The Best Books and Podcasts for Voice Actors
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or are just starting out as a voice actor, there’s always more to learn. From mastering the fundamentals of the art of voice acting to getting a better grasp on the financial and the business side of your career, the learning paths are endless—you just need to know where to find them.
The Voices blog is filled with how-tos, career development resources, and other tips and tricks to get you started and set you down the right path, but sometimes you need to go a level deeper and sit down with a good book or podcast. Listening to podcasts or reading books can not only help broaden your knowledge and skills, but can also provide a window into the experiences of other voice actors and creative professionals as they navigate the world of voice acting and professional life—a connection that can sometimes be lacking when working from home.
For recommendations for the best books and podcasts to take your voice acting career to the next level, we turned to the experts, the Voices Insiders, to find out what’s on their bookshelves and what podcasts they’re subscribed to. The Voices Insiders are a group of voice over professionals who share tips and insights with the Voices community each month to help voice actors at all levels continue to learn and develop their craft.
Read on to find the best books and podcasts for voice actors recommended by the pros, plus a few of our favorites, too.
The Best Books for Voice Actors
Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen
This classic book, written by legendary actor and teacher Uta Hagen, has been required reading for acting students for decades. Drawing on her own experience as an actor and as a teacher at the HB Studio in New York City, Hagen shares how actors can find themselves in their characters, and answers some of the most common questions like, “how do I talk to the audience?” and “how do I stay fresh in a long run?”
“It’s not a voice acting book per se, but acting is the foundation of voice acting and Uta Hagen is foundational for understanding how to bring realism to your work. I’m writing a book on a number of different aspects of voice acting, so my answer will probably change once it is published!”
Respect for Acting can be purchased on Amazon or your local book retailer.
Acting with Text: A Classical Approach to Actor Training by Paul Wagar
Acting with Text is a book that gets straight to the point—so we will, too. In this book, director, actor, and coach Paul Wagar will teach you how to access, develop, and use your own voice as an actor using text.
“Although this book is not targeted at voice actors specifically, it is essential for any actor who wants to communicate text, which is what we do in voice over! It focuses on breath support, understanding the flow of text, connecting to text, tempo, vocal variety, and more. I can’t recommend this book enough!”
Acting With Text: A Classical Approach to Actor Training can be purchased on Amazon or your local book retailer.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Win Friends and Influence People isn’t a book about voice acting, though it came highly recommended by members of The Voice Acting Hub. This self-help classic is a guide to building relationships and finding professional success, no matter your career. In this book, you’ll learn:
- How to work with other people and provide feedback the right way
- How to admit when you’re wrong, tactfully
- How to be a good listener
- How to get others to agree with your way of thinking
How to Win Friends and Influence People can be purchased on Amazon or your local book retailer.
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
For anyone who is feeling creative blockage, The Artist’s Way might be just what you need to get out of your rut and back on your creative A-game. Written by Julia Cameron, this book will take you through a 12-week program to help you overcome your creative ‘blockers’ and create an attainable routine that works for you.
“I love The Artist’s Way. It’s a workbook for artists of any kind designed to help you connect your art with your spiritual life. It has created so much growth in my work and life, and all of my friends who have done it say the same!”
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity can be purchased on Amazon or your local book retailer.
The Peregrine by J.A. Baker
A book about birds may seem like an odd choice, but there’s a reason why The Peregrine by J.A. Baker is on filmmaker Werner Herzog’s required reading list at the Rogue Film School.
The book follows the author’s obsession with a pair of peregrine falcons with such rich description and poetry to the point where his mind becomes more bird than human. In an interview with Bookmarks, Herzog shares, “This is what I do when I make a film: I step outside of myself into an extasis, which in Greek means ‘to step outside of your own body, a point outside.’ He steps into the falcon in an ecstasy of observing the world that is unprecedented.”
“I highly recommend this book for so many reasons. First of all, it shows very clearly how language can be used in a very reduced, elegant, and dense way. Secondly, it animates the reader to think and imagine in scenes and sequences. And thirdly, it helps the brain to learn to adapt and form faster into structures and meanings. All three elements will help the voice actress/actor to be more organized prior to the recording session and behind the microphone.”
The Peregrine can be purchased on Amazon or your local book retailer.
Voice Acting for Dummies by David Ciccarelli and Stephanie Ciccarelli
Starting at the basics, this in-depth guide by our co-founders, David Ciccarelli and Stephanie Ciccarelli, will take you step-by-step through the ropes of becoming a voice actor. In this book, you’ll find:
- The benefits of working with a voice acting coach
- How to quote for voice over jobs
- What to look for in recording and audio editing software
- How to prepare for a career in voice acting
Voice Acting for Dummies can be purchased on Amazon or your local book retailer.
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp
“Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits. That’s it in a nutshell,” says Twyla Tharp, author of The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life.
In this book, Tharp, the creator of the Broadway hit Movin’ Out, shares 32 practical exercises to help you develop your creative talent and break out of bad habits.
“The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. So much of a creative person’s life is unstructured and that can be very scary. In my experience, structure is critical to success. I am NOT a ‘pajamas-all-day’ kind of voice over actor.”
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life can be purchased on Amazon or your local book retailer.
The Best Podcasts for Voice Actors
Hosted by our co-founder Stephanie Ciccarelli, Mission Audition is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in a client’s mind when they listen to a voice over audition. In each episode, Stephanie is joined by a top voice over coach as they listen to a series of real voice over auditions from Voices talent to uncover what exactly makes a good (and not so good) audition and share actionable tips that will help you audition better.
“Since I started my VO journey, Voices’ Mission Audition podcast was SUPER helpful in giving me a way to think critically about my own auditions and how they could be improved. One of my auditions even was selected as a winner on one episode!”
As a professional voice actor and singer, host Jodi Krangle recognizes how important sound is in our everyday lives and how it influences our behavior. In Audio Branding, she explores how to best leverage your audio branding efforts by sharing her own observations and through in-depth interviews with professionals in the fields of advertising, marketing, music, and science.
“I really like Jodi Krangle’s Audio Branding podcast. It gets you to think outside the box about what we do and more from the perspective of the people who hire us.”
Voice Over Experts
With over 200 episodes in the vault, Voice Over Experts is the industry’s most downloaded podcast. Featuring tips, insights, and techniques from top coaches and industry experts, this podcast hosted by our co-founder Stephanie Ciccarelli is a trusted resource for voice actors of all levels.
“The Voices podcast Voice Over Experts was also helpful in the beginning. I remember listening to one episode featuring Miel Roman before I even recorded my first audition and being super inspired to jump right in and start auditioning!”
Hosted by voice actor and Voices Insider Sabahattin Cakiral, OntoVoice is a new German language voice over podcast. Selected topics will include storytelling, public speaking, scriptwriting, and more.
“The OntoVoice podcast (quite new and currently only in German, but soon in English and Turkish), because it is taking multilinguality, multiculturality, and interdisciplinarity as a base for all voice-related disciplines.”
Online Marketing Made Easy
Ever wish you had access to a business mentor whenever and wherever you go? That’s exactly what Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy was designed to be. With over 370 podcast episodes to date, Amy has tackled topics ranging from finding your niche to growing your email list, to making big decisions, and so much more.
“It’s my new favorite business podcast. I’d highly recommend it to other creative professionals who are looking for awesome tips to up their marketing game. All the information and tips shared are relevant for any and all industries.”
If you’re missing Oprah’s deep conversations with thought leaders, public figures, and health and wellness experts and don’t have a subscription to her television network, Super Soul will fill that void. Hear the best interviews from Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday series on OWN in podcast form, carefully selected to help guide you through life’s big questions and become your best self.
“It’s really such a great reminder that there is so much more to us and our lives than our work! I listen to it almost every morning and find it very grounding.”
The Work from Home Voice Actor Podcast
What does it take to run a successful voice acting business from home? That’s exactly what The Work from Home Voice Actor Podcast is all about. In this podcast, host (and Voices Insider), Melanie Scroggins shares her experience building her business in the exciting world of professional voice over, her best practices for marketing yourself and your business, and how to avoid burnout.
“The Work From Home Voice Actor Podcast! This podcast approaches the world of voice over with a fresh approach for modern-day voice actors and offers an outside-the-box look at building and running a voice over business all from home.”
Take the Next Step in Your Voice Acting Career
Books and podcasts are the gateways to building a solid foundation in your voice over career. If you’re ready to take the leap into professional voice acting or are looking to expand your online presence, Voices is here to help.
Sign up today for a free Voices account to build your career and get access to thousands of clients on the world’s largest voice over marketplace.
What books or podcasts were instrumental in your voice acting career? Let us know in the comments!