Should I Attend a Voice Over Workshop?

I love doing voice over workshops, and if you ever have the opportunity I highly recommend checking them out.

There are different types of workshops that you can attend, and they are often hosted by fellow actors or casting directors who work in them voice over industry.

I’ve had the privilege of attending workshops for animation, audio books and video games, and every one I go to, I leave with new information!

Are workshops only for new actors? Nope! Many of the workshops I’ve been to have a wide range of both budding and seasoned actors, who are looking to both build upon their skills and branch into other v.o genres. This industry is constantly changing, and it’s great to stay up to date.

One thing that I’ve learned from these workshops, is that there is no “specific voice” that the casting directors are looking for. They may have some guidelines such as age range or gender due to the character description, but what they want is “your voice.”

You don’t have to sound like the top 10 voice actors in the industry.

Another reason why I love going to these workshops, is that you meet all kinds of new people, and you get to watch them perform right before your eyes! I’ve always loved seeing others perform and watching them make decisions like that on the fly is amazing. You can learn so much from observing your fellow actors, and chances are you may end up working with some of them in the future!

Anyway, if you’re considering a workshop here is some advice:

My first tip:

Budget! If there is a workshop that you’re interested in attending, start saving up for it right away.

Sometimes what I do is plan ahead, and put money away early so that when a workshop comes up that I’d like to attend, I don’t have to worry about suddenly coming up with the money.

Trust me, budgeting saves you from a lot of headache later…and the disappointment of missing out on a really awesome opportunity.

Tip #2:

Don’t be afraid to try something new! Say you normally do narration and audio book gigs, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a little bit about voice over in the gaming industry. Get out there, be adventurous!

Tip #3:

Bring paper, pen and water.

I am a person who loves to write things down…and I love making notes of helpful advice or tips while I’m at a workshop. Plus, if I do a mock audition in front of a casting director, I like to write down their feedback right away!

Some people also record their mock auditions on their cellphones and get their feedback recorded, but YOU MUST ask for permission before you do this. Everyone who has used this method has always asked for permission (at the workshops I’ve attended) from those running the workshops before they begin recording. Sometimes you won’t be allowed to record due to confidentiality reasons. So, even if you’d like to use this method, I highly suggest bringing a notepad with you just in case.

As for the water, it’s just nice to have. Sometimes you get a little tickle in your throat, or your mouth is dry…or you’re in an intensive and you’re running through your scene with a partner and really need a drink! It’s just a good thing to bring with you.

If you forget don’t beat yourself up too much, I’ve done it before. What I do, if I have time, is go to a convenience store or a Tim’s/Starbucks/McDonald’s and I buy a bottled water. If I don’t have time to get water, I make sure not to over stress my voice throughout the day, before the workshop. It’s better than nothing.

Tip #4:

You don’t need to attend every single workshop that pops up. First of all, it can be a lot of money (unless it’s free), and on top of that you don’t want to waste your time going to a bunch of workshops that you’re not 100% sure about. You may be interested in an animation workshop and not a gaming workshop. Maybe learning about mo-cap isn’t your thing? Or perhaps you just aren’t sure if you’re ready to explore other genres yet? When you’re deciding on which workshops to attend, you should think hard about what it is you want to get from it.

Workshops, like lessons, are great ways that you can build your skills and make connections. So it is important to take the time to consider which ones you’d like to attend. Maybe you limit yourself to doing 2 a year or maybe you take a workshop every few months. The choice is yours.

I hope that this was helpful to anyone curious about v.o workshops. I’ve seen a lot of questions about them on Instagram lately, and have gotten questions in person as well.

Have you attended a workshop before, if so what was your favourite and why? Leave a comment below!

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