Voice acting for dummies, p.1

Voice Acting For Dummies, page 1


Voice Acting For Dummies

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Voice Acting For Dummies

  Voice Acting For Dummies®

  Visit www.dummies.com/cheatsheet/voiceacting to view this book's cheat sheet.

  Table of Contents


  About This Book

  Conventions Used in This Book

  What You’re Not to Read

  Foolish Assumptions

  How This Book Is Organized

  Part I: Exploring Voice Acting Basics

  Part II: Creating Your Audio Résumé

  Part III: Auditioning and Finding Work

  Part IV: Setting Up Your Voice Acting Business

  Part V: Establishing Your Home Recording Studio

  Part VI: The Part of Tens

  Icons Used in This Book

  Where to Go from Here

  Part I: Exploring Voice Acting Basics

  Chapter 1: An Overview of Voice Acting: Just the Basics

  Being a Voice Actor: More Than You May Expect

  Knowing what it really means

  Getting your voice ready

  Figuring out your role as voice actor

  Digging into the script

  Starting your own business

  Making a Demo

  Uncovering a script

  Hitting record

  Finding Your Way through Audition Land

  Touting yourself

  Knowing how to audition

  Working in Your Home Studio

  Identifying what you need

  Recording, editing, and mixing

  Getting your product to clients

  Chapter 2: Finding Your Voice: How You Fit into Voice Acting

  Eyeing the Characteristics of a Voice-Over Voice

  Identifying What Goes into Being a Voice Actor

  Naming the basic skills you need

  Examining some benefits of being a voice actor

  Assessing Your Talents to See Whether Voice Acting Is Right for You

  Going over the important traits

  Looking inward to see whether voice acting fits you

  Tuning Into Your Signature Voice

  Finding your signature voice

  Seeing yourself in your signature voice

  Chapter 3: Training Your Voice

  Caring for Your Voice

  Focusing on the physical aspects

  Conserving your voice

  Avoiding certain behaviors

  Being realistic

  Aligning Goals with Your Abilities and Working to Improve Your Skills

  Breathing: Focus on your diaphragm

  Speaking clearly: Good diction

  Twisting your tongue

  Narrating: Read books aloud

  Doing character work

  Going With a Personal Voice Coach

  Understanding how a coach can help you

  Knowing your options for voice lessons

  Picking a coach

  Starting off on the right foot with your coach

  Getting the Most from Your Training Sessions

  Doing your homework

  Being open to trying new things

  Accepting constructive criticism

  Exploring Other Training Options

  Attending industry conferences

  Participating in workshops or peer groups

  Taking classes via phone, Skype, or webinar

  Listening to podcasts

  Watching YouTube videos

  Chapter 4: Understanding Your Role

  Saying Hello to the Real Person

  Becoming more conversational

  Coming across as real

  Extending authenticity

  Meeting the Narrator

  Suspending the audience’s disbelief

  Telling a story

  Knowing how the story ends

  Listening to the Announcer

  Identifying the two types of announcers

  Grasping the message

  Pacing your read

  Selling without sounding like a salesperson

  Knowing How to Be a Spokesperson

  Representing the brand

  Feeling comfortable

  Endorsing with confidence

  Learning from the Instructor

  Becoming the expert

  Speaking with authority

  Communicating objectives

  Chapter 5: Interpreting a Script and Finding Your Character

  Analyzing a Script: The Five Ws and How

  Who you are playing

  What you want to communicate

  When the story happens

  Where the story takes place



  Developing Your Character

  Understanding your role: Back to basics

  Reading between the lines

  Understanding Context

  Building a back story

  Gaining an appreciation for your character in its relation to other roles

  Identifying the takeaway

  Considering the plot

  Marking Up a Script

  Choosing where to breathe

  Adding dynamic markings

  Playing with Mood: The Tone

  Understanding what tone is

  Identifying elements that affect tone

  Coloring your words

  Seeing the connection between your voice’s tone and musical instruments

  Selling with Your Voice

  Staying soft

  Going halfway: The medium sell

  Hitting hard

  Part II: Creating Your Audio Résumé

  Chapter 6: Deciding What Demos Are Essential

  Discovering Voice-Over Demos

  Knowing why you need one

  Serving potential customers at all times

  Determining How Many Demos You Need

  Releasing yourself from self-imposed limitations

  Failing to offer something = lost potential

  Setting the Ideal Duration of a Voice-Over Demo

  Cooking up a sample demo recipe

  Working with short attention spans

  Breaking up demos into bite-sized pieces

  Inspiring Ideas for Demo Subjects



  Business or corporate narration

  Audiobook narration

  Character voices or animation



  Other types

  Chapter 7: Getting Your Script Ready for Your Demo

  Authoring Your Own Script

  Gathering ideas

  Putting pen to paper

  Determining how many spots to write

  Using Preexisting Material

  Identifying a good piece of material

  Considering copyrighted work

  Locating public domain material

  Avoiding Brand Names in Scripts

  Practicing the Different Types of Scripts You May Encounter

  Rehearsing by yourself

  Rehearsing and researching your script

  Keeping characters straight

  Chapter 8: Recording Your Demo

  Are You Ready to Record?

  Asking yourself the right questions

  Getting ready before you make a demo

  Choosing Your Approach

  Taking the DIY path

  Working with a professional producer

  Using Music in Your Demo: Yes or No?

  Including music in your demo

  Steering clear of music in your demo

  Selecting Music for Your Recording

  Considering different styles of music

  Finding royalty-free music

  Adding sound effects in your demo

  Living Up to Your Demos

  Evaluating D
emos for Updating

  Avoiding dates and times

  Being careful about music selections

  Recognizing your voice age

  Making references to pop culture

  Adding new work

  Getting permission to use work

  Replacing spots

  Part III: Auditioning and Finding Work

  Chapter 9: Marketing Yourself and Promoting Your Work

  Creating an Impressive Web Presence

  Building a personal website

  Marketing on social networks

  Optimizing for search engines

  Considering paid advertising

  Utilizing a Voice Acting Marketplace Website

  Seeing how these sites can help you

  Naming some of the available sites

  Filling out your profile

  Uploading your demos

  Considering Visual Branding

  Selecting your brand’s name

  Adding a photo or image

  Designing and creating a logo

  Coming up with a tagline

  Picking colors

  Drumming Up Your Own Business: Network Your Way to Success

  Visiting recording studios

  Connecting with casting directors

  Reaching out to talent agencies

  Partnering with other voice actors

  Attending local meet-and-greet events

  Offering your voice to complementary service providers

  Using your demo

  Generating local publicity

  Sponsoring an event

  Joining Professional Associations

  Following Up with Your Past and Prospective Clients

  Calling on prospects

  Asking for referrals and testimonials

  Gaining public acknowledgement in other ways

  Chapter 10: Uncovering Voice Acting Jobs

  Finding and Reviewing Job Postings

  Knowing what to look for in a job posting

  Spotting vital project information before an audition

  Researching and Evaluating Job Opportunities before Auditioning

  Selecting your auditions

  Making sure the project is in line with your personal beliefs and convictions

  Investigating unfamiliar brands

  Paying attention to the pay

  Understanding the script

  Chapter 11: Auditioning 101: Just the Basics

  Identifying What You Need to Know from the Get-Go

  Recognizing the Differences between In-Person and Online Auditions

  Downloading the Script

  Doing Your Research: The Script and the Client

  Rehearsing the Script




  Achieving Success during Your Audition

  Slating Your Name

  Giving a good first impression with a slate

  Identifying the main benefit to slating

  Knowing the different ways to slate

  Getting a Callback

  Thinking beyond the Audition

  Modeling What Other People Who Book Regularly Do in Your Auditions

  Reflecting on Why You May Not Win an Audition

  The right equipment



  Chapter 12: Auditioning in the Virtual World

  Following the Steps for Auditioning Online

  Step 1: Creating an online account

  Step 2: Locating jobs

  Step 3: Reviewing job postings

  Step 4: Downloading the script

  Step 5: Replying to a job

  Step 6: Getting a response

  Recording Your Custom Demo

  Submitting a Dry Audition

  Protecting Your Auditions


  Fading in your audio

  Naming Your Audition File

  Preparing the Proposal to Accompany Your Audition

  Researching the client

  Looking at the pieces of the proposal

  Personalizing the proposal

  Becoming relevant to the client

  Reassuring the client

  Handling parting words

  Quoting for the Job

  Taking Care with Each Submission

  Proofreading your proposal

  Uploading the correct audio file

  Verifying your quote is accurate

  Submitting it and forgetting it

  Chapter 13: Auditioning in the Real World

  Making a Great First Impression

  Dressing for success

  The microphone hears all

  Choosing quiet clothing

  What not to wear

  Heeding Some Tips for Professionalism

  Mute the mobile phone

  Showing up on time

  Following the list of don’ts

  Interacting with the Recording Equipment



  Music stands

  Pop filters

  Interacting with the Casting Director

  Identifying the casting director’s job

  Giving you direction

  Asking you to sound like someone else

  Maintaining eye contact

  Having Fun While Building Relationships

  Letting the real you shine through

  Engaging the staff

  Leaving on a high note

  Part IV: Setting Up Your Voice Acting Business

  Chapter 14: Working after You’ve Booked a Voice-Over Job

  Understanding the Hiring Process

  Working in an online voice-over marketplace

  Working in an in-studio environment

  Is the customer always right?

  Check your ego at the door

  Communicating with Your Client

  Setting the tone

  Understanding expectations

  Keeping lines of communication open

  Reviewing the Full and Final Script

  Evaluating the script

  Determining how much work there is

  Should you charge for audio editing?

  Asking any questions you have about the script

  Finalizing the Agreement

  Viewing the job offer

  Accepting the work agreement

  Signing a nondisclosure agreement

  Planning for Contingencies

  What to do if you’re sick

  What to do if you’re on vacation

  What to do if you’re too busy

  Working On Multiple Jobs at Once

  Managing your workload

  Prioritizing projects

  Outsourcing editing

  Chapter 15: Getting Paid for Your Work

  Making Money Doing Voice Acting

  Quoting Your Pricing

  Determining your method of quoting

  Recognizing billing cycles

  Saving time with a rate sheet

  Negotiating your quote

  Receiving Payment: Cash, Moolah, Dinero

  Opening a business bank account

  Setting up a PayPal account

  Managing Invoices

  Handling purchase orders

  Issuing an invoice

  Grasping payment terms

  Collecting on Overdue Invoices

  Chapter 16: Nurturing Your Business

  Keeping Everything Organized

  Managing your clients, day to day

  Going with a web-based, dedicated work calendar

  Keeping a task list

  Organizing your contacts

  Tracking your work and being accountable

  Marketing your services

  Getting an Agent

  Knowing what an agent can do for you

  Finding an agent

  Approaching agents

  Going Alone As Your Own Agent

  Thinking like an agent

  Deciding whether to audition

g the auditioning process more fun

  Building a Winning Team with Professional and Advisory Support

  Finding legal representation

  Hiring an accountant

  Connecting with business advisers

  Looking at whether a Union Is Right for You

  Getting up to speed on the union

  Identifying the unions you can join

  Part V: Establishing Your Home Recording Studio

  Chapter 17: Creating Your Own In-Home Recording Studio

  Constructing Your Home Recording Studio

  Selecting a room

  Soundproofing your room

  Making it comfortable

  Considering Start-Up Costs

  Stocking Your Studio

  Recording with your computer

  Recording with an audio interface

  Selecting a microphone

  Recording and editing software

  Grabbing the Last-Minute Accessories

  Downloading iTunes for the Mac and PC

  Filtering pops with a pop filter

  Listening with headphones

  Backing up your work with an external hard drive

  Chapter 18: Understanding the Recording Process a Little Better

  Eyeing the Recording Process: What Exactly Happens

  Indentifying the signal flow

  Opening a new recording session

  Defining Important Studio Terminology

  Positioning the Microphone and Script Stand

  Finding the sweet spot on a microphone

  Using a stand to hold your script

  Hooking Up Your Equipment

  Your Work Pays Off: Time to Hit Record

  Doing your first take

  Doing multiple takes

  Listening back

  Chapter 19: Editing and Mixing: Getting More Advanced

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