VO: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-Over Actor


One of the country’s top voice-over talents shares his secrets of success in an insider’s guide to the industry. Actors, broadcasters, and anyone who has longed to earn a living by speaking into a microphone will cherish this insightful and often hilarious glimpse at the business. Coverage includes:

• Identifying natural talent • Training a voice to make it commercially viable • Gaining experience in smaller markets • Making a demo CD • Auditioning effectively • Locating and signing with an agent • Joining the ...

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VO: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-Over Actor

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One of the country’s top voice-over talents shares his secrets of success in an insider’s guide to the industry. Actors, broadcasters, and anyone who has longed to earn a living by speaking into a microphone will cherish this insightful and often hilarious glimpse at the business. Coverage includes:

• Identifying natural talent • Training a voice to make it commercially viable • Gaining experience in smaller markets • Making a demo CD • Auditioning effectively • Locating and signing with an agent • Joining the appropriate unions • Negotiating contracts • Self-promoting to maximize exposure

Reflecting the quantum change that has occurred in the way voice-overs are recorded and cast in recent years, the updated Second Edition describes the advantages and disadvantages of auditioning and recording from home studios for clients around the world. This indispensable guide also addresses finding work in venues outside film and television, such as games, automated telephone systems, and websites. Aspiring and established voice-over actors will savor the behind-the-scenes details that show what actually happens during a voice-over recording session. Through it all, the author pairs performance tips with an expanded personal account of the crazed clients, practical jokes, and coincidences encountered on the long journey to success.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Harlan Hogan has written a fascinating, often hysterical and—most importantly—stubbornly honest account of the real world of voice-overs. If you want to know what the business really is like, reading this book is the easiest and smartest decision you could possibly make.”
—Dan O'Day, broadcast media and marketing consultant, Los Angles

“Funny. Insightful. All you need (and don’t need) to be a successful voice-over. The best, and funniest, practitioner of the craft has once again written the best, and funniest, book about the craft.”
—Chuck Cohen, writer/producer, San Francisco

“Voice-over work is a very delicate dance of interpretation, a mastery of one’s own instrument. Harlan Hogan is that talent—a maestro of the art of vocal calisthenics. His wit and wisdom found in these pages is a must-read for anyone connected with the industry or considering a career at the mic."
—Hope Krosskove, broadcast producer, New Jersey

“VO: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-Over Actor is a reflection of its author: thorough and generous. From rank beginner to veteran voice actor, everyone will benefit from Harlan’s advice, tips, and expertise as one of the most respected voice talents and teachers in the business."
—Bob Bergen, voice actor, voice of Porky Pig

“Harlan is the master at demystifying today’s VO biz so you can tackle everything from new technologies to performing like a pro in any environment.”
—Janet Wilcox, voice actress/coach, author of Voiceovers: Techniques & Tactics for Success, Second Edition, Los Angeles

"The most effective storytellers leave you with something in the core of each tale that you can actually use. Harlan has packed this book with anecdotes that will make you smile, laugh, cringe or simply nod knowingly. Drink them in slowly and look for the nugget of great advice that lives inside so many of Harlan's wonderful stories."
—Jeff Hoyt, voice actor/writer-producer, Hoyt's Greater Radio, Seattle

"Harlan shared his amazing and informative stories in the first edition of VO: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-Over Actor and it was clear then that he knew his stuff. Now, in this second edition, he generously shares even more performance, marketing, equipment, and studio stories and advice. It's a definite read for any and all voice actors. Be prepared to laugh as you learn!"
—Elaine A. Clark, voice actress/coach, author of There's Money Where Your Mouth Is, Third Edition, San Francisco

“The best practical advice for the aspiring (as well as the experienced) voice-over actor that I’ve yet found. Together with Harlan’s Voice Actor's Guide to Recording at Home and on the Road, this is a must-read resource for those interested in improving their techniques and business savvy for this business. For the recording engineer or producer, this is a valuable look into the voice-over’s world and concerns. And Harlan’s stories of life in the studio will have you laughing from cover to cover.”
—Tom Blakemore, MPSE, recording engineer/mixer, Chicago

"Harlan’s warm, funny, sometimes irreverent "take two" of his definitive book on voice-over gives an up-to-date view of the current state of the voice-over art, adds new and updated how-to advice, and tells more great stories of how it really was for a handful of us voice actors back in the Golden Age of Voice-Over. All this told by one of the top guys in the business! It's a valuable resource for newcomers and a great read for all!"
—Al Mitchell, voice actor, Chicago

"Telling stories—that's the voice actor's job. Harlan is a storyteller par excellence, not just at the mic but on the page. Harlan's journey from the age of eight to today is filled with joy. And he is a natural teacher. It is in his blood to share his knowledge and experience for the betterment of others. If you want to know what a life in VO is like, this is the storybook for you."
—Maggie Phillips, voice actress/coach, New York

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781621534051
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 573,401
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Harlan Hogan has been a voice-actor for thirty-five years, and odds are, you already know what he sounds like. His commercial voice-overs include classic and contemporary ad slogans from “Raid. Kills bugs fast, kills bugs dead” and Life Cereal’s “It’s the cereal even Mikey likes,” to “This PBS program is made possible by viewers like you” and “Ford F-150. How’s that for trendy?” Twenty-six million online gamers hear him as the voice of Alistar in League of Legends, while filmgoers see and hear him in the fea-ture-length film Dimension. He’s equally at home narrating documentaries like Fannie’s Last Supper and Storm Warriors, as well as voice-overs for political candidates from mayors to presidents. He lives in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2006

    'Sound' Advice

    I originally bought this book to learn more about becoming a voice-over performer. After reading, I realized I already know a great deal about it. Although Hogan's journey to success began long before I ever entered the voice-over, broadcast, and advertising worlds, his stories and advice ring as true today in the digital world as they did in analog times. Hogan paints a very realistic picture of what goes on in this business from every angle. I highly recommend this book to any beginner considering a career in either voice-over, broadcasting, advertising, or marketing, as well as any seasoned professional on either side of the microphone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2004

    Making Your Voice into a Career

    A must-read for anyone considering a career as a voice-over talent. If people have told you that you have a great voice, and you've wondered how to use that gift - this is the book to get you started. You may not recognize the author's name, but you're sure to have heard his voice (check out his web site and you'll see what I mean). In this book he freely shares a wealth of insider knowledge, gained through years of experience, written with the reader in mind. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2003

    A truly enjoyable and informative read!,

    As a working voiceover artist and talk-show host living in Japan and doing lots and lots of English narrations, broadcast shows, and commercial work, I was interested in reading aobut the latest techniques, business details, and stories from my contemporaries in the States. Harlan's book was far more than I ever expected. I simply couldn't put it down, and read it cover-to-cover in two days, stopping only for a nap. His stories and humor are the stuff legends are made of. What a great read! I startled my wife with open laughter numerous times while reading... especially regarding 'Blooper's Soap'; a term I have used frequently, but never with a knowledge of it's true origins. The technical aspects, advice, and coaching he gives in the book is up-to-date, highly useful, and informative even for those of us who have been in the business for awhile. I am a very critical reader, and rarely give 5-stars for anything... but here is a true exception. Very, very highly recommended to wanna-be's, new-be's, and journeymen VO artists all. BUY IT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2003

    Funny, Inspirational, and Very Detailed!!!

    I laughed out loud throughout this book, Harlan's a wonderful storyteller. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in how the biz works whether you want to be a VO, producer/director, or on the tech side. Being on the tech side myself, I have a new understanding and respect of what the VO goes thru in a session. I especially enjoyed Harlan's studio term definitions, something every new VO needs to know to feel comfortable in a session.

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