by Jason McCoy 

Updated May 2020

In this episode of the Voice Acting 101 Podcast, you'll learn:

  • 6 important things I'd tell my younger self
  • How to make the most of your time in voice-over
  • Why you need to focus on 1 niche when you start

Links & Resources from this episode

How to Become a
Voice-Over Actor


A FREE 5-STEP GUIDE TO GET STARTED IN VOICE-OVER

  • Hi Jason,

    I noticed that Voices.com has started asking us to list how many redos we’ll do and at what cost. I don’t know how to answer this question when I submit my auditions. Is there an industry rate we should be going by? Plus, an unlimited number of redos is also an option. Is that wise? Perhaps you can offer some guidance on this?

    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Hi Robyn,

      I saw that too. I doubt you would but you could get burned with unlimited redos. I usually allow for 2 revisions and then the price depends on the amount of changes needed.

      Reply

  • Is there a comprehensive list of niches? You’ve mentioned some like accents, character voices, conversational, etc, but when you mentioned yours was Radio Mirroring, I didn’t know exactly what that meant, and have wondered what specific kinds and how many different niches we may not even know about to concentrate on and start with for our VO identities.

    Reply

    • Hi Joni, Here are some niche ideas:

      Animation and Characters
      Audio Books
      Commercials
      Documentaries
      e-Learning
      Explainer Videos
      Movie Trailers
      Narrations
      Phone Prompts
      Podcast Intro / Outros
      Radio Imaging
      TV Promos
      Video Dubs
      Video Games

      Reply

  • I’ve been on Voices for nearly a year now and have still not won any of thew auditions. The talent specialist has told me this

    ‘First, thank you for self-advocating and letting me know that you’re not seeing the results you’re after.

    I took a dive through your auditions to try and figure out what could be going on. When it comes to audio everything sounds great, I don’t see that getting in your way. Your actual tone of voice and “acting” are generally excellent. I think what this comes down to is the accent. It seems like you’re auditioning for a lot of English (British) jobs, mostly those jobs, and your accent isn’t getting you traction compared to the speakers with more of an “English Neutral” or light “Received Pronunciation” accent.

    I know this is hard advice to take action on, so as a first step check out this podcast episode with Toby Ricketts if you haven’t. He books in four different dialects and might have some great insights for you, and it may even be worthwhile to jump on the phone with him someday.

    So I’m doing everything right, and booking gigs on other platforms, so what do I do???

    Reply

    • Hi Daniel,

      Just to confirm- is your accent British or Neutral? Are you getting job postings that match your accent? What other platforms are you booking on?

      Reply

        • I typically only see North American English jobs because of my profile. If they aren’t supplying enough postings calling for Scottish it may not be right for you at this time.

          Reply

          • They originally phoned me to give me a better deal since I was Scottish, however the jobs that have come up I have been overlooked. Sometimes my demo isn’t even listened too!

          • Being one of the first to audition and having a 100% voice match helps prevent not getting heard.

          • Been doing all of that.

  • Jason,
    I really liked your Podcast. I am just starting out. I live in the LA area, and was told that my strength is Character voice acting (Animation & Gaming), even though I have an interest in Audiobooks and Narration, as well. Should I heed that advice?

    Reply

    • Being in LA should help you – but character work takes longer to get going. Audiobooks and Narration are plentiful.

      Reply

  • I NEEEED to outsource lead gathering. It takes me a very long time, and while right now VO marketing is my full time job, I’d like to actually be sending the emails, not finding them lol!

    Reply

    • If you train an assistant properly, it can make a huge difference to your business.

      Reply

  • Dana Jones says:

    Wonderful info that I certainly will Use! Thanks for you giving time and talents to help Me ?

    Reply

  • I majored in petroleum engineering, and my family would really be surprised if I told them that I want to make a career in voice over. I don’t even know how to put it for them!

    Reply

  • Kathi Reynolds says:

    This is good information! I recognized myself in #2; I was doing low paying jobs and working with a very difficult client. I realized it was taking time away from auditioning for other jobs, and it was way too stressful dealing with this person. With a sigh of deep relief, I finally gave it up! Still working on what my niche is, although people seem to like auditions where I use my singing talent and character voices. Full-time after retirement in December!!

    Reply

  • Hey Jason,
    I really enjoyed listening to your podcast! For me – the naysayers, especially family and the importance of focusing on one niche starting out.

    Reply

  • Interesting subject and great answers. I especially like number 3 – get started sooner rather than later. I would love to do this myself but I just need to get a booth set up so I can record in a quiet space. Once that’s sorted, I should be all set to get that marketing going.

    Reply

    • Thanks Richard. Don’t let not having a booth hold you back, unless the outside noise is unbearable.

      Reply

  • Jason, you addressed something that’s been on my mind a lot recently, that of outsourcing, specifically editing. I know you’ve offered lists of resources in the past: Do those resources include references to editors? Learning how to edit is one of the things holding me back. The other is feeling like I should really invest in a sound booth. I have a recording space set up, and while the sound is great, the sound of the occasional small plane overhead from the nearby airport is still heard. I also really like the idea of starting with one niche. This was a really helpful podcast, and I love that you keep it short and sweet. Many thanks!

    Reply

    • Thanks T! Editing is easier than you think. I’d recommend hiring someone you know to help edit. If you can’t check out Upwork.com. For me, an occasional small plane disturbing a voice-over recording wouldn’t warrant buying a sound booth. So glad to hear you’re enjoying the podcast!

      Reply

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