Acting : How does one get into VO by James Di Giacomo

James Di Giacomo

How does one get into VO

My whole life I have had everyone from regular folks, singers, Broadway stars and voice teachers tell me my voice belongs on the radio. As a comedic actor, I would love to do voice-over work like cartoons. I have appeared in many TV commercials, TV shows and indie films and never pursued VO work because I know how incredibly close knit that community is. Does anyone know any free or very inexpensive ways to put a solid VO reel together that would land me a VO agent? Any advice or mentoring would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Jonathan Lacocque

Hey James, I'm no VO artist myself, but we do hire voiceover artists. I couldn't tell you how to get an agent per se, but I'd imagine your first step would be to have solid enough sound equipment and a relatively sound-proof area (which you can do creatively). It may be smart to then record a wide range of voiceover styles from commercials, documentary narration, to explainer videos and promos. From there, I'd look at sites like or They get a lot of work from the small to mid-level folks I'd think. I'm sure someone else can give some other, hopefully more helpful suggestions. Oh, and a lot of independent voiceover artists are able to record on their own and mix/process their own tracks before sending to a client. This may be an extra step of educating yourself on a program like ProTools, Nuendo, etc. Good luck and feel free to send us your reel once you've created it ;).

Jonathan Lacocque

I'd connect with Tom: - He looks open to chatting with someone like yourself!

Seika Groves

While having people tell you you have a great voice you still need to have a grasp on the biz itself. I would suggest before you even attempt a demo you find a VO Coach or really good VO workshop to give you a better understanding of what to expect and give you some training and insight. You can buy great equipment as Larry mentioned but remember your demo is only as good as your knowledge and ability. I always recommend before jumping in whole people out in the biz currently ( Stage 32 and other places) get some solid training and then Go For It.... Best of Luck

Jim Sanders

Jim - I started out with Edge Studio and have been very happy (though only in business for 4 months, myself, they have been very helpful in coaching and in producing my first demo. I am in prep and writing scripts for a 2nd demo session, which will allow me to split out commercial from long form narrative material. As others stated, you can't skimp on the demo, while it should be produced professionally, it should not be overproduced and should show both variety and a naturalness that you can replicate in your home studio. The producers at Edge know what casting is looking for, and will guide you in that direction. Regarding their script library, they even state that it is good material for "practice", but PLEASE remember that the best scripted material is the material that you write yourself, borrowing from print and web sources, you can pull together a spot that speaks to your strengths. Best of luck - and as I have been told, it is not your raw talent that gets the work - its the work that it takes to market yourself.

John Davenport

Look at Nancy Wolfson. She's tough but she's very good!

Lloyd M. Brock

I've been doing VO work for years. I started out working mainly in radio doing commercials. I approached the local ad agencies and gave them a demo of my voices. ( I do about 35 different character voices.) It's non-union, but the pay was good. Since that time, I've done VO work on TV commercials, videos and film. I used my radio commercials as my demos. I don't get residuals, because I'm non-union, but it's been a very good extra income business.

John Davenport

Lloyd sounds like someone I know... ME...Love to hear some marketing tips you do too Lloyd.

Lloyd M. Brock

One of my best teachers was Mel Blanc. I went to Bugs Bunny Tech back in the 70s and he taught the class personally. Great experience. Marketing yourself and your talents doesn't have to be that difficult. I listened to radio commercials rewrote them and recorded a new version and presented it to the ad agency. Most of my spots were done in the comedy format, which got the listeners attention and got results. I offered to do them for FREE in the beginning, just to get my foot in the door. Once they liked my stuff, I started getting paid for them. You have to be creative and have a good voice, or in my case, many voices. Good luck!


I tell the following to everyone looking to get into V.O....verbatim: 1st. Get all the information about the business you can get in your circle. Start by going to and watch the episodes INTENTLY. The information is priceless, it's coming from the leaders in the industry and IT'S FREE!! The hosts are great people and feel free to comment. 2nd. Forget about your voice and everything you can do with it, because it's's primarily about your reading...ALOUD...for long periods of time, delivery, technique, etc. Gotta get some coaching. Shoot me an email (, I'll make sure you have a bunch of info and then you can make an informed decision. If you go for it, you're gonna be in great company. The people are fantastic and wanna see you win. I'm one of em. All the best. Peace and blessings

Suzanne Bronson

I too am trying to break into VO b/c there is a lot of work here in Arizona. I took a seminar and have the info I need to record a demo. I would like to do narrations and audio books. Can anyone recommend a good computer program for recording audio?

Lloyd M. Brock

I went to Guitar Center and bought a good digital recorder. I record on it and transfer my commercials to my computer. You can make a disc for a demo and it works great for me. I just finished some political commercials and sent them directly to the radio station from my computer.


Suzanne, Unless you're a producer or sound engineer, I enthusiastically suggest you DO NOT try to produce your own demo reels. ~ A seminar "ain't gonna cut it". ~ Go to and listen to ALLLLL the talent there in narration and audio books in order have an idea of what's trending. Especially in Audio books, which has exploded exponentially. ~You have training in acting; do have training in voice over? IT'S KEY!!!! Again, 1 seminar or workshop "AIN'T GONNA CUT IT". ~ ...and if so, do currently have a reel? You'll at least need a commercial reel in order for prospects to hear what you have to offer. Hook up with producers/engineers in your area...AFTER you've been trained. ~ Scroll up...everything John Davenport said. Nancy IS the truth. Speaking from experience. ~ Don LaFontaine told me "record yourself and listen back, repeat and keep on repeating. The words dictate how they want to be read". ~ You can download Audacity recording software for free ( and put yourself in the running for auditions. You can go to YouTube to learn how to effectively use it. You need to have a decent mic to be in contention for V.O., not radio. ~ Thanks for the info regarding the work in AZ. I just picked up an agent there and it's good to know there are things happening. Blessings to you in your endeavors. Please keep me in the loop on your progress. I truly want to know how you're doing. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line. What I have is yours. Take care and be blessed in your Sunday.

Scott Bourquin

VO is like anything else, you get out what you out in. I just finished writing a book, "The Easy Guide To Podcasting". It should be out within a month. Recording at home is pretty easy if you do a few things to reduce noise. A really nice home set up can be had for a few hundred bucks, less if you have a nice quiet walk I. Closet filled with clothes. If you are a member of the SAG Foundation, there are voice rooms you can use for free and free classes to learn basic editing. If you can't use these tools, I agree with BZ, there isn't much for free you can do. As an actor a coach or director always helpse reach a new level. My demo took several sessions to create. That said, both Vo2gogo and voice are good starting points. As the empires said, there is no free lunch...

James David Sullivan

My question is, how do I get out of VO? ;-) JK

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