Met with a voice coach

I met yesterday for a bit with Scott Burns, a voice talent and coach in my area yesterday. I had a great time talking with him and realized pretty quickly how valuable a voice coach can be. I was in the booth working with some cold copy and getting immediate, practical feedback was amazingly helpful. Doesn’t hurt that Scott is a very talented voice actor himself!

At one point he had me read a piece of copy while laughing the entire time- that’s not as easy as it sounds, by the way- and I had a hard time getting through it without actually breaking down in real laughter. When I turned around after the read (I was facing away from the glass, less distractions), he was laughing too, which I take as a good sign. Laughter is infectious, after all. After that he had me read the same piece, not laughing but with the same energy and style, and the result was astonishingly different- I honestly don’t know if it was a good sound for that particular piece, but the idea wasn’t to get a good read for that copy, but to demonstrate how much you can change the “sound” of a piece without really even realizing it until you hear it played back. I learned quite a bit from that.

My real goal with finding a voice coach or instructor is to help me build a skill set. I know I have the raw ability and a modicum of talent, but that’s not enough. Without another person’s ears and their (expert)¬†feedback, I can’t really learn the craft of voiceover. Raw talent isn’t enough, and I knew that, but I was pleased at how much I learned in a short session just “kicking the tires”, as it were.

I could probably do a whole post on the difference between art and craft. I may do so.

Anyway, I have a couple of options from here. I could take a class with some other people starting in a few weeks, or work with an individual voice coach such as Scott. I think both approaches have merit; the first is less expensive and exposes me to other people in a group setting. Although there’s less individual time, you learn from other people in such settings.

The other alternative, an individual voice coach, is attractive but more spendy. It also gives me an opportunity to learn some of the technical side of things, which as a¬†bit of a propellerhead, I’m always inclined to do. I think at this point I’m inclined to go that route with the goal of assembling a set of good demos that really showcase what I can do at the end of the process.

We’ll see how things shake out.

One Response to “Met with a voice coach”

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