Can I actually make money with my voice?

Common Questions & Myths

Is there a lot of money to be made in voice over?

Some of the top professionals make between three and five million a year; other full-time professionals make $70,000 to $100,000 a year. As a rule, most major talent agencies like to have the people they represent book at least one hundred to several hundred thousand dollars per year. Still other voice over artists never leave their day jobs, but earn a comfortable five-figure income by servicing a few clients on a regular basis and are never represented by talent agencies. Simply put, the possibilities, and payscales, are broad.

What if I don't have a big, deep voice?

Long ago it used to be that “Big Voices” did everything, but now it’s just one part of the market. Just listen to TV or radio nowadays; you’ll notice that all kinds of voices are used, so that all kinds of listeners feel included. As a matter of fact, savy advertisers have been deliberately using many more “;quirky” voices simply because they stand out. Having an unusual voice can be an advantage.

Is there room for me?

Definitely. There is practically no such thing as a bad voice—not for advertisers anyway; they want the sound of the person next door, in all their variations. That being the case, there is a constant search for new talent to bring a fresh approach to each ad campaign—and constant opportunities for new voices to enter the market.

Is there an age limit?

There is no age limit, either way. Advertisers are happy to use 10-year-old voices, or 80-year-old voices, if it talks to the audiences and wallets they want to reach. There are just as many jobs open to seniors selling life insurance, for instance, as there are for kids selling toys or snacks. Generally, if there’s a product being sold to an age range, there’s a voice from that age range talking to it

Are there any advantage to being male, or female?

None whatsoever. In the early days voice over was mostly a male world, but over the years the commercial market has split pretty evenly. On the whole now, women sell to women, men to men, and the markets are same size. The only place where men are still dominant is in movie trailers.

Do I have to live in a big city to work?

No. That’s the beauty of voice over; there are lots and lots of small markets. Sometimes if you don’t live in a big city it’s an advantage, as there’s less competition and the talent agencies are more open. Many voice over artists, for example, have started in smaller towns and graduated to the major markets.

Do I have to do it full time?

No, you don’t. In fact, almost everyone starts out without quitting their day job. Since it takes time to place your voice over demo, as well as to network and build up relationships, if you’re lucky enough to be in a job where you can get away to audition during a long lunch, often that’s all you need.

How much does it cost me to get basic training and get started?

Wherever you study, we strongly suggest people start by taking two six-week class sessions, then doing their voice over demo for submissions. The first six weeks should be spent learning the different voice over styles and training your voice; the second six weeks, selecting and perfecting the eight or ten pieces for your voice over demo. Typically, this costs about $2,500. However, you can spend more or less, depending on your talent and needs. Some may only attend six weeks, then make a quicky “starter” demo for around $1000 total. The choice is really up to you.

Can I study at home?

Absolutely. Our home study course covers all the topics covered in the live classes taught in Los Angeles; plus, you have the additional advantage of reviewing any section as many times as you wish—something which can’t be done as easily in a classroom. For this reason many of those who have taken our classes have also bought the home study course. In the end, no matter where you live, it doesn’t matter how you learn the principles, only that you apply them.

Do I have to have a talent agent to start?

No. In fact most people start without one, as most talent agents don’t want to represent someone with no experience. After you’ve done a number of jobs and have some experience, THEN you can look for an agent. A good course should teach you to get those first few jobs on your own, and how to leverage those jobs to get that agent.

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Myth 1:

You have to have a big, resonant voice.

TRUTH: Most advertisers are really looking for people who sound like the person next door.

Myth 2:

Movie stars get all the voice over work.

FALSE. The vast majority of the advertisers don't want to pay the big fees that movie stars get for their work.

Myth 3:

You need to be a professional actor or speaker.

FALSE. Sometimes actors or professional speakers have speech patterns that have to be overcome in order to successfully do voiceovers.