The Options of Online Coaching for Voice Actors
If you’ve been considering hiring a voice over coach, there’s no better time than right now. It’s a wonderful world we live in; access to information and connectedness is at an all time high, and we can virtually connect to anyone we’d like, no matter where they are in the world, through a crystal clear digital connection. Gone are the days of choppy and pixelated video chats and videos, making it no surprise that online voice over coaching is booming.
This ability to connect has broken down locational barriers between voice actors who’d like to receive coaching, and voice over coaches who are a perfect fit for them. No longer do voice actors need to consider a voice over coach simply based on proximity.
But is online coaching just as good as in-person? And how do you find the right voice over coach?
In this article, experienced voice over coaches who offer in-person and online coaching, many of whom have over a decade of experience in the field, compare online voice over coaching to in-person, describe what to expect from online voice over coaching, and give advice on how to find the right coach for you.
What is Remote Voice Over Coaching?
Online voice over coaching comes in a few different forms – but the most popular methods are via live video (e.g. Skype) and tele-training, both of which offer a natural and optimal training experience.
While live-video has the benefit of face-to-face interaction, receiving VO training over a conference line (audio only), has the benefit of bringing 100% of the focus back onto the sound of the voice.
Online Coaching for Beginners and Seasoned Voice Actors
While reading articles, watching videos and webinars, and participating in online forums can go a long way in a voice actor’s education, there is something irreplaceable about one-on-one conversation and consultation. After all, the foundation of the voice acting business is laid on a two-way street: one of feedback and interaction.
Vocal coaching is appropriate for voice actors in any stage of their careers. And if you have any doubts, consider that even voice over coaches continue to receive training. As professionals, continuing education helps them to stay sharp and ensure they’re up-to-date on what’s popular in the industry (and what is fizzling out).
As long as you have a home studio setting, online coaching is an option.
“The talent must have a recording space, a dependable computer, and must be able to comprehensively follow directions, then follow through with homework assignments” says Voice Coach, Ron Allen from The Big Voice Productions.
Online One-on-One Training with a Voice Over Coach
When working with a coach one-on-one, voice actors are given tips and tricks that apply directly to their unique situation. Your skill level, equipment, business knowledge, etc. are all facets that voice over coaches take into consideration when tailoring their training to your needs – and none of this changes with online coaching.
Voice Over Coach, Bruce Carey expresses how he feels about remote training:
Skype lessons are effective. I can direct and record the performer as well as playback and adjust their performance. It works really well.
According to Bruce, up to 40% of his coaching sessions are done online – and he’s not alone in this approach to the business. In a recent Voices.com survey specifically for voice over coaches, respondents stated that online training makes up to as much as 75% of their coaching business.
Online Coaching for Voice Over Demo Production
The majority of voice over coaches, regardless of if they’re coaching remotely or in-person, typically assist with demo production. So, as long as the voice actor and coach are able to clearly hear each other and, if using video calling, can see each other, there is nothing lost in the experience.
Voice Over Coach, Ron Allen, describes what the process of assisting with a demo production online can be like:
When working remotely for demo production, the coach has the obligation of listening and directing the talent during the performance. This can easily be done via phone patch or Skype, unless the talent has enough experience to direct themselves, send in multiple takes or be willing to [record a] do-over if the read was not correct.
Learning the Voice Over Business Remotely
When it comes to navigating your voice acting career, getting a leg up on how the business works can be just as crucial as making sure that your vocal performance skills are polished. Online voice over coaching can address the business side of voice acting, as well – imparting knowledge on how to market yourself, build referrals, develop strong client relationships, and more.
Susan Berkley from The Great Voice Company says, “We specialize in making sure our students know how to market their voice over services so they can have a real business with great clients who buy from them again and again, and not just a hobby where they might only make a little Starbucks money on the side.”
According to Susan, clients who come to her at The Great Voice Company, have a wide range of experience and varying skill levels. Even seasoned talent can benefit from a fresh set of eyes on their business and marketing plans.
Hiring the Right Voice Over Coach for You
There are several ways to evaluate a potential coach or voice over coaching company:
- Check online reviews
- Ask for recommendations and reviews from your network (word of mouth)
- Research online for proven and trademarked programs
- Review the portfolio of the coach or coaching company
- Hop on an introductory call with the potential coach and get a sense for his or her style.
While seeking a coach or company with a good reputation is important, the most important factor should be that you find someone whose style, personality, and approach meshes best with yours. What makes someone the ‘right coach’ is that they’re right for you. You should feel good about your decision to invest in voice over coaching.
Voice coaches recommend conducting your own evaluation of a voice coach. Coach Bruce Carey says:
Do an evaluation . See if your styles mesh. Even during an evaluation, you should be impressed by the coach’s method and immediate results.
If you have doubts after such a session, continue your search. Afterall, there are no barriers to connecting with coaches from all over the world!