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How to Make it Doing Voice Overs

Updated on March 25, 2013

Second place never gets paid. These are words that need to resonate with every aspiring voice actor. No matter how many times you audition for roles you won't get paid to be someone's second choice.

Knowing this, you will need to be the BEST at at least one thing. If people say you have a great sultry voice then you need to master this voice and it's nuances. The more things you can be the best at, the more money you can make doing voice overs. The more things you are pretty good at, the more time you will waste auditioning.

Now that you are the best at at least one thing, you need a demo. Make 2 demos consisting of 10 second clips. One demo should be 1 minute and another 2 minutes depending on what the agency is looking for. Don't fade the clips into each other just leave half a second between each. Put your BEST voice first and try to show some variety if you can.

You NEED an agency. Sure you could be doing voice overs by yourself and make 30% more per job but who wants 30% more for 1 job when an agency can get you 5 times as many jobs or more plus you wont have to do the legwork. Don't think that you need to live in LA or New York City to make it. A studio in LA might record someone in Wyoming using modern technology as long as it is the voice they want. With the right equipment, skill and agent you can work a few hours a day from your home studio and make 60k a year easily. The agent does not even need to be in your area in this case. If an agent says no to your demo this does not mean they wont say yes next year when you keep working harder and make a better demo.

When you get an agent and win an audition it is important to be humble in sessions. No one likes arrogant talent! Not the end clients not the producers that are embarrassed by your actions not the agent that set up the session. It doesn't matter your opinion or if you are absolutely right, don't speak unless asked and don't offend anyone. Not many other people can get $1000 for an hour. So it's worth it to keep quiet and just perform like a monkey in a cage. In other words when they say dance, you dance.

Once you are the favorite voice talent of your new end client you can get session after session without having to audition again. This repeat business increases your income dramatically. The advertising agency that may have cast you on some tiny local spot that doesn't pay much might also have Burger King as an account, you really don't know and one job can turn into another and another. So, treat every job as the most important thing you've ever voiced and you will do well.

I am a producer of voice overs, I love my career and I love working with talent and seeing new talent grow. This career pays for talent instantly so get working on your BEST voice and your demo and success doing voice overs will follow.


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    • AlanSwenson profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      @greg If you live near Virginia Beach, Memphis, Richmond Va, Santa Monica, Las Vegas or NYC or have as ISDN box you should contact . if you live in another area you will want to find a local recording studio, if there is one, that does voice over work. Instead of reading books you should try to emulate the voices you hear on national ads. Not cartoon voices, not characters no puky radio djs. The normal voices you hear on national ads like walmart and target and any other big name. Master those voices then try using those voices to read dry copy like the newspaper or magazine articles. Then try reading the same dry copy in 20 different ways. Once you can do all those things you will be ready to start. Then practice practice practice. Like any career you need to put hours in every day. Those are my suggestions.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm a music producer. I have the gear needed for recording. I'd like to give this a try. I always here horrible voice jobs in film that have the english language dubbed in.

      What are some good agencies to contact? what books would you suggest how did you get started in this game

    • AlanSwenson profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      @Minnetonka Twin Exactly right, a lot of people think there is nothing to it but just like any other career only the best get jobs and they are paid handsomely.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      What an interesting field your in. Very cool and very interesting hub on this. I bet you get so many people telling you that they have "The Voice." You did a great job giving information on voice overs for those interested and those of us that are just intrigued.

    • AlanSwenson profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Las Vegas, NV


      Do not send one to me, but send one to

      I must be careful about any direct contact with talent and clients as to not breach my own contract so I can not disclose my own contact information.

    • profile image

      Bob Loza 

      8 years ago


      I like your comments, and as a professional VO here in Burbank CA, I'm always looking for new sources of 'regular' clientele. As you are a professional in this field also, I'd be interested in knowing where you recommend I send my demos, besides letting me know how to send one to you, i.e. CD, MP3 or website. (ISDN and phone patch is no problem) thank you. BL

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Interesting read! Good advice for someone thinking about trying for a VO position. Thanks for sharing your insight. Congrats on being selected as a HubNuggets Wannabe and best of luck to you! :)

    • shazwellyn profile image


      8 years ago from Great Britain

      Well.. I never really thought of voice overs! Any room for a British Essex girl? hehehe x

    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 

      8 years ago from South Carolina

      Congratulations on your nomination, without it I would not have found this fantastic article! I like your opening statement the most, it grabs the attention, speaks with truth, and motivates. After this opener, you left me very educated, awesome and Thanks for sharing your knowledge in such an artistic way!

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 

      8 years ago

      I have a friend that use to be in this field. You've done an excellent job in writing this hub. Welcome to HubPages and Congratulations on being nominated as HubNugget.

      Good Luck!


    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Alan, I am always amazed at the wonderful voices of voice overs. I wish I could train my voice to make it sound really good. hahahahah But I think I always sound too young.

      Congrats for your Hubnugget nomination. To vote click this link:

    • AlanSwenson profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Thanks for the kind words Green Lotus. It is a funny little business we are in but I love every minute of it.

    • Green Lotus profile image


      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      From one performer/producer to another - great advice Alan! I've worked with the highest paid VO talent out there and you're right. A good artist takes direction, shows up on time, never questions the copy, has the voice and I might add, is also an actor. If you sound like James Earl Jones but can't act, forget it.

      Welcome to HP and congrats on your Hubnugget nomination!


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