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Seven great VO success questions

Hey, there!

I’m a member of a number of LinkedIn VO groups, and in one of them, someone asked how they could tell if they would be successful at VO.

And before I could answer with my ideas, a guy named Dave Wallace pointed the poster to seven great questions to ask before jumping into VO as a career.

Here they are.

And by the way, they are from Dave’s FAQ page on his site, davewallacevo.com.

  1. Have you received any kind of training from a VO coach?
  2. If not, do you have any sort of acting experience?
  3. Do you have any professionally-produced demos?
  4. Do you have a home studio set up?
  5. How extensive is your audio editing knowledge?
  6. How extensive is your marketing knowledge?
  7. How extensive is your knowledge of running a small business?

And Dave says, “…by the way, ‘I don’t have experience in this,’ is an acceptable answer to any of these questions…just know that you’re gonna have some learning to do if you intend to be successful…”

All of these things have to be dealt with at some point or another in your VO journey.

(And I’m a bit relieved that I don’t have any holes in the VO2GoGo class curriculum – we train people in every single one of these 7 basic needs…and 29 others.)

Where do you think your biggest challenge is? Join in the conversation below.

Hope this helps.

David

9 Responses to Seven great VO success questions

  1. Karl Jaecke June 26, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    How do you juggle a full time job with not in the VO field with VO?

    • David H. Lawrence XVII June 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      The good news about VO is that you can do it pretty much any time of the day or night, and that’s where I’d start. Checking for auditions and work as soon as your finished with your survival job should become a habit. Be diligent about returning your auditions to the casting entity, and sooner or later, you’ll start to book. You can also do any work you get around that job schedule.

      And, of course, once you start booking, you may not have that survival job to worry about.

      David

  2. Al Kessel March 19, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Hi David, great topic! Thank you. My biggest challenge is pretty much all of the above! Although over the last year (I started my VO company March, 2013), I have gained a good amount of knowledge from great people like you willing to help, I still do not have a professionally produced demo (which I understand is VITAL, but at the moment out of financial range), nor have I received any official coaching (again, which I understand is VITAL, but…well, same as above). I am hoping to eventually get to a point where I can do both of these things, because I DO want to succeed! I think that Mr. Wallace’s questions are terrific and that they should all be taken seriously. Now…I just need an agent! :) – Al ºoº

    • David H. Lawrence XVII March 19, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

      Having heard your audiobook work, I don’t think you need much coaching. You do need a portfolio of category-specific demos, but not every category demands the services of a producer like me – especially audiobook demos. When the time is right, you’re the kind of voice actor that I’d love to get my hands on as a member of my Pro group. You’ve got a lot of raw talent and a lot of potential, which you’re beginning to see come to fruition.

  3. Otis Jiry March 19, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    I am much like Al. I am a former broadcaster with a huge break between doing VO. While I do not have a professionally done demo, I used to be a recording engineer while working in radio, so I do have some skills in that area. And I have also had acting (stage) experience. I found that doing audioplay work helped get my chops down some. As with most, I have a the survival job (cabinet maker) but spend about 4 to 5 hours a night doing VO. I now have my own YouTube channel where I do horror short stories, and get a lot of great comments about my narration skills. You can have a listen at Otis Jirys Creepypasta Crypt or on chillingtalesfordarknights.com Luckily, I have garnered myself several agents from my home made demos, and as Al said, making contact with the benovelent successful VOs online have been a godsend. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and when I can afford to, will look to get some coaching and see where that takes me.

  4. Dave Wallace March 30, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    Hi David!

    I admit, I’m a rather wordy guy (which is not a particularly good thing in a town like Los Angeles where everybody’s in a hurry, but I digress). Because I’m verbose, I’ve never really liked Twitter for forcing me to condense my thoughts to 140 characters…so, I’ll admit, I don’t check my Twitter feed often. If I had, I would have known much sooner that you wrote this, and would have been sure to thank you much sooner for posting this! Delayed though this may be, thanks a lot, and I’ll be sure to thank you in person at the next Voices Anonymous that I go to!

    These are all seven questions that I wish I had asked myself about and researched about when I was starting out. Especially the more business-oriented ones. I had grown up as a “theater kid” in school, so I was shocked to discover that I needed to learn about things like marketing and running a small, one-person business (which is basically what an acting career is). For the first two years of my (so far) six years in VO, I went about it with the attitude that I had to just keep working until I “got discovered,” and then everything would be set from there. Turns out, that’s not the case. It never ends. We constantly need to be marketing, and constantly expanding our business and client base wherever possible. One of my bigger regrets is that I never took a marketing class when I had the chance in college….I’ve learned a fair deal on my own since then, but man, all young aspiring VO talents who are still of college age, learn from my mistakes–take a marketing class.

    Thank you for recognizing this and teaching this to your students, David. :)

  5. Tonya Cornelisse November 28, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

    What are the best groups / sites to market your product / voice on in your opinion — top 3-5 ?!
    Thx D !

  6. Wynnona Loredo November 28, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    Hi, everyone!

    It’s interesting seeing the different responses. I have a marketing-oriented background, but I definitely need to work on the acting and technical side of the business.

    Any advice on how to stay relevant while still in training?

    Thanks,
    Wynnona

    • David H. Lawrence XVII November 29, 2016 at 12:50 am #

      We understand this question intimately, and the answer is to be very sure to train in all three vectors: art, commerce and science.

      That’s exactly how we’ve built the VO2GoGo curriculum, so that you’re studying the voice skills in all categories (the art), up-to-the-minute business skills to run your VO practice (the commerce), and the digital and tech tools you need to master (the science). You’ll see each vector assigned to various classes in the curriculum:

      http://vo2gogo.com/classes

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