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.



Takeaways

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 ++


KESHA
VOICEOVER
LIVE ANNOUNCER
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

Transcript

>> 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 fiver.com, 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.