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Top Voice Actors Share Their Wisdom
In New eBook; Learn From Excerpts ...

By Doug Turkel
Voice Actor

Like a lot of voice over talent, not a week goes by that I don’t get a number of emails of the "How do I get into voice overs?” variety.

I answer them all, and provide a long list of resources and information that beginners can use to start on their path to a voice over career. (For what it’s worth I almost never hear back from any of these people, even though I offer to answer any follow-up questions they may have.)

I can only imagine how many of these emails the top-level talent in our industry must receive.


But I thought that if I asked some of the top voices in the game about their road to success, and made their answers freely available, it might keep a lot of those questions out of their Inboxes. Plus, those of us who aspire to perform at their level could glean some knowledge and inspiration from their experiences.

So I emailed a dream team of voice over talent, and was completely blown away by how willing they were to share, and by how honest and candid they were with their answers.

Thirty of the industry's best dished on everything from performance advice and marketing tips to best practices in terms of landing an agent. The result is a new, free ebook called Voices of Experience – Pro Voiceover Talent Share the Wisdom of Their Success.

Here are just a few of the powerful things they share in this book:


Keri Tombazian: "Trust the words of the script more than the specs. The direction, "Not an announcer” is fairly useless. Even "warm and conversational” does not truly tell you anything about the story in the copy. Dedicate yourself to understanding how to animate words to their meaning – to understand the text and bring truth to it.”

Cam Buzz Brainard: "You need to have a strong point of view, you can’t just copy people. You can’t go to websites and listen to peoples’ demos and try to emulate them. You need to have your own point of view, and you need to listen, and be able to take direction.”

Pat Fraley: "In auditions, promoting, and public relations, try not to do what others do. They aren't looking for "The Best." They are looking for what's "Good and Different." There's a reason Christopher Walken has a career. It's always been that way.”

Harlan Hogan: "Focusing on your performance misses the point of voice work. It’s really not what YOU sound like or what words you emphasize in your ‘performance.’ What’s important is how you can make a listener feel. So your focus is not on you and your performance, but on using your skills to communicate to THEM.”

Steve Mackall: "Unabashedly be yourself in the auditioning process. There’s only one you. Don’t try and wear someone else’s hat. Read the buyer’s direction, then run it through your filter. Be confident about it and genuinely have fun!”


Wally Wingert: "Once you get an agent, always remember that they're YOUR employee. Don't be afraid to send them suggestions, strategy ideas, and other cooperative efforts to help advance your career. Never EVER just leave it up to them and take a complacent, inactive role in your career.”

Virginia Hamilton: "You are in business for yourself. So be prepared to RUN that business. Your agent, your manager, your coach – they do not run your business – you do! Remember your agent gets 10% (give or take) and you get 90% ... that means you should be doing 90% of the work. And that work isn’t just doing the job. It’s getting the job, doing the job, keeping the job, turning it into other jobs, etc.”

Townsend Coleman: "Don’t be shy about trying to contact someone in the biz you admire and ask them how they got started. Remember, we all started somewhere … you have to go get, it won’t just come to you. It takes not only talent, but energy, patience, and above all, perseverance.”

Marc Cashman: "You have to be an attractive package to an agent, and that means ... sounding and looking like a total pro. Talent also has to be commensurate with a demo. Your demos will make you sound great, but you have to be able to deliver the "goods." And look for smaller talent agencies to start. You don't want to be a tiny fish in an ocean of talent.”

Joe Cipriano: "Finding new business is all about us as talent being very involved in what’s going on out there and knowing what’s happening. So read. Listen.”


There’s lots more from wonderful talent in voice over genres including Commercial, Promo, Audiobooks, Animation, Trailers and more, who were generous enough to share (at least some of) what they know.

You’ll even learn who is obsessed with having fresh breath, who enjoys having nightmares, and who is scared to death by the Pillsbury Doughboy. (Yes, really.)

To download this free e-book, please click here or visit:


Doug Turkel has more than 20 years of experience as a professional voice talent. Branding himself as the "UNnouncer” - as opposed to the brash "Monster Truck” guy - he has "quietly" become the voice behind more than 10,000 spots and several TV networks. His strong roster of clients includes MasterCard, NBC/Telemundo, McDonald’s, The Travel Channel and The Discovery Channel. He is currently the promo voice of the Home Shopping Network. Working from a home studio, he notes that "voice talent who learn to use the tools that the Internet offers can find work anywhere and everywhere."  

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Comments (8)
Doug Turkel
7/5/2012 at 5:32 PM
Thanks all! (And thanks to John for posting this in the first place!)

I really enjoyed putting this book much so that the second in the series is already in the works.


PS. Lisa, whaddya mean "understated?" ; )
Jim Conlan
7/5/2012 at 10:40 AM
So far, so good. I'll download this and add it to my references. Thanks...Jim Conlan, Houston
Bettye Zoller
7/3/2012 at 10:10 PM
Great idea and congrats on the new publ. My audio book "The Voice of Experience" (publ 2008) details my career in studio singing and vo. And topics of this type always are useful...real experiences by real talents in the real world. Congrats again. Next, I may write a "down and dirty" novel about what REALLY went on in the studios (lol...maybe) so now everybody, you can worry if you'll be in it or not!! (Is she kidding?) WHO KNEW.
7/3/2012 at 8:21 PM
If you're into VO (and I assume you are) you really must, must, must download and read this ebook!! The comments/stories are so different and yet so the same, person-after-person. Riveting and informative! And FUN! So many BIGGIES sharing their thoughts! Thank you, Doug!
Rick Lance
7/3/2012 at 12:08 PM
Thanks Doug!
You've given me one more great source of information, knowledge and inspiration I can pass along to those who contact me with the same burning questions about the VO industry. And making the ebook a freebee
was very generous of you!
Ken Budka
7/3/2012 at 9:07 AM
What a fantastic resource Doug - it's always to great to utilize the experience of others instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and go it alone. I appreciate your efforts in putting this together and sharing it with the rest of the voice-over community.
Donna Postel
7/3/2012 at 8:23 AM
I go to this book again and again to remind myself why I love this business. It's like having a bunch of really supportive and talented friends always ready to give you a great piece of advice. Doug Turkel, in addition to being a solid talent who truly cares about this business and the people in it, has collected a treasure chest full o' gold nuggets from the most successful people in our business, and put them in this book to help you on your path.
Lisa Rice
7/3/2012 at 8:02 AM
What a fantastic resource, Doug. Your understated genius shines again!
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