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I don’t think I posted this. If so, please forgive the double hit…

My .02 on VO :

1. Almost anyone can perform voice-overs when they are properly trained. It is
not necessarily the quality of the voice, it is the credibility with which one
makes a copywriter's words one's own. 

2. Actors make better vo talent because their training is to make the
copy/script believable. Most radio people just want to "sound good" and jocks
frequently force their voice down to an unnatural timbre for that "radio

3. The announcer style agencies prefer in the '90's is natural. Listen to
MacDonald's ads. They have a guy like Grant Shaud (the producer character from
Murphy Brown) who has an energetic but "light" voice. But he brings the
message home. Your friend has a good shot at success in vo if he is a trained
actor. In fact, listen to all the actors doing vo's now: James Earl Jones
(Bell Atlantic), Michael Douglas (Infinity), James Coburn (UPS), Jim Garner
(Xerox), etc. 

Unfortunately, David is in the most competitive market for vo's in the
country. There is no reason why agency people need to take a risk with a
newcomer when they can get fast results from pros. Shel suggested he go to
local stations to work. IMO, it would be tough as most NYC stations are AFTRA

I suggest he take vo lessons to hone the subtleties of voice acting. Look in
the trade paper "Backstage" (found on almost every newsstand in Manhattan) for
instructors. Try Steve Harris. He's a vo talent and instructor who worked part
time at WQCD. 

Also, it is quite common for vo newcomers to spend $600-$800 for a demo tape
of "off-air" work. Just ask for several demos of their work. A skilled
producer will have copy that is well suited to the talent and the ability to
compile those spots into a tight, properly eq'd presentation. The rip off
comes when a studio promises work as a result of buying their services.Donna’s
suggestion of going to a non-com is a good one. Maybe they can provide a
little guidance and your friend could get help assembling his demo.

Reputable agents do not charge an up front fee.

    David Iseman
Boch Broadcasting 
  Cape Cod, MA 
  (508) 775-5678