If you are serious about getting into voice acting, you can’t just dive into a career as a voice talent and hope for the best. While you may have a natural talent for voice-over acting, the most successful voice actors will attest that education is still essential to success.
Hiring a vocal coach exposes you to industry insights, techniques, concepts, and tactics you would have never known about otherwise. In addition, a highly-rated voice teacher can help you become more connected with your talent and get you to a level where you can turn your upgraded skills into money and a career.
A good voice-over coach will provide you with a solid foundation of theory and practical training to prepare you for a career as a voice-over artist. Parts of your voice actor coaching sessions should include:
While group classes allow you to meet future colleagues and can be fun, you should go for one-on-one training to better determine your abilities - something you won’t get in group classes or workshops. Not only will a coach be focused on helping only you to improve during one-on-one training, but it will also prepare you for a career as a voice-over talent since nothing you do as a voice-over artist will ever be done in a group.
And since you can determine what coach to work with, you can also decide on what voice-over genre you would like to focus on. Being able to determine what industry is trending and what voice over style is working the best for this moment, can be just as valuable as the individual work you will receive from working one-on-one with a voice acting coach.
Finding the right voice-over coach for you at a cost that is accessible to you isn’t as difficult as you may think. Well-meaning friends may have recommended a coach to you, but what works for them doesn’t necessarily work for you: we are all unique and possess different innate skills—knowing who and what to spend your hard-earned dollars on can be tricky. Here are a few tips on what to look out for when determining who to work and voice train with.
Do your research
Figure out who the top 10 voice-over coaches are. Since many people have shifted to working from home and online during the pandemic and lockdowns, you have a lot of choices: no need to find a coach in your area.
You can, instead, opt for the best coach in the country, as long as they offer training online. Getting used to working with Skype and ZOOM is also to your advantage, as voice-over actors use these tools on a regular basis in their work. Finally, make sure to check off whether the coaches you find produce demos in addition to coaching and if they are available for private, long-distance coaching.
Listen to demos
To find a coach that helps you create a demo, spend time listening to the different demos your prospective coach has produced. By listening to many different voice acting demo productions, you’ll get a feel for the subtle differences, what makes a good or bad demo, and ultimately, who deserves a shot at producing yours.
Get multiple price quotes
As with everything in life, if you go for the cheapest option in coaching or demo production, you may end up paying more down the line. A so-called ‘expert’ who is affordable but not a professional coach may teach you bad techniques or convey misinformation that you’ll have to spend unlearning eventually. Get multiple price quotes, then compare. Find a coach that is an expert and whose services you’re comfortable spending on, so you don’t waste time and money on an amateur.
Give it a shot
Once you’ve narrowed down potential coaches, sign up to do at least four to five one-hour sessions with a coach before deciding whether you’ve made the right choice. If you don’t feel it’s a good fit, aren’t learning anything new about improving, voice-acting techniques, or the industry, then go back to researching your options and trying out a different coach. However, if you feel you’ve found the best coach for you, commit to long-term learning with them.
Determining what makes a good voice-over coach
The best voice-over coaches offer technical training that helps you improve your skills. However, if all you do during your coaching session is practicing the same thing over and over again, you’re not challenging your comfort zone. Ideally, your coach will record each one-on-one session for you to review and use as additional training afterward.
Voice-Over Coach Pricing
The coaching program hourly rate varies by coach and largely depends on their years in the industry, experience, and expertise. However, on average, you should expect to spend between $55 and $125 per hour for a 60-minute one-on-one coaching session with an experienced voice acting coach.
There is so much value in hiring a voice-over coach and attending training sessions. Without a coach, you aren’t likely to progress in your skills and career as you would like. Once you’ve found a coach or demo producer you’re happy with, commit to regular training sessions to make sure that you continually improve and develop your skills in order to sustain a long career as a voice-over talent.