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Seattle may be best known for rain, grunge and coffee…but adding to that list could very well be “Voice Over Opportunity Capitol.”
If you’ve ever played a video game like Halo on an Xbox console, or an online game like World of Warcraft, then you can be pretty much certain there’s a Seattle connection. Be it Microsoft or Real Networks, Sony Online Entertainment or Pop Cap, the greater Seattle region is rife with not only the big names, but dozens of smaller, indie studios producing games requiring character/animation actors.
The Pacific Northwest is home to many high profile companies including Boeing, Amazon.com, Nordstrom, REI, Starbucks and of course Microsoft, which produces a lot of content requiring long form corporate and technical narration.
Commercial production is making a healthy comeback post 2008 recession times and thankfully, the signs are leaning towards positive economic growth. The region boasts over 200 post production facilities with more than 50 of those being recording studios…the major “voice houses” being Bad Animals, Clatter and Din and Pure Audio.
There are also opportunities for recording Audiobooks and other spoken-word services with an abundance of services provided by Cedar House Audio and Sophiahat Studios. Former Microsoft employee turned audiobook self publisher Jeffrey Kafer is also a good resource. SAG and AFTRA franchised agents The Actors Group, Topo Swope and Dramatic Artists as well as non-union The Big Fish Voice Company offer representation to area talent. In Both Ears, based out of Portland Oregon, also boasts a roster of Seattle voice over as well as regional artists. Advertising agencies abound in Seattle, from the the well establish Cole and Weber, Copacino+Fujikado, and Publicis, to a slew of mid-size media companies creating copious counts of creative copy.
For the Seattle voice over artist seeking to further his or her education in the craft of acting there are many avenues to explore with classes being offered by Cornish College of the Arts, University of Washington, Freehold, Theatre of Puget Sound, Taproot, Seattle Acting School…the list goes on. For improvisation training there’s Unexpected Productions and Jet City Improv. Gary Austin, founder of the Groundlings in LA also includes Seattle in his workshops at various times of the year.