Voice Talent Consulting

/Voice Talent Consulting
Voice Talent Consulting 2017-07-15T20:14:14+00:00
Marc Preston
Marc PrestonVoice Talent | Producer | Consultant

Greetings!

I have spent the the last 25 years as a working professional voice talent. I’ve also enjoyed success acting on-camera in numerous network telelvision and theatrical/motion picture productions. During that time, I’ve been honored to have been recognized as one of the most respected professional voice coaches and consultants in the Gulf South. During my career, I’ve had the good fortune to earn a living collaborating with countless producers on broadcast and corporate projects. My work continues to be broadcast on networks and stations all over the world. I began my career in Dallas, and have worked in the Los Angeles, San Diego and New Orleans markets as well. For the past several years, I have dedicated a handful of hours each week as a voice coach and consultant. In that time, I have developed a solid reputation as “the” voice over coach to reach out to in New Orleans when someone is serious about exploring this industry.

“I’m honored to have been recognized as one of the most respected professional voice coaches and consultants in the Gulf South.”

I’ve been honored to have talent referred to me from numerous talent agencies and casting directors. I continue to be a resource to up and coming, as well as established talent all over the Gulf South. I also work with talent from Los Angels, Dallas, New York and everywhere in-between. It has been a tremendously rewarding endeavor to assist new and established talent in their efforts to enjoy the same brand of success that I have enjoyed.

“…I provide proven, effective and affordable training that helps you stay in the game and book more work.”

Over the years, I have developed a system/method that has assisted numerous very talented people achieve their own personal goals as working voice talent. Regardless of your level of experience and goals, I provide proven, effective and affordable training that helps you stay in the game and book more work. I’m currently based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and am available to work with talent over much of the Gulf South, as well as remotely via telephone and Skype. I will travel to locations outside of the New Orleans area for sessions and workshops with groups. Please review the information on this page (as well as samples of my work on this site) and let me know how I may help you explore this dynamic and fun vocation.

Cheers!

-Marc

Voice Over Training

Regardless of whether you are new to VO, or if you have an established career, the industry is constantly evolving. Training keeps you competitive.

Demo Production

Your demo showcases your capabilities. It’s the calling card you put out into the world. Yours should not only reflect your skills, but should say “I’m a ‘pro'”!

Audition Consultations

When you’re ready to showcase that you’re the right one for the job, a consultation and directed session might just be what puts you audition at the top of the stack.

Branding & Marketing Consultations

Seeking out quality opportunities involves knowing where to look and how to properly brand yourself.

Services available for new and established talent

Regardless of whether you are new to voice over, or if you’re an established professional, a dedication to consistently enhancing and developing your skills is essential. This is what keeps you in the game and gives you an edge over many of the other people hanging out their “voice over talent” shingle.

Back when I began working as a voice over talent over 25 years ago, digital technology hadn’t yet become as accessible as it is today. The technology of the day necessitated the use of1/4 inch reel-to-reel tape machines, outboard audio processing equipment, CD’s, etc. This put having a home studio financially out of reach for the average new talent. Now, with affordable digital editing and equipment, as well as extremely accessible means of auditioning and instant delivery of audio, becoming a working voice talent is easier than ever. That’s the good news. The not so good news, is that there are literally thousands of people in the U.S. that are putting themselves out there…regardless of how well prepared or competitive they are.

“How do you separate yourself from the pack? Simple…develop your skills!”

It’s great that more people have a shot at this dynamic industry, but that accessibility has created a glut of folks calling themselves “professional voice talent”…regardless of how little training and skill they might posess. How do you separate yourself from the pack? Simple…develop your skills!

I offer both weekly “voice over workout sessions” in my studio, as well as one-on-one individual sessions. These opportunities are available for new talent looking to develop skills, or established talent who want to polish up their current skill set. Everyone I work with have the opportunity to record in my sound booth and be critiqued each week. We also work on developing a clear understanding of how to bring your talent to market and get quality auditions and bookings.

I have developed a system/method of moving each student through the process hitting benchmarks in their development. I believe that the key to my early success was learning performance and delivery, while at the same time learning how to properly navigate the industry/business and personal branding. I attribute the importance of teaching these elements (in tandem) to my mentor, the late, great Jerry Houston. He spent many hours in his Dallas studio helping me to grow as a talent and a businessman. Years later, my work with Marice Tobias in Los Angeles helped to underscore the imperative of understanding the business, as well as how to ascertain the buyer/producers’ needs. These are essential skills if you want to be a working “pro”.

“Discovering your signature read(s) and brand is what a voice over consultant is there to help you accomplish.”

Your job as a voice talent is to learn how to bring words, ideas and emotions to life. It’s not just about vocal quality. Acting training helps tremendously, as this is all about your “performance”. Finding your figurative “voice” is essential. Discovering your signature read(s) and brand is what a voice over consultant is there to help you accomplish. Your voice, your delivery, your life experiences, your interpretation of the script, etc. are all unique to you. My goal is to bring out the best version of “you” that I can…something you can consistently deliver and build upon.

My process is a complete method of preparing you to move into the industry with confidence. When you are ready to move into the next phase of your development, then reach out and let’s chat about your goals!

Note: All weekly VO Workout Sessions at my studio are announced through the “NOLA Voice Actors Collective” Facebook group. You can join for free by heading here: www.facebook.com/groups/nolavoiceactors/

Once you reach the point where you are ready to bring your skills to market, you will need to have a properly produced demo. This is your calling card…a compilation and sample of what you have to offer. Your demo should not only be an accurate representation of your skills, but it should demonstrate that you are a “pro”.

“Your demo should not only be an accurate representation of your skills, but it should demonstrate that you are a “pro”.”

Demo production involves a lot more than simply recording your voice and having background music placed under the recording. First, it has to be determined which genre of demo you are producing (e.g. commercial, narration, promo, etc.) Then, the process moves into planning (types of elements to be recorded, scripts, audio processing settings, etc.), a directed recording session then production of the constituent elements of the demo. I have a developed a method/theory of how to choose which pieces of each element to use, as well as how they are ordered and edited together. You must take into consideration that the producer/buyer might only listen to your demo for :05-:15 seconds. They might listen longer if the quality and editing is done in such a way that they are enticed to listen to more. However, if you’re only given a :15 second window, then it’s imperative that you “sell” what you have to offer, quickly and accurately.

“…it’s essential to have the training that gets you prepared puts you at the top of your game.”

I proud to have crafted demos that showcased the signature reads and skills of a number of talent. Though I’m happy to work with any talent that would like to get their demo produced, I only agree to produce demos when I feel that a talent is ready. It is essential that they have the confidence and ability to consistently deliver the reads that they have on their demo. As a working professional voice talent, you need to be able to “bring it” each time you are cast. Often, you may be cast off of your demo and without having had the opportunity to audition. If you can’t deliver the quality of read that the producer heard on your demo, then you cannot expect to be asked back for another booking. So…when you’re ready, you’re reaady! This is why it’s essential to have the training that gets you prepared puts you at the top of your game.

As a side note, if you don’t have any real experience and are ever offered an opportunity to train for a couple of days over a weekend, then produce a demo right after…you should seriously reconsider the coach or program that offers this “deal”. There are a number of quality demo producers out there. The good ones will rarely (and ethically) take your money if you’re not prepared. Unfortunately, and as is the case with much of the talent coaching/consulting ecosystem, it’s a “buyer beware” market. Ask around…you will often hear the same names mentioned and categorized into the “quality experience” and “be careful” categories. Choose wisely and only invest your time and money once you’ve asked around.

The following are a few examples of some talent that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Each one of these demos were constructed from the ground up. I assembled and/or wrote the scripts, directed and guided each recording session, then took select parts from each commercial and assembled them into a collage of their best work. When you’re ready, then reach out and let’s chat about how we can get you a quality demo in your marketing arsenal!

Elise Berggreen | Commercial Demo

 

Michael Pejsach | Commercial Demo

 

Laurette Newton | Commercial Demo

One of the greatest assets a working voice over talent must develop is the Zen of “self direction”. You are on your own when it comes to auditioning. You will need to rely upon your own judgement when it comes to deciphering the read that the producer is likely looking for. Until you reach the point where you have the asset and skill of a well-honed sense of self-direction, you can benefit greatly by being directed and guided in your auditions.

For new and established talent alike, I provide consultation and direction for talent auditions. I can provide this service during a recording session at my studio, or via monitoring over the phone or online. This gives you a chance to deliver a much more refined read and a better shot and booking the gig. Also, it makes for a great learning exercise and confidence builder…things that will certainly benefit you in subsequent auditions and bookings.

The next time you are given the opportunity to audition for a a project and you want to put your best foot forward, then reach out and let’s discuss how I can assist you in doing so.

Whether you’re a seasoned talent, or if you’re about to set sail into the open waters of the voice over ecosystem, you must understand your sound and capabilities…what it is you have to offer…the literal and figurative “voice” you bring to the world. You are the “product” you’re selling. Actually, it’s more than that. You are brand and a “vibe” that should immediately muster an emotional response in the buyer. Hopefully, it’s a response that motivates the buyer to invite you to the production party. How do you do that? Well, that’s the million dollar question, as it actually changes year-to-year. Actually, it can change month-to-month.

In today’s world of lightning fast changes in communication and social media, you need to surf the waters of change, as opposed to sinking in them. The majority of talent selling their wares to buyers are using the same resources that you have at your disposal (e.g. talent agents, social media, print advertising, email, etc.) Unfortunately, the sheer volume of folks hanging out their “voice talent” shingle has created a lot of “white noise” that can lead to your getting overlooked or ignored by potential buyers. Laser sharp and targeted focus is essential…the kind of focus that sends a clear message about your brand. Having a seasoned professional objectively evaluate your brand and current approach is exceptionally valuable…essential to overcoming the “forest through the trees” paradigm and objectively guiding you to marketing success.

Before you toss off the mooring lines and push your marketing boat out into the open waters, your “message” has to be clear and inclusive of the essential components of your brand and sound. My goal is to help you understand and clarify your brand. Then, you must decide which genre/market you’re going after (e.g. commercial, promo, animation, etc.) Then, we find the proper channels to expose yourself to each respective market.

My goal is to help you move forward with confidence and believe in the product (you) that you are bringing to market. If you’re not as confident as you should be, then we’ll work on honing your delivery. Once you’re ready, then it’ll be my goal to help you bring something unique into the voice over world, make a little noise and secure rightful piece of real estate in the voice over world. Reach out when you’re ready and we’ll put together a consultation to help you understand where you are…and how far you can go.

Q: How do I know if I have a voice for voice over?
A: If you have a voice…you have a voice for voice over. The world is full of different types of voices, and the voices used in traditional and new media are mirroring a more authentic and “natural” read. The Zen lies in the performance and delivery. So, instead of focusing on your sound, work with someone who can help you determine what avenue of voice over (e.g. commercial, promo, animation) might be the best fit for you.

Q: How long do I need to work with a voice coach/consultant before I can produce a demo?
A:There’s no way to know how long it will take before you’re properly prepared to head into a studio and put together this essential audio “calling card”. Once you can consistently deliver the reads on your demo, then you are likely ready to cut a demo that you will be proud of.

Q: Do I have in Los Angeles, New York or any other large market to be competitive?
A: Just like film acting, there are benefits to living in Los Angeles and New York. However, unless you’re shooting for large network promo or movie trailer work, where you live has little to do with your success as a talent. That being said, the use of ISDN and real-time internet delivery of audio (e.g. Source-Connect, ipDTL, etc.) make even the most coveted of bookings within reach…regardless of where you are located.

Q: Do I need a recording studio to be a working voice talent?
A: Yes and no. If you get to the point where you’re consistently booking, then you should likely investigate your own home recording setup, as it would be more cost effective and efficient. However, right out of the gate, there’s no reason to invest in equipment until you are earning a fair amount of income. I offer my studio up for my student’s use for a very small fee. When it’s time for you to put together your own studio, then I’ll be happy to consult with you on a setup that will work best for you.

Q: How much money can I earn as a voice talent?
A: I know talent that earn a few hundred bucks a year, and talent that earn over $1 million a year. There are simply too many variables to consider when calculating earning potential. Inherent skill and ability (both of which are greatly enhanced by training), the type of work you do (e.g. promo, commercial, etc.), the quality of your marketing and your representation, etc. Anyone that makes any promises about your income is selling you some snake oil. Solid skills, working hard and working smart…it gets the ball rollin’ and helps you reach your full potential.

Q: Why do you teach voice over?
A:I am very fortunate to have had a great mentor in Dallas, TX early on in my career. His name was Jerry Houston and he provided me a wonderful wealth of knowledge and training. That helped me build a very rewarding career that I still enjoy 20+ years later. He was a very successful voice talent and carved out a few hours a week to teach others. I started doing the same thing quite a few years ago and truly enjoy it. The opportunity to help develop talent…to help them set and meet their own personal goals…it is one of the best feelings in the world. Working as a full-time VO coach/consultant isn’t practical for most of us that earn a living in this industry. However, in my case, dedicating a few hours a week to assist others remains a source of satisfaction. It’s a joy to share something that has brought me so much personal and professional satisfaction.

Q: How do I now if I’m working with a reputable voice coach or consultant?
A: There are plenty of very capable and talented people that offer up their professional services as VO coaches and consultants. However, just like in the world of acting training, there’s a general diligent “buyer beware” attitude one must take before making a cash investment in their development as a talent. Very few full-time working talent that are also full-time coaches. They are out there…but few and far between. Some working talent, such as myself, offer up a few hours a week to coach others and provide guidance. Whether you work with me or with someone else, you should keep the following in mind as “positive” aspects to look for in a coach/consultant before setting out on a path of training:

  • They earn a living as a VO talent.
  • They can offer up a short list of working VO talent as their clients.
  • They have a history as a successful creative (producer, ad agency, talent agency, etc.) professional. Actually, some of the most talented VO consultants I know of came from an agency or other creative background.
  • They have been working as a coach and/or working voice talent for at least ten years.

That being said, there are things which should send up a warning flag as you explore the best route for your development. There are some out there that are voracious marketers of their services, but offer very little actionable information and guidance. They are in business to make money, yet fail to provide a reasonable return on your investment. Here’s a short lists of initial warning signs you might encounter. These don’t necessarily indicate that you should be concerned, but you should remember to be diligent before entrusting someone with your career development.

  • They make promises about your progress (especially without a reasonable prior assessment of your skills).
  • They try to sell you ancillary services and products (e.g. representation in their “talent agency”, offer immediate demo production with no prior training or experience, training CDs/MP3s, etc.)
  • They cannot provide you a list of working talent that are current or former students/clients.
  • If they are a working talent, they cannot provide audio or video of recent projects.
Voice Over Training
One-on-one
(Private Session)
1 hour $100
One-on-one
(Private Session)
4 hour long sessions
(paid in advance)
$375
Weekly VO Workout
(Group session)
$25
Weekly VO Workout
(Group session)
4 sessions
(paid in advance)
$85
Demo Production
Demo Production
(Same fee for all genres of demo produced)
$600
Any client requested re-edits of final edit
(per hour – one hour minimum)
$150
Audition Consultations
15 minute consultation
(In studio, via phone or Skype)
$25
30 minute consultation
(In studio, via phone or Skype)
$50
45 minute consutlation
(In studio, via phone or Skype)
$75
1 hour consultation
(In studio, via phone or Skype)
$100
In studio consultation –
including recording &
editing of audition
Consultation fee
+$25
Branding/MarketingConsultations
15 minute consultation
(In studio, via phone or Skype)
$25
30 minute consultation
(In studio, via phone or Skype)
$50
45 minute consutlation
(In studio, via phone or Skype)
$75
1 hour consultation
(In studio, via phone or Skype)
$100

Reasons to work withMarc…

      • Marc has spent over 25 years as a successful and respected voice talent…earning a living doing the greatest job around!
      • As a television promo voice, he’s heard in over 60 million homes around the country each day.
      • Marc has been consistently represented by the top voice talent agencies and management companies in L.A./NYC.
      • He has consulted and trained numerous voice talent who have gone on to be represented by top agencies and consistently booked quality work.
      • He has himself trained with some of the most prominent and prolific voice coaches in the U.S.
      • Marc is also a trained actor who has also worked in numerous on-camera film and television projects.
      • All students have access to train in the same digital recording studio he uses to voice projects for his international list of clientele.

What Marc’s students have to say…

“I have known Marc for about five years and know him to be one of the very few working, full time voiceover artists in the state of Louisiana. Marc has been working in the biz for many years and has a wealth of knowledge, both about interpreting scripts AND about handling a career in the biz. He has worked in Dallas and Los Angeles, as well as New Orleans, and is happy to share secrets about developing a roster of clients and keeping them. As a voiceover artist, he has a national presence. Most of his work is on TV stations all around the country, not just in Louisiana. He has a broad understanding of styles of scripts and is good at coaching others. An underlying feel for the script is developed rather than just suggesting a “read.” All in all, I cannot think of a more capable coach!”
Kristin Samuelson | New York, NY
“I owe my success thus far as a voice talent to Marc Preston. He saw my ability and helped me to focus on the skills necessary to succeed in the industry. Marc cultivated my voiceover reel and has produced every voice over audition I have done to date. Whether you are starting out or a seasoned professional, as a voice over talent, working with Marc is a must. His ability to give direction and convey valuable industry information, in a relatable way, to help grow a career are invaluable.”
Elise Berggreen | New Orleans, LA
“Marc helped me learn the business of voice work, gave me the opportunity to practice in a sound booth after every class, and, ultimately, when I was ready, helped me complete a professional quality voice over reel. It is nice to work with someone who actually makes his living as a voice over actor. I can recommend him without hesitation. Thanks Marc.”
Michael Pejsach | New Orleans, LA
Marc,

I want to thank you for your willingness to share your gifts as a full time working voiceover professional with some of us at the beginning our voiceover journey. Passing forward the mentorships you received from your mentors and tidbits of experience from agents, casting directors, etc. has given me the confidence to go out and try to make a name for myself in this very competitive field.

Marc has state of the art equipment and lets you practice on it. He always finds something good and something to work on in every take. You have a positive attitude and it rubs off on your workout attendees. I have to drive over an hour to attend but it is always worth it because I leave knowing more than when I came and energized to succeed.

Thanks for your time and effort!

Jacques Pourciau | Baton Rouge, LA
“What would it take to be a working voiceover actor? That is what you will learn when you take voiceover classes with Marc Preston. What’s it like to work in a sound booth? That’s the experience you will get in Marc Preston’s class. Great teacher! Great class!”
Kim Baptiste | New Orleans, LA
“As working voice over talent, Marc Preston is teaching his students the professional voice over techniques and standards required by today’s voice over industry clients.”
Mike Franklin | New Orleans, LA
“Regardless of your level of experience, if you are serious about pursuing opportunities in voiceover work you will find Marc Preston’s training sessions to be an invaluable resource. Marc’s knowledge, accumulated from years of successful experience in the industry, combined with small class sizes in sessions where students have the opportunity to actually record in a professional setting, allows the student to receive individual attention as well as feedback from Marc as well as their peers. This is a program that is designed to not just allow you to learn, but to grow and develop your voiceover talent to whatever level you desire.”
Gregory G. Kurczynski | New Orleans, LA
“Marc’s intense knowledge of his craft combined with his infallible patients make him one of the most effective teachers I have had the privilege to study under. He has the ability to pin-point small nuances push a voice over the line from amateur to professional. He also has the industry experience to assist in career coaching.”
Dalton Alfortish | Los Angeles, CA