Doing voiceover in Portland has changed dramatically due to the internet, technology in general, and the pandemic. Whether you’re just starting out and looking for voice acting classes, a voice over coach, or are ready to find work, we will cover all the areas that address how you’re impacted by being here as opposed to a bigger city or the middle of nowhere. If you want to achieve success in Portland, OR voicing commercials, animation, video games, or narrating audiobooks, Elearning and education videos, corporate, or countless other genres in voiceover, keep reading!
Twenty or thirty years ago, it behooved voice actors to be in big cities like New York or Los Angeles, because there was so much work there and it all functioned as a local operation. There wasn’t nearly the same level of home studio action that there is now. You went in to your talent agency, auditioned there or at several casting houses in the area, booked auditions, and recorded them at the production studios. With advancements in technology, the more successful voice artists started building home studios and doing their voice over auditions, as well as those jobs they booked, from home. The pandemic solidified this way of operating and therefore kind of equalized the playing field of opportunity to be spread out amongst small and big cities alike. So now that you know being in Portland, OR or any other mid-size or even small city still keeps the doors wide open for your voice acting success, let’s get down to how you achieve that exactly.
There are many steps for how to find voiceover auditions, but in the interest of addressing both beginners and veterans, we will lay it out step by step. Some of the steps will be blatantly obvious, and yet people still skip these steps. The main reason is that many people believe that voice acting mainly involves having a “great” voice, and/or speaking really clearly or professionally. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe 40 years ago this was more relevant as we were in the “age of the Announcer” but these days it is about being real, being believable. This is why we call it voice acting and not voice announcing! And voice acting means learning how to break down a script, understand the message, the emotional tone, identify the key words, and ultimately, sound like you’re talking, not reading. Ok, yes yes, the step by step guide to working as a voice actor in Portland or elsewhere!
1- Learn the art and craft of voiceover with a coach. Who should you study with? Lesley Bailey is a 30-year veteran in the industry, with a background in talent representation, casting, and coaching. With NYC training and experience, combined with Portland pricing, you’re in great hands. She comes highly recommended with incredible reviews/testimonials. See for yourself and try your first voiceover lesson now!
2- Make a great demo. Your VoiceOver demo tells the world you can prove how great you are. Many people start with one demo, and often add on several more as they continue to grow their voiceover career. A commercial voice over demo is a solid first choice as there is so much work in that area.
3- Make a website. Simple, one page, demos and contact info. Maybe a small info piece covering your experience.
4- Create a marketing plan. This can involve direct marketing to producers or studios. You can try and get agents to represent you. You might be able to get multiple agents across the country, as long as they don’t demand you sign an exclusivity contract. Another popular option is to join a pay-to-play site. These cost a few hundred dollars but will guarantee auditions in your inbox on a daily basis.
* Somewhere in-between steps 2-4 you can be working on building a home studio. This can be as simple as dragging your computer and a microphone into your closet or as complicated as building or buying a full-on enclosed VoiceOver booth.
All these steps can be less intimidating if you start with the right voice over coach, as they can guide you through each part of the process correctly.
Get excited, and good luck!