How to Turn Voice into Big Business
By Caroline Goldstein | November 2008
Sometimes it’s not about the quality of a person’s voice but how he or she uses it. Last week a group of curious learners convened at Devon Manor to discover that and more about a line of work known as voice acting. The Main Line School Night class, titled “Getting Paid to Talk: An Introduction to Professional Voice Acting,” focused on the primary aspects of voiceover work, such as making a demo and marketing.
One of the first points that producer and instructor John Gallogly of the company Creative Voice Development Group LLC made was that “I love what I do” but “that doesn’t mean you will love it.” Gallogly went on to squash a common misconception that many people have when considering voice acting as a career: there is no guarantee for success, and it is very possible that you will fail. One of the main keys to success is being proactive and remembering that you are running your own business.
Marketing yourself to potential employers means creating a demo, which was one of the focal points of the night. According to Gallogly, the demo “is your resume” and must follow a specific format. The demo is important, but so too are Gallogly’s three keys for success: passion, belief in yourself and taking action.
As the class neared its conclusion, participants were given the chance to record their own commercial spots following a specific script, or copy. Gallogly gave each participant the option of getting feedback the next day via telephone from one of his fellow producers.
This course, which was an introductory class, was also offered as a six-week program earlier in the year, which is what piqued the interest of several participants, including Henry Worthington of Newtown Square, a retiree looking to “keep busy.”
Melissa Lewis of Conshohocken found out about the class in the same way, even though her reason for taking it was slightly different. “People told me I had a nice voice,” Lewis said. But Lewis said she has no plans to make voice acting her career. She jokingly declared that voice acting is “something to do if you have another job.”
Not everyone in the class would agree with Lewis’s statement, especially John Sauer of West Chester. Sauer, a pharmaceutical representative, attended the class in consideration of a possible career change. He found the idea of working for himself appealing and plans to continue exploring the field. While professional voice acting is a long way from the days when he made prank phone calls using the Moviefone voice, Sauer justified the venture with one belief: “You only live once.”
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