Do you really need voiceover training? After 20 years of doing voiceover, this is one of the top questions I get from aspiring talent. Yes, you do. Voiceover training is like medical school for doctors. While anyone can google how to diagnose a problem, only a trained doctor can write the right prescription.
Over the years I have gotten a lot of questions from new and hopeful voiceover talents. How much voiceover training do I need? Do I need a voiceover demo? When should I get a voiceover demo? Who should I train with? And also “How do I know when I am ready?”
Why I Interviewed David Again?
I have always enjoyed David Goldberg’s way of thinking and how he explains these answers. David Goldberg is the Chief Edge Officer at Edge Studio in New York City. Edge is a voiceover recording studio and training facility for voice actors. I’ve known David for 10 years since VO Atlanta was in its infancy back in 2014.
David’s perspective has always been well thought out but still seemingly effortless in its delivery. Whenever I have had a chance to chat with him about all things voiceover, his answers reflect the changing landscape in voiceover from both the business and the human sides, which can be rather complex. Still, his responses are relatable, and his style of mixing the facts with analogous stories makes his answers enjoyable. I first sat down with David in 2015 at Edge Studio where we talked about the Edge Studio’s Top 10 Voiceover Resources. Nine years later, we’re both visibly older, I still have no hair and an even worse knee than before, but David’s take on the VO industry is still refreshing and insightful.
Is There An Easy Way To Voiceover Success?
Whenever I dedicate myself to something and people take notice, they tend to ask me “How do you do that?” Their curiosity is that of aspiration to do the same. But I have come to realize that what they really want to know is “What’s the easy way to do what you are doing?” There is no easy way. When I started voiceover I got no training for years. I made a little bit of money but not much. When I first got training, that changed. I put in the work and it showed. Everything is a process that starts with learning. David and I, in this interview, had a chance to talk about how Edge offers help in that process.
Is AI Voiceover Going To Take Our Jobs?
I first started the conversation with David about AI and whether entering the voiceover is futile. I asked how long we as voice actors even have a job. While his answer was optimistic, it was cautiously so. He pointed out several other creative fields that have been losing steam over the years due to innovations that still have talented professionals earning a living. His answer was less alarming than some voiceover doomsday prognosticators, yet still less pollyannish than those who think AI will never sound human-like. I felt less like selling all my gear after this segment of the conversation, but still ready to prepare for the cheese to move eventually.
What Is Popular In Voiceover?
David sees the industry as still growing and still having many opportunities for talent to enter and expand. He points out that while AI is growing as well, there are things that it still can’t do. One of the main things is that it can’t take directions. The software in AI Voices is still clunky, and getting it to slow down or put emotion into certain words, is still not possible in the way that it is with a human. He still sees areas of voiceover being taken over by AI where the client doesn’t care about those nuances, like telephony.
How Do New Voiceover Talent Grow In The Industry?
When you are a new voice talent, David stresses that it’s important that you are actually talented. He discussed how many new talent are not talented and seem to be unaware why they are not booking. At Edge Studio, they hear it all. That’s why they offer a talent assessment for $50 for anyone wanting feedback from professionals. David says that an evaluation is needed especially when you have been auditioning frequently and booking infrequently. He notes that these evaluations can also help you recognize what your strengths and weaknesses are and help you figure out which voiceover genre might be right for you.
What Happens When New Talent Start Reading Scripts?
Having directed so many talent, David has seen a lot of weird things happen when new talent start reading scripts. I have too. Suddenly when presented with a script, many new talent turn on the “voiceover announcer voice” or become nervous, or sound like they are reading and do a bunch of other things that neither sound natural or reflect real talent. In an industry with so many high level voice actors, it’s important to know how to read a script. That’s where voiceover training comes in.
What does Edge Studio Offer?
Edge Studio offers voiceover Edge-ucation. They teach students to be better voice actors. Having a nice voice is great but it’s like owning a Steinway and not knowing how to play the piano. Edge also offers something fun, where talent can show off their home studio with other talents and give and get tips and tricks on recording and studio gear. If you are interested in all that Edge has to offer. Go to their website at www.Edgestudio.com