Frequently Asked Questions

Demystify your queries by exploring our FAQs, a compendium of knowledge tailored to streamline your path through the voiceover realm.


Don’t do it until you’re absolutely ready! This is going to be your calling card. It’s one of the biggest mistakes that beginning voice actors make – they either make a reel that’s unprofessional that one of their friends helped them put together, or they spend an enormous amount of money and get a banging reel that sounds and looks professional, but the problem is that those are tiny snippets of characters that you might have to sustain for four to eight hours at a time at a recording session, or over the course of 26 episodes of a cartoon show. If you are not prepared to do that, if you don’t have the proper training underneath you to sustain those characters, then you’re misrepresenting yourself and can damage your reputation before you even get started.

Studios are looking for what you bring to the table. They’re always looking for new talent, so don’t copy other’s work – do your own take! Your reel is going to be the first impression that casting directors have of who you are and what you’re capable of; what your skill set is. The question you need to ask yourself is “Can I sustain these voices for up to 4 hours?” because that is what some sessions will require you to do.

Every artist develops and evolves. So listen to your reel every 3 months to a year and see if there’s anything on there that you can do significantly better now. If you find that you can be better represented with an update, DO IT! Otherwise – be aware of market trends i.e. animation styles, current commercial campaigns, tv promo styles, and make sure you have something on each reel to reflect the current market.

Well, first, you need to make sure you’re really ready. See the answer to question #2 for more on that. If you are ready then you need to do your research. Look at reviews for the demo producer you want to work with. Find people who’ve had their demo produced there and ask them! The best way to avoid being taken advantage of is to do your own due diligence in hiring the right person.

Absolutely! Ideally, you should have separate Animation, Video Game, Commercial, Promo and Narration reels if you’re interested in working in all of those areas. Some people even isolate more specifically ie. Creatures, Live Event Announcing, Movie trailers, etc.

That’s like asking a surgeon if they know where you can get a free heart transplant. If you are planning to pursue this seriously, and be accepted as a professional, you need to hire qualified professionals to do their job and represent your talent properly. It’s your calling card. You can recoup your entire investment in a couple of gigs!

Learn how to do Animation work first by taking classes and studying! Never make a demo before you’re ready without knowing how to actually do the work!

Demo Reels and building Characters for your Reel are covered in a lot of classes but specifically in Class #16 – Preparing for the Unexpected. Steve gives guidance on what kinds of characters you want to include in the reel that will best represent you, the length of the reel, the kinds of music to choose and special effects that don’t overshadow your performance on the reel.

Classes are available to stream via

Check out Steve’s Blog “Demos That Rock”, an excerpt from Class #28 where the great demo producer Chuck Duran came in to teach. Chuck is one of the best demo producers in the world and his insights were priceless.

Agents / Representation

When you’re ready to accept work and be able to perform it at world class level. You’ll be put into the mix with some of the best, most established actors on the planet, so your chops have to be in order. An Agency is only as good as you are. The more you can bring to an Agency, the more invested they’ll be in you. You’ll still need to market yourself, so knowing how to do that is going to be important for you anyway, (See #9 on the 10 Free Tips for more on Marketing). Whether you have an agent or not, a huge part of this business is being available and ready when the opportunity comes.

A proper Agency will get paid by adding an extra 10% on top of whatever job/gig they negotiate for you. That amount is paid directly to them by the producer. When you do well, your agent does well. You should NEVER have to pay an agent out of pocket.

Make sure to find an agency that believes in you, recognizes your potential, helps you to nurture and improve your skills and is willing to push you to the casting directors that you may not otherwise have access to.  Also do your research on an agency’s/agent’s reputation.

Class #23 – The Business of Voiceover goes deeper into the subject of Agents and Representation.

Class #28 – Your Demo and finding an Agent with master Demo Producer Chuck Duran addresses this directly and future classes will include the Agents themselves!

Class #31 specifically about Agency Representation with Larry Reiss of Arlene Thornton and Associates (Steve’s Agency). Excerpts from that class can be found at Steve’s blog:

Classes are available to stream via

Getting Gigs

If you’re interested in doing character work you really need to be where the work is, especially if it’s Anime. Because the budgets are low, they can’t afford to fly you to the location. Most of them won’t do it over the phone, through Skype or any other digital portal. They really want you there in their studio. Having said that, there are plenty of different places other than LA that have large markets (without the high stress and high rent of LA!) Funimation for example, based in Texas, has ton of shows constantly in production. That’s a good option if you’re just starting out and aren’t union yet. It’s a place you can really build up your character repertoire and then perhaps transfer over to somewhere like LA with a really great demo. When it comes to character voices you really gotta be where the work is.

We also have to be sales people. While I don’t like that part of it, it’s a fact – you’re selling yourself every day. You need to be aware of how you present yourself and how diligently you honor and respect yourself, your skills and the time you share with those you work with.

You must come to terms with selling and promoting yourself in this business. Marketing takes a lot of forms. Right now, the biggest form of marketing and the most effective and efficient form of marketing is social media. In fact, some studios hire people based on how many followers they have! If you don’t have a following yet, you can begin doing some online work (YouTube, etc…) that can assist you in building a resume – and an online following that could help you when studios are looking at whether or not to hire you or the next person.

Studio Etiquette also has a lot to do with getting and keeping gigs. I taught a class on that, Class #15. If you are not familiar with that class, I would highly encourage you to give it a watch. Studio etiquette is a huge part of successful business within the voiceover industry.

Another great class on this subject is Class #21 – Acting for Anime vs. Video Games vs. Original Animation. Steve talks extensively about HOW to act in all 3 genres (hint: it’s not the same!).

Classes are available to stream via

Yes. I NEVER recommend “pay to play” sites. Most of them are predatory and/or will take way too much of what you earn. Since submitting without an agent (or on non-union work) is not what I do, you need to do your research on reputable casting companies and/or production companies that are currently accepting submissions.

Casting agencies that don’t require you to be represented by an agent, production studios, audio book production houses, etc. You need to do your research. All of this is easily accessible online with a little time and effort.

Get really good. Have an excellent, professionally recorded demo, and a good agent. If it’s truly a closed casting call, they call it that for a reason!

Ok under certain *circumstances! The receptionist will answer and vet your call. If you’re respectful, nice and sound qualified and they happen to be looking for new talent, they may just give you a chance to send them your reel. Again, make sure your reel is EXCELLENT before doing this! It could be the thing that makes or breaks that opportunity. *Make sure you’re truly ready if you are given the opportunity to read for them.

Class #21 – Acting for Anime vs. Video Games vs. Original Animation goes into detail about getting the gig and Steve talks extensively about HOW to act in all 3 genres (hint: it’s not the same!).

Classes are available to stream via

My Location

It can be a challenge not to feel isolated when you don’t live in or near one of the major centers for voiceover. That said there’s a ton of resources available online, and people DO find work there.

If you join our Facebook Group “The Blumvox Studios Community” ( you’ll find that we collated a Master Resource List for members, pinned up in the Announcements. You can also start at the beginning on our website! Steve offers a mini-master class which you can register for for free on our Home Page.

If you’ve exhausted all the local avenues for work, and are seriously feeling the pull to move, it may be of benefit to relocate to one of the major cities for VO work, like LA, NY or Dallas. But PLEASE don’t do this before you’re ready and/or have a financial backup plan. For many years I worked several other jobs to support my VO habit. It takes time and hard work, so be prepared to do both, no matter where you live!

Many of Steve’s classes speak into making the most of the location you are in as well as when the right time might be to move to a city where V.O. work is more prevalent!

Classes are available to stream via


Steve has a Recommended Products page on our website that can be found at:

Steve goes deeper into the various mics and their advantages in his Class on Mic TechniqueClass #12 in the Teaching Series. Classes are available to stream via

I personally prefer Protools, but there’s a pretty large learning curve and often lots of troubleshooting involved. Some people tell me that they use Logic or even Garage Band, but I don’t have experience with those. For auditions on the road with my simple USB rig, I use Twisted wave. Inexpensive and user friendly.

Steve goes deeper into the various mics and their advantages in his Class on Mic TechniqueClass #12 in the Teaching Series. Classes are available to stream via

Vocal Care

If you go to my Blog called “Vowel Movement Challenge” on our website, you’ll find a really cool warm-up exercise that I taught in our Facebook Group ( While it’s not MY exercise (I learned it along the way and honestly can’t remember where!) it was so much fun, that we wanted to make it available to everyone.

I also recommend a few vocal aides on the Product Recommendation Page: There are a lot of ways to take care of your voice but plenty of rest, water and warmups/cooldowns are cornerstones for me.

I’m a big proponent of taking holistic care of your voice. That means whole body care. Not just the vocal chords. That’s why I encourage Meditation; ways to warm-up and cool-down the Mind just as much as the physical instrument. I wrote about Holistic Care here:

And in our Newsletter The Voicemonkey Dispatch.

What else? Rest! Sleep! Lots of Water! And as mentioned above, some good solid exercises and one or two great products

Steve also talks about this essential aspect of Voiceover in Class #4 – Warmups and Cooldowns. Classes are available to stream via

Personal Development

No! I didn’t start doing this work full time until I was 40 years old!

There are thousands of voice actors out there and everyone has a different story and entry point into the business. There are also many ways to learn the craft. With my amazing team here at Blumvox Studios, we’ve created a webinar series to do just that… to teach you the Art of Voiceover Acting. We’re here to help you learn what voiceover is and is not, teach you how to actually do it, give you resources to support you on your journey and help you to understand that this is, in fact a business and how to navigate it. But guess what? You’ve already started!

You can watch a free masterclass which you can register for on our home page – over 40 minutes covering lots of different topics. Go to the Home Page at and enter your email. Take Notes! You can also join the Blumvox Studios Facebook group at

And if you want to dive right in, Classes are available to stream via

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received in this business (about rejection) came from a guy named Jack Angel. He’s famous for his brilliant voice work in shows like G.I. Joe, the Smurfs and the feature films A.I. and Toy Story. The first week I signed with my agency he told me “The audition IS the job.” If you have the opportunity to audition in the first place, there really is no way you can feel rejection unless you choose to. Not if you truly take it from that perspective. If you treat every single audition as though that was the final gig, you’re actively doing the thing you say you want to do!. Treat it as if it’s the only time you’re going to have with that character or that line or that script and then: let it go. If you book the job later on—great! Bonus! This really helps to alleviate some of the pressure that you might put upon yourself. I audition FAR more than I book, like at a ratio of 30-50 auditions per each booking, and I’ve been doing this for decades! Do the best you can do. Do a great audition and then let it go.

Like learning everything else in life. One step at a time. It’s supposed to be fun, so start there. Take classes. Get experience. Do your research. And practice practice practice. We have come up with dozens of ways to help you along in the process in our classes. Too much to include here.  Just remember, like anything worth having, it’s worth working for and takes time. Patience is something to start practicing right now.

Steve is a big fan of meditation, especially for those overwhelming times. He talks about this in his Blog at:

And also in his Teaching Series – Class #6 – Guided Meditation. Class #6 was SO popular that he decided to record a professional Guided Mediation for Download, which can be found at

Was it Nike that says, “Just Do It?”. You’ve got to just do it, especially if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Know that you will make mistakes. Know that you will sometimes “fail.”. Know that everyone that exudes confidence is also very familiar with being afraid. The only difference between them and you is that they’ve “done it” more often. They’ve done it, despite the fear of failure.

You cannot have success without failure. Every successful person will tell you they fail way more than they succeed.  There’s a piece we did on Toonami called “Fall down seven times, get up eight”, if you haven’t seen it check it out on YouTube, It’s a definitive way of describing the power of failure and how you can actually use that to your advantage. I fail every single day, but fortunately in voice-over they I can do another take.  Here’s another fun (and weird) piece of inspiration:

Steve is not able to offer private coaching at this time beyond his Teaching Series.

Steve did conduct a small Advanced Live Coaching class for a period of time which you may hear referenced within the archived Teaching Series classes but unfortunately he will not be offering these classes again for the foreseeable future. His schedule simply didn’t allow enough time in the day to give the attention the students deserve without sacrificing something from the other classes or from his voiceover and/or personal obligations. The student’s experience is critically important to Steve, so he had to make the hard decision to end it for now.

However, he put together a list of other amazing teachers who offer this sort of coaching who he recommends for you to consider:

Animation/Video Games

Bob Bergen

Crispin Freeman

Richard Horvitz

Mick Wingert–coaching.html

Ben Pronsky

David Sobolov


Mary Lynn Wissner

Elaine Craig


Joyce Castellanos


Eliza Jane Schneider

Karen Strassman

>> If you’re in the Los Angeles Area, many excellent live classes can be found here (BUT CHECK TESTIMONIALS AND do your homework!!!):

There is no official age limit for the classes, however we ask that the membership be purchased by an adult parent or guardian and that they be advised that some of the special guest classes within the archive (as well as the monthly live classes) feature explicit language.

Beyond that, Steve’s Teaching Series is an “all-levels” class so we would be happy to have you!


Steve also wrote about this in his “Making Friends With Your Voice” Blog, which you can read here: It’s a really BIG subject, one that deserved its own class, and in fact, it’s the very FIRST thing he wanted to talk about with his students. You can find that in Class #2 – Making Friends With Your Voice. This one comes up throughout many different lectures and Q&A sessions, especially the first volume of classes, which are all about the “Inner Game” ie: what we tell ourselves, how to get past our fears and how looking stupid can be the best thing we can do for ourselves (and others!).

Steve goes even deeper into this subject in Class #3 – Building Confidence, Looking Stupid and Embracing It! Classes are available to stream via


LinkedIn is a great place to network with other voice actors. We also have a Facebook Group called The Blumvox Studios Community, which you can access at We require that you answer all 3 questions to get into the group (following direction is an important skill!). There’s a Master Resource List in the Announcement section of the Facebook group that lists VO learning sites, books, blogs, podcasts, etc… It was put together by our Team and fellow VA’s in the Blumvox Studios Community. It’s very helpful! Make sure that you also check out Steve’s free master class which you can register for on the Home Page of our website:

Not sure what you’re asking here. Are you an acting teacher? If so, with the student’s (and or their parent’s) permission, and if they’re not yet professionals, I suppose you could share their work online, but that should be up to them to do. This is a proactive business and each individual must take responsibility for their own career and life. If you’re a voice acting teacher and don’t know the answer to your question, perhaps consider taking my class? Not trying to be snarky here, but I work very hard to guide my students in the most professional way possible. I also do my best to protect them from predators – and this is the entertainment business. There are lots of them out there.

Steve speaks in many of his classes about the dos and don’ts of Networking effectively AND appropriately

Classes are available to stream via

Voice / Character Development

There’s a great online resource at

Another great in-person resource is Eliza Jane Schneider. She’s one of my favorites for dialects classes. Eliza is a dedicated, professional dialect coach and has traveled all over the world recording authentic native speakers, which is what this resource is about too. They have native speakers talking in those dialects and it’s free, but if you want to further your education in authentic dialects, I would highly recommend going to Eliza. She teaches online classes and does personal coaching too, so check her out!

Building characters begins with you being available to inspiration. Inspiration can be found in all things, mostly living things but inanimate objects also. Information on how to be another character always begins with you. I talk a lot in class about finding your Authentic Neutral, your natural you, your natural state of being. This is the way you normally speak in conversation and in your day to day living. Your Authentic Neutral is all about finding your base line, discovering what your normal way of being is, and really getting in touch with that. From there is where you find all the intervals to start building your characters. Pay attention to the world around you. Become present with your surroundings wherever you are, inside, outside, it doesn’t matter. It all starts with awareness.

Steve goes into depth on this topic in Class #13 – Building Characters in his Teaching Series. Classes are available to stream via


One of the things that I use is what I call “standing a Welker away from the microphone” (named after the great Frank Welker). Take your hand and make the “hang loose” sign from Hawaii. (thumb and pinky finger extended – middle three fingers folded) Put your thumb up to your lip, and the pinky finger to the microphone and (generally speaking), that’s how far away from the mic you should be before you start. The engineer will tell you if they need you to come closer or farther away, but at least that’s a really great baseline of where you need to place your face in front of the microphone to get the optimum sound when you’re creating a character. From that, you don’t want to deviate too much. You don’t want to go to the left or to the right because you’re going to do what we call “off-mic” or “off-axis”. You need to stay completely stable in front of the microphone so it doesn’t change the performance.

You can still mitigate a lot of that with proper mic technique -i.e. placement, angle, (of you and the mic). Beyond that, if the impediment is severe, I would suggest professional speech therapy if you’re going to pursue this as a career.

Steve covers more on Mic Technique in Class #12 – Mic Technique in his Teaching Series. Classes are available to stream via

Website Development

Well, before you even consider building a website, know that you will need to have demos on there, and as I’ve mentioned many times before, the demo should be one of the last things you do before you launch yourself. I also recommended NOT spending the time and money on a pro demo until you’re ready. How do you know you’re ready? If you’re asking that question, you’re not.

Before you can accurately represent yourself online, you need to have a pretty good idea of what you actually have to offer and fine tune that enough so it’s represented on the first version of your website. This way visitors to your website will get a solid sense of what to expect if they hire you.

Your website can be your one-stop shop for people to get the complete picture (with audio) of who you are in this industry. There are a lot of working parts to a great – or at least effective website. Don’t rush that and/or make expensive mistakes. This all requires a lot of introspection, honesty and research, so what you ultimately put onto your website is accurate, interesting and enticing. There is a lot to think about well in advance. I would encourage you to start researching what other people have done.

Websites are an all-inclusive representation of who you are and what you have to offer, so it should also represent your style. Even if you don’t have demos yet, it’s a good time to start figuring out what your style is.

You can find more info on this in:

  • Steve’s Teaching Series, Class #24 entitled: “Your Website”.

Steve’s Classes are available to stream via

Questions about steve’s career

Back in the late 80’s I was working in the mailroom of a low budget sci-fi film company as a driver and production assistant to support the R&B funk band I was playing in at the time (opening for heavy metal and hair bands). Our boss was a buddy of mine who happened to be casting for what he called a “Japanimation” show. We always goofed around with stupid voices, and I had the deepest one in the room, so he asked if I’d be interested in giving dubbing a try as a monster ripping the limbs off another monster. It meant free breakfast and lunch on a Saturday, so being a starving musician, I risked it. I was the only non-actor there, completely terrified and thought I was awful, but apparently I did ok! They hired me on the spot. I worked 26 episodes on that series (The Guyver), at first doing creature voices, but soon I graduated to actual English speaking roles. I had the benefit of watching some of the best actors in town and took mental notes of everything they did – and used a ton of their tricks! I seemed to have a natural knack for it and I’ve been going ever since. I think my ability to sync with the lip flaps of the Japanese characters came from years of playing music. Language and phrasing of speech is a rhythmic and melodic thing. It simply made sense to my weird brain. The acting was the hard part. That took years of work before I felt confident. I had no idea that voice acting could ever be considered a “real job”. For years, I had three other jobs to support me so I could do VO for fun and food on the weekends!

Check out the blog page for Steve’s Personal Story:

Like children, there are no “favorites”. At least there shouldn’t be. If I’m not fully invested in the character I’m working on today, I shouldn’t be voicing him (or her). I find they all leave some sort of mark on me and hopefully vice versa. Spike was the most influential character in my personal and professional life to the point that I still have conversations about him almost every day 20 years later! Same with TOM from Toonami. It was also amazing to play iconic characters like Wolverine and Starscream, but some of the more obscure characters hold special meaning to me as they help me to heal parts of my own life and affect others. Zeb from Star Wars Rebels took me into an entirely new dimension of my personal fandom that I didn’t realize ran so deep in my subconscious. The best characters for me though are the ones who touch the lives of the fans. That gives me purpose as a human being.

When I first became aware that voiceover was actually a thing, I started listening to people like Frank Welker. I started on creature work and I hadn’t studied the people that created that aspect of voiceover work (unlike most people do). I knew of Mel Blanc, he was probably the most inspirational person to me, even before I knew what voiceover was. Second to him would be Frank Welker. I got to work with Frank years ago on “What’s New Scooby-Doo?” It was amazing! I think I may have externally fanboy squealed when I first got to shake his hand. He was a kind, genuine, amazing person. Since then I’ve gotten to know and work with Frank on Transformers Prime. He’s just a wonderful man and he was so amazing to work with. They say be careful about meeting your heroes but that’s one I will never regret. He’s become a dear friend. Bob Bergen (Voice of Porky Pig) was also a huge influence and still is to this day, besides being one of the most dedicated, generous and wildly brilliant talents (and humans) on this planet. He took the time to help me then and is one of the reasons I feel compelled to pay this forward now.

Hey friends,
For many many years I have offered free autographs on my site, but unfortunately people took advantage of my good intentions and sent way too many pieces, didn’t include proper packaging or postage, resold items I signed for free – for enormous profit, or abused my time with unrealistic expectations. I have begged, pleaded, and warned countless times across social media and on my site for people to follow the clearly stated rules and still too many refused to comply. My work schedule is insanely busy and I simply can’t allot more time and energy to a free service that is continually abused. I agonized over this decision, but at this point, please don’t send any more items to our old address. We shut down that P.O. Box and your items will be returned to sender by the post office.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t still get personalized stuff from me tho! Just resetting to go through the regular channels like everybody else.

I do regular signings now through, and will always announce them on my social media (Instagram & Twitter @blumspew; Facebook @SteveBlumVoices)

Thank you for understanding and hopefully I’ll see you in person at a convention sooner than later!

Learn how to do what Steve does by taking classes with the man himself!

Classes are available to stream via

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