Getting to know one another before your first voice-over coaching session
Here at Such A Voice, we assign you a technique coach once you have selected and purchased your SAV voice-over package. After you have scheduled your voice-over coaching sessions and connected with your coach via Skype, you’ll meet each week to work together. SAV’s online voice-over training program is flexible and allows students to work around their other commitments. Since the voice-over coaching is done over Skype, it doesn’t matter where you or your coach live. In fact, some of our coaches work outside of the U.S in places like Spain and Germany! We have staff who can work with students both nationwide and internationally.
How I get to know my students before their first voice-over coaching session
Every coach has their own approach when it comes to learning more about their students. I email my new students a self-assessment worksheet before the first session. This two-page questionnaire asks the student more about what got them interested in voice-overs, what their current job is, and how much time they have to dedicate to voice-over training. I love reading these questionnaires, especially when students give lots of details. It gives me a good understanding of their background. It helps me to know how to begin and where to focus. Best of all, it makes me even more excited to work with them because I feel like we’ve already met!
Communication is Key
Coaches have to be good listeners while students need to be good communicators. If a student can express the struggles they are feeling along the way, the coach will be able to flesh out which techniques work best and help navigate their student to connect authentically to the copy. While your coach is following the SAV curriculum, we are free to personalize the voice-over coaching sessions for the student, focusing on areas that require more attention. SAV coaches also bring their own VO experiences to the sessions. My background inspired me to write an article for the Such A Voice blog about voice-over practice exercises you can do outside of the booth. It’ll be posted on the blog in June, so keep an eye out for it!
It helps to be prepared in order to make the most out of your voice-over coaching sessions. As a coach, I make sure my students and I are connected on Skype at least a day before our first session.I have my email open and my phone close by in the rare case that any technical issues arise with Skype. I also have the lesson and scripts open on my computer to readily follow along with what my student is reading. As a student, you should prepare the same way so you and your coach can make the most out of your time together. In addition, you should have completed your homework assignment and be ready to access the lesson at your fingertips so you’re ready to work!
Before your first voice-over coaching session, get your mind and attitude set to have fun! When you are reading for your coach, this is the place to try everything. One of my most important objectives when working with a student is to create a safe space. I once had an influential instructor in college teach me a valuable lesson. She said, “If you’re not failing, then you’re not pushing yourself.” Express different ways to read the script, let go of inhibitions, put your entire body into the reads, and play! If you keep yourself buttoned up we’ll hear that in your voice. So don’t be afraid to try new things because there are no mistakes in your voice-over coaching sessions, only more opportunities to practice!
A Final Word
The VO industry consists of many talented, independent, and self-motivated artists. As a student, it’s your responsibility to train, develop your self-directing ear, practice, create your home studio, market yourself, and audition for gigs. Such A Voice offers support in all these areas. Your technique coach is your mentor. They help guide you according to the grainline of who you are. We are here to teach you the principles of the craft and most importantly, we are a part of your team here to support and encourage you to carry on with your voice-over career. We are always on your side rooting for your success. We love to hear about your successes, so please stay in touch!
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About the Author
Rosemary Chase is a NY-based SAG-AFTRA union actor and voice-over artist. She has been featured on numerous television and feature film projects, including such hit shows as “Elementary”, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, and has appeared in several episodes of “Saturday Night Live”. She has voiced projects for GE Capital, Fidelity, a variety of dubbing projects, and a short film (playing an on-air radio personality). She landed her first feature animation film playing a loveable cow, Theodora, in “Pup 2 No Good”. Rosemary’s long list of diverse acting training from local studios around her NYC neighborhood include stand-up comedy at The Comedy Cellar, improv at Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and Meisner Training, at MN Studio. To learn more about Rosemary’s journey as a voice-over artist, visit www.rosemarychase.com.