Voiceover Talent Beware

Attention Voiceover Talent:

I’m very  disappointed, once again, to see a self-professed voiceover “guru” taking advantage of newcomers to the industry. How?

  • By charging exorbitant prices for information that’s readily available, often for free, from knowledgeable, generous, professional voiceover talent.
  • By simplifying the information they share to the point that it’s nearly useless.
  • By promising heaps of success and buckets o’ cash, if you’d only follow “these simple steps.” (Sorry, but voiceover success requires tireless work – both on your craft and on your marketing – at least until you make it to the big time. And even then, the work on your craft continues.)
  • By inflating the cost of their classes, workshops, seminars, etc., to ridiculous prices, and then offering discounted rates, which end up being only slightly less ridiculous.

So what are the uninitiated to do? Their research.

There are plenty of reputable, effective and highly-respected voiceover coaches around who don’t resort to mass-marketing tactics and hyperbole-filled emails to separate you from your money. Ask around. It’ll quickly become obvious which coaches are worth investing in. And which ones aren’t.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Peter Bishop August 21, 2011, 4:46 pm

    Unfortunately Doug, this is nothing new. There will always be a large number of people who want a “magic pill” that makes all the hard work irrelevant, whether it’s for VO or a myriad of other reasons. Look at the popularity of self-help books (proving, if nothing else, that you could achieve a modicum of success by writing yet another self-help book yourself!) Whenever the public desires a quick-fix, the sharks will begin to circle and see their own opportunity to become a latter-day P.T.Barnum (y’know, all that good stuff about suckers born every minute and never overestimating the public).

    My own recipe for the moderate success I’ve had to date… be realistic about the area where your voice is a salable commodity (no movie trailers for me) and concentrate your efforts there. Develop and refine core skills… this involves constant practice, and some realistic coaching (acting schools and voice coaches who have no agenda to up-sell a demo package). Work at it 16 hours a day. If you apply all that, then those first few “wins” turn into repeat customers, the small jobs get bigger or more frequent, you start to realize that messages from Paypal are about money coming in and not just a marketing message!

    There is no magic pill… although, I’m working on one now. It’ll soon be ready, and a non-refundable deposit of $500 will ensure that you are first in line on release day, and only four short weeks after that you will be primed to be a VO star! This never-to-be-repeated offer (which will actually be repeated ad nauseum) will expire soon.


    • Doug Turkel - Voiceover Talent August 22, 2011, 8:15 pm

      You’re right, Peter, (some) people will always look for a shortcut to success. What saddens me is when those people are taken advantage of by less-than-honorable “coaches” who use their marketing machine to convince those people that they can succeed without all the hard work.

      I’m glad that your “recipe for success” is working for you. And it’s no surprise. Yours is a reasonable, realistic and well-thought-out approach.

      PS. Let me know as soon as your “magic pill” is ready. I can’t wait to hear more about it! ; )

  • Kraig Karson August 22, 2011, 7:50 pm

    you need to be specific. there are a ton of workshops that are very helpful.. that may charge a little more than what I’d like to pay. but well worth it in the long run (Marice Tobias is phenomenal) Keep in mind, the voiceover industry is running into every other person with a mic and proTools who think they are a VO actor… charging a dollar a holler. Devaluing the product is more of a concern

  • Graeme October 25, 2011, 9:30 am

    I think that there is a certain irony to the fact that ThisVoicingLife – i.e. Steven Lowell from voice123.com – tweeted about this post stating that is was “good advice” 🙂