Ty Ford Voiceover Curriculum

It’s just like talking, right?
Not so much, really.
I’ve been teaching voiceover since 1995. What qualifies me to do this?  I was on the air full-time at radio stations for 17 years. In that capacity, I was usually the Production Director; writing, voicing and producing hundreds of radio commercials and sales presentations. 

When I left radio, I became an AFTRA/SAG freelance VO pro,  working out of the best studios in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.. My range broadened to include non-broadcast narration with the help of some of the best producers in the business. They heard “something” in my voice and my ability to take the written word and transform it into something special. Under their direction, job by job, I got better and better. 

When I was approached by the Baltimore/DC AFTRA/SAG office about teaching for their Conservatory, I was honored and invigorated. What I found was that not every union member can become a good narrator. It is a special skill. Even people with remarkable voices aren’t always the best voiceover candidates. 

Having a great voice, like owning a priceless Stradivarius violin, doesn't mean you know how to play it. The Technique Voiceover Curriculum is more than just voice lessons. I teach you how to "play" your voice, but I also prepare you for the studio experience; how to deal with casting agents, writers, directors and producers and how to market yourself. 

Competition in the voiceover market is extremely tough. Ten percent of the voiceover talent get 90% of the jobs. They get the jobs because they have a good instrument and are extremely well-trained in all parts of the curriculum and are always professional. 

Most sessions occur between 9AM and 5PM Monday through Friday. Some sessions last only an hour, others are 2-3 hours. If you aren’t available then, you won’t get work.

You need to be able to record auditions at home and email them. I teach you how to do that with industry-standard Pro Tools software, mics, preamps and computers. More and more, producers expect you to be able to record good tracks at home. If you want a home studio, I can help you build it. You will be more competitive if you can operate your own studio, but not everyone can run a studio and get consistent quality.

This business takes a lot of hard work and requires patience, persistence and doing the "homework" that will result in you being able to make a living (or a partial living) out of your pursuit. Turn back now and put your time and energy into something fun and invigorating like extreme parachuting. No, really, voiceover work is not just like talking. If it were, everybody would be doing it. 
It's very tough to get your performance up to a  competitive level and when you do, that's just the beginning. Then you have to compete for jobs and actually DO the job. Then there's filing the paperwork, following up on the billing, and looking for your next job while you continue to market your brains out. I'm on several widely circulated compilation CDs and my demos can be downloaded from the web. 
Forget about voiceover work. Spend the money on a big screen TV with Surround Sound and a Blu Ray player. Still stoked? Don't say I didn't warn you. Read On. The Ty Ford Voiceover Curriculum provides guidance to those for whom the attraction is too great.
The Ty Ford Voiceover Curriculum
Technique, Inc. © Copyright 1996 
I. Learning to listen critically
You only thought you knew how to listen. 
II. The Voice
It's an instrument. How does it work? How do you work it? 
Care and feeding of the voice; keeping it in shape, AM vs PM, noises, water. Solids, liquids, gasses.
III. Practicing 
Bringing the words to life with full intent. Making them sound like original thoughts.
IV. Scoring copy for breathing and inflection 
Marking your copy for intonation, emphasis and pacing.
V. Learning microphone technique
Every mic is different. It's part of your job to know exactly where to be, and where not to be.
VI. Using headphones, or not 
Some like 'em low. Some like 'em hot. Some don't like 'em at all. Why use 'em?
VII. Learning how to take (and understand) direction 
Establishing the right character, attitude, pacing, projection and intent
VIII. Basic Pro Tools recording and editing 
I’ve been recording and editing digitally for over 20 years. I’ll teach you what you need to know to cut and deliver tracks from your own house.
IX. Preparing for the most frequent problems 
Late session, too much copy, copy changes, bad headphones, bad attitudes, regaining your composure.
X. Professional courtesies 
Making time for a session,  asking for copy before the session, arrive early, schedule changes, dubs of your work.
XI. Marketing yourself 
The Demo; CD, web sites. 
Commercials, Narrations, Characters, Politicals, Real People, Documentary,                                  Talking Book.
More Information on VO Demos
Contact Ty Ford