions like, “If I just wanted to do this part time is it worth it?” and “What can you typically make doing voice over?” and this somewhat longer statement/inquiry, “How do [I] know if [I] would even be successful at it?  No one has ever told me ‘you have the perfect voice for radio’ … It just seems fun to me.  When I listen to my voice on videos or recorded things I don’t really like it so is that my cue that I shouldn’t bother with this type of work?”

Here is my response verbatim:

“In the beginning, I plan on doing this part time, simply because I cannot afford to quit my full time job. If you want to do this part time, your ramp up time to get to the point where you will start getting jobs will take a bit longer. As you can see, I’m typing this at almost 2:30 am, so I am a bit of an insomniac. I try to squeeze my practice/research into a small window in the evenings.
To answer your question about rates, I included a rate sheet [NOT INCLUDED IN THIS BLOG POST] that will give you an idea of what you can earn per job. Local jobs earn less than regional or national jobs, and it also depends on the type of work it is, i.e. tv/radio vs. audiobooks or narration.
What I have found so far about the voice over business is that there is good news, and there is bad news. The good news is that, because of technology, it is a lot easier to do voice over work from home. Instead of having to go to auditions at a studio during the day, or creating a bunch of CDs and handing/sending them out, you can do custom auditions from your home studio, or send out demos of your best work via email. The bad news is that, because of this same technology, it is easier for anyone to think that they can become a voice over artist, which has made it harder to stand out in the crowd.
Technology has created a lot more opportunities in different niches (i.e. audio books, telephony, podcasts, etc.) and the demand has never been greater for voice over work. However, that same demand has attracted a lot of people to think that if they can produce audio files with their computer, then they must be a professional voice artist. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

And, to do this right, there is also certain costs involved. If you are interested, the following e-book/paperback can show you where you can go cheap, or where you need to invest:

As you know with anything in life, your desire to succeed is directly proportional to the effort that you put into it. I recently read an e-book that was a frank discussion about the industry. That e-book is a must-read before you decide whether or not you want to put forth the effort to be successful, even marginally successful, in landing voice over jobs.You can find it here:

“The Voice Over Entrance Exam” by Peter K. O’Connell
– This will give you a realistic outlook on the industry. I highly recommend that you read this (it should only take about 10-15 minutes or so).

To answer your question about if you should do this type of work if you don’t like the sound of your voice, I will say, there is voice over work 
for nearly every type of voice. Old or young, youthful and energetic or slow and deliberate. To get a feel for if your particular voice is unique enough, I recommend signing up for a free voice evaluation. Here are some places to get started:

Such A Voice – this is the program that I ultimately went with.

Acting Center

If none of these work for you, then do a search on the web for free voice over evaluations and see what you can come up with.

This should give you a start. You can also click on some of the blogs that I have listed on the right side of my website, In particular, look at Bill DeWees, Dan Friedman, Doug Turkel and John Melley.

Thanks, and good luck! Feel free to ask any other questions as they come up…​”


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