We welcome you to read the thoughts and sentiments of some of our upper level graduates. See what they think, and read about their experiences with Voices For All from their own personal perspective. Students from all over the country choose to start and further their career in the voiceover industry with VFA, and we are proud to display some of their feelings about us here in their own words, unedited. Some students even choose to send us success updates. Please visit our Success Updates section to view them. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or inquiries you may have.
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SUCCESS UPDATE: It's funny where life takes you. I had graduated from my VFA master class over a year ago, and at that point was fired up about establishing my new VO career. But shortly after I graduated, a full-time job offer came in and it was just too good to turn down. So I put the VO equipment and aspirations aside, planning for this to only be a temporary deferral. Given my chaotic corporate schedule, eventually the equipment got boxed and put in the basement, and I kept saying to myself, "some day, when things slow down ..."
Cut to: A week ago. My ad agency was coordinating a Medical Minute radio campaign for one of our hospital clients. We were not happy with the radio talent's interview reads, because they were coming off as very "announcer-y," when we really needed a conversational, normal-person feel to mesh well with our VIP medical guest speakers, most of whom have had no voice training at all. I suggested to my creative director that, given my own voice training, he have me re-record the host parts and splice them into one of the existing spots as a comparison test.
He agreed, and in one chaotic weekend, I unboxed equipment, set up my home studio, and re-recorded/mixed the revised spot with new music, using only my VFA binder as a guide. The creative director approved the decision to have me send this test to the client, and everybody agreed that 1) I would be the new voice for these spots and 2) For all future spots, we will have me record both the guest speakers and my host parts onsite at the hospital, including coaching the guest speakers through their reads. Eric and Courtney, as well as the extensive VFA grad site resources, were very helpful in helping me figure out how to make this operation a portable, "one-man recording studio."
Since this Medical Minute campaign will be going on for more than a year, and we have a new guest speaker each two weeks, this will be an amazing experience for me on both the VO recording and production sides. And when our media director listened to my revised spot, she was blown away, and is now keeping me in mind as potential voice talent when she hears of freelance opportunities.
It was more than a year in coming, and totally unexpected since I had (all but) given up on doing more VO work this year, but now I am completely on fire again and excited about getting back into voiceover, both in my day job and in my free time!
Last week, I returned from taking the VFA master class in Los Angeles. I am no stranger to these types of short courses, since I've taken them in other fields. So as much as I had read in the testimonials on the site that the course was good, I had my skepticism meter cranked to full, and I set the bar pretty high for the instructor. And he delivered. Eric Hunt is an amazing instructor. As with my intro course instructor, Mike Elmore, Eric brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to his master class. The energy is welcome. Make no mistake, if you sign up for this course, it's a grueling weekend. You cover an amazing variety of material in a short amount of time, followed by a 2-hour recording session, which most of my classmates and I equated to an athletic event. You don't realize how physical this field can be until you do a bunch of takes and really commit getting your body into it and going for broke, trying to create the most realistic character you can for the script. But even though the weekend was jam-packed, I'm happy to find that I have retained much of it. Plus, the course materials they give you are worth their weight in gold and contain even more in-depth material, to supplement what you learn in class. Want to know all of the insider tricks for how to get the most out of your voice and where to find the jobs? Want to know (in excruciating detail for those of us not familiar with such things) how to set up a home studio and use audio editing software? VFA has the answers, and because of this comprehensive approach, it has been less than a week and I am well on my way to getting my marketing materials done and working on setting up my home studio. Yes, you can find some of this stuff in books, or you could hire a private coach. In fact, I have heard criticisms from some people online, who think that a weekend course is not an adequate amount of instruction to launch a voiceover career, and who argue that the course fee would be better spent seeking out help from a local voiceover coach. I disagree. I knew exactly what I wanted out of this course: a no-holds-barred, complete immersion into a VO boot camp. I was excited at the prospect of being a voiceover actor, and I had been told that I have some potential. However, I was still a bit nervous speaking in front of a group of people. I knew that in VFA's group immersion course, I would have no choice but to get out the jitters. Also, when I started researching pathways to a voiceover career, the sheer amount of information I found was a bit overwhelming. I needed somebody to break it down for me and show me the key areas to focus on. I got this and more from the master class. I also love the group support aspect of this course. Classmates are encouraged to stay in contact and help each other, and even though it's been less than a week, our class is already connecting and using each other as resources. Speaking of support, this is a key area of focus for VFA staff members and is, in my opinion, what separates them from other places. From the moment I took my intro course until now, every staff member has been extremely attentive, and has been proactive in making sure that I have everything I need. This support has no expiration date. VFA says that once you have completed the master course, you are part of their family. And so far, I can see that they mean it. Having this safety net is making my business launch that much easier.Ryan P. - MI
Wow! That's the first word that comes to mind when I think about the service Voices For All provides! The Master Class was incredible! Mike Elmore was truly an example of a master at work. During our Master Class in Chicago, Mike lead us every step of the way through the journey from timid participants to willing, able, capable and enthusiastic performers. The class was fun, upbeat, lively and educational. I can't say enough about the Master Class. Anyone who is thinking of getting into this field that is as "clear as mud" to the novice would be well-served to invest in their success and take this class with Voices For All. By the end, when you're recording your demos, you'll feel like you've been doing this for much longer than a three-day weekend. Since the end of class, I've had some questions and guess what? I clicked on the resources tab in the "For Master Class Graduates Only" and there they were! The answers to my questions! Love this! And I'm really glad to be a part of the VFA family!Rhonda A. - IL
I am glad to be following my passion-- Speaking! After 30 years of teaching I am branching out in using my voice elsewhere. Voice For All has been the connection, counseling, and cooperating link for which I was searching! My Master's Class just completed with excellent coaching from Mike Elmore. My equipment is ordered and I feel I am well prepared for this new journey. More to come...Mary D. - MO
Words seem inadequate to express the appreciation I have for the VFA team!! From an Intro Class, which piqued my curosity, to the Master Class with the incredibly talented Mike Elmore, to Courtney Thayer, who has answered a myriad of questions, I am about to launch my business in early 2011. The tech side of things has been my most difficult part and yet, all I have to do is read the sections of the Workbook to watch software come to life, and an email to Courtney with another question and quick response, and I get more and more comfortable with how it all works. Bravos to all of you at VFA. May we all have a wonderful New Year!!Peg A. - WA
I’ve been through hundreds of training classes while in the service, working for the Federal government and for a major aerospace company. I can honestly say that Eric was the best instructor I’ve ever had in all those years. His knowledge of the vocation, his experiences and especially his enthusiasm in teaching the techniques was remarkable. My friend, Mike M. and I both really appreciated the interaction, humor and talent that Eric has to make this a memorable experience. Thanks for having such great talent to spur us on.Chris K. - WA
I had been following an intuitive urge since the 1990’s to get involved in voice over work. Finally I took the introductory course at the University in Cincinnati and sometime later, I enrolled in the Master Class in August 2010. I felt great. Being in the room with adults my age who were at similar cross roads in their lives was a welcomed sign for me that I had made a good decision. Reading the scripts was enjoyable. It was such a welcomed relief from the work I was currently doing. Immediately I began to assemble my home studio and set up my business. Pro-tools was intimidating and a challenge I just didn’t want to face because I was not comfortable with the software, nor computer literate with the Apple system. I soon realized that working at home, interacting with only web pages, looking for work via the internet was foreign and very uncomfortable for me. I am from the old school where you engaged face to face. I called Courtney and told her I was having troubles, she helped me via a phone patch and we worked on Pro-tools. Wow! I was surprised. I have continued to call her many times, to the point of simply being embarrassed. She has never changed her posture, polite, patient, positive and encouraging. I have never changed my reaction. I am overcome with gratitude and have received more from VFA than I every expected. Courtney’s support has been the greatest contributor to my being able to hang in there. And you know what? She was right. I am able to do more with Pro-tools than I expected. I am more comfortable with interacting with web sites. I had spoken to a local VO celebrity in Cincinnati and he told me that face to face auditions are becoming rare. The majority of auditions happen via the internet because it is cheaper. If one passes the audition then the company will arrange for studio space to make the final recording. VFA shared this information in the August Master Class, now it has been proven to me. I made a good decision when I invested in myself with VFA. Thank you all very much. This has been and will continue to be a very rewarding career and business move.Sabrina H. - OH
Eric Hunt is such a vibrant and dynamic instructor. I just completed the class this month of November. It was exciting and challenging. I had some trepidation on Saturday, feeling like I wanted to quit: am I worth it? am I good enough? can I do this? Will someone actually hire me? I realized that I just have to jump in with both feet and embrace this new adventure as I stepped out of my box, my comfort zone! As soon as I did that, the anxieties left and I had the most marvelous recording sessions. I tell you, I am so thankful I went through with this endeavor. I'm in the process of getting my home studio and marketing kit, and now I have so much to learn and look forward too. This class is well worth the time and money and I would recommend it highly!!Barbara H. - WA
Wow the Master Class was AWESOME! Eric Hunt did an excellent job making the class fun and very informative. I was in the Chicago class in October 2010 and I know I am on a new career path. Very excited to receive my demo's, which were put together very well. I even had someone review them that works with voice over artists and they thought I had done commercial work already. So fabulous job coaching Eric! VFA is a class act all the way around. Just installed Pro Tools and there is so much information on VFA's website to help get me started.Laura N. - MI
I recently took the Master Class as taught by Mike Elmore. This class gave me the information I need to get started in this industry. They gave me the information to set up my in home studio, and my marketing plan. Mike Elmore is one of the best in the voiceover business, and low and behold the man can teach! The class was fun and informative at the same time. They have coached me in how to do voiceovers of all different types, from narriative to commerical. I now have two fully producced professional demos to use. I feel as though I have the tools necessary, and the support I can count on to succed in this business thanks to my training in the Masters Class, and the resources you get as a graduate. Thanks Voicesforall.com!Brian P. - CA
I attended the Master Class in Chicago last October. It was great, I had the greatest opportunities in my life to learn in detail about Voiceovers. VFA gave me enough tools to start my own bussiness. Eric Hunt our coach is a great professional. He knew how to take the best from my voice. I am glad I found them!!Edith Q. - OH
I'm glad I got going in this field. The demos are great, the Master Class was cool (and Fun & Informative) and it was nice to get to know the class and the instructor as well. Thanks for your continuing support!David S. - IA
For those of you thinking about taking any course from this organization, and waffling about the cost, I can state first hand (Masters class graduate 11/8/10 - San Jose, Ca) that it was worth every cent, and then some. This is not a fly-by-night operation...far from it. They work with you every step of the way; from the moment I took the introductory course back in April, to this very day, the staff has been courteousLarry C. - CA
A couple of weeks ago, I took both of VFA's advanced workshops, in Characters and Audiobooks. As with my intro and master classes, I was impressed with both the content and the quality of the instruction. Both Eric (Characters) and Leah (Audiobooks) are top-notch teachers, and it's all of the little things they do when coaching us that makes the difference, in my opinion. Both are clearly passionate about their respective specialties, offer great insight into each field and are quick to point out both our performance strengths as well as areas where we can improve in our reads. I left this power weekend fired up for all of the possibilities in both the Characters and Audiobooks areas of voiceover.
Of course, since it has taken me two weeks to make the time to write this testimonial, and since this was one of the first items on my post-workshops-light-a-fire-under-my-butt list of VO tasks to complete, it's clear that one of the key messages throughout all VFA courses â€“ the need to be diligent and keep the momentum going in your VO career â€“ is still relevant. For that reason, I'm also glad that all of the VFA instructors make themselves available and provide that extra level of support. I know that as I start working through my massive list of home studio, marketing and practicing tasks, exploring all of the opportunities in both Characters and Audiobooks, I'll be able to reach out to Eric and Leah for guidance, support â€“ and even a constructive kick in the pants when I need it.Ryan P. - MI
It has been a pleasure to start on my voiceover career path with Voices for All. They have quality people who are there to help you navigate the unknown, making you feel success is within your reach. Both the introductory instructor, Patrick, and the master class teacher, Mike, provided the information and motivation necessary to assist me getting where I want to go. My demos sound terrific and are wow-ing family and friends. I believe it’s only a matter of time before I’m writing again with a success update.Michelle B. - WA
Last week I completed the Masters Class with Mike Elmore. Mike is a terrific instructor and the weekend went by quickly. There were points when I felt completely overwhelmed by all the information that was given but by the end of my recording session I felt confident about setting up my own business as a voice over artist. Thank you Voices for All and Mike for providing the opportunity to learn more about what is needed and to offer support for those ready to move forward in this field.Elizabeth W. - CA