VO Books and Podcasts
Ashton Smith, one of the highest paid voice actors working today, taught himself everything he knows about voiceover from books. He claims that all an aspiring VO need do to be ready to work in this industry, is read. I don’t agree entirely with Ashton — I think that in 99% of cases, good coaching is essential to your career. But I have found many good books and podcasts that have helped me to shape my business and my work. Here’s a list of my favorites.
I cannot say enough about this podcast with Crispin Freeman. It’s probably the best, most helpful and most comprehensive podcast on VO I have ever come across. Crispin is the quintessential pro, and it shows through the care he takes to deliver only the best information on his podcast. Topics range from how to brand yourself, how to deal with agents, and what you should put on a voice acting résumé. Crispin primarily works in animation, but his wisdom crosses over into the commercial VO world as well. His interviews of legendary voice actors, coaches and directors are especially valuable. He is an excellent interviewer, and his episodes often wax philosophical in their approach to VO. Which I love. Subscribe to this podcast! P.S. His site also has excellent recommendations of voiceover equipment.
This is such a helpful podcast. Everyone from beginner to pro can find episodes here that will improve their VO game. Experts from all aspects of the industry — coaches, instructors, dialect experts, agents and directors — offer up their tips and advice for making it in VO. I listened to these constantly in my early days. You can subscribe in iTunes here.
If you aren’t planning on hiring a coach or attending any workshops, you have listen to this podcast. Maya Kruper takes a group of aspiring voice actors through a workshop — and records the whole thing. You’ll get to hear students on the same level as you cold read scripts and be coached and directed through them. This podcast will truly help you to develop an ear for good copy reading. Maya also does a great job of introducing some copy reading concepts to listeners.
This is a funny and highly informative collaboration between esteemed VO experts George Whittam and Dan Leonard. The episodes can run long, but you’re sure to find some gems contained therein.
This last one comes from my mentor (and VO girl crush), Alyson Steel. She teams up with her high school classmate and fellow successful voice actor, Tyrone Jackson, to offer insights into getting started in the industry, as well as interviews of other seasoned pros.
This book is overwhelming with good information. As someone who broke into the business without any experience with anything sound related, this book helped me to understand some of the basics of sound-proofing versus sound deadening, resonance, frequencies, and a lot of other nerdy stuff that serious voice actors should pretend to know.
I haven’t read all of this book, but I’ve heard various interviews of the author, Robert J Sciglimpaglia Jr. He is a lawyer turned voice actor, and he offers some amazing insights into the legal aspect of voiceover. Everything from contracts to copyrights to NDAs and more. He offers a lot of helpful information that could save you some frustration in the long run.