“Where are you based?”
I live and work in New York. But thanks to modern technology, I can (and do) deliver broadcast-quality VO files worldwide.
“Do you have your own studio?”
Yes, I do! Silver Hollow Audio is a full-service audio production studio, and it’s my home base. Our collection of microphones includes the legendary AKG C414, powered through a Presonus Eureka channel strip. We record and edit in a digital Pro Tools environment. A phone patch is available for long-distance direction. Rather record at your facility? See you there!
“What’s your rate?”
“Why hire union, when non-union appears to be so much cheaper?”
You know what they say. You (very often) get what you pay for… penny wise and pound foolish… I could go on. No doubt you’ll find someone online who’s willing to record your script for an unbelievably low rate. By the same token, I could give you a great deal on your next dental cleaning or tax review. How hard could it be? Point being, when you hire a union voice-over, you can be confident you’re hiring a professional, with professional training, and years of studio experience. Producers have told me time and time again that by hiring professional voice talent, they’ve saved both time and money on a final product they can be proud of!
“This career path sounds like fun! How can I get into voice-overs?”
First, realize that voice-overs are not a quick path to fame and fortune. Employment is sporadic and unpredictable. In fact, a recent statistic put 85% of members of the Screen Actors Guild making less than $5000 annually from acting gigs. That said, if you really want to get into this field, make sure it’s for the right reason––that you love the work! First off, you’ll need to train, so if you don’t have an acting background, join your local theatre troupe or take an improv class. When you’re ready to get yourself out there, you’ll need a demo reel. It’s the VO actor’s business card, and it’s absolutely essential. Then there’s the question of agents, unions, whether or not to build a home-studio, and whether to set your sights on the mega-markets (New York, LA, Chicago) or something closer to home. I’d recommend checking out an agency roster, where you can hear demo reels of some of the professionals you hear every day. What makes a good demo? Think you can compete? It’s a highly competitive field, so don’t jump in until you’re ready!
“How about audiobooks?”
Check out the resources at NarratorsRoadmap.com.
“Are there any resources you can recommend?”
There are many books out there for the aspiring voice-over. Too many, in my opinion. For the nuts and bolts of voice acting, I recommend James Alburger’s The Art of Voice Acting. For more entertaining reading, Harlan Hogan’s VO: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-over Actor is a fun retrospective. Harlan also wrote a great primer on home studios and mobile rigs: the Voice Actor’s Guide to Recording at Home and On the Road. Want an online resource to get you started? There are lots of those, too! For starters, you’ll find lots of great insights at Paul Strikwerda’s Nethervoice.
“Do you provide consultations?”
Yes, I do! I’ve worked with numerous VO performers and aspiring VO performers, helping them with everything from producing or refining a demo reel, to narrowing their focus to a particular VO field, to mastering audio recording software, to building a home studio. Please feel free to contact me, and we can set up a phone call or meeting at your convenience.
“Who was Syracuse University’s mascot before Otto the Orange came along?”
SU’s mascot was originally a Native American called “The Saltine Warrior.”