Naugatuck Class Aims to get Your Voice a Job
By CARRIE MACMILLAN | March 2009
Maybe you’ve always been told you have a great voice. Or perhaps you have some acting experience and you’re looking for a little extra income.
If you fit any of those criteria, the voice acting industry is always looking for new hires. On Thursday, an organization called Voice Coaches will host an Introduction to Voice Acting Class at Naugatuck High School at 6:30 p.m. “Getting Paid to Talk: Making Money with Your Voice,” is offered through Naugatuck Adult and Continuing Education and costs $30.
So what exactly is voice acting? Think: voice-overs. Anytime you hear a recorded voice any you don’t see the person, that’s voice acting. Television and radio commercials make up just 10 percent of voice acting. The majority of work comes in the form of audio books; training and education materials; documentary historical and biography materials; travel materials; audio for Web sites: audio for phone systems; and computer and video games.
“The field is very broad,” said David Bourgeois, president and creative director of Voice Coaches, a Schenectady, N.Y. based company that trains voice actors in the U.S., Canada and Middle East. “One of the reasons we have seen so many people curious about the industry in the past year is because of the economy. People have taken on more of an entrepreneurial mindset of doing more things on their own and taking charge of their income and working independently.”
The amount of money to be made doing voice acting varies widely. For example, a non-union voice actor (typically someone who does not work in a major market like New York or Los Angeles) who is reading a page or two of copy in the span of an hour might make $75 on the low side and up to $450 on the high side, Bourgeois said.
The 2 1/2-hour non-credit class will explore what it takes to become a professional voice
actor – from the basics of getting started to working in the studio, recording a demo and landing jobs. Class attendees will even have an opportunity to record a mock commercial under the direction of Voice Coaches producer Leslie Maielo, who will teach the class. Maiello is a career voice professional with years of experience doing jingles and other voice work.
“Anybody is welcome to the class. It’s an upbeat, realistic introduction to the field,” Bourgeois said, adding that the voice acting range of work has broadened in the recent years with the Internet, video games and the growth of cable TV.
“I’m 43 and when I was growing up, the voice you needed for the field was a low one, but now it’s all about finding the right voice for a specific role. It’s fifty-fifty men and women of all ages.”
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