One of the first resources I point aspiring voice actors too. Voice actors Yuri Lowenthal (Ben 10, Spider-Man) and Tara Platt (Naruto, Legion of Superheroes) have created an extended edition to their already critically acclaimed book Voice-Over Voice Actor. The seasoned vets break down everything from warmups, reading copy, and even how to pursue an agent.
This was the first book I read when I was still in college. It transformed my thoughts on what it meant to be an actor. A large majority of an actor’s career involves managing your acting business and creating your brand. Acting as a Business is a great starter book (although a bit dated) to understand the entrepreneurial elements that being an actor requires by breaking down everything you could imagine regarding marketing for actors.
A voice of my childhood, Debbie Derryberry, most known for being the voice of Jimmy Neutron, wrote a fantastic book on what it takes to become a voice actor. She provides insight on everything from demo reels and auditions to booth etiquette, proper clothing, vocal tips & tricks, and warmups.
Audiobooks have become a major opportunity for voice actors to make a living this past decade. Krystal Wascher’s book is a master overview of using Audacity for creating professional quality audiobooks, right in your own home studio. She goes in-depth, from recording, to editing, to delivering to clients on platforms such as ACX and Audible.
2. Acting Training Books
Acting training books
To become a voice actor, you must first become an actor. I underwent conservatory training at the New York University Meisner Studio which gave me the foundation and tools for bringing characters to life and living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. While Meisner was the discipline my training was focused on, my toolbox is made up of many other practiced techniques. Here is a list of books I love and recommend to anyone beginning their actor training:
Sanford Meisner on Acting – Sanford Meisner
The Art of Acting – Stella Adler
Respect for Acting – Uta Hagen
On the Technique of Acting – Michael Chekhov
YouTube has become the online university for anything and everything. Here are some content creators or videos that offer a wealth of knowledge that you can get… FOR FREE!
Mike Delgaudio (with one of the most accurate names might I add) has an amazing channel called Booth Junkie, where he breaks down every microphone, interface, gadget, and accessory you can imagine in voice-over and so much more. If you are in between which mic to buy or are curious about a new boom arm, he’s for sure got a comprehensive shootout comparison or review available on his page.
Anna Brisbin is a voice actor and YouTuber whose channel, Brizzy Voices, offers an inside look to what a day in the life of pursuing a VO career is like. I highly recommend her video on how to start a career in voice acting, for a contemporary look on what it takes to break into the industry.
Available on Amazon, EG Daily, best known as the voice of Tommy Pickles from Rugrats, created a video Voice Acting Seminar that walks you through the introductory principles of voice acting coming straight from one of the best in the biz.
Podcasts have become my recent guilty pleasure over the past few years. Whether I am driving, on the subway, at the gym, or cleaning around the house… I’ve always got my headphones plugged in listening to a podcast, usually one about voice over. Here are some of the best podcasts involving the world of VO.
Voice Over Demo Producer Master, Chuck Duran, and voice actor Stacey J. Aswad’s podcast VO Buzz Weekly is one of the best around… Literally. Winner of Voice Arts Awards Outstanding Voiceover Podcast, VO Buzz weekly has the top voice actors, agents, producers, casting directors, and managers as guests on their show.
Crispin Freeman, a renowned Anime, Animation, and Video Game actor from titles such as Naruto, Overwatch, and Young Justice, hosts the phenomenal podcast Voice Acting Mastery. His resonating and skilled voice creates one of the most enjoyable podcasts to listen to, but also being the professional actor, coach, and director that he is, he touches on all the subjects and stories that offer tremendous value to his listeners. His solo episodes also provide great insight into things such as demos, gear, and various techniques to help you with your craft.
A legend in the voice-over world, Rob Paulsen, most famous for his roles such as Yakko/Pinky (Animaniacs), Donatello/Raphael (Ninja Turtles), and Carl Wheezer (Jimmy Neutron), hosts the Nerdist podcast Talkin’ Toons. As most of his guests happen to be his long-time friends, as well as the best actors in the business, his rapport with them allows for one of the most engaging podcasts on the market. He also talks about his personal experiences and how he got started in the business, touching on the rejections, success, and above all his perseverance into this extremely competitive career. Also, check out his recent book Voice Lessons.
Hosted by voice actor Jamie Muffet, VO School Podcast is one of the best educational resources a voice actor could ask for. There are numerous episodes dedicated to specific lessons such as Voice Health, Business/Legal, using LinkedIn, etc. that you will not find anywhere else.
The gurus of the tech world, Dan Lenard and George Whittam host the best podcast regarding VO tech. George, known as the ‘studio engineer to the stars’ and Dan, the ‘Home Studio expert’, tackle every new piece of gear you can imagine and bring on exceptional guests… From the people who make the stuff to the actors who use them.
The incomparable Dee Bradley Baker, known for his extensive career and mastery of creature voices, has compiled an ‘everything you need to know’ website for voice over. I recommend a thorough sweep of his website for anyone, regardless of where you are at in your career.
A useful website similar to IMDb for finding out “who voiced what” in voice over, such as Video Games, Anime, or Animation. They also have castings for many non-union or school projects, great for those starting out.
One of the tried and true resources for acting information and castings. Backstage has a casting database useful for finding work without an agent in voice over as well as articles and interviews with top professionals in the business.
One of the few pay-to-play Voice Over Commodity Marketplaces that I will recommend to people early in their career. The world of VO is changing rapidly with new technology and capabilities that allow truly anyone to perform voiceover from their closet. BUT! I am still a firm believer of “you get what you pay for” and “the cream will always rise to the top”. Voice123 offers opportunities for many who are looking to get their feet wet in the professional world by auditioning for fair market gigs, as well as some lower-end gigs more suited for beginners or novices.
Not necessarily a website itself… Facebook groups are a terrific place to join your fellow voice actors to talk shop and get feedback on various things in the world of voice over. Some are even run by established working pro’s and even have members from the best in the business. They often post upcoming webinars and classes, as well as conventions throughout the world.
These are just some of my favourite resources available. I also have a variety of videos on my YouTube channel YouTube.com/PaulCastroJr where I talk about my experience breaking into this industry and how to get started. Voice acting is an incredibly competitive career to pursue, hence why even the pros never stop their own research and training of the craft.
About the Author
About the author:
Paul is an Actor and Filmmaker from New York City. In the world of V.O., he has voiced countless commercials and promos for networks like Nickelodeon and various animated shows and video games. On television, he has appeared on shows such as God Friended Me, Blue Bloods, and Limitless. As a producer, he recently released the documentary Madonna and the Breakfast Club on Hulu. His passion for voice acting led him to Los Angeles where he now resides with many projects in production. www.PaulCastroJr.com @PaulCastroJr