The Proper Way to Use Our Free Resources
Over the years, I’ve worked with a lot of voice actors; casting them for paid work, directing them for clients, and helping them get more work. And of all the resources Edge Studio provides to the voiceover community, there are three that consistently help all levels of voice actors the most. In this article I hope to teach you what we at Edge consider the proper way to use our free resources.
We often see people using these resources incorrectly, as a shortcut to become successful. These shortcuts will actually hinder your career, and blow up in your face down the road. It’s important to understand that we provide these free resources as a supplement to your education, not the solution to immediate success, allowing you to hone your voice over skills on your own time.
So, I thought I’d share my thoughts on some and outline the proper way to use our free resources. That way, you will get the most out of Edge Studio’s free resources.
Here are my top three that I recommend to every student I work with:
1) Edge Studio’s free Voice Over Script Library is a truly incredible resource, for those who use it as it was intended. It’s a massive library of voice over copy (about 6,500 scripts) that are categorized into about 50 subcategories and alphabetized. So you can practice with scripts you’re comfortable with, and more importantly, you can explore and try new styles. The critical thing – and I STRESS THIS – is to not use these scripts on your demo. We believe scripts on your demo should be tailored to you, your voice type, your interests, the type of work you want, and so on. Further, the scripts on your demo should not be on other voice actors’ demos. This is why we customize scripts for every demo we help voice actors record; we even have a copywriter on staff at Edge to make sure every script is tailored to each student. Your demo needs to be unique- it’s your calling card, your resume, your headshot, and if it doesn’t stand out from the crowd it will do way more harm than good. We get self produced demos all the time with scripts from our library and we see them coming from a mile away. They all sound the same, and that’s not good- how can you set yourself apart from the competition if you are using the same spots as 150 other voice actors? Use our script library as a way to practice and get ideas for demos, but not for actual demo records.
Ok, so what’s the best way to practice using scripts from our library? This brings us to our next resource:
2) The free Feedback Forum – a ‘peer-to-peer review site’. This is my favorite resource we offer because it is unbelievably helpful. You can upload recordings so that you can receive feedback from other users (you’ll typically get 3 comments within a day or two), and if you’re training with us, your coach can monitor your ability to work professionally. And more importantly, you can provide feedback to other users. This may be intimidating at first, but stick with it, because it trains you to listen and direct like a client so that you can better decipher what clients want and ultimately win more auditions. This is where you can use the scripts from our library- pick one you like, record it, and upload the recording. You’ll be amazed at what you learn, and how you can improve your reads. If you are not booking work regularly, and don’t know why, this is a great way to get free advice from the voice over community. Are your recording levels too low? Or, are your reads too choppy? This is the fastest way to get feedback on your recordings, and learn what you can do to improve your submissions. IF THERE IS ONE FREE RESOURCE YOU USE, PLEASE MAKE IT THIS ONE!!!
3) Finally, our new Ask Me Anything sessions are a free voiceover group discussion in which you can ask me, David Goldberg, anything about the voice over industry. We’ve been hosting it on Zoom every other Thursday at 1pm ET, for four months. It’s super fun, super helpful, and the audience is quickly growing – it’s cool that people from around the world join in. Siobhan O’Loughlin, our social media coordinator here at Edge, hosts the call; she reads participants’ questions out loud, and I answer them. And the questions have been great; in fact many participants have told us that they’re getting answers to questions they’ve always wondered about. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for notifications about the next Ask Me Anything Zoom session. As an added way to help the community, every attendee gets a special credit they can use at Edge towards a coaching session with me or any of our other incredible instructors (it’s another way we try to continually support the VO community)!
All in all, we (and I mean all of us here at Edge Studio) are here to help you in any way we can and we’re happy to help you understand the proper way to use our free resources listed above and the other handy elements of our Free VO Resource Center. We’re a huge group of recognized, successful folks in our voice over industry. We’re here to help you get to where you want to get to. And we all have found that the free resources I mentioned above (and more) are amazingly helpful at supporting your learning-path when getting there.