Books, Podcasts and Other Great Resources

Great Books:

For VO:

The Art of Voice Acting by James Alburger

Voice Over Legal by Rob Sciglimpaglia Jr.

Rodney Saulsberry’s Tongue Twisters and Vocal Warm Ups

Word of Mouth: A Guide to Commercial and Animation Voice-Over Excellence. Third Edition. Susan Blu, Molly Ann Mullin, and Cynthia Songé.

There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is: A Complete Insider’s Guide to Earning Income and Building a Career in Voice-Overs. Third Edition. Elaine A. Clark.

How to Start and Build a Six-Figure Voice Over Business. Bill DeWees.

VO: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-Over Actor. Harlan Hogan.

Voice Actor’s Guide to Recording at Home… And on the Road. Harlan Hogan and Jeffrey P. Fisher.

Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen. Paul Meier.

Voice-Over Voice Actor: What It’s Like Behind the Mic. Tara Platt and Yuri Lowenthal.

Tongue Twisters and Vocal Warm-Ups. Rodney Saulberry.

Voiceovers: Techniques and Tactics for Success. Janet Wilcox.

Voice-Over for Animation. Jean Ann Wright and MJ Lallo.


Acting for the Camera

Tony Bar

Acting In Commercials

Joan See

Acting in Film

Michael Caine

Acting in the Million Dollar Minute

Tom Logan

Hitting Your Mark

Steve Carlson

How to Book Jobs in TV and Film

Cathy Reinking

How to Make an Audience Fall in Love with You

Deryn Warren

How to Stop Acting

Harold Guskin

Intent to Live

Larry Moss

The Power of the Actor

Ivana Chubbuck

The Science of On-Camera Acting

Andreo Morris

True and False

David Mamet


Comedy Bible

Judy Carter

Truth in Comedy


Improvisation for the Theater

Viola Sporin



Michael Shurtleff

Casting Directors Secrets

Ginger Howard Friedman

Confessions of a Casting Director

Jen Rudin

For Presenting and Public Speaking:

Show and Tell by Dan Roam

For Vocal Health:

Broadcast Voice Handbook by Dr. Ann S. Utterback

VO Podcasts:

Voiceover Body Shop with George Whittam and Dan Lenard

Julie William’s Podcast

Know of other great books, podcasts or articles?  Please contact us and we’ll post them here.

Which Voiceover Conference is right for you?

Voiceover Conferences! So many to choose from. Which one, if any, are the right ones for you?
There are so many great voiceover conferences. I remember my reluctance at first to attend. I was convinced it would be table after table of bad demo producers. I thought everyone would be trying to sell me something that I had to have as a VO talent.
What I found was totally different! I made amazing connections — connections that have lasted. Now I can only speak to attending the WoVo Las Vegas Conference (part of the World-Voices organization, of which we are members), VO Atlanta, and That’s Voiceover. They are all completely different.
Here are my quick thoughts:
WoVo Con – Las Vegas October 2019.
I loved this conference. I will be attending every year. Not only was it small enough to feel manageable to leave work for three days, but I had meaningful conversations with the same people over multiple days. I met the people I needed to meet. With 120 attendees, it was just the right size.
As far as breakout sessions and classes, we had some of the best folks there. Bob Bergen (WB’s Porky Pig) gave the keynote, Mary Lynn Wissner taught a three-hour session the day before, and the breakout sessions were quality. Most importantly, I came away with 50+ new friends. It was amazing. Cost to attend is approximately $350 in advance if you are a member. A little more if you are not a member. I will be there this fall.
This is a big one. 750+ attendees. But I have to say, it was still terrific, if a little on the large side. I still made amazing networking contacts and new friends, but fewer than I did at WoVo. The breakout sessions where so numerous there was no way I could attend them all. But I liked all but one that I attended. And nowhere, including in the exhibition hall, did I find shady folks selling stuff I did not need. Everything and everyone there had been carefully screened by Gerald Griffith, the organizer, and they were legit. Now, there are voice talents that find this to be the BEST conference and they attend every year. It’s pricey. The room, travel and conference can run you $1500- and then you’ll want to do one or two (or more) x-sessions (completely worth it to experience some of the best VO trainers at one time). Those x-sessions run $190-$250 for each three-hour class. So, $$$. And you should attend at least once if you can.
That’s Voiceover and the SOVAS Awards
When I attended in LA in 2016, this one had an “entertainment” feel to it. Lots of great networking but no breakout sessions. You spend one day watching panels of VO superstars- which is fun but not as interactive or educational.  However, there is a fantastic opportunity to audition into a “round robin” session where between 6-10 agents/talent/working pros get to hear your demo and give you direct feedback. I found that session to be outstanding and I made a number of great connections in that 30 minutes. The second day includes the SOVA Awards and Gala. I have not attended the Society of Voice Arts Awards ceremony, so I cannot speak to that part of the conference.
All in all, conferences help keep you in touch with what’s going on in the world of VO, will help you make outstanding contacts and they are a wonderful way to improve your craft.

Vocal Health Resources

Your vocal cords (also called vocal folds) are membranes attached to the muscles in your neck and throat– and they can get hurt.  Sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently.  We are here to help. Your vocal health is important throughout your whole life. You need to know more about vocal hygiene and vocal health!

Here is a fantastic link about vocal myths.

Here is a fantastic link to help you understand your cords and how they work.

Podcast with the Voiceover Insider with SVI’s director Shana Pennington-Baird on fatigue and vocal health.

Want instant relief from a tired voice?  Watch this video from Ingo Titze.

First and foremost, if you feel PAIN of any kind…. STOP.  And by stop, we mean talking, whispering, singing… everything.  And schedule an appointment with an otolaryngologist TODAY.

Dr. Al Merati, otolaryngologist at UW Medicine.
Don’t wait.

For voices with damage there are several courses of action– and this website is going to give very broad sweeping statements– and you’ll need to determine exactly what is going on with your vocal cords and why.  But here are a few basic solutions:

  • Possible vocal rest for a period of time (4 weeks)
  • Speech therapy
  • Surgery

Ways to hurt your voice:

  • Glottal fry
  • Harsh glottal onset
  • Never varying pitch and staying in one or two notes in your vocal range
  • Singing or speaking outside your pitch range
  • Improper warming up or warming down

This page is a work in progress and we will continue to add articles and assistance for those who need help with damaged cords.

Online Voice Education

Here are some great resources for you to learn from your home, at your own pace.  



Pat Fraley

Study at your own pace with Patrick Fraley.

Patrick has guided more performers into meaningful voice over careers than anyone in the history of VO Instruction. As a performer, he has created voices for over 4,000 characters, placing him in the top ten of all time to be cast in animated TV shows. 



And he has free resources as well:



Edge Studio

Edge Studio has a wealth of information on their site.  They have an extensive script library, weekly podcasts and more to help you succeed.




Global Voice Acting Academy



This online school offers workshops, coaching and a rate guide that can help all of us.  Have a camera ready in your studio -- these workshops are great networking.


Larry Hudson Voiceover Workouts

This is NOT COACHING (it is not a replacement for great coaching from a qualified coach). We are a group of dedicated voiceover artists that come together to work out and support one another. The intent for the Workouts is for us to continue to hone our skills and “BOOK”... that is, to continue to be or become great “BOOKERS”.

From the experience of those of us who have worked out together this way for over 4 years, it is clear we have created a special community to rely on. We share information with one another coaching tips we have received, jobs, technical advice and recommendation, all of it. We are clear that while receiving is a great thing, the power and growth comes from the giving as well, and this is that opportunity.

Here is Larry's full site-- he also teaches great Audacity classes.

#VoiceStrong – VO Agent Alliance

Learn from a bunch of VO Agents who want to keep you informed about what's changing in the industry. Led by Erik Sheppard of Sheppard Agency.

VO Agent Alliance



Great Video Blog from Erik Sheppard

Irreverent and hysterical. Worth watching to stay engaged in the ever-changing VO field.

Accents and Dialects

Here are our best resources for learning dialects and accents:


Paul Meier

Paul Meier is an outstanding dialect teacher located in the midwest.  His book is worth every penny– and includes CDs.  In addition to his book and downloads online, Paul worked on the website below.  It’s a compilation of real people reading in most dialects you can think of.  If you need real examples of dialects, use the following link:

IDEA website— IDEA International Dialects of English Archive


For dialect coaching in the Seattle area or by Skype:

Marianna deFazio

Dialect Resource is the website of Gillian Lane-Plescia, another great resource for dialect coaching:


More on speech work:

Knight-Thompson Speechwork is a highly effective, skills-based approach to speech and accent training for actors that places emphasis on developing the speaker’s detailed awareness of—and deep engagement with—the precise physical actions which make up speech. By combining a rigorous investigation of those actions with playful, experiential exercises, this work moves quickly and effectively past the usual interference that can make speech work difficult for many students.The primary guiding principle is curious, attentive interrogation—interrogation of what we’re doing physically when we speak; interrogation of what physical habits we may bring to the act of speaking that inhibit free and flexible expression; interrogation of what it is that makes speech intelligible or unintelligible; thoughtful investigation of what any text, moment, or medium might require from the actor in terms of skilled speech; interrogation of what, precisely, makes up what we call an ‘accent’; interrogation of what it is that allows actors to most efficiently, skillfully, and accurately adopt different accents.


Audio Support

Setting up a home studio, producing “broadcast quality files” and making sure you sound your best is not easy. But there is plenty of help available.

If you need help from your home studio: (Audiobook Creation Exchange — part of will review your audiobook sample for free.

More details coming soon…

Edge Studio has a great “tech check” program.


New Program from Edge Studio— $97 (through Jan 2016) to send in three files and consult directly with George Whittam.


And Seattle has wonderful local sound engineers.  If you are interested in working directly with a local sound engineer, please email us at contact@seattlevoiceinstitute and we’ll put you in touch with someone who can help with your exact needs.  Often, they can do this remotely.

Local Studios:


This is where we do the bulk of our recording.  The staff at Jack Straw Cultural Center are wonderful, professional and their non-profit mission is outstanding.  If you need to do a quick audition, this is a great place to do it.

These guys are pros.  This is where Nintendo records.  Fantastic studio.

And… have you ever wanted to learn more about sound…. check out this article….

Professional Development

Acting and Improv Resources

Unexpected Productions – Improv training

Freehold Theatre  – acting classes

Mighty Tripod Productions – acting coaching and film coaching


National Networking Opportunities:

VO Atlanta  –  Voice-over annual conference– Spring

APA– Audiobook Publishers Association –  New York – annually – May

That’s Voiceover – New York – November (hosts Voice Arts Awards)



Northwest Networking Opportunities:

VO Meetup Group in Seattle

Huge kudos and thank you to Magpie McLaurin for setting up this group.  We are 76 members and growing.  We meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.


Non-profit Group dedicated to Voice-Over:

This is a new non-profit that is helping fight the battle for ethical behavior in the voice-over world.  Check them out and JOIN!!!


Legal Assistance:

BWR Consulting

We highly recommend getting your contracts looked over by a Washington attorney.  Brent Williams-Ruth is local to Seattle and knows our state’s laws.  Protect yourself.  We recommend this for any voice-over work you do on your own without an agent.  Don’t work on a handshake deal.


Mind and Body

No matter how you use your voice– singing, voice-over, public speaking– you need to take care of your voice.    And your voice is part of a larger system– the human body.  So, it’s great to take care of it so that it takes care of you.  Here are some thoughts on how to do just that.


There are lots of great massage therapists in Seattle.  We recommend Llysa and Andrew because they are also performers who understand what you need as vocal performers.  They are located near lower Queen Anne in Seattle.

Hands On Location Massage in Seattle


Artist Way

The Seattle Artist’s Way classes are based on The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which takes students through a 12 week course to explore their inner creativity. For some that inner creativity could be getting in touch with their artistic dramatic side, while for others it might look like being more creative in their personal or work life.  A number of our students have found our classes particularly helpful during job transitions while others noted that the material helped them to uncover new ways to tap into their creative side as well as ways to nurture themselves.  The tools of the program are practical, straightforward, inspiring and easy to implement. We offer both group 12 week Artist’s Way classes as well as individual one-to-one creativity coaching.


Fitzmaurice Voicework®

Fitzmaurice Voicework® is a comprehensive, holistic approach to voice training. Originally developed for actors, it is now also used to help people with a wide variety of interests and needs.  Find out more.

To find certified Fitzmaurice voice teachers near you for private voice lessons or for inquiries, visit our teachers section.

You can search for certified Fitzmaurice teachers with the following specialties:
Clinicians (Doctors or Speech Language Pathologists)
Knight-Thompson Speechwork Teachers

You can also search for certified teachers in the following ways:
Geographic Locations (find teachers by their location)
Institutions (find teachers by the institutions in which they teach)
MFA Programs (find teachers who teach in graduate programs)
Non-English Language Speakers (find teachers who are fluent in languages other than English, as well as English)


Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is a way to feel better, and move in a more relaxed and comfortable way… the way nature intended. An Alexander Technique teacher helps you to identify and lose the harmful habits you have built up over a lifetime of stress and learn to move more freely. The Alexander Technique is for you if you are ready to feel more comfortable in your own body.

The Alexander Technique can also help you if:

  • You suffer from repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • You have a backache or stiff neck and shoulders.
  • You become uncomfortable when sitting at your computer for long periods of time.
  • You are a singer, musician, actor, dancer or athlete and feel you are not performing at your full potential.

Local instructor:  Lynn Compton




Home Studios

Voice-over has changed dramatically in the past 10 years.  What was once mostly in-studio work, done at a few production studios is now a combination of professional studios and home studios.  With the advent of on-line auditioning sites, home studios are providing broadcast quality talent for producers all over the world.  For voice artists with agents, home studios have become the primary place to record auditions and send them on to the clients.


Right now, the voice-over world is a wild, wild west with many options out there.  In this online library we will list many options and keep them as up-to-date as possible.  But know, you don’t have to spend $5000. We have many options from $75 to as much as you want to spend.  Your goal: broadcast-quality sound files.


The Physical Studio

You need a quiet place that will not bounce sound around.

1.  No windows or cover them with blankets

2.  If you use a music stand, cover it with a piece of carpet scrap

3.  Clothing around you (the closet) will reduce sound

4.  You will need a lighting source to read your material

5.  You need room to move your arms– and a place to either sit/stand or both.

6.  You want to dampen the sound in front (and optimally) behind you.  Acoustic tiles are great for this.

7.  You want your mic optimally placed for your voice and in a place that will not block your view of the copy. And make sure you are not looking down collapsing the front of the neck which will change your sound.

8.  You may need shock mount to reduce vibrations.

9.  Check for blowing noises (or any other noise) around you.  Refrigerators, air conditioning, heaters.  You may need to set up away from them or turn them off.

Consider how much time you are really going to work in your studio.  For example, if you really want to do audiobooks, you need a comfortable studio where you can stand/sit for long periods.  The studio photographed above is extremely comfortable for long sessions.  The mic is on a boom arm that allows for sitting or standing and the music stand can be moved up and down for perfect placement.

If you are only doing auditions– use the closet!  Seriously.  It’s less than an hour a day.  Or get a large refrigerator box, cut out one side, and put in acoustic tiles.

Where to buy acoustic tiles:



Want a ready made sound studio:

Where to buy $3000 -$10,000 Whisper Rooms


Traveling studios:

These are great!  And you could also use it at home for auditions (or make your own….)

Harlan Hogan


Equipment for the Studio

With the advent of quality USB mics, you can get started with a laptop (or desktop) computer, a quality USB mic, studio headphones and editing software.  Yes, you can also have a pre-amp, mixer, etc…. but wait on that until you are ready.  These days you as the voice-over artist need to be able to understand a little bit about sound– but you don’t have to learn everything at once.  Learn as you go.

Note:  Every mic is a little different with different voices.  You can go to Guitar Center to test how different mics sound with your voice.  You can also return them if you need to.  Blue is putting out some really great USB mics.  We highly recommend the Blue Yeti and Blue Yeti Pro.

Resources for hardware:

Editing Software:

Audacity is free editing software.  It’s a great place for beginners to learn how to record, make edits and basic mastering.  It’s great for auditions.  For long-form narration, we recommend other software that is less clunky. Adobe’s Audition is outstanding for long-form narration and Pro-Tools is great.  Just know you are learning to fly a jet engine just to drive around the parking lot.


Tech Checks and Ways to Know if Your Studio is “Broadcast Quality”

SVI Tech Check- email a file to us and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours with honest feedback.  We work with several local audio engineers and we are happy to put you directly in touch with them as well.  We charge $25 for this service to check up to 1 minute of recorded sound.



Other great resources from Seattle Studio Training: