ABOUT VOICETRAX

Let your voice take you on a journey of a lifetime…

Founded in 1988 by Samantha Paris, Voicetrax is the largest and only voice-over academy of its kind in the nation.
Voicetrax offers a rotating curriculum of more than 100 different voice-over classes, workshops and lectures – taught by Samantha Paris or one of her hand-selected, renowned Guest Directors, including top actors, producers, directors, talent agents, and casting directors from Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

Voicetrax offers an inclusive, unique community that is known for its supportive culture and camaraderie. Our students represent a wide variety of professions and backgrounds, and come from all over the country to take classes. A significant majority of our students become consistently working, professional voice actors.

Here’s just a sampling of projects voice by Voicetrax-trained actors:

  • Promos for the Olympics, NBC, ABC, The WB, MSNBC and PBS as well as the instantly identifiable voice of Hulu (the following is brought to you with limited interruptions…), “The Voice” in the Scream movie franchise and the hit CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls
  • Narration for E! Entertainment, HGTV, The Science Channel, Visa, Apple, Cisco, HP and Oracle
  • Advertising campaigns for McDonald’s, Subaru, Jeep, Dorito’s, Levi’s Stadium, Clorox, Honda, Macy’s, Comcast and the iconic Taco Bell Chihuahua
  • Roles in numerous animated series and movies including Happy Feet, Toy Story 3, Sponge Bob Square Pants, The Powerpuff Girls, Archer, Rugrats, Rocko’s Modern World, The Super Hero Squad and The Fairly Odd Parents
  • Roles in some of the most successful video games in history, including: The Walking Dead, League of Legends, Star Wars, Final Fantasy, The Wolf Among Us, Lord of the Rings, Law & Order, Transformers, Mass Effect and Sim City

In addition to training individuals to become successful voice actors, Voicetrax also helps people become more effective and authentic in their own professional and personal lives. For example, Voicetrax students include attorneys who want to be more persuasive, sales people who want to connect better with their clients, and people who simply want to learn to express themselves more fully and clearly for their own personal reasons – whether to read a more engaging bedtime story to their children or overcome a lifetime of paralyzing shyness.

Discover all that Voicetrax has to offer.

SAMANTHA PARIS

Samantha Paris Voiceover TrainingWe are nothing without our dreams…

Voicetrax founder, Samantha Paris, has several sayings that she incorporates into her teaching style, amongst them: we are nothing without our dreams. Samantha, with big dreams of her own, was born Bobbi Block in Burbank, California, and started performing at the age of five. She was greatly influenced by her grandfather, Martin Block, who as the first disc jockey in America, created New York’s popular Make Believe Ballroom on WNEW radio and hosted the show for over 20 years. Samantha’s dream of becoming an actress began to take flight at age 15 when she took her first voice-over class and then landed an agent one year later. Over the next 12 years, Samantha enjoyed a career that included nearly 1,000 national and regional commercials, roles in nearly 200 half–hour animated television cartoon shows including the megahit series, Jem and the Holograms. She landed several leading appearances in episodic television and a starring role in the ABC After School Special I Think I’m Having A Baby. She also starred with Michael Landon in a two episode storyline on Highway To Heaven.

But with all of her performing success, including three Clio Awards, there was a voice inside Samantha telling her, there had to be something more. What she knew for sure was that she had one major dream still unanswered: to live near the Golden Gate Bridge. Going purely on instinct and with no specific plan in place, in 1988, she moved to the Bay Area and bought a home in Mill Valley.

Almost immediately upon her arrival, Samantha unexpectedly took on her first voice-over student. One student became two, then four, and before she knew it, her students were multiplying. She quickly discovered the rewards of helping others find their own true voices. She had found her something more. She captured tremendous media attention for her groundbreaking training program. Thus, Voicetrax San Francisco was born and the studio was built in Sausalito, just 3 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.

The extensive media coverage garnered by Samantha not only caught the attention of new students, but also the ears of top San Francisco ad agency producers. They were excited to discover there was a fresh pool of actors being developed in the Bay Area, therefore eliminating the need to constantly go to Los Angeles to find voices for their projects. Now Voicetrax Casting was up and running. Over the years, Samantha took great pride in her company finding work for local actors. Clients included Chevron, Cisco, Visa, Macy’s, Toyota, Fisher Price, AT&T, Starbucks, Sony, Hewlett Packard, eBay and many more.

Now, nearly three decades later, Voicetrax stands alone as the largest, most comprehensive and respected voice-over academy in the United States. With a rotating curriculum of over 100 different courses of study, Samantha and her distinguished team of guest directors help each student accomplish their unique goals.

Samantha has watched thousands of students cross the threshold at Voicetrax. She is inspired by the tremendous success of her students and how that success, in whatever shape it takes, has brought them happiness and contentment in their lives. In her words, “I’m so proud of my students’ accomplishments and honored that they’ve put so much trust in me to help them find their voices and realize their dreams.”

GUEST DIRECTORS

The industry’s top talent…

The wide array of voice-over workshops and seminars presented by Voicetrax is unique in the industry. Founder Samantha Paris recruits the industry’s top talent to teach Voicetrax students, hand-picking Guest Directors from amongst the best voice actors, producers, writers, creative directors, agents, casting directors and acting coaches in New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

These incredibly accomplished individuals have hundreds of years of combined industry experience and countless awards to their credit. They eagerly share their knowledge, expertise and proven techniques with developing voice actors, or anyone else looking to stretch their creativity, enhance their speaking skills or embark upon a unique journey. Don’t take our word for it, see for yourself…

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Voicetrax?
While much has changed in the voice-over industry since 1988 when Samantha founded Voicetrax San Francisco, her guiding vision has remained the same: provide rigorous, state-of-the-art training in all genres of voice-over so students can develop the skills necessary to compete successfully anywhere, whether in San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York. Samantha hand-picks only the top talent agents, casting directors, producers, and actors in the industry to give Voicetrax students an opportunity to learn from the biggest and brightest teachers all under one roof. Check out our amazing group of Guest Directors profiles!

To ensure that students get the most from their Voicetrax training, Samantha and her staff have created a supportive, friendly, safe environment emphasizing creativity, imagination and self-expression without fear of failure–a fun place where even non-actors who just want a creative outlet feel welcome and at home, to such an extent that everyone gets personal, hand-written guidance from Samantha twice a year to guarantee an individualized experience best-suited for each student.

Nowhere else in the country will you find such a comprehensive voice acting training curriculum in one place. Our program offers all the guidance and instruction necessary to become a competitive, well-trained voice actor. The ratio of Voicetrax students turned working voice actors is unparalleled in the industry. The bottom line is our students work and they work often.

Do I need acting experience to do voice-overs?
Many people who study at Voicetrax have no previous acting experience, but since learning to do voice-over is primarily about learning to act with your voice, acting is the foundation of our curriculum. To meet the needs of students who have little or no acting training, we offer many introductory voice-over classes, so that beginners and intermediate-level students can access classes that focus on teaching acting basics in a relaxed, unintimidating setting.

Do I need “natural-born” talent to do voice-overs?
Our philosophy at Voicetrax is akin to the growth mindset that tells us that intelligence and creative ability are attributes that can be developed and improved over time, meaning in essence that talent can be taught. Anyone with the desire to pursue voice-over, the commitment to study, the willingness to take risks and ultimately be themselves has the potential to succeed. Voicetrax provides an environment where students can unleash their creative powers and enjoy what they’re doing, and continue to love it even in the face of the inevitable challenges that occur while learning something new. We’ve seen students with the focus and determination to succeed overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles through perseverance and hard work. And if you think you need to have a “great voice” to be a voice actor, let’s bust that myth right here and now. Because voice-over is about acting, your wonderfully exquisite and unique voice is the only voice you need for success.

How long will it take before I’m ready to make a demo?
You should put together a demo only when you are good enough to compete against the working talent in your market. Generally, it takes a few years to develop the necessary acting and self-direction skills to meet this standard. While it’s true that in this age of digital “enhancement” you can manipulate tracks on a demo to simulate a certain level of voice-over proficiency, bear in mind that if you’re hired, you’ll be expected to deliver the same level of performance represented on your demo, on demand and in real time. If you’re unable to live up to your demo, the same producer won’t hire you again.

When you’ve acquired the acting and self-direction skills necessary for a good demo, it’s important to work with an experienced demo professional because your demo will play several key roles in your success. First and foremost, the bigger and better paid jobs are usually acquired via agent-sent auditions and to get a reputable agent to sign you, your demo must be at a certain standard both performance and audio quality wise. When agents and casting directors hear demos that aren’t up to industry standards, it demonstrates the actor submitting the demo isn’t well trained and doesn’t understand the competitive nature of this profession. Secondly, a well-produced demo can bring you direct bookings (being hired without auditioning) through your talent agent and online casting sites and in this competitive field any job you can get without having to audition will help you to create stability in your earning potential.

How many Voicetrax students actually become working voice actors?
Our percentage rate of turning both actors and non-actors alike into working voiceover professionals is unparalleled in the industry, with literally hundreds of actors who started at Voicetrax now working full-time as voice and on-camera talent in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. We also have a significant majority of students go on to supplement their incomes at different levels by consistently booking jobs and others have gone on to work as directors, producers, casting directors and instructors. In fact, nearly 25% of our Guest Directors are former students.

What kind of home-recording equipment is required?
Contrary to popular belief, a professional-grade studio does not require you to spend thousands of dollars; if you’ve got a laptop, you already have the most expensive component. For as little as $300-$500 dollars more, you can have a closet studio to rival the acoustics of a professional booth. Just remember that you’ll likely be recording all your voice acting auditions from your home set-up, so professional audio quality is a must.

How much money do voice actors earn?
Top voice actors make a lot of money–upwards of seven figures, but that’s a very small group. However there are thousands of voice actors who are hired to do voice-overs every day, and many are able to make a comfortable living at it. While voice-over is competitive, there is always room for talented, hard-working, professional newcomers.

Earnings vary dramatically depending upon the type of jobs you book and whether you’re a union member. For instance, how much you earn for a TV or radio ad will depend on where the spots are broadcast and for how long. Rates can range from between a few hundred dollars for a small market radio spot that airs for a few weeks to several thousands of dollars for a nationally broadcast ad that runs for months.

For most other projects–including multimedia, industrial narration and video games–actors are typically paid on an hourly basis. Rates for the first hour normally range between $300-500. For sessions lasting longer than an hour, rates for each additional hour are normally between $200-350. For sessions lasting more than four hours, or for projects requiring multiple recording sessions, the negotiated hourly rate may be less. For audio books, rates are typically in the range of $100-200 per hour, depending on the length and complexity of the project.

We encourage our students to enjoy the journey and the process of learning voice-over. Along the way, you’ll experience the joy of discovering your creativity and expressing yourself. If you can do that, the financial rewards will come.

Is there a minimum age for training at Voicetrax?
A Voicetrax student must be 18 years of age or older. Because acting is the foundation for competitive and marketable voice-over skill, any child interested in voice-acting will benefit from whatever drama training is available in school or even community theater. Although we find the classroom setting far and away the most complete and efficient environment for training, private voice-over coaching might also be a more viable option for children till they come of age.

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