It’s a New Year! What’s next for voiceover? Just as we were making our plans and resolutions for a New Year, I heard many say, “It feels like it’s the same old thing. They were feeling a little discouraged, and I think a little lost as to what would be coming next or what is the norm? Are you feeling like it’s twenty-twenty-too (a virtual repeat of 2020), or 2022? No one knows for sure, but the good news is that as some things shut down again or have restrictions, voiceover is alive and well, and you can not only do the jobs, but also the training, from the comfort of your own home.
So let’s revisit where we are and what we need as a foundation for this new year.
Home Studios: When I was originally interviewed for my first article for The Greenhouse and started writing this monthly column, I mentioned the importance of home studios. It has become the norm during the shutdown that an aspiring VO artist has to have a home studio from which to record, and the quality of the home studio needs to be broadcast quality, not just audition quality. As our coronavirus numbers came down, vaccines became more available, and facilities put procedures in place to keep everyone safe, while it was a benefit to have a quality home studio, the possibility rose that auditions might once again be acceptable.
But while I wouldn’t let it keep you out of the market or from getting your feet wet, I would say that a higher quality, professional home studio is again important. You have to be able to record from home to audition, and then have a good enough system to do the job as well. If you are getting a mic, please know that if you purchase or own only a USB mic, you will be unable to swap out anything. So, I would highly recommend a more professional mic and a preamp.
Classes, Workout Groups & Training: Studying and taking classes right now is still primarily done on Zoom, which does open up a lot of avenues for training with top talent in L.A. and N.Y.C. You don’t need to have a home studio set-up for those classes unless specified. So, you can keep training and then invest in the home studio when you are ready to do your demo – or after your demo is ready, and it’s time to be looking for an agent.
Source-Connect: Source-Connect works through the Internet. It lets the client (those people who are paying you for your awesome voice talents) listen to your performance live. So, you need to get used to it and be able to work with it. Source-Connect is essential for the working pro who records from home. It actually is also ideal for those who have their demos and are looking for an agent. In the L.A. market, most L.A. agents and some regional ones will not sign you without Source-Connect. It is not something you want to hook up ‘if and when you need it.’ It actually takes a few steps to get it hooked up, tested so… yes, get it and learn to use it. And Source-Connect has a good support team to help you get rolling.
You want to be ready if you hear those magic words, “You’ve got the job. Can you record this afternoon, or tomorrow?” Be sure you have everything with Source-Connect hooked up and tested ahead of time.
I actually feel optimistic about 2022 and what it will mean to voiceover. It has become such an integral part of the entertainment industry. Whatever happens in the future, voiceover will more than likely be a part of it in some way, and may even be the ‘fix’ they need to help complete the project or make the project work in the midst of the uncertainty of the times we’re in.
Next month: Voiceover 2022 Goals. What are some ways you can take steps to start or jumpstart your career? I have some exciting and practical steps you can take.
Got a question for Kathy about the craft or business of voiceover? Email us your question at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Kathy Grable is an L.A. voice-over prototype with a warmth and sincerity that reminds listeners of a close friend. You’ve heard her in animated shows like Tom & Jerry, Rocket Power, and Futurama and commercials for Pepsi, Disney, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King, and as the Baskin-Robbins “Talking Spoon.” Kathy was also the voice double for Nicole Kidman in the hit film Batman Forever. On-camera, she’s been seen in Mike & Molly, Harry’s Law, Last Man Standing, and The Wedding Band on TBS. She’s a sought-after V/O coach, director, and demo producer. When not performing, Kathy co-owns and operates a company that distributes e-books, comics, audio dramas, and her own podcast, In My Voice, with guests from all aspects of the voiceover world. Find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify, or go to https://anchor.fm/kathy-grable0 for all the episodes.