I took a class a few weeks back with Voices For All, a company based in New York which runs introductory and master classes for would-be voiceover artists. Part of the class involved being taped for review by the instructor, after which the company contacts you with a review of your (short) performance.
I felt like I did pretty well. There was an older gent there who blew me out of the water with his golden tones, and a woman of some years who had a natural voice for soothing sales, but after them I felt like I was definitely in the running. I got the evaluation the other day.
They agreed that I’d done well, suggesting that my voice could be marketed as real, down-to-earth, trustworthy and sincere. They felt my emotional connection to characterization was good, that I took direction well and that I could probably read parts from ages 25 – 55. Inflection seemed to be an issue, which I can understand and appreciate hearing from a professional. They felt I might be best marketed to political ads, insurance and banking concerns, or high-end auto sales in the commercial realm; to museum guides and documentary voiceovers in narration.
There’s a master class taking place in January which I’m considering attending, but the cost is steep. I don’t doubt that it’s worth it – but it’s enough to make me consider whether I might be able to get similar results by working a bit harder on my own. I have a number of friends who work in the video or documentary industry, and it seems by contacting them I should be able to get some coaching and engineering assistance.
That’s the main trick to this whole thing, I believe; making certain that I’m moving forward in the right direction *and* under my own power. People have to be able to act on terms that are different from those they’re shepherded toward, because, well … we know what happens to the sheep.
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