VAM 017 | Which City Is the Best for Voice Acting? Part 1 – The List

VAM 017 | Which City Is the Best for Voice Acting? Part 1 – The List

Welcome to episode 17 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

In this episode, I talk about a common question I get at conventions and events outside of Los Angeles:

“What city should I move to in order to pursue voice acting?”

You would think the answer to this question would just be the name of a city. But that is not the case. It turns out there are many cities that have vibrant voice acting communities.

In addition, there are many things to consider before you decide to move to another city to pursue voice acting. Are you artistically, financially and psychologically ready for such a change? In order to address this question effectively, I’m going to split this topic into two different parts:

  1. Cities with Significant Voice Acting Industries
  2. How to Assess Yourself Before Moving to a New City

In this first episode in the series, I’ll break down for you which cities have thriving voice acting communities. My short list of cities is (in no particular order):

  • Los Angeles
  • Vancouver
  • New York
  • Dallas
  • San Francisco

In the podcast, I also explain the different types of voice acting work that is done in each of those cities. My knowledge is limited to cities in North America, but I’ll do my best to share my expertise and experience with you. I think you’ll find it very useful.

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #17 Here (MP3)


51 Responses to “VAM 017 | Which City Is the Best for Voice Acting? Part 1 – The List”

  1. Eric says:

    Excellent. This was very informative. I especially look forward to the next episode. Thank you for the help as always

  2. Kalyn McCabe says:

    I’ve always known that I would have to move to either LA or Dallas to pursue what I love.

    With anime, I’m a bit hesitant because the industry isn’t all that stable and is barely keeping its head above water with piracy and the economy slowly improving. It seems like American animation is a lot more stable, but that’s just my observations.

    I may be wrong.

    I’m definitely looking forward to the next podcast, Mr. Freeman. Then I’ll know what I need in order to move to a bigger market! Much love!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      It is true that the anime industry has been receding over the past few years. Animation is cyclical like that. It waxes and wanes. I’m sure it will turn a corner at some point when someone figures out a better distribution model and then it will come back. However, right now it is probably not feasible to be making your entire income from anime unless you’re working on a number of Funimation shows at the same time. Your best bet is to diversify into other types of voice acting as well.

      Glad you enjoyed the podcast!

  3. Martin says:

    I’m kind of surprised that Montreal wasn’t on your list. I’m guessing it’s more french than anglish but I know that there is a lot of voice acting for games since there is a lot of studios there. What’s your take on Montreal?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m sorry for the omission of Montreal, but to be honest, Montreal only came on my radar recently when I was a guest at a convention there last year. Before actually attending that Montreal convention I was unaware that any voice acting was done there. However, from what I can glean, it seems like the majority of voice acting in Montreal is in French. I’ve met and befriended a number of different Montreal voice actors, but they all do their acting work in French. I guess I’ve just assumed that my podcast was about voice acting in English, since I don’t really know much about the world of French voice acting. But you’re right, there is a French voice acting industry in Montreal. Maybe I’ll have to get one of my new friends to talk with me about the Montreal voice acting industry! Although we’ll have to do the interview in English since I don’t speak French!

      • Martin says:

        You say that you assumed that your podcast is about voice acting in english but the advises you say are pretty good for just about any languages. I find myself having less difficulties voice acting in english then french and I’m a french canadian, only because the acting in french has to be made in the “international french” and I find it unnatural (since french in Quebec has a pretty unique accent)… but I guess you’re right, Montreal = French market / Vancouver = English market

  4. David says:

    Do you know if their are good voice acting opportunities around the DC area?

  5. Caitlin says:

    New York is the closest place to me since I live in NJ, I should look into that more to see what I can do there. Of course I’m not even in college yet so I have time. I heard that the number of dubbing jobs has lowered, is that true? Also what’s the best thing to do when you get sick? I think that any job has competion, when someone goes into a career that they really enjoy or want they need to say, bring it on. Good podcast, I look forward to part 2.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      It is true that the amount of anime work has diminished over the past few years and that most of it is now being done in Dallas. As I mentioned in an earlier response, the animation industry is cyclical, it has it’s ups and downs. A down period is a great time to hone your skills so you’re prepared when the industry picks up again.

      The best thing to do when you get sick is to not get sick. I do my best to avoid illness as much as possible. But when I do get sick, I either have to say I can’t make it, or else I try to use over-the-counter decongestants to see if I can still vocalize. But you have to be very careful not to hurt your voice. It’s best just not to get sick.

  6. Christopher Goldsmith says:

    Do you know if Las Vegas is a good place to start in the voice over career. It is pretty close to LA, but I want to try and get an alright amount of work under my belt before I even think about moving.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I do not know the Las Vegas market. Sorry. But I’m sure there is stuff going on in the Las Vegas area.

    • Gabriel Gentile says:

      In a word “no”.
      In two words “heck no”.
      As someone who grew up in Las Vegas, I can tell you that if you want to be a singer, a dancer or a model, it’s a fabulous place to be.
      If you want to be an actor, of ANY sort, let alone voice-acting, you’ve got to get out and get to a place that has an actual theater scene, preferably one with a strong Actor’s Equity presence.
      That’s why I’m planning a move to Chicago. Yes, I’d move to LA if I could, but the fact is it’s just too expensive and competitive a place for someone who hasn’t already made a name for themselves to break into.
      Chicago is expensive and competitive too, to be sure, but I have advantages there in the form of family, friends and contacts.
      Speaking of which, I’m kind of surprised Chicago didn’t make your list, Crispin.

      • Crispin Freeman says:

        Thank you for clarifying. I didn’t realize that there was absolutely no theater or acting scene in Las Vegas. That’s good for people to know.

        Chicago does have a pretty strong theater community. While I was too young to take advantage of it while I was growing up there, I certainly appreciated my Chicago acting teachers who were steeped in that world.

        Chicago didn’t make my voice acting list because I’m unaware of any sizeable voice over industry in Chicago for animation, video games or anime. Are you aware of such productions being done in Chicago with any kind of regularity? I’m not even sure what the commercial VO scene is like in Chicago.

  7. Terance says:

    I really enjoyed the episode Crispin and I especially enjoyed your mythology panel at Kami-Con. It was one of the most interesting lectures I’ve ever had. Back to the episode though, I heard you mention that anime and video games were done in Texas. I knew anime was dubbed in Texas, but I knew nothing of the video games industry. What video game companies are located in Texas?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed both my podcast and my mythology panel.

      There are no video game companies that I know of that are located in Texas, but as I say in my podcast, because there are so many anime voice actors in Texas, some of them have opened their own recording studios and many times they record certain video games in Texas.

  8. Andre Leblanc says:

    i have a question on the Avalon VT737SP.

    i have seen this in a bang zoom studio video and always wondered about it.

    have some VO artist used this device in there home studio?

    and what is the main use for the studio to use this device?

    thank you for reading my comment and hope to hear from you soon.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      The Avalon VT737SP is a very high end tube pre-amp for microphones. It is used extensively in professional studios in LA and elsewhere. It has an incredibly rich sound as well as sophisticated EQ and compression settings. It also costs around $2,200. The Avalon is usually way too much pre-amp for someone’s home studio if they are recording auditions. The only reason you would need this pre-amp is if you were trying to compete with major professional studios on big budget productions. Avalon VT737SP Class A Tube Channel Strip

      I’ve been using the built-in pre-amp on my ProTools MBox for years and it has served me very well. The MBox is also much simpler than the Avalon which is good for those who are new to recording. There are so many settings on the Avalon, chances are you will actually make things sound worse if you don’t know what you’re doing.

      There are probably voice actors who do use the Avalon in their home studios, but chances are they are doing a lot of promo work or other very lucrative jobs that require one to do a lot of recording from home. That’s the only way I know to justify such a high-end piece of equipment in a home studio setting.

      • Andre Leblanc says:

        thank you for the reply. very helpful info.

        i like to ask another question.

        let me build a setting frist.

        your in a home and you are trying to record lines for a audition and are in a low budget. and you have a condenser micrphone though you get noises from then very think walls,reverb etc.

        the question is

        can you make what some have found on the internet called a “portable sound booth”
        so that you don’t have noise interfering in your recording?

        and what are your thoughts on this method?

        • Crispin Freeman says:

          I assume you mean something like Harlan Hogan’s Portable Sound Booth: Porta-booth – Portable Sound Studio with Two Compression Sacs
          , a small box lined with acoustical foam in which you place your microphone. To be honest, I have not tried those portable booths yet. Ostensibly they should work, but I have not used them myself so I don’t know how good the sound treatment is when recording. For my own home studio, I have converted a walk-in closet to be my booth and treated the inside of it with acoustical foam.

  9. Mara Junot says:

    It seems like there’s a TON of voice-over going on in parts of North Carolina, too – particularly Charlotte & Raleigh: ProComm Voices, VoiceHunter, SunSpots, Carolina Talent Agency, Wilhelmina … just to name a few. Not to mention the incredible pool of voice-over talents there like Rowell Gormon, Bob Souer, Donovan Corneetz, and Lauren McCullough.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I am unaware of voice over work in North Carolina! Thank you for bringing it to my attention! However, is that narrative style voice over work or collaborative style? I wasn’t aware that there were any animation, games or anime productions in North Carolina. There used to be an anime dubbing studio called Coastal Carolina, but I’m not sure if they’re still in business or not.

  10. Angelican Marcos says:

    Hello Mr. Freeman I saw you on the Kami-Con video in you were great and humorous as always and I admire your podcast it was great to know other places to voice act in the U.S. Thank you for this podcast have a safe and a wonderful busy day as always…
    Angelican Marcos

  11. Roy Mills says:

    Mr. Freeman thank you so much for your help, and advice in burgeoning VA work. When looking to move forward in any regard for voice acting it seems to keep with the old boy scout motto, “Be Prepared”. @Mara I too am a Nc based actor located near the Charlotte area. And you mentioned some places that actually hasn’t came up in my search for work. Thank You for bringing these to my attention.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m so glad to hear that you’re finding the comments of your fellow listeners helpful. I’ve really been hoping that would be the case here on the site. While I am the one making the podcasts, in many ways this blog is a group effort. I love it when you guys are able to help each other!

  12. Adrian Herrera says:

    Hola Mr Freeman!

    Good to hear that you sometimes come teach over at Voicetrax!! I was just searching for some classes out here in the bay area and after hearing that you teach at one of the places I was looking at I will go there for sure. I took one of your classes in L.A and had a blast! Hopefully I get to work with you up here in the Bay.ttul.

    Adrian Herrera

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Yes! I wasn’t on the roster for the last round of classes for some reason, but hopefully they’ll invite me back in the future.

      Maybe you should contact them and let them know you’d like me to come teach again! I think that would encourage them to invite me back for the next semester!

      Hopefully I’ll see you there in the near future!

  13. Josh LeFebvre says:

    Anyone aware of any kind of voice over work in the Midwest, most notably the Chicago area? One would assume second city would have some sort of outlet into voice acting? anyone have any info?

  14. Josh LeFebvre says:

    i’m kinda shocked sir, being a fellow illinoisan i would think you’d know a lil something concerning your hometown….oh well it was worth a shot

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      The last time I lived in Chicago I was 18. I wasn’t really pursuing a professional acting career at that point. I was trying to graduate high school and go to college.

      I know plenty about my hometown, it’s just my information is 22 years old. I doubt that will help you terribly much.

    • Sam says:

      Chicago is a HUGE commercial city. I’m not so sure about animation or games but I get commercial auditions for VO almost every week. Make sure you have a good agent 🙂

      • Crispin Freeman says:

        That’s good to hear. Are you a voice actor working in Chicago? I would love to know what the market is like there.

  15. hey crispin (your great, i’ve watched some of your panels,youtube)

    i live in long beach, and i’ve conditioned my voice, very high gravely whacky cartoony voice, is my most easy on my throat.

    but my question/concern, was, I’M SCARED OF “GHETTO” PARTS OF LOS ANGELES…

    i heard burbank, studio city, west hollywood; are specific areas is this true?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      If you’re scared of “ghetto” parts of Los Angeles, as you put it, then don’t live in the more dangerous parts of town.

      Burbank, Studio City and West Hollywood are all very nice areas of Los Angeles. Most of the studios are in Burbank or Studio City. My agent’s office is in Studio City and West Hollywood is one of the nicest, cleanest most upscale parts of Los Angeles.

  16. smith says:

    Hi I was just wondering if there are places in Canada other than Vancouver to pursue voice acting. I don’t live in a big city and moving to the US is not so easy. Also do you if it’s true that a funimation is opening up in Canada . Thanks.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Unfortunately, I’m unaware of any cities other than Vancouver that are centers of animation, video game and anime voice acting. I know there is also a community in Montreal, but that is for French language dubbing. I am also unaware of Funimation expanding to Canada. They might be, but this is the first I’ve heard of it. Sorry I can’t be of more help. I’m sure some searching online might give you some insight however.

  17. Brooke says:

    What about Seattle?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Unfortunately, I don’t know the Seattle market. I understand that there are some video game opportunities, but I’m fairly confident that there aren’t as many job possibilities in Seattle as there are in the other cities I mentioned.

  18. Ethan says:

    Do you have any idea if there is anyway to get involved with voice acting in Louisiana?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I have no familiarity with the voice over markets in Louisiana. I suggest you take whatever acting classes you can to improve your skills.

      You’re also welcome to take my online class if that appeals to you.

      • Ethan says:

        Thank you very much for your reply! I have been searching for acting classes and any theater opportunities. I am new to the idea of acting, but am very excited to learn. Also your podcast has been extremely enlightening and inspiring to me as I want to pursue a voice acting career in Anime and games. Keep up the excellent work!

  19. Shawn Gage says:

    Thank you for such informative podcasts. This is one of the few podcasts that I’ve had a desire to go back and listen to from the beginning due to the relatability and easy to digest nature.

    I wanted to follow-up on this particular episode because it really struck a cord since location is so important. Do you have any advice for aspiring VAs who want to crossover to different media? For example: New York is where a lot of audiobooks are recorded and Dallas is the Anime mecca, do you have any suggestions in diversifying one’s portfolio?


  1. VAM 018 | Which City Is the Best for Voice Acting? Part 2 – Are You Ready? | Voice Acting Mastery: Become a Master Voice Actor in the World of Voice Over - [...] In the last episode, I discussed 5 cities I’m aware of that have thriving voice acting communities. Since then, listeners…

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: