HUCK LIGGETT, OF BURBANK’S THE VOICECASTER, ON THE ART OF VOICEOVERS
The Voicecaster has been casting voiceovers for TV & radio commercials, animation, video games, narration, industrials, toys & games for over 30 years.
Working with the top ad agencies and producers in the country on over 15,000 union, celebrity, foreign language and non-union projects continues to make them one of the busiest voiceover casting facilities in the world.
Huck Liggett is the owner and head of casting at the Voicecaster, and has worked in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles both in front of and behind the microphone. Huck takes pride in bringing clients the most competitive talent available for all casting projects.
Do the preparation.
We at the Voicecaster get calls or emails on a regular basis from aspiring talent asking us “How do I get into voiceovers?”
Get the proper training; lay the right groundwork. This means taking voiceover classes/workshops from a reputable facility…even better…study with a casting facility, if possible. Why? Because casting companies are on top of the current trends & changes in the market. We’ve got an inside edge by dealing with ad agencies and producers daily. So we know what advertisers are looking for.
And by studying with a casting facility, you’ll be ‘getting your foot in the door’ of a place that could possibly consider you for casting projects. Part of our job is to seek competitive talent for our clients and we often find new talent by working with actors from workshops.
Do your homework to find the right facility first, so you’re not wasting your time and money. There are far too many people charging for instruction who just don’t deliver.
Once you’ve done the prep, you’ll need a competitive demo…key word here is ‘competitive’. Go to the right people to get the right product. Again, this is where experience prevails.
Part of our process as a casting house is to screen demos on a regular basis. After decades of experience, we know what the agents are looking to hear. Finding the right ‘fit’ with a demo producer is important. Make sure you work with someone you trust. After all, your career will depend on the result.
If you don’t know what should be on a commercial demo…get into a class to find out.
Submitting a demo:
Today, demos are submitted to agents and casting facilities either by CD or online via MP3. The VORG (Voiceover Resource Guide) is a great resource for information on these places in LA. You can access the VORG online.
When contacting an agent or casting house, be brief and precise. Mention reputable instructors and/or facilities with whom you’ve studied or worked, in order to bring positive attention to your submission. If you don’t get a response initially, then a follow-up via postcard or brief note is advised. Be positive and professional. Often it’s a matter of timing.
The good news is that our clients and the agents are always open to NEW TALENT. The ‘catch’ is that talent needs to be COMPETITIVE. And that can only happen by doing the proper preparation. You can get successful results if you put the time and honest effort into it. Don’t be in rush, as this does take time.
As voiceover continues to evolve, home studios are popping up everywhere. This allows talent to be a part of the audition process regardless of where they might be located. The majority of auditions outside the larger cities tend to be non-union
Most major casting houses require you to audition at their facility for hands on directing. Some may be open to outside submissions depending on the specs for the job. This could bring opportunity to talent outside the big cities.
The advantage to having your own recording equipment is the convenience of auditioning on your schedule, day or night, and simply submitting online. Some actors even record the actual jobs from their home studios.
The challenge with recording at home is the sense of isolation and absence of outside direction. This can cause a redundancy in actors’ auditions. Find a way to keep your choices fresh. Always follow the specific direction supplied with each piece of copy.
There are a number of LA actors with home studios. In an effort to avoid repetition of delivery and to stay current, many of these voiceover actors will come to the Voicecaster and other facilities to record their auditions. Some come occasionally for fine-tuning, and others (who don’t have home studios) utilize our service on a regular basis. It’s an effective way to stay on top of your game. It’s important to find someone in your area who can help you in the same way.
We offer a service called “VO ‘n GO”, where actors can bring their audition copy to us for an extra set of eyes & ears, and our expert direction. We direct, record and immediately send those auditions via email.
There is certainly opportunity for those seeking work in voiceover …but, like anything else, it takes dedication, persistence and diligent preparation.
The Voicecaster offers voiceover workshops on all levels: Beginning, Intermediate, Audition/Pro and Animation/voice-matching. Classes are taught at their facility in Burbank, CA. They also offer commercial demo production.
Learn more about the Voicecaster on their website at www.voicecaster.com