Gobs on Sticks

Thoughts mostly (but not always) about the voice-over business, from London Voiceover Artist, Mike Cooper

  • About the author

    My name is Mike Cooper. I'm a full time Voiceover Artist living and working in London, and this is my blog. Find out more about me on my main website (there's a link further down this column), or if you'd like to hear some of my work, check out the files below.

Getting started in Voiceovers

Posted by MikeCooper on February 20, 2009

A couple of people have asked me recently about how to get started with a career in voiceovers. Yesterday I went to write a short reply to one of them by email and ended up writing something of an essay, so I thought it might be helpful to share what I wrote here, for the benefit of anyone else who’s interested in my ramblings.

Because I wrote quite a lot, I’ve decided to break things down into more manageable chunks, so I’m going to post a series of blogs taking the subject stage-by-stage, as I see it.

I preface everything that follows by saying that I’m no more of an “expert” on this than the next guy: I know what’s worked for me, I’ve read some of what’s worked for others and I’ve read plenty of “advice” from those who do consider themselves to be experts, taking on or discarding that advice with respect to my own findings. Whole books have been written on this subject, but I’m aiming not to go on that long, promise.

As I see it, the main stages of getting into voiceover work include:

  1. Getting your talent up to the standard needed – lots of people have a “nice voice”, or have been told they have, but it’s a big jump from there to being a good Voiceover Artist or Voice Actor
  2. Working out what you want from your career – do you want to do this full time or as a sideline? And how might that work? What kind of work do you want to do? And, what makes you think you’re up to it?
  3. Setting up your home studio – nowadays, few talents starting out can bank on a stream of work from clients with facilities
  4. Finding work – not much point doing 1-3 if you can’t pull this one off

Stay tuned. I hope you’ll find my thoughts interesting and useful, and I welcome your comments!

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5 Responses to “Getting started in Voiceovers”

  1. Tim said

    Thanks Mike. Very useful for me as having only done a few narrations and voiceovers, I’m still in the “you have a nice voice” category and need to make a jump. 🙂

    Tim

  2. Stu said

    Hey Mike!

    I stumbled on your blog today – I look forward to reading more! Talk with you soon – Stu Gray

  3. mikecooper said

    Thanks guys. I’ve just written my next post, but I think I may have undergone a bit of a Doctor Jekyll/Mr Hyde transformation midway through writing it, so I’m waiting for peer approval from a friend before I post it! There’s some straight-talking in there which I hope is fair, but I’ve not pulled any punches…

  4. Hi Mike,

    Saw your response in a VU discussion today and the trail led me here. Love how you simplified and de-mystified the process. After 30 years of getting work by “wandering around”, I’d like to think I’m at the cusp of stage 4 (just refining my first real demos and preparing to launch my website). But I think I regress every so often :-). Case in point – number 1 needs to be never ending (and in my quest for continuous learning recently, led directly to number 4 – see my note in the VU group MARKETING FOR FUN AND PROFIT).

    What’s the biz like in England? We could compare notes, as I’m out of Canada – at least we share the same monarch 😉

    dD

    • mikecooper said

      Hey Doug, thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment! Sure you can jump from 1 to 4. Be my guest, but if so then maybe you should be the one writing the blog? LOL.

      Not sure how to answer the “what’s the biz like in England” bit, because I don’t have the business in Canada or the US as an experience to compare. What I get from what I read is that the business in the States is much more of an audition-based model compared to what I see myself. But that could be because the jobs I get aren’t those kind of jobs. Hard to say, but happy to answer any questions you have.

      Watch out too for an interview with my friend Trish Bertram later today; I thought it was time to get someone else’s viewpoint.

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