That's understandable, we know there are many questions to answer.
Sometimes it helps to talk with someone experienced at working with people getting started in voice-over. We're always glad to share our knowledge with you!
If you’d prefer to speak with us, call 888-321-EDGE (3343) 9am - 6pm ET.
And we'll call you back with an answer.
Almost inarguably, New York City is voice over capital of the country, maybe the world.
For all types of talent, NYC is an amazing place to be. And it continues to grow. At Edge Studio's New York location, we've recently tripled our production capacity.
First, get yourself oriented. The local trade publications will help. Backstage magazine is the principle resource for New York City voice over talent. It doesn't list many VO auditions, but it's a great overall acting resource.
Backstage also publishes The Call Sheet, which is your one-stop-shop for info on agents and casting directors.
Actors Access is a useful audition site, as is NY Castings. Then, there's the Voiceover Universe blog. Kind of like Facebook for the voiceover world, it's not specific to NYC, but it will keep you connected with other blogs, status updates, news, and the New York voice over community.
Overall, commercials comprise only about 5% of the voice over work in the industry, but as the traditional hub for local and multinational advertising agencies, New York offers a disproportionate share. Clients from all around the U.S. hold casting calls here, and there's a huge amount of work in both union and non-union commercials.
One important thing to know in this regard: If you want to break into the national commercial world, you'll want to develop relationships with agents and with casting directors. Unlike agents in other large markets (where they are known as "casting agents"), agents in New York represent their clients (the voice over talent) and "shop" them to the casting directors. Advertisers and producers can call talent in directly, but usually they bring people in through agents. The Casting directors organize auditions based on information given to them by clients (e.g., "We want to hear 50 auditions from women who sound between 25 and 30, and we're looking for a fun, charismatic read with real energy.")
This is why you need to know people in both groups. You may have a fantastic agent, but if they're submitting you for auditions and the casting director is saying "I don't know that person -- why should I give them one of my 50 slots?" it's tougher to get in. Most agents prefer to freelance with talent for a while before signing them. This is a good thing, as you can freelance with a number of people, and thus hopefully get sent on more auditions.
There is quite a bit of production happening here, from film and documentary studios, to design companies developing website material, to studios that focus on ESL/language programs (e.g., Paul Ruben Productions) or audio tours (e.g., Antenna Audio and Orpheo).
With a number of recording studios in New York City, voice overs is all they do (Edge Studio being highly respected among them), and many of these studios maintain New York City voice over talent databases that they draw on. Edge Studio's talent pool is especially robust, partly because Edge Studio is well known in New York City for voice over training.
A number of large audiobook companies are based here, including Audible.com (in NJ), Recorded Books, Random House Audio, and Listening Library. With the exception of the largest audiobook recordings, most of this work will NOT be cast through agents -- it's up to the talent to network, contact production companies directly and get on their talent lists.
Also, these days New York City casting personnel will commonly assume you have a home studio. It's becoming more important to, at the very least, be able to submit auditions from home. This is true with audiobooks, narration, and in commercials work.
Although L.A. used to have a lock on the animation market and is still the hotbed of animation production for the animation specialist, more and more is happening here in New York. Voice over work can at least supplement animation voicing. Most of the imports from Japan (Yu-gi-oh, Pokemon) are dubbed here. More and more videogame producers are popping up around town. And then there are the animated commercials. Some of this work is cast through agents, and some can be found by contacting the production companies directly, networking with other talent, or even pay-to-play sites like Voices.com.
The great thing about being in New York City doing voice over is this: As huge as the City is, the New York voice over world feels like a community. Generally everyone you'll deal with is friendly, helpful, and casual. Of course there are exceptions, but if you're nice to everyone and put effort into maintaining relationships with the people you meet, after a while you can get a bunch of great people in your corner, submitting you for work or being very open with advice.
In New York, this designer hotel is steps from Times Square and features an indoor pool. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property and each room includes a refrigerator. The stylish rooms at Room Mate Grace feature flat-screen cable TVs and iPod docks. Each room also includes a laptop safe. Room service is available. Guests can use the sauna and steam room. There is also a modern gym on site. The hotel staff can assist with reservations for restaurants, car rentals, and taxis. A continental breakfast is available until noon every day. Music can be heard in the lounge on select nights of the week and the hotel features a swim-up bar. The Times Square - 42nd Street Subway Station is 3 blocks from Grace Hotel. The Museum of Modern Art and Rockefeller Center are less than a 10-minute walk away.Hotel St. James
Since 1972, Hotel St. James has remained a classic staple of New York City's Times Square. Housed in a beautiful, twelve story, pre-war tower Hotel St. James offers what other hotels in the area can’t; Space and Comfort at affordable rates. Located one block from Times Square on 45th Street between Broadway and 6thAvenues, Hotel St. James is just blocks away from the best New York has to offer. Theaters, Restaurants, the best shops in the world, Central Park and the largest Subway station in New York are just steps away from Hotel St. James. The hotel has been recently updated and refinished; giving you top quality at a bargain price. At St. James you can expect to get more space, more comfort and more New York, for less money.The Night Hotel
This unique urban Gothic design hotel is in the heart of Times Square and 3 blocks from the 47th-50th Streets – Rockefeller Center Subway Station. Nightlife restaurant is located on-site. Night Hotel offers creative modern rooms with distinctive black and white designs throughout the building. Rooms come with an iPod dock and a 37-inch flat-screen TV with more than 200 channels. Guests can relax in the provided bathrobes or sample the fully stocked minibar. Nightlife serves a selection of designer and exotic drinks. Light gourmet dishes including lobster salad and calamari are also available. Hotel Night’s concierge service can assist with dinner reservations, theater tickets, and more. Personal shopping services and room service are available at the hotel. The Night Hotel is 5 blocks from Rockefeller Center and 4 blocks from Grand Central Station.Club Quarters, Midtown
Designed primarily for business travelers, Club Quarters are full service hotels in prime locations for business or pleasure. By restricting entry, Club Quarters can be cleaner, quieter and safer. Club Quarters offers significant savings on hotel rooms and related expenses. Members receive even lower rates which are fixed in advance. Hotel amenities include: 24 – hour Member Service Desk/Concierge, free high-speed wireless Internet access throughout the hotel, free chilled, purified bottled water, private Club Living Room with complimentary snacks, coffee, tea, newspapers, magazines and games, free use of computer/printer, iPads (for loan while a registered guest), restaurant and bar, and fitness room.