This class, taught by D/FW based VO Pro Bob Michaels has been offered continuously at STAGE since 1992. It is THE VO-101 Class of the southwest. Why has it lasted so long, and why is it still so popular after more than 22 years?
There are several reasons.
The first is perhaps the most important. Bob is highly focused on providing his students critical detail.
When you go to many forms of training, you are given a script, expected to study it, and then quickly give a performance of the script to the instructor, where they then critique based on their viewpoint and experience. But pay attention to what is expected in that scenario. You have to perform for them with little or no information given to you prior to performance. When you are a higher functioning performer, this is expected...it's part of your professional ability. But when you are a beginner or intermediate performer, what you need first is background and explanation about what you are trying to achieve, and how to use your voice to achieve it. This is where this class excels, in-depth discussion about voice-over style, and even more in-depth information about vocal utilization. Vocal utilization?
Without knowledge of, and express control over your instrument (voice), you are at a tremendous disadvantage competitively (this applies to you, too, on-camera performers!). How does your voice work? What can you move or change about your voice? How do those changeable parts of your voice work together, and separately, to communicate meaning? How can you learn to better manipulate and control vocal expressiveness and nuance? How important is uniqueness to your viability, and how do you leverage and exploit it most effectively? How can you most fully understand, respond to, and reflect the direction given during a recording session?
This basis of knowledge exists inside of every high-level performer, but how do YOU acquire, grow, and utilize this information?
Voice-over script analysis is heavily emphasized and again, discussed in great detail. Careful attention to what's going on with those words on the page can make the difference between a very ordinary read, and a superb, unique interpretation.
What about the studio itself and various studio scenarios you encounter in the VO world? Do you really have to be able to record yourself these days, and how in the world is that accomplished? What are the methods of recording that you will encounter? How do you handle yourself professionally in various recording scenarios?
Then there's the business of voice-over. Demos. What’s on one? Where do you get one? How do you get ready to make one? Agents. What do they do for you? What do they not do for you? How do you nurture that relationship? Auditions. What in the world are they looking for? Should I audition for that? What are the mechanics of the submitted audition? How do I avoid creating an unacceptable audition? Marketing. How do you get the word out about yourself? Are 'pay to play' casting sites specifically for VO worth a hoot? Do I need a website? Money. How do the various classifications of jobs pay? How much do they pay?
Yes, all in a five week class.
It happens for five consecutive Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm at STAGE in Dallas (firstname.lastname@example.org - 214-630-7722). You do have to be a member of STAGE to take a class. Please contact them for more information.
VO and on-camera agents throughout the Southwest recommend Bob's class to their rosters of performers. Students have commonly traveled from other cities and states weekly to learn from one of the most prolific, knowledgeable, and generous high level performers in our area.
This class, when scheduled, is Tuesdays from 6-8 pm for 5 weeks. Check site calendar for current schedule.