Webster’s debut how-to guide explains best practices for every facet of a voice-over career.
The book begins with the premise that “[v]oiceover may very well be the best job in the world.” The author’s enthusiasm for the trade, along with his applied experience, provides a unifying tone for the highly particular chapters that follow. Each section deals with a specific aspect of the trade, beginning with the basics (“How to Take Care of Your Voice”) and moving on to more complicated issues, such as “The Union” and “How to Make a Killer Demo.” Throughout are selected bits of industry history that show how it’s changed with the digital revolution. Several particularly detailed chapters on setting up and properly using a home studio present options and clear recommendations regarding software, equipment, remote recording and soundproofing. The author even provides an introduction to mindful meditation, not only as a means of vocal care, but also for its other benefits. Still, much of the advice here is equally applicable to other entrepreneurial or freelance disciplines; for example, it often returns to core points such as “don’t work for free” and “be professional.” Webster writes comfortably in the first person, but his informal tone is occasionally a bit disorienting; for example, at one point, he gives a real-time report: “As I write these words…I’m expecting that my agent might call….Update: I booked the gig and recorded at home.” Overall, however, the prose is generally clear, and many chapters include additional suggested resources at the end. In many ways, it’s hard to evaluate Webster’s many claims without putting in the years of hard work it takes to become a successful freelance voice. That said, the authority of his 25 years of experience, and his attention to even the smallest aspects of voice-over work, makes this informational guide feel complete and practical.
An easy-to-read introduction to the joys, challenges and techniques of an increasingly marketable entertainment career choice.