VO-BB - 19 YEARS OLD! Forum Index VO-BB - 19 YEARS OLD!
R.I.P. SAM MOWRY
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

How did you get into voice acting?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    VO-BB - 19 YEARS OLD! Forum Index -> Chat
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Bruce
Boardmeister


Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 7947
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2024 4:18 am    Post subject: How did you get into voice acting? Reply with quote

I invite one and all to contribute to this thread with the story of your journey into voice acting, or voice over. I’ll also add the stories of others I find interesting…. like this one. Enjoy!

https://nofilmschool.com/voice-acting

Bruce
_________________
VO-BB Member #31 Enlisted June, 2005

I'm not a Zoo, but over the years I've played one on radio/TV. .
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bruce
Boardmeister


Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 7947
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2024 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started as a class clown, always cracking wise with teachers and fellow students. Then came a skit I was in in front of a student assembly in middle school. I improvised a line and I got a roar of laughter from 300 kids in the auditorium. I was hooked on a career of performing from then on.

I did lots of plays in grade and high school, then bailed on my first semester of college to go to a broadcast school, based in a major radio station, to learn my next craft. I started full time in radio at a station in Winslow, Arizona doing mornings and news. I then moved back to my home city of Phoenix and was a Top 40 deejay, a Country deejay, and newscaster at a few stations for a few years. I then spent three lovely years in San Diego performing in a couple of different formats and learning from some of the greats. I returned to Phoenix for a few more years of rock deejaying.

During these last several radio years I got paid to voice commercials that went to other stations (cool!) and got experience in on camera commercials, live and episodic TV programs, and more theater. When advancement meant moving out of my home city I decided to make a go of full time voice and acting work. I acted in episodes of the Young Riders, Unsolved Mysteries, America's Most Wanted, and a few big roles in small movies, and a few small roles in bigger movies. I did live action modeling for major characters in Fox Animation features Anastasia and Titan A.E. I also acted in many industrial films/videos.

All this time I was also writing and voicing a slew of radio and TV commercials, so many that ad agencies became reluctant to hire me because I was on the air so much. As work slowed down my father offered one last time to join his water treatment business and I became a middling expert in high tech water needs for industry for a few years. Not a lot of laughs there.

My Dad retired and sold the business, and for five years I co-owned and managed a live theater from which we produced 40 musicals and plays. I'm proud to say almost all of them were highly reviewed.

When I learned a lot of us voice Phoenix talents were losing work to actors in Cleveland for example, using this crazy "high speed Internet" thing, I decided to "find work" in other cities and eventually other countries. I built my own home studio around the time of 9/11 and have been 90% voiceover from home ever since.

I've found for me I keep gainfully employed by doing it all: commercials of all kinds in markets large and occasionally small, narrations from children's programming to medical to technical, video game and animation characters, audiobooks, and this time of year lots of political spots. Lately I've been voicing a few promoting the oldest of our very old presidential candidates.

Very few dull moments in this voiceover line of work, end even if a job is a little dull, the pay per hour is outstanding compared to most work out there.

Bruce
_________________
VO-BB Member #31 Enlisted June, 2005

I'm not a Zoo, but over the years I've played one on radio/TV. .
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Lee Gordon
A Zillion


Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 6850
Location: West Hartford, CT

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2024 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a senior in high school and was walking down the hallway where one of the juniors was surveying passersby. He wanted to know if there was any interest among the students for a campus radio station. I answered in the affirmative and also volunteered. He built the station and the day he flipped the switch, I did my first radio show. Armed with that experience, I joined the college station the following year, which probably contributed to my flunking out.

Two years later, I was back at a university with a radio station and, once again, I signed up. By then I had enough radio experience that I was able to land my first paying job at a commercial station. And in my senior year, I got a weekend gig at a station in my hometown. That turned into a full time job starting the day after my college graduation.

In college and at my professional gigs, I gravitated toward the production departments and did lots of commercials, particularly the funny ones or the ones with character voices. I remember doing one as a chicken for a fast food place called Hawaiian Boneless Chicken in 1972 or 73. I have a vague recollection that the client like it so much, he wanted to use it on another station in the market. If so, that would have been the first time I got paid for a VO, but I honestly don't remember.

In 1974 I moved from New Hampshire to Hartford, CT and, again, spent a lot of off air hours in production. I did a spot for a sandwich shop called Full of Baloney that I know for sure I got paid for ($25). All the DJs hung out at a particular bar after our shifts. I met a lot of people there, including one guy who owned an ad agency. He hired me to voice some of his spots, which, at the time, were all done at local recording studios. That enabled me to make some valuable connections and led to more VO work. I was one of a handful of voiceoverists who were on a ton of spots produced in those studios -- until the technology came along that enabled the studios to record out of town voices remotely. But that was a double-edged sword. If out of town voices were going to take some local work away from me, I had to become an out of town voice in other markets to make up for the lost business. So that's what I did.
_________________
Lee Gordon, O.A.V.
Voice President of the United States
www.leegordonproductions.com
Twitter: @LeeGordonVoice
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
tokyofan
Been Here Awhile


Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 273
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2024 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Growing up in Duluth, MN I enjoyed singing in school chorus and church choir from an early age. This led to being active in junior high school and high school chorus, a barbershop quartet, and community musicals and plays. Once I started university I had no time for performing arts.

After graduating with a double major in philosophy and psychology (and a black belt in aikido), I traveled to Tokyo, Japan in 1993 and landed a job as a full-time English teacher. After a three year grind, I changed workplaces and the next school had a recording studio where they produced English language learning materials, narrated by their foreign teachers. They asked me to do a 'test recording' after which they began hiring me on a regular basis. They seemed to like my 'standard' Midwest accent and after several years of teaching, could enunciate English quite clearly by then. I also had a dramatic flare, when needed.

I soon started working with other foreign narrators who introduced me to local studios and talent agencies. I made a rough voice demo and whenever I returned to the U.S. I would enroll in voice-over classes or seek private instruction. After several years I was able to quit teaching English altogether and pursue voice work full-time. And was able to expand into commercials, corporate videos, video games, animation, etc. All in English, of course. There wasn't a lot of competition at the time and there's still a huge barrier to entry.

After having built a DIY vocal booth 20 years ago, I also tried my luck with P2P sites and audiobooks, enjoying some relative, pre-pandemic success. Home recordings in Japan are not as common but have picked up since the pandemic.
_________________
www.chriskoprowski.com/en


Last edited by tokyofan on Thu Jun 27, 2024 11:38 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Mike Paul
Contributor IV


Joined: 05 Oct 2021
Posts: 122
Location: Sacramento

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2024 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ever since I was a kid, I've been doing impressions.

(Fast Forward...)

I got fired from a technology consulting career for performance reasons; tinnitus meant I was searching for sounds to mask the noise all day, and chronic muscle pain meant I couldn't find comfort for long, so I didn't get a lot of work done. Plus, my memory recall was beginning to degrade.

When I got fired, I wrote a list of things that I enjoyed or came naturally to me. First item was 'helping people'. Second item was 'impressions'. I put the pencil down right away.

That's when it hit me: the opening scene from Mrs. Doubtfire, where Robin Williams voices a tweety-looking-bird and then goes off script when the bird starts smoking a cigarette--something Robin's character didn't care for.

So, I then realized that everything needed a voice -- from cartoons to overhead messaging at the airport -- and knowing I had a natural skill I could leverage, I began the journey down the path of voiceover.

While I'm a natural mimic, I quickly realized this industry required more, and I've been learning and growing ever since.
_________________
Mike Paul
https://speakingofmike.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
verbcrunch
Contributor III


Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 97
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2024 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In high school was a cashier at a Big Y supermarket. They had me record the weekly specials that blared over the PA system, interrupting the Musak. I figure that was my first VO gig, except I didn't get paid anything extra.
_________________
Jeff Berlin
Humble Voice Guy
http://www.jeffberlin.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    VO-BB - 19 YEARS OLD! Forum Index -> Chat All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group