Voice Acting Q&A

Voice Acting Q&A

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Hello, I'm Joshua Seth and you probably know me as Tai the leader of the Digimon, but I've done so much more than that. We're going to be talking about voiceovers today how to become a voice actor. How to Train Your voice to sound your best whether or not you want to be a voice actor for fun and profit as a lucrative side hustle or as a career as I did, or just to sound better on your podcasts and your interviews, content creation, stuff like that. I can answer any questions about that. Now, here we go. If you can hear me let me know because it has been a while since I have done one of these lives.

Surprisingly, I have been very, very busy. Since COVID hits all kinds of virtual shows virtual speeches, virtual classes for voice actors, and which I'll be running a voice acting workshop this weekend. That's why I thought I'd jump on and answer questions for people if they want right now. So looks like things are working if they weren't, I would assume I would get some feedback. Let's go to it. Shall we go to it? Let's go directly to the the content here we go.

Okay, here we are in my office.

So I'm hoping people will have questions that I can answer. That's sort of how I set this up. So if you if you're watching if you do have any questions about voice acting voiceovers, how to become one how to do it, how to audition, best practices for demo tapes, how to get agents how to train your voice microphones, mic technique, sound treatment for your room. Anything you know, like I said, voice acting podcasting, content creation, anything like that. I'll be happy to answer your questions. Right now. In the meantime, I'll Vamp a little bit and review.

Most of you know me as the voice of one of these projects, probably Tai on Digimon over there, which I'm still doing and have been voicing for 20 years and all eight movies and the TV show not just time but a whole bunch of other voices. I was the first 10 to man and I played Motimon and a bunch of other characters until the producers decided there's too much Joshua Seth in season one did you mind and they started hiring other voice actors, which is fine. Lots of work to go around.

After that, I starred Akira, which is my favorite thing that I've ever done because it's my favorite anime movie. And it's the thing that got me into voice acting in the first place. Because I was a film student. I went to film school at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where I studied how to do this stuff in a more formal setting. And I had a radio show on WNYC in New York City and created a demo and got an agent in Hollywood.

I've told this story on podcasts and things before so I'll skip over all that but that's how I became a voice actor that and the fact that my my father was a radio psychologist not unlike Frazier but before Frazier. So when I was in high school, I used to go to the radio studio in Cleveland, and I'd watch how the sausage got made. I'd sit on the side where the engineers were in the director and the producer and watch how they created a radio show from their end. And then I'd sit on my dad's side and sometimes be on the air as a kid on the microphone got comfortable with mic technique.

Then, obviously when I went to college, and was studying film, TV and radio anyway, I got my own radio show and use the demo that I created from that show to get an agent in Hollywood. And then I was an overnight success just took seven years to become an overnight success, hey, seven years, seven years of figuring things out learning how the business works, learning how to be a voice actor, and that's, that's why I like giving these classes now because I'm giving you the real voice of experience from somebody who's been doing this for decades. And no BS.

Like I said, put your questions in the comments when you have them because this is what this is all about. So I can answer them for you not just so I can talk about myself. I'm just talking about myself until you guys asked me some questions, basically. And there's a lot of teachers out there that their objective is to sell you stuff, more classes, demo tapes, that sort of thing. I get it. It's a business. But that's not my objective.

My objective is to share my knowledge. And it was hard one like it took me a long time to figure out how to be a successful voice actor how to have a successful career in voice acting and not not do it as a hobby but do it as the main thing as as the career and once I hit with Digimon I worked nonstop for five years, after which I kind of famously quit at the end at the top of my career at the top of the business so that I could go on tour and do live shows which I've never regretted for a second because I got to tour and travel the world and meet people and and now because of COVID everything is shut down and I'm back in the studio essentially.

So that's where I am now I will mention one thing here before I get to your questions, which is this microphone cost about $99 And I did pick ups in other words I did like last minute lines and changes and additions for that movie. Did you mind adventure Kizuna last year from my own home and that just proves that anybody can do this now from anywhere.

You don't have to move to Los Angeles like I did, or New York City like I did. In order to be in the business you you can literally do it to some degree with some level of success anywhere in the world and you don't even need a lot of money to do it.

This is $100 mic and I have a basic mixer, but you don't necessarily need that. I'll I'll show you a mic you can use that a lot of my students use a little bit later. I have a slide setup for mics a little later on. But most people know me from these movies, so that's why I thought it started there.

All right, let me just say this before I get to questions. Oh my gosh, I have a lot of people watching now. Look at his look at all these people watching. That's pretty cool. Hi, everybody. Oh, thank you for being here.

All right. The main thing I want to say before we get to your questions, which hopefully will be coming in text in a minute. Is this voice acting is acting as it was now. Voice acting is acting.

The seems lost on people these days when I started acting was an art form. It was something that people sort of spent the time to learn as they would any other art form. It was it was understood and accepted that you would pay your dues and you would learn as you go and you you would just want to sort of be in the environment first and learn from people who came before and just it's the same I mean, it's the same with any art form.

There's a process of learning at a distance which you're doing right now. And then learning on set or on site or in the studio. Whether you're observing or you're like a bit player. And then and then eventually graduating to where you yourself. Start in the shower at the start of the show. Everybody wants to skip this part. They just want to make money right away. How can I make money in voice voiceovers? Then anyone say voice acting as a voiceovers? That is a big mistake.

Yeah, you can do it. You can make money in, in voiceovers, I guess go online and book a non union commercial or something and it's money in. Yeah, yes, you could do that. That's that's not what I'm teaching.

Because what is there to teach? Where does it work? That's, that's very transactional. I mean, go on Fiverr and try to $5 and somebody will book you today. That's not the point. Here. The point is acting is a process of self discovery. of creating characters of self expression of sharing your essence as a human being with others, and is the process of bringing to life what is written on the page so that when you speak it, it sounds like it's coming out for the first time unrehearsed and unaffected. So that it sounds natural, and so that it captivates the attention of the listener and their imagination as well.

This is how to, how to use your voice as an instrument, how to create characters, how to do scene work, how to how to maintain characters once you've created them. So that you can go back to them at different sessions. Maybe for me, sometimes years apart and still hit it so it sound exactly the same. There's a system and a process and techniques. You can learn to do these sorts of things. It's it's acting, okay. So if you learn nothing else from me in this q&a than that, please take that away.

Voice acting is not just transactional. It's not just like, well, I have an interesting sounding way. You know, people a guy can do voice acting because I sound interesting. Lots of people sound interesting. That doesn't mean you can sustain it over a two hour or four hour recording session, or many episodes of a cartoon or something or that they even want to hire you for one voice. Typically in animation contracts. For instance, one of the reasons I did those smaller parts in Digimon like Batman and others is because they could get me to do it for free while I was doing Tai, because that's how the contracts are written three, three voices for the price of one, for instance. So it's good to have some versatility as well.

Now we've got some some questions coming in. But okay, I'll jump to the questions. Let's see. Here we go.

And Robert, Robert Ryan gets it. Yes. Voice acting is anything good? I knew if I just said it over and over. I'm going to do okay, Aaron is saying How did you come up with the voices for Moti mon I'll just stick with that. One. Um, I was I happen to remember it. So I, one of the techniques I teach my voice acting students is to come up with a catalogue of characters that you can do and that you can reference when the time is right. I have some that I put on my very first demo coming out of college 20 Some years ago that I've never used that I could still do.

Back then I wrote them on index cards. And I would come up with a line like a tagline that would remind me of the character. Some sort of some sort of physicality like maybe maybe they're very nasal or maybe they have some sort of like a tick or something or weird laugh and I'd write that down on the index card. Now you can do it on your phone, obviously. And, and then I would name the character like a character, Ernest, Mr. Smedley and make your memory I always imagined him with big round cook with glasses, and he's always pushing the best is upon his nose and I have that written down on the card and and then his line to get me into it. It's just and then just just nimbly and Mr. There's not much to it.

But let's say there's something written on the script that you're auditioning for and says, Okay, this is like a, like a student like a grade school student, 10 year old student, and he's very bookish and nerdy and the other kids are all picking on him by the end of the series. You know, he finds his courage to whatever, you know, but at this point, he's, you know, he's kind of nerdy, like, when we do this, you can't be a guy. We just got him up on your bed, like ditching Chandika younger. So this is a long way around answering this question about how did I come up with a voice remote to mom.

So one of those characters in my catalogue of voices was the new schmooze show. And this is a forgotten about cartoon from when I was a kid. And schmooze sounded sort of like a character that Howie Mandell used to do back in his stand up days. He would call this character Bobby. And he would pretend to like suck in helium. And
that was how he meant though character and I just combined that character with the Shmoo and then I got pumped around.

I thought that the helium aspects of the body and it's got if you knew what true sounded like, elements of that, I combined things that's part of what creativity is, is combining things that haven't gone together in the past, like chocolate peanut butter. Oh, there's all commercials you know, you dip your toes by the my peanut butter, peanut butter in my chocolate. Wow, we have something new. Yeah, that's how you come up with new things.

There may be nothing new under the sun. But there are new ways to combine those things. Only so many notes on a keyboard but you can combine them in an infinite number of ways. Another good way to come up with characters. So let's move on, shall we? Thank you, Aaron for that.

These are some of my students. I did these classes pretty much from the beginning of COVID Very soon after, in 2000 until a couple of months ago. I was doing a monthly voice acting class on Zoom, but they're only an hour. And after a while I felt like okay, I'm, I'm saying the same thing. I'm starting to repeat myself. And that's not my objective here. And so I stopped the class and I have a library of all those classes. And I put them on my your money voice website here. I'll put that in here. Your Money voice as you can see all those classes. Think 20 hours for 20 bucks. Right now. Go in.

I'll tell you in a second why I call it that.

So I am not running that class anymore. Because a lot of those people had been with me since the beginning, which is fantastic. They're all in my private Facebook group. Maybe some of them are watching this now. But I felt like it was time for a new format, refresh things. Also bring in some new people because I can only do like a dozen or so people at a time in one of these classes to make sure that everybody gets their one on one attention.

So anyway, here it is

If you go there, you can get a recording of a free class about how to be a voice actor for me. And you can pay 20 bucks and get access to all 20 hours of those voice acting classes from students like these.

And look at that. That guy right there. That guy right there was one of my first students and he made such a transformation in his voice. In fact, I'm going to skip ahead here and say, Do you like the sound of your voice? Because the sound of your voice can change. And mine has it before I got vocal training in voice acting.

I sounded like a kid but as an adult, and I didn't like the way my voice sounded yet. It helped me to get commercials and things my very first commercial was Mom, Dad, can we go to Disneyland? It's the magic kingdom's for Disney. That was great, but I wasn't doing a voice like I actually sounded like that which is not good for you know, being treated as an adult in say dating or business or anything else other than other than doing a commercial for Disney. So I learned to change the sound of my voice. And so how do you do that is by expanding your range and learning to play all the notes in your range so that you can go high and be passionate or low and authoritative and in and out and up and down, expanded and contracted and doing all your voice is a multifaceted instrument but most people keep it really stuck in a very tight range kind of stuck in their throat. That's why you get vocal strain, for instance, and are unable to really access all their vocal power to whether it's voiceovers or just to communicate effectively with others in any relationship because the better you get at this stuff. Voice acting content creation podcasting, what have you, the better you get at speaking and communicating, the better all of your relationships will become because you are able to make a connection from you to the listener whether that's one on one or or one to many.

Now, I mentioned that I give you a couple of microphone ideas. This mic here is the MXL 9000. Or is it 900 It's something like that. It's 100 bucks, you may not want it because it's an XLR mic and therefore needs to go into your computer through a mixer. So there's another piece of equipment that you have to buy, which is the mixer, but that gives you a lot more granular detail about the highs the mids, the lows and the way that you sound through microphone.

A lot of my students simply use this it's the Blue Yeti mic. It's also about $100 on Amazon. I'm not going to put an affiliate link in or anything you can find it if you want to $100 if you if you're serious about any of this stuff, that's not a really big commitment. Do I love that mic? No, I don't love that mic.

With all mics, the better your proximity The closer you are to the mic, the better you will sound and that mic is meant to go and sit on your desk low far from your mouth. Is there an easy fix? Yeah, put a couple of books under it and raise it up. It sounds fantastic.

When you do that or buy one of these arms that allow you to swing it in, but it's a heavy mic and you need a special arm in order to hold that mic. But that's a very good entry level mic. There's nothing wrong with it. If you're going to take my workshop this weekend, I suppose I should mention the workshop. Here's the workshop. If you're going to take my voice acting workshop, which is on Saturday.

That's a four hour workshop. That's the new format. You need some sort of a microphone but people have done it with just their Apple air pods for instance. They don't sound ideal, but to get the job done for something like this. You're not gonna be able to put something like this together by this weekend. But you could get a Blue Yeti for 100 bucks on Amazon and have it delivered in two days. If you wanted that. Oh, we have another question from Robert. What's he saying? Robert saying have you heard anything about an English dub for the new dijamin reboot currently airing in Japan?

Would you return if asked? I will answer the second question first. Whatever return if asked to did you want yeah, I always say yes.

Will I know anything about that in advance? Unless the fans told me no, nobody tells me anything. Because I don't live in LA anymore. I'm removed from the business. I flew back to Los Angeles to voice did you mind because una until the studios and everything else shut down due to COVID and then I flew back and I finished the movie here at home on this mic and lots of my friends had been recording on a mic in a closet in their home.

Colleen O'Shaughnessy, for instance also from Digimon fame has been recording her parts in Sonic and I believe the next Sonic movie in it she post stuff on Instagram all the time in a closet. That's what I'm saying is that it's the business has changed you can do it from anywhere now without living in LA without having an expensive setup or anything. Just a simple mic in a room that's got at least like I've got some carpeting and some window coverings to treat the room. But that's too much to get into the room treatment.

So yes, I would come back if asked absolutely keep the legacy of tie alive for the fans and also for my kids. Of course. My my daughter, my eight year old daughter drew this of time.

And I would do it, but no I probably won't know anything about it unless the fans tell me that it's happening. Unfortunately, just they just don't be out of out of sight out of mind, you know, and I've been doing other things then just did you mind but certainly I'd come back if I if I hear about it in time. Who else do we have here? Megan, I'm going to be winding down in the next five minutes, by the way, so get your questions in now. Megan, I'm going to be a teacher. Oh fantastic. And her teachers support the teachers. The teachers are going to be teacher and I'm struggling with rehearsing what he heard I'm struggling with rehearsing what I'm going to say. Oh, while sounding natural. Do you have any tips? Yeah, definitely. This is this is interesting.

So first of all, you have to know what natural sounds like I remember before studying the voice, not just for voice acting, but but for singing and, and vocal strength. You know, I studied all this stuff. For years. I didn't really know what my natural voice was. Because I'm silly. You know that. I'm like this and they will rarely sound all different ways depending on what you're what I'm doing. So you have to know what natural sounds like for you get a sense of what that baseline is. Either get comfortable with it. Or if you don't like the sound of your voice to change the sound of your voice, and I have a program for that. Which I'll show you in a second. But it takes a little while. It's a 30 day program because it takes time to change the sound of your voice you are comfortable with it. Now in terms of sounding natural while you're speaking. Part of that is comfort with the way that you sound. Part of that is comfort with the material. Right? If the audience which is your students can hear you thinking about what you're saying, you will lack confidence.

So you have to know your stuff. Know your material well enough to not be pausing or using filler words like and um you know that sort of thing because that diminishes your authority as a teacher or as a speaker. So knowing your content is number two. And then the third thing is not being focused on yourself, instead being focused on the impact you have on the listener. So you are focused on the impact you're having on your students speaking more than you are concerned about the way that you yourself are being perceived, you'll get out of your own head. It won't matter to you and then you will sound better as a result because you won't be thinking about it. You won't be concerned about it.

Does that make sense? Is that helpful? I hope so. I actually think that is a very good answer to that question.

The final piece of which is focus on them, not you it won't matter as much. You'll relax, therefore your sound better. Next, Robert is saying Do you have any unannounced roles coming down the pipeline? Oh, no. No, I don't. I've Yeah, I get auditions. I get emailed auditions all the time, and I generally don't even open the email in time to audition for them. Because my main gig now is as a keynote speaker teaching virtual communication skills, how does sound better and look better and show up better in a virtual environment on camera and on the mic, such as we are doing now?

I'm doing it virtually because where I live in Florida anyway, we're still in the thick of the COVID. And there's the great possibility that this sort of virtual environment is going to last for forever. It's not not that we'll only do virtual but that this will be a component forever. So I've really put my whole career into this environment of teaching virtual communication skills. Part of that is teaching voice acting. Part of that is teaching vocal transformation how to how to improve the sound of your voice and the rest is communication and presentation skills on camera and on mic.

So I'm not really looking to do other roles right now for as long as I'm doing that. Thanks for asking. And that is a really good drawing. My kids love to draw. Oh, hi, hands. Thank you so much talent. Hi, Brian. Thanks for being here. I think Brian, Brian, I think you're in the the workshop that's going to be on Saturday. I'm going to wrap up in three minutes. I'll tell you guys about the workshop, the voice acting workshop in just a second.
Oh, and Megan, great, glad you like the answer there.

And finally, I think we got Danny is moving into a working remotely environment. Finding focus. Oh, my book, finding focus has been very helpful with time management, and presentation skills. Oh, awesome. Hey, if you'd like to book if you can, if you could say something along those lines on Amazon as review. I always appreciate those.

By the way anybody could get my book for free. If you go to your money voice. I'll put it in here. Now I'm not sure what the link is. I'll tell you what, I'm just going to do a screen share. I'll show you where you can get some free stuff. And I'll show you where you can sign up for the workshop this weekend. So let's go that's for comments. We don't want that. We don't want the comments we want the screen there we go the screen share. If you click on workshop, I guess I'll do this first workshop is oh my goodness, it's less than three days away, because today's Wednesday and it's on Saturday, and that's how time works. or so I'm told. It's a four hour voice acting workshop.

We're going to talk about how to warm up and strengthen your voice how to develop vocal characters for animation, how to take direction very important and that's part of the acting side of voice acting and deliver alternative takes. And sometimes those all takes are the ones that book the gigs because the thing that comes to your mind first the way to interpret it first. If it's coming to your mind first it's coming to other people's minds first. You got to get past that. First take lay it down, submit it, but go a little deeper than others typically would in your own way. We'll talk about that in the workshop on Saturday, how to improve your mic technique and your home studio set up how to do cold reading and improve the quality of your performance, how to create demos that can catch the ear of the clients and agents. We're not going to actually create demos, but I'll talk about what makes for a good demo. And then you'll be as a student you'll be able to be in my private Facebook group and you can always people submit their work in there. And I continue to review it and give feedback and so much more bonuses, the class recordings Facebook group

How much is it? I'm just very straightforward in the pricing. It's $200 unless you've already taken my monthly classes. In which case you were emailed an alumni discount link for less than that. So it's $200 for all four hours. It's a small class environment like a dozen people honestly, and it'll be this Saturday.

What do you need? You need the access to the internet, a computer and a mic and the mic can just be you know if you don't have anything else, air pods or something that's connected to to your computer. Now, a couple of things while you're here, okay, not everybody's got $200 or is always ready to do this. How about free Do you like free we've also got free, free is unlock your free voice acting class again just go to your money voice calm. And I recorded about I think 35 minute voice acting class on the seven keys to becoming a voice actor.

Get Your Free Voice Over Class:

And that is enough definitely to get you started and give you a lot more knowledge and understanding of how voice acting in the business of voiceovers works that I had. Even in the first couple of years that I was out being a voice actor.

What else do we have? We have the voice acting vault here. That's all the class recordings, 20 hours of class recordings that I've done over the last year and a half on voice acting for just just $20 we get the voice training course. And that's for people that want to sound like a better version of themselves. That is lifetime access to 30 short videos five to 10 minutes each that you get emailed to you every day for a month that will train and strengthen and improve the sound of your voice to sound like a better version of you.

And then finally the voice acting workshop just go to your money voice comm slash workshop and you can sign up to join us as long as you sign up before Saturday when the whole thing happens. So that's it. Thank you for being here.

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