VAM 065 | Q & A Session 11 – What College Courses Do You Need to Become a Voice Actor?

VAM 065 | Q & A Session 11 – What College Courses Do You Need to Become a Voice Actor?

Welcome to episode 65 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:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

In this episode, I continue answering questions from my podcast audience! For those who may not be as familiar with the podcast, in past episodes, I’ve given out a phone number where you can call in and leave me a question about voice acting as a voicemail. From time to time, I’ll pick the most relevant questions I receive and answer them here on the podcast.

For this round of Q & A, I answer questions from Arron from Lake Elsinore, CA and John from New York, NY.

Arron wants to know what classes he should take in college in order prepare himself for a career in voice acting.

His question is a popular one. I often get asked some variation of his question during voice acting panels I attend at conventions. Many people would like to know what classes they should take in college in order to pursue a voice acting career.

I answer his question in detail, but I also help him understand some of the assumptions underneath the question that need to be addressed first. College courses may not be enough to prepare you for a career in the performing arts.

 

John wants to know if casting directors discriminate against voice actors who don’t have a formal education.

I chose John’s question specifically to be a counterpoint to Arron’s question. Arron is asking me what he needs to study to help develop himself as an artist. John is asking me what casting directors are looking for when it comes to hiring voice actors.

I explain to John that in my experience, no one in voice acting has ever asked me what my grade point average was in college or where I got my diplomas. Not once. Ever.

However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take training to become a competent and professional voice actor. I tell John exactly what casting directors expect from voice actors.

 

I hope you find the answers useful in your own voice acting endeavors!

 

If any of my listeners would like to call in with your own thoughts, thank you’s or questions, the number is:

323-696-2655.

Please don’t forget to include your first name and what city in the world you’re calling from. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #65 Here (MP3)

 

24 Responses to “VAM 065 | Q & A Session 11 – What College Courses Do You Need to Become a Voice Actor?”

  1. Eric Rivera says:

    I can understand John’s concern, especially if you have a dream you want to pursue. You’re there and the guy next to you or even the person on the screen is talking about how they did Shakespeare for five years or whatever. It’s intimidating, to say the least.

    Thanks, as always, for your time and wisdom. And thanks to Aaron and John for their questions.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      In the past, I too have been intimidated by other people’s training. That just means you need to get the training or experience you need in order to feel more confident.

  2. Arron Pleitner says:

    Hi there My.Freeman, thank you for answering my question. I have just finished my fist course last week and listing to this now makes me realize a little bit more. As per my teacher, he was also very helpful as well to help me become a better actor, I plan on using this information in the future. Thank you once again for your time and I hope you have an amazing holiday.
    P.S Its actually spelled “Arron”, I get that a lot.

  3. Lydia Gray says:

    This was very informative Mr. Freeman! 🙂 BTW Nice Question Arron! :3

  4. Andrew Eales says:

    Thank you Crispin. This podcast was so incredible and resonated deeply with my feelings on my personal pursuit as an aspiring voice actor. I receive a lot of flak for deviating from the ‘normal’ path but I felt that what I was looking for as an artist could not normally be obtained through lectures and writing papers and chose to work alongside (and still working) with many coaches, and hopefully to work as a student of yours soon as well.

    Once again thank you,
    Andrew E.

  5. Leonard says:

    Thank you for making this episode! This is a question I too have been curious about for a long time, the fact I don’t have to have a degree of any kind, just talent is a huge weight lifted off my shoulder. I had no idea the brain had those 2 separate ways of learning, obviously there’s more to the way the human body works than meets the eye.

  6. Kalyn McCabe says:

    Love this podcast! Thank you for your wisdom, Crispin.

    ~ Kalyn

  7. Terance says:

    If you don’t mind me asking Crispin, what kind of processing (equalization, normalization, noise removal, etc.) or editing do you do to your audio when you audition from home or even when you put together these podcast episodes? Lately I’ve been curious about what audio editing tricks voice actors use. I may consider finding a short class in audio production to get a better understanding of the process so when I go pro I’ll be able to give my clients exactly what they want. Thanks in advance.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Most people advise using as little processing as possible. You want the casting director to hear what you actually sound like, not what you sound like through a bunch of processing equipment. For auditions, I normally use only enough dynamic compression to even out my recording levels so I don’t have to be constantly riding the gain level for my microphone while I’m recording. I set the initial gain pretty low and let the compressor even things out.

      As far as clients, you need to ask them what they’re looking for. Some clients want it dry as a bone so they can process it effectively. Others want it to sound compressed and mastered as if it came from a final mixing studio.

  8. Meghan (Meg) says:

    Hi Crispin- I really love that episode as well. I have a question based on the episode 18 about the finances and income issues and the education level to be a voice actor or an artist in Los Angeles. If I got a job somewhere in California, and ready to move; but, couldn’t afford for anything to rent a apartment or a hotel, what places I should stay depending my income? I know its a very complicated question. Thank you for time, Crispin and a nice day

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      If you cannot afford to live in LA, then you shouldn’t move to LA. You should only move to a new city if you are truly ready both financially and psychologically.

      If you’re asking me for inexpensive places to rent in LA, that’s beyond my expertise. There are plenty of websites for looking up LA rentals. I suggest you check them out.

  9. Reuben Green says:

    I understand the basis of what I am following with was covered in the podcast, but I would like some guidance please.
    I am (hopefully) going to University this september, my first choice as a course is Music composition technology for film & games, and my second choice is Drama. I am most likely to study the Music course but it has been my dream to go into the acting and voice acting industry since I was very young.
    After getting full marks on my performance exam, my drama teachers at my High school would love if I continued acting to a higher degree and know that I would be good at it, they know that I want to pursue acting in some way as a career and I might ask them for help on a demo reel. Since I would probably end up doing music I would join a drama club/audition for a local theatre group to keep it fresh in my mind.

    Is there any advice and/or information you can give me to help me make the right decisions? I would appreciate it greatly.
    Thank you very much for reading all of this. (sorry if it was too lengthy)

    From Reuben Green.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      You’re question wasn’t too lengthy, but I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking?

      It sounds like you’re pursuing both music and acting. If you are inspired to pursue both, then you should.

      I’m not sure what decision you’re trying to make so I’m not sure how to help you.

      In general, I think it is always wisest to follow what fascinates you.

      • Reuben Green says:

        Thank you very much for the response, I have a passion to do both so I think I will stick with the music course and do acting on the side, I can always collaborate with other students if they need someone to act/voice act for their work.

        Thank you.

  10. Hello, Crispin –

    Sorry for responding to this post so far after the fact; I’ve actually just listened to all your podcasts within a two-week period (and thank you for such a valuable resource). I feel that the discussion of university courses also lends itself to this small tangent: What do you feel about Toastmasters (if anything) as a way to improve your craft?

    Keep up the awesome work – I really appreciate all you’ve done to help out aspiring voice actors!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m not familiar with Toastmasters. It’s a public speaking course, correct? Any chance to get up in front of people and talk is probably a good thing. It will certainly improve your technical abilities to use your voice and read things clearly. I’m not sure it necessarily improves your ability to analyze a scene and play pretend as a character, but it’s certainly good to become more confident with your voice.

      Hope that helps.

  11. Kothe3rd says:

    I’m working my way through your podcasts sir Freeman and felt the need to comment and share my experience on this one.

    I’ve recently graduated from college (about a year ago) and I was so thankful I decided to have therapy. Long story short, I was having issues with figuring out who I was and why I felt depressed all the time. Thankfully, the college (Ball State) had free counseling for their students and I took full advantage of it throughout my junior year. Fast forward a couple years later and I’m feeling great and looking forward to taking more therapy and counseling sessions down the line. As you mentioned in the podcast, becoming honest with yourself is definitely a huge step forward to take in life. I had to be blunt and admit I had a problem and thankfully it made a big impact in my life.

    As for acting, you also have to be honest with your skill level. Thankfully, I’ve decided last year to take it slow and work my way up the ladder before making any huge leaps to LA or NY. I had to admit I was nowhere near capable of being competitive and won’t be for sometime. Knowing that I needed more coaching and training made me feel better about my path and much more confident in where I’m headed.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad that you were able to get the assistance you needed to be able to help yourself both personally and artistically.

      Honesty with one’s self can sometimes be the hardest thing to accomplish, but it is absolutely vital if you’re going to make any headway in life.

      Thank you for reaffirming the importance of being honest with yourself. I’m sure that honesty will serve you well in the future.

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