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How To Get Into Voice Acting

with Kesha Monk

Anne welcomes back special guest host Kesha Monk for the second episode in the Entrepreneur Hustle series. Do you have a great voice and want to turn it into a lucrative VO career? Guess what? Voice over has very little to do with your voice, and it’s not easy money! It’s all about connecting with scripts, engaging your audience, and breathing life into words. Before you head out to buy a laptop and a mic, listen to these two bosses talk about the importance of tenacity, research, and coaching. Anne and Kesha drop some gems to help you decide if VO is your true passion.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Having a great voice is only one part of being successful in voiceover

  2. You may be surprised to hear that voiceover has little to do with your voice. It has everything to do with your ability to breathe life into a script. It’s acting. It’s about coachability, tenacity, and the willingness to work at this.

  3. You need more than a mic and a laptop to get into voiceover

  4. You shouldn’t expect to be a professional voiceover artist with only a few sessions of coaching and a quickly made demo

  5. If someone tries to lure you into voiceover by saying you can make great money quickly, run the other way

  6. Voiceover is not a quick solution to be able to work from home or make a quick dollar

  7. There is a significant investment of money required to start a voiceover business

  8. Be educated in the various genres of voiceover

  9. Commercial and animation voiceover is only a small percentage of the work available for talent

  10. There is no one set of rules on how to best do voiceover

  11. Every coach and teacher can help you to bring something unique to the copy that you can use to connect with your audience 

  12. Social media can make voice acting look super fun and easy, but these posts don’t necessarily showcase the full picture

  13. Along with investing in technology, you should also invest in proper coaching and other learning resources

  14. When you’re first starting out, invest in good coaching first before you get an expensive microphone or try to produce your own demo 

  15. Never produce your own demo

  16. Hire a coach that is actually working in the industry. A working voice actor, casting director, or agent can give you a perspective on current trends in the industry

  17. Make your reads about connecting with your listener, instead of the sound of your voice

  18. You can have the best voice in the world, but if nobody knows about it, they can’t hire you

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

Read Brigid’s Reale’s take on how (not to) break into voice acting
Find out about coaching with Anne Ganguzza here
After you’ve invested in coaching, look at all of the gear that Anne recommends!
Learn more about audio by taking Tim’s Courses!
Recorded on ipDTL


>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, and I’m here with my lovely, amazing, special guest co-host, Miss Kesha Monk. Hey Kesha!

Kesha: Hola señorita and señors out there. How’s it going?

Anne: Kesha, I am so excited to talk to you today.

Kesha: Yeah, as always. I mean nothing but excitement happens whenever we get together.

Anne: So true, but you know, I really just love the fresh perspective that you bring to things. And so I know this past week you’ve been involved in a panel or two on Clubhouse about how to get into voiceover. And I’ll tell you what, I get the question so many times, “how do I get into voiceover?” And there’s lots of wonderful resources out there on how to do that, but I thought, well, why don’t we give our version of how do we get into voiceover, and what things that we think are important when first starting out, and how you can truly get in to this industry with a mind toward success.

Kesha: Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s dive in, baby.

Anne: [laughs] Well, let’s start with, let’s start with first of all, there’s so many people since the pandemic that have come to me and want to get into voiceover, because obviously they just, they heard, “I can do this from home. I’m an actor,” or I don’t know, “people have always told me” — obviously — “people have always told me I have a great voice,” and that is one of the first, foremost things that people come to us with. And what is your response to that, Kesha?

Kesha: Hmm, they have to come to grips with what this is all about. Voiceover has nothing to do with your voice. Yes.

Anne: Wait, let’s just say that again.

[both laugh]

Anne: Yeah, I’m in 100%, 1000% agreement that it really has nothing to do with your voice. But go on and explain, Kesha.

Kesha: It really has everything to do with your ability to interpret copy, script, words, bringing them to life, breathing life into the words, making them more colorful, being more connectable. It’s acting.

Anne: Yeah, yeah.

Kesha: That’s exactly what it is.

Anne: And I think it’s connecting with your audience, which acting is, right? We connect with our audience on the level that touches them, that engages them, that sparks an emotion.

Kesha: Right, exactly, and therefore keeping that in mind, don’t think that you can just go to BestBuy and get a laptop and USB mic, and go into a coat closet, and all the magic happens. No, it takes a lot more than that, you know what I mean?

Anne: Yeah, I always tell people — you probably heard this in multiple podcasts from me, I always tell people, look, why do you expect to be able to be a professional voiceover artist with only a few sessions and a demo that you might produce after a weekend, or maybe a few sessions of coaching? Even if it’s like four sessions or six sessions, I still say how many hours total have you spent, you know, practicing, loving, honing the craft of voiceover before you’ve made a demo, and then there you are presenting that demo as if I’m a professional now? It takes time, yeah.

Kesha: Yeah, it definitely do. I’ll give a parallel. I love food, right?

Anne: So do I. [laughs]

Kesha: Right, I mean, just go to my Facebook page and look at my pictures. You can tell that I love food, right? So I love food, I’m kind of fascinated with it, I love the way that it tantalizes taste buds and all that kind of stuff. But tomorrow I can’t just wake up and say, you know what? I love food, I think I’ll open a restaurant. I’ll just buy a bunch of equipment, just open up a store and hope people will come. No!

Anne: I’m a chef.

Kesha: You got to do a little bit more — yeah, it takes a little bit more than that.

Anne: Yeah.

Kesha: And you know, I’m saying all that to say, Anne, not to be harsh, but unfortunately again, I guess it’s attractive, especially when folks like me get on, you know, social media and say “hey everybody, I’m the voice of God for Soul Train Awards.” People are attracted to that. They’re like, “wow, how did you do that?” So forth and so on. It just takes a little bit more than that, and I’m really looking forward to delving into, you know, the whole science of voiceover. It takes more than a laptop and a mic.

Anne: It sure does, and it takes more than — well obviously it just can’t be about a quick fix or a quick solution to “oh, I want to work from home.” That is something — there really has to be, because this is something that we, I think, I think all of us as actors need to be passionate about. I mean, you need to have a love for your craft in order for that to shine through and to really affect people. If you’re just doing it for a quick dollar, if you think you’re doing it for a quick dollar, that’s a big misconception.

Kesha: Right.

Anne: And it really, I know people, before they’ve even spoken to me to find out about voiceover, they’ve gone and they’ve bought a microphone already. And they’ve looked at a couple of YouTube videos, and they’ve set up their home studio, and not a lot of time —

Kesha: And then — not only that —

Anne: — spent, how does that home studio work. [laughs]

Kesha: Yeah, I mean, and then you go on, and you see all of these people that are offering the service for, you know, $5 and $10. You know, and then you have the voiceover vultures, you know, the folks who are on social media. “Oh, all you’ve gotta do is just give me $2500,” you know? It’s — I get it, I get it, but it’s a lot more than that. It’s so much more than that. Like you said, it really takes, you really gotta love, you know, the craft and the science of voiceover to be successful in it.

Anne: Absolutely.

Kesha: And when I, like you said, I’ve been making my rounds on social media speaking about voiceover. And I kind of — I have to be honest with you, Anne, I guess I can tell you this because we’re buddies, I feel almost as though people might think I’m kind of crazy, because I tell the story of how, you know, I watch television a lot, not for TV but for the commercials.

Anne: Yup.

Kesha: And also like I’ll sleep with my television on, and in the middle of the night, if I’m like in a hot — I mean, this is the truth. And I told the story, and I felt weird afterwards, because I’m like, “oh my God, these people think I’m crazy.”

Anne: Back, back up just a little bit, but you listen to — I fall asleep with the TV all the time, but is that so you can absorb the commercials?

Kesha: Ab-so-lutely.

Anne: Oh my gosh, I love that. [laughs]

Kesha: And what happens, and this is, I’m being honest. What sometimes happens if I’m kind of like in that twilight, you know, and a commercial comes on, and it tantalizes my earbuds, I’ll sit straight up in the bed, like, “oh my God! Who was that?” I’ll go to, I’ll try to — you know, I’ll go to, and I’ll try to figure out who was the actor. And I’ll go to their website, and you know. I’m just like kind of fascinated with the whole science of it all. And a lot of people unfortunately are just more or less attracted to the fact, “oh, I can work from home,” “it may be a lucrative career for me,” “all I need is a mic and a laptop.” And that ain’t it.

Anne: And you know, I, absolutely. You know, another thing for whatever reason that brings to mind is — you’re talking about listening to commercials — there’s also a misconception that you have to have, you have to start with a commercial demo, or commercials are really the only type of voiceover there is. And it’s amazing when I tell people that, you know, commercial voiceover is only a small percentage of the overall work that’s out there and available for talent.

Kesha: Absolutely.

Anne: Some people gravitate as that being their genre, then yeah, of course that’s going to be the majority of the work. But then you get somebody like me who I have the majority of my work being e-learning, corporate medical narration, medical narration, that side of things, which is, you know, when I talk to people about that, they’re like “oh.” [laughs] But yet they might have been, you know, led into thinking they have, you know, they have to do commercials. Or most people, they hear, they either can do great impressions, or they can do characters, so everybody wants to get into animation. And then it’s a big surprise when they find out that that is also a smaller market. I mean, it’s not that it’s impossible to get in, but it’s a difficult market to get into. Just like —

Kesha: Exactly.

Anne: — doing promo work or live announce for you, that’s a smaller market. And so having to educate people about all the different genres is also something where people, they just, they need to be educated, I think.

Kesha: Do you know, people don’t even realize that Siri, and we allll know Siri, that’s voiceover. But people don’t, they don’t realize it. I’m not necessarily saying that that’s a bad thing. It’s just, there’s, you know, it’s just a mass, it’s just a wealth, it’s just so full, like voiceover — everything is a voiceover, in my opinion.

Anne: Yeah.

Kesha: And the world is basically out there for the taking, but you have to be willing to open up your ears a little bit more and open up your eyes and your mind, and understand what this is really, really all about. And it’ll excite you when you start to realize the endless possibilities on how you can literally utilize your voice and impact a whole world, you know! [laughs]

Anne: Yeah. That’s the beauty.

Kesha: That’s just how I view it.

Anne: That’s the beauty of it, how you can change, you can really have an impact and change people’s lives with voiceover. And I also think that it’s not something that is just like, oh ok, I have my demo, now I’m a voiceover artist. I think that you have to be a lifelong learner. I’ve always been a big proponent of, you can — there’s always stuff to learn out there. I think even voice talent that have been in the industry for years, they still, I think, need to be practicing their craft. They need to be coaching. They need to, you know, get a fresh set of ears on what they’re doing and see if they can, you know, maybe, I don’t know, up their game with, with coaching. I don’t think it’s a one-shot deal. Like, ok, I’ve learned — as a matter of fact I had somebody say to me, ok, well let me just, you know, maybe you can talk to me, and I can find out if you’re teaching what I already know. And I’m like, oh no. No, no. [laughs]

Kesha: That’s not the way it works.

Anne: There’s no one set of rules for voiceover. It is an art, and I think that every coach and teacher can bring something different to the table and different to your craft that you can utilize to connect and really be, be a professional.

Kesha: Absolutely, which is kind of a reason why I’m really grateful for your podcast, because you know, realistically speaking, we are in a pandemic, right?

Anne: Yeah, yeah.

Kesha: And umm, you know, that there’s just a lot going on with people’s lives and their finances. This podcast is such a valuable — it’s invaluable, an education tool with regards to — not just, you know, my episodes, but just you know, your channel as a whole is a great tool to really educate yourself about, you know, the entire industry.

Anne: Well, thank you, Kesha.

Kesha: I’m really grateful —

Anne: Wow!

Kesha: — grateful for you. Yeah.

Anne: Thank you so much for that. Kesha, of course, you’re such a huge part of this. I’m always for, you know, I’m always looking to be able to hopefully, you know, give back to the community and have more awareness about what this industry is all about and how it works. It’s, it’s an interesting, it’s an interesting thing. I think in any industry you have people that want to get in to the industry. And there’s a whole, I guess, level where we have to educate the people coming into the industry about what it’s all about.

Kesha: Anne, in all fairness, we, we make it look easy. You know, social me — thank you, social media. We make it look easy. You know what I’m saying? We have our Instagram accounts, and our Facebook, and even Twitter, and we’re using all these wonderful latforms to say “hey, look at me, this is what I do!” I’ll never forget, and I told this story a couple of days ago, I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

Anne: Oh yeah.

Kesha: With Will Smith. Do you remember the scene in the movie where he’s walking down the street, and he sees this beautiful Ferrari, and he’s like “hmm, I wonder who owns this Ferrari?” And when the owner came up, he’s like “so what do you do in order to get that car?” And then he was actually willing to learn the trade. He had no experience in whatever the trade, well, what was it? Stocks, the stock market? I don’t know! Whatever it was, he just knew he wanted to be there. But he went into it with an open mind. Well, I want to learn to do what you do. It’s not just a matter of getting a job, but totally educating himself, immersing himself within the business, sleeping in bathrooms, keep — he made all of those sacrifices because he visualized himself being in the seat of that Ferrari. Voiceover is the same identical thing. So I get it, if you’re listening, I totally understand, you know, because we do make it look easy, and it’s definitely a lot of fun. But as long as you are willing to roll up your sleeves, open up your mind, educate and get coached, you too can be a voiceover.

Anne: [laughs] You too. I think that you have to be, as I was mentioning again about the time spent in honing your craft and learning how to do —

Kesha: Yes!

Anne: — how to be a great voiceover artist, I think also the money is another thing that we need to kind of touch upon. You know for any business, you’re going to make an investment. There’s always an initial investment when you go into business. Again it’s one of those things where you’ve made it sound easy, or there are people out there that might prey upon new talent, saying look how easy it is, look how much money you can make, just you know, “come get a demo with me.” That might be leading people on a little bit or leading people astray. There is an investment, I do believe, that you need, for any business, you need to take into account.

Kesha; Of course.

Anne: It’s not like you’re going to do this on the cheap. There’s going to be a considerable amount of investment in your craft to begin with, and I’ve had other people estimate — I’ve seen up to like $10,000.

Kesha: Of course.

Anne: I would tend to agree with that, really depending on your studio setup, and now our studio setups have to be better than they ever were. They have to be really rock solid so that we can deliver quality audio.

Kesha: Right.

Anne: I just did a series of podcasts with Tim Tippets, and we were saying, you know what? You get what you pay for in terms of equipment. So I’m not saying everyone needs to go out and buy a $1000 mic or a $3000 mic. But you have to make an investment, and that includes the investment in your coaching, in your demos, in — and then also maintaining that. It’s not like, “oh I got my demo, I’m done.” [laughs] You know?

Kesha: Exactly, exactly. And as a matter of fact, if you are on the level of Voiceover 101 or you’re a beginner, I would definitely suggest investing in those learning tools first.

Anne: Yeah.

Kesha: I know. Hell, I’ll admit it. I used to just, I’d use a simple USB mic that was like under $100. It was really, you know, when I first started. It was an inexpensive tool, but my sound was awesome. Like I had the perfect coat closet.

Anne: Yeah, well —

Kesha: I really did.

Anne: That’s — I’m glad you said that because it’s amazing what you can do with a mic. It can be a relatively low cost mic in a room that is treated properly.

Kesha: Right, exactly, exactly.

Anne: And so BOSSes, if you want to know how to treat your room properly, we just did a series with Tim Tippets all about audio. It’s all about having BOSS audio, so make sure you listen to those to find out what you can do to get yourself some great sound. And yeah, you can actually have a less expensive — I had a Rode NT1 that I used for years, and I made, you know, the majority of my money off of that for six years. And then it was, gosh, I want to say it took me almost 10 years before I got a 416. I don’t know why it took me quite that long, but it took me a long time. Maybe it wasn’t 10 years, but it took me a long time before I got my 416 and my TLM 103. But at that point, now I can, I can appreciate the difference and understand the difference. And yet you know, when I was on my, when I was on my Rode NT1, I was still sending out great quality audio.

Kesha: Right, exactly. And that’s what I want the younger generation of BOSSes to understand. That when you’re first starting out, Anne, I would definitely suggest, if you know, when it comes to making that financial investment, invest in good coaching first.

Anne: Yeah.

Kesha: Before you run out and get an expensive mic. Because realistically speaking, unless you’re just an alien of some sort, you’re not gonna buy a mic and just start — you know what I’m saying? You’re not gonna buy a mic and you’re just gonna start getting work. If you’re an alien, yeah. If you’re normal like us folks, that’s not going to happen. So don’t worry about that mic at first. You know, at first I think probably be doing a lot of practicing. You don’t, you don’t —

Anne: Exactly. Learning, as Tim always said, you don’t know what you don’t know. And so investing in a good coach and good coaching, you can educate yourself about the industry. It’s not just gonna be about your voice. And hopefully if you’ve got a good coach, they’re also coaching you about the industry. And if you’ve got marketing questions, I would want them to be able to guide you. I mean, that’s probably one of the first things I settle on with my students when we get together and we work, what genre do they want to start working on, because it does make a difference. Commercial is different from, you know, medical narration, which is different from promo, which is different from live announce. They all have different audiences, and they’re all voiced accordingly, differently.

Kesha: And if you allow me to just sidebar for a second, if you’re wondering how to find that perfect coach, I will always suggest hire a coach that’s actually working.

Anne: Yes.

Kesha: You know what I’m saying? You know, a coach who is actually a working voice actor can give you a much better perspective on how things work, as opposed to someone just saying, you know, “you can make $5000 a day if you just give me $2000, and you’ll come out with a bright, shiny, new demo.” It’s just horrible.

Anne: I would say though, the only exception to that — I’m completely in agreement with you there — the only exception would be unless you find a coach that works in casting or has been with an agency and has like — because I know there’s a couple of instructors out there that don’t necessarily do voiceover themselves, but they’re in casting, or they’ve worked as, they’ve worked for different talent agencies, and they’re, they’re amazing coaches.

Kesha: I guess so too. I definitely agree. It’s just, you know, I don’t know.

Anne: Working experience counts for a lot too. It really does.

Kesha: That’s exactly what I was gonna say.

Anne: Especially when you’re talking about relevance and being current in the industry because how do you, I mean, trends evolve. Voice trends evolve, the work trends evolve, the market evolves, and it’s so important. You can have the best voice in the world, but if there’s no market out there to buy it, just saying or you’re not relevant or current, they’re not maybe going to buy it.

Kesha: Right, which means, and I’ll revert back to my original point, voiceover has nothing to do with your voice. It’s about the will, the tenacity, you’re willing to research, your, you know, your coachability, and a thorough understanding of truly how all of this works, I think that is so important. It has nothing to do with your voice.

Anne: And it’s about, it’s so true. And again, I’m going to repeat exactly what you just said and maybe add some more to it, by saying that, you know, the industry is very subjective. Everybody has a beautiful voice in reality.

Kesha: Yeah, well, yeah, exactly.

Anne: Everybody connects in different ways with people, and I truly believe if you make it about the connection that you’re gonna have with your audience and not about your voice, then that’s what, that’s what they’re hiring. They’re hiring that, they’re hiring that human part of you that connects with people, not necessarily the sound of your voice. Because the sound of your voice, whether it’s beautiful or it’s not so beautiful, if it’s consistent and let’s say not meaningful and there’s no connection there, it becomes really, how shall I put it, it becomes really boring really quickly. You become white noise, whether your voice is beautiful or not. You become white noise if you’re not connecting with your audience. And that is so important. That’s where the acting comes in.

Kesha: Truly, truly.

Anne: And also again, you could have the best voice in the world, but if you don’t know how to market it, you’re not gonna get hired. And that’s the other, you know, percentage of this. And if you’re not brave in being an entrepreneur and being brave to go out there and, and get the job done, try things out, fail, learn from that, and then try it again, that’s also a huge part of this industry.

Kesha: Absolutely, absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. Man oh man.

Anne: Good stuff, Kesha. Thank you so much for that today. BOSSes, I hope that you share that you got something out of this today, and if you know people that are interested in getting into voiceover, that you share this podcast with them. There’s a lot of great resources out there for people who want to get into voiceover. I’d like this episode to be one of them as well.

Kesha: Absolutely. Anne, you do such a great job. I just really — I really do, truly do appreciate you, and wow. You’re just, you’re just dropping gems.

Anne: Oh Kesha, I love you.

Kesha: You’re dropping gems.

Anne: I do, I do! Gosh. Big shout-out to our sponsor ipDTL so that Kesha and I can love on each other. [laughs]

Kesha: Yes, yes!

Anne: And hopefully help you out in the process. Find out more at You guys have a great week, and we’ll see you next week. Bye!

Kesha: Bye!

>> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to Coast connectivity via ipDTL.