A voice coach is one who has walked the walk, and talked the talk in his chosen field. Someone who has credibility as a voice over artist and sufficient experience and knowledge to share with those desirous to learn these skills. A good Voice Coach can considerably shorten your ordeal of trial and error and time spent groping in the dark , to learn the ropes.
Q1. How do I select a Good Voice Coach.
A1. Check out the professional background of the coach. You should be looking for an experienced Professional Voice over Artist who has proven his/her credentials in the field of Voice over in order to get value for money. Do be careful, there are many unscrupulous people in the city, trying to cash in on the new demand for voice modulation classes, by posing as Voice Over Artists.
Q2. How does a beginner identify a genuinely experienced Voice Over artist with Credibility in Mumbai.
A2. The first step would be to establish whether the advertiser is a genuine bonafide member of the Voice Over Artist fraternity.
Log on to the official website of the Association of Voice Artists www.avaindia.org, On the home page, click on MEMBERS which is in alphabetical order. You will find the names of Voice Over artists from their late 80s to youngsters in their teens along with their contact numbers. If the trainer is a professional Voice over Artist, his or her name should figure in this list. If it doesn’t, then you are more than likely, about to become one of the many victims of false advertising by someone masquerading as a voice over artist/voice coach.
Enquire from some established Voice Over Artists on AVA’s Member contact List and also well known recording studios, if they have ever heard of this advertiser and what this person’s credibility and standing is, within the Voice Over industry. You will be shocked to find that a majority of them have never even done a single Voice over in their entire lives. If you have established beyond doubt that the advertiser is a genuine Voice Over Artist, then fix an appointment and meet him or her.
- Inquire if it is a voice workshop or a Voice coaching Program.
- If it is voice coaching, ask how many Participants are taken at one time. If it is more than 4 or 5, then don’t expect to learn very much. It is another commercial racket.
- If the advertiser is a genuine Voice over artist, chances are that he or she would certainly have voice samples on their website. Check for the quality of their work, and have it assessed by someone experienced in the field of production or Voice over or even an experienced sound recordist..
- If they don’t have a website with voice over samples, then ask which clients they have worked for, and if they could show some samples of their work. (A word of caution here, because I understand that one of them actually plays my voice samples and passes it off as his)
- If after all these checks you are convinced that the advertiser is a genuine voice over artist, that’s only half the battle won. You need to establish whether the individual has teaching skills. Ask for references of former students if any, who are now established Voice Over Artists. Don’t hesitate to contact them and inquire if they got value for money from the classes and how they are faring in the Voice Over Industry.
The very number of successful candidates should indicate the quality of the teaching skills of the advertiser. If at least three or four of them say that the course helped them achieve their goal, then you are most likely on the right track.
Q3. How is it possible for people who have never done Voice over to be able to conduct voice coaching for new entrants in this field?
A3. Very simple.
They usually attend Voice workshops conducted by professionals to see how they are conducted and decide that it is a lucrative way of making a fast buck. They either download information from the net or simply steal the notes of genuine coaches. Go ahead and Google “Tips on Voice Over“ or “Public speaking”..and find out for yourself. You will find plenty of free advice by professionals available to you free on the net from the comfort of your home, so why pay for it?
But Like cricket, you cannot learn the skills from a book or from someone who has never actually held a bat or played the game at competition level.
They simply use the power of false advertising with tall claims to exploit the gullible.
Never fall for Big banners hung all over the place or slick Websites that promise you the earth. Many of them are bogus. Don’t fall for coaches who promise you work the moment you finish the course. No coach can honestly guarantee you work. Your progress in the Voice Over Industry depends on how marketable your talent is, and how well you package and market it.. There is no instant noodle recipe to success. You need Talent and lots of practice. Never fall for fancy Office ambiances or Studios, as they are simply props meant to impress you. Remember that good studios are far too busy making money by recordings for their clients, to be conducting Voice Work Shops. All a good coach needs is a Computer with basic audio recording software, a good mike, a set of good speakers, and the skill to teach. All you need is the desire and attitude to learn. Be careful before you invest hard earned money on a voice workshop or voice coaching program. We have had too many youngsters coming to us in tears because they were taken for a ride. As a parent and as a responsible member of the voicing fraternity, I thought it was my duty to caution you not to become a victim of frauds.
Q4. What is the difference between a Voice Workshop and Voice Coaching?
A2. A Voice Workshop may cover some general areas of Voice Over and give you an overall Idea of what it is all about and perhaps how to get there. The groups tend to be large and therefore may not offer much one- on- one individual attention. You may or may not be given a few opportunities to even record at the mike. I use the term MAY.. because today one sees many ads for Voice Work Shops but there is no structured syllabus, or the limit on number of participants or the duration… Sadly, many voice workshops are being conducted by non professionals with no experience in doing Voice Overs.
Voice Coaching is intensive in nature and involves more of hands on time behind the mike. These sessions cover every genre and nuance of Voice Over. The groups seldom exceeds 4 or 5 participants, and therefore the fee will be higher. Due attention is given to accent and pronunciation neutralizing, and the ideal delivery formats for various genres. The coaching is specifically designed at ironing out an individual’s flaws and quality of the delivery, and to elevate them to performance levels.
Q5. What help can Voice Bazaar offer after the coaching course
Voice Bazaar will guide you on how to make a professional VO Demo in a studio of your choice. This however will be done only after you are quite confidant about your delivery. We also guide you on how to package and market your voice. Mr. Anil Mani will continue to be available to you over the phone, or online for advice and guidance even after the coaching classes.
With a website name like www.voicebazaar.com we do get many calls asking if we provide Voice Over Services. It is but natural that the Voice bazaar Students would get first preference. The entire Voice bazaar Community gets information on our Voice Bazaar Yahoo group informing you of auditions etc., besides articles pertaining to voice over.
Q6. Can you guarantee Assignments
The answer here is clearly a big NO!!
No voice coach can say with a clear conscience, that they can guarantee assignments.
If anybody guarantees you assignments after the course, then run for your life and keep searching. You are certainly about to be cheated by an unscrupulous person who is probably not even a registered Voice Over Artist..
People may advertise all sorts of claims, to lure unsuspecting people to their workshops or coaching classes. Many of them have never done a single voice over in their lives and are merely using material downloaded from the net. Remember that nobody, not even a veteran, in this field or even in the acting field, can guarantee you assignments. If anyone could, then everyone with a voice would be doing voice over, and India’s unemployment problems would have been solved long ago.
Q7. How Much Can I Earn
Your success in this field and how much you can earn depends on a lot of factors.
Firstly you need to have a solid foundation in the language/languages you intend doing Voice overs.A decent mastery of the language involves a good vocabulary with neutral accent and good pronunciation.
Aesthetics would involve a pleasing voice quality that is easy on the listeners’ ear, and the skill to use it effectively. Any genre of voice over that you do, should sound smooth and effortless and convincing. It should appeal to the target audience.
Packaging Your Voice
Packaging your voice involves making a professional voice demo under the guidance of a professional voice coach in a professional recording studio. Remember that your Voice Demo can make…..or break you.
Marketing Your Voice
Now, assuming that you have a professionally made Voice demo, you now need to market your voice to your target clientele. Your potential clients would include, Production houses, Advertising Agencies, TV & Radio stations, Voice Coordinators /Agents, Independent film makers who make Corporate AVs, Ads, Promos, and Documentaries. Those interested in Dubbing should connect with vendors who take dubbing contracts.
Networking is now easier than before thanks to the internet. using Google search. Contact potential clients and ask them if you could send your Voice Demo to them. If they like what they hear then they will certainly call you when they have work.
Meeting and connecting with the right person, at the right time, can also be a factor to success. This is entirely in the hands of the almighty.
Q8. Would I be in a position to make a professional Voice Demo immediately after the course?
A8. Not necessarily. A voice demo is like your your CV and your talent will be judged by the demo. An unprofessional Demo is premature career suicide. A participant’s rate of improvement depends on how seriously they take the feedback during the course. It is not the number of sessions you attend that will help you, but the amount of practice you put in between sessions so that you can be taken to the next level. Some participants believe that just having a good voice alone is sufficient to become a good Voice Over artist.. They couldn’t be more wrong. It is not the quality of your voice alone that matters, but how well you can use it. Finally, a participant needs to have some basic level of creativity and talent. No voice coach can give you these qualities. You either have these qualities or you acquire them through practice. Participants progress at different rates depending on their individual capabilities. The ones who have the talent will start showing amazing results in about ten sessions and devote the rest of the sessions to the finer nuances of Voice Over. They are ready to make their demos almost immediately after the course.
Q9. Can anyone do this course?
A9.Yes, anyone can do this course and expect considerable improvement in their communication skills. Contrary to popular belief, it is not only aspiring Voice over artists who join . From the corporate world, we have young corporate executives to CEOs who wish to improve their presentations skills vocally. We also have celebrities who wish to make a good impression at on camera interviews and on Talk shows. Some do the course purely. Ideally, as an exercise in personality development or to improve their self esteem and self confidence. Let it be said that a participant should have a good foundation in the language of their choice.