The Voice Quiz – Where do you fit?
The Voice Quiz – Where do you fit?
Discover where you might be best suited in the Voice Acting Industry by taking this enlightening questionnaire.
- Why are you interested in Voice Acting?
(1 points) – I think this is an easy/fun way to earn a living
(2 points) – I’ve always been told I should be on radio/tv.
(3 points) – I love to read out loud
(4 points) – I need to find a home for the voices in my head
- Where do you fit in the following statements?
(1 point) – I can do a ton of voices
(2 points) – I know business
(3 points) – I have an extensive acting/voicing background
(4 points) – I am well trained with a great understanding and demo
(5 Points) – I have been doing this for at least 2 years or more
- Where are your strengths in the voice industry
(1 point) – Reading out loud
(2 points) – Broadcasting experience
(3 Points) – Theatre/Animation/Video Games
(4 points) – Commercial, Narration type projects
(5 Points) – Comm, Animation, Narration, Audiobooks, Imaging/Promos etc.
- What best describes your business experience
(1 point) – Little to no business experience
(2 points) – Enough to get by
(3 points) – Eager to start/create and maintain a business
(4 points) – Have a decent business background and know what to do
(5 points) – I already run my own business
- What best describes your recording environment
(1 point) – Don’t have one yet or too many noise/issues to operate one
(2 point) – Make shift studio – I get by
(3 points) – portable studio with decent equipment
(4 points) – dedicated good quality booth and good equipment
(5 points) – Sound PROOF booth set up – operate own studio
- What best describes your recording knowledge
(1 point) – Don’t have a clue
(2 points) – I can record off my computer
(3 points) – I can assign my equipment to software like audacity
(4 points) – I can record and set up my own equipment and most software
(5 pionts) – I have engineer expertise
- What best describes your editing experience
(1 point) – I don’t know how to record into a program
(2 points) – I just send in all my recordings as they are – no editing needed
(3 points) – I know how to get rid of mistakes/breaths and save/record
(4 points) – I have good editing expertise and can accommodate most needs
(5 points) – I have engineer experience
- What best describes your personality
(1 point) – Don’t work well with others
(2 point) – Don’t work well on my own
(3 points) – Work well with others and on my own
(4 points) – People Pleaser, Hard Worker
(5 points) – Happy and Eager, Positive, Adaptable, confident
- What following statement describes you best?
(1 point) – Easily discouraged if I can’t do it right the first time
(2 point) – Prefer to work on my own
(3 points) – Can take direction, but work best on my own
(4 points) – Take direction well – prefer to have direction
(5 points) – Open to all direction. Work well with direction and on my own
- What statement best describes your financial goals in Voice Acting
(1 point) – Plan to make millions
(2 points) – Just want to dabble here and there
(3 points) – Want to do this part time only
(4 points) – Work full time – $60,000 plus
(5 points) – Plan to go all the way – 6 figures!
If you scored:
10 – 20 points:
Sounds like you might be at the beginning stages of your career, or perhaps at a stand still and its time to re-evaluate. If you are at the beginning of your career, then that’s okay, don’t get too discouraged; however make sure you’re being realistic. Have a specific goal in mind, but make sure it’s something you can accomplish and afford. This industry can take years before you break in enough to make a decent wage, so be patient, do WHATEVER it takes to create an aggressive training plan that will get you into the next level. No one can afford to, but you can’t afford not to. You have to want this as bad as the rest of us, or it will be hard to succeed. That might not be what you want to hear, but you need to be realistic about what to expect.
If you have been at this a while and this is where you are scoring, it’s time to re-evaluate your investment in this industry. Are you putting in the time and investment you need to get the return you are looking for? Are you making up excuses as to why it isn’t happening? Blaming the industry? Perhaps this is not as easy as you had hoped. There are many reasons for this, so if you still want to make this work, I would highly suggest an evaluation session with a coach you trust who is not afraid to tell it to you like it is, or at the very least to help you to quit assuming its anything but you! It could be your acting skills aren’t what they need to be, despite what you may think! It could be that your business skills aren’t quite there. It could be you are lazy and waiting for it all to come to you, perhaps your marketing plan isn’t working, you haven’t met the right people, or your demo just doesn’t cut the mustard, no matter how much you paid for it! Either way it’s time to set a new plan and make this happen for you. You might need a boost, so give in to the fact that we all need a little help along the way! Don’t give up – challenge yourself to succeed and prove to everyone you are worth the investment – at the very least prove it to you!
If you are in this category, a great place to look for work is in the telephony industry. This industry doesn’t require a high level of experience and almost every company needs a message on hold at some point. Try your local companies; doctors, lawyers, local grocery store, hair salon, mechanic etc. Convince them that they are losing business by not having a professional voice mail. Be warned however, you may need to know how to get them set up with a telephony company to accommodate multiple messages and voice prompting etc. So get in partners with a company who provides the service. Some companies may only need you to phone in the greeting, making it that much easier for the newbie. Not easy to get into, but if you look hard enough, you will find something.
Audiobooks are another great place to try, but be fore-warned, you must know what you’re doing when it comes to recording and editing a story to life. However if you are in the right location (US and Europe) you can join ACX and volunteer to start. This will teach you editing, reading out loud and so much more. Can be super frustrating and not for everyone, but a good starter place for experience.
I also recommend volunteering your voice to gain experience. Contact your local Associations for the blind and offer to volunteer to read newspapers/stories to the blind. Volunteer at your local library/senior home to read to kids/adults, if they are paying attention all the way through, you’re doing a great job, if they are fidgeting and restless, you’ve lost them and need to find a way to re-engage. Audiences are great tools to learn from.
20 – 30 points:
This means you’re starting to develop a good handle on the Voice Acting industry. Perhaps you know exactly what you’re doing in one area, but still struggling in a few others. Let’s say you’ve been at this a while and yet you’re still not hitting the mark you’re struggling for. This is the time to keep moving forward, but accept the fact that you might need a bit more knowledge to move forward. If you’re newer, then you’re doing the right thing, keep doing what you’ve been doing, and look for more advanced tools so you keep moving forward in growth. Stay aggressive in your pursuit. Don’t allow any obstacles to get in the way.
If you feel you should be scoring higher with your knowledge and expertise, then perhaps its time for an assessment session to see if its in your acting skills, or perhaps it’s time to have a look at your marketing package – demo (most importantly), branding, logo, business ethic, where you’re getting your work/potential work from etc.
This is still a good category as you are on the road to success. Now we just need to pave that way for you. Much like someone who’s just started out, you can safely pursue telephony and audiobooks, however you might be just about ready to add the local market in there too. Such as local commercials, local narrations, website tutorials etc. Small market Voicing. There are plenty of jobs in this category but the pay isn’t as great, so it takes more jobs to make it happen. The great thing however is that you are building up a clientele base. That’s what you need to move up the later.
It’s time to put your aggressive business skills to the test. Make sure you have a GREAT demo/sample, and get out there and contact all your local businesses and see where you might be able to fit in. Let’s face it, most companies need a voice, they just don’t realize it.
30 – 40 points:
Looks like you’re ready to join (or are already a part of) the full time voice talent pool. There is a large amount of us out there all vying for the same opportunities, so one of the biggest things standing in your way at this point is competition. Perhaps you’re newer to the industry, but you’ve worked really hard at it, or found just the right connections to help you advance and you’re in the midst of a very successful career. Or, more than likely, you’ve been at this for some time and you are a full time talent. You have a great handle on what you’re doing and how to make this industry a success. Perhaps one area is stronger than the other, but you seem to have found a good balance to get you by.
Now is the time to specialize in the direction you want to go. We can all be great at every genre in this industry, but it’s super important that you choose a path that you can focus on. If your passion is character work for animations and video games, it’s time to get serious about it. Do as much as you can from your home studio, but accept the fact that once you have the experience, you may have to move to where the animations and video games are produced such as an L.A, NY, Vancouver, Toronto, or Texas. If you work overseas, then you have to find where these opportunities could be for your circumstances. If you are only able to work from your location and record remotely, then pursue Video Games and Audiobooks the most. Animation is a bit more difficult to find from home, but there are a ton of people/companies out there creating in-house type animation that would only need an at home talent.
If you know character work isn’t for you and you’re more successful in the commercial, narration type worlds, then it’s time to get focused and take it up a notch. If you are already voicing national commercials, and are finding a decent amount of bookings, fantastic, keep at it.
If national commercials are the area you want to head in, then you have to start getting aggressive to find an agent who will take you on, and lead you to these types of projects. You have to want to dig as deep as you can to compete in this caliber of talent pool. This may mean additional training or more investment in your auditions. You can also try marketing yourself as well to these big giants, but having an agent will help you get in the door. Also find work yourself and bring it to your agent, they will help you negotiate and will take you very seriously if you do.
If you’re finding your booking more narrations/documentaries, start assessing what types of projects you are booking the most. Where is your voice age? Is it youthful, then think of companies that want that bright, eager personality and go after them. The sky is the limit for the youthful voice. Most casting companies are saturated with English speaking talent, so they only want youth and unique voices. If you are more aged in your voice, have no fear; there is still a ton of work out there to be had. You just have to realize where you fit. Think of companies that need a much more serious, authoritative and aggressive approach. Find your personality and match it to companies who suit you!
If you are more successful still doing radio type spots or imaging/promo worlds, then this is a great opportunity to up the game. What are you doing to land more stations? Create an aggressive campaign that will get you out there. Show up to media events where you can meet the decision makers in person. You should already have some credentials to showcase your experience and I expect at this point you have a decent demo. Don’t wait for all these opportunities to come to you. Get out there and find them and don’t stop until you’re DONE!
40 – 50 points:
Well aren’t you the hard-core talent. You know your stuff and it’s obvious. Just remember there is never a TOP, so don’t ever stop adding to what you’ve been doing to get you this far. You’ve taken the steps it takes to be successful, no matter how you got here. What we have to be careful of here the most is complacency. It’s easy to trust in the years of clientele you have built up. Whether it’s because you’ve worked your butt off and now word of mouth has flourished, or you always ace your auditions, or you’ve been at this for as long as you can remember. What you don’t want to do is stop working at it. All clients will need to change the voice at some point. This holds true for most industries, short of animations and TV series.
At this level of expertise, I’m sure you’re good at many genres. Hopefully you’ve focused in on your specialties and found a great home. I encourage you to grow with the times and the trends of the industry. We can tend to get monotonous in our voicing routines and that can come through in our work. Continue to treat each audition/opportunity as the most important job of your life. Don’t stop looking for clients. Keep a good steady list of your clientele and the types of projects you do the most and continue to find other clientele that is similar, without being competitive.
At the very least you are on the right path. Keep it up. Prepare for the roller coaster that you signed in for and keep building that business of yours.
If you are finding that you are scoring high, but not booking much, then you may be the same as many of us these days. The industry is changing rapidly so if you don’t stay on top of the changes, you will a possible decline in your bookings. The bottom line is the competition is growing rapidly, making it harder and harder to do what you’ve always done. That is going to take a more modern and creative approach. It could be that perhaps it’s time to re-address your voice skills. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid of it, rise to the challenge and succeed it. You need to create a plan that will get you work, so you may need some help to evaluate what is missing for you. NEVER be afraid to ask for help!
This quiz is just meant to be a sample gage to see where you might fit in this industry and offer possible direction to help you to keep growing. All evaluations are done so by speculation and previous experiences only and are not meant to be an exact definition of where you sit in the industry.
If I can help you in any way increase your score, or help guide you in the right direction, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will give you a hand
Until next time everyone
All my best
VO Chef Deb (aka Deb Munro)