Finding a pro-level coach is probably one of the biggest decisions of your career. A coach will help separate you from the crowd. SO, it is VERY important you pick one who will not waste your time and your money, and who will actually teach you skills that will move you to a level beyond your competitors.
- First things first: You need to work with a coach THAT FITS YOUR STYLE to teach you and carry you into the Demo-Making Process.
- News Flash: Every coach has a different teaching style, and if you hook up with a coach teaching a style that doesn’t work well with you, you could start racking up large expenses very quickly before realizing it isn’t working.
- BE DILIGENT. Most coaches will offer a free consultation before you start working with them. Use this opportunity to scope out their method. Ask questions. Figure out if they’re right for you. (Note: this is hard to accomplish if you haven’t had some level of exposure into the world of voice acting, which is why you should really study how the industry works and what you want to do before trying to meet with a coach of this level).
- Also, most coaches, no matter how honest the intentions, will advocate to work with them during these consultation meetings. If you are a people pleaser, you may feel obliged to work with them based on the way they frame their pitch. Be sure to listen to your gut and make a rational decision before locking in to working with them. (I am available for guidance when you need help making your decision).
- I say “locking in” because most well-vetted, professional, and expert coaches have extremely long waiting lists, usually forcing you to plan your sessions weeks and months in advance as well as them offering “package deals” that yes, save you money if you’re regularly working with them, but force you to spend in bulk rates. If they’re not the best coach for you, you could spend loads of money and time working with them just to ultimately gain more confusion than when you started.
- Learn from me. When I started, I spent TONS of money learning the basics and making a HORRIBLE first demo because I was schmoozed (that’s a fun word) into following a program. THEN, I started working with an extremely respected professional coach in the industry for many months, ultimately creating a demo with them, thus spending even more TONS of money. Now, the demo was okay, and I still have it in rotation to this day, but the entire time I was learning with this coach, in the back of my mind their methods didn’t work for me, and I never could seem to fully “get it.” I tried my best to ignore this feeling and let that coach convince me to keep trying to learn it, but at the end of the day, I stopped working with them because it never stuck, and I was only getting more confused and disheartened. (Plus, even if I wanted to continue fighting this battle, to schedule another appointment, I would have had to wait almost 3 months before I could get another session).
- When you FINALLY find that coach that is well trusted and respected in the community (or you personally trust to not be a scam), GO ALL IN! Schedule as many sessions as often and close together as you can and really spend a month or two or three or however many it takes for you to lock in and GET GOOD. Then once you create a demo, you can start learning the next genre and begin working towards it the same way (but this is usually a much faster process once you and your coach are vibing and you understand the fundamentals).
If you need help learning the business-side or acting/performance-side of VO, or just want opinions on your next steps in finding a coach, I am available to ask questions to via the Discord Community or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).