Lectures… Seminars… Workshops…

With a comprehensive, rotating curriculum of over 100 classes, Voicetrax has lectures, seminars and workshops covering the full spectrum of the voice acting craft, geared to all levels of training.

For new and continuing students, please contact our registrar for class availability and guidance BEFORE signing up for classes. Because we keep our class sizes small, they fill up weeks and sometimes months in advance and often have a wait list! We also realize that with the multitude of classes to choose from it may be a bit daunting to know what curriculum strategy would work best for your specific situation. We can help you identify the courses that are most appropriate for your needs at each particular stage of your training and confirm there are seats available.

For Voice Acting Beginners…

If you have no previous voice-over training and/or are looking to find out what the voice-over industry is all about and what it takes to be competitive, look no further than our Finding Your Voice introductory lecture, hosted by none other than Voicetrax Founder Samantha Paris!

Want to peek in on a Voicetrax class? Click here: Class Videos

To see our amazing group of teachers, click here: Guest Directors

Because we keep our class sizes so small, classes often fill up weeks and months in advance, so ENROLL NOW!

Download Voice Acting Class Descriptions

To see the current course catalogue, click here: Voicetrax Star FALL 2018

To see the spring catalogue listing all other 2018 classes, click here: Voicetrax Star SPRING 2018

For actual dates and prices of classes, click here: Registration Form

Voice Acting Courses from Voicetrax SF

Classes for 2018

Beginning Seminar

Director:  Louisa MacKintosh

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: This class is a recommended option for the schedule-challenged novice or students who’ve had previous professional voice acting, acting or broadcasting experience.

This accelerated weekend seminar covers much of the same ground as Beginning Workshop and is designed for the schedule-challenged novice or students who don’t mind being thrown straight into the fire. Get ready, because this is a weekend packed full of information. You’ll explore voice acting fundamentals, including script interpretation, microphone technique, acting choices, and dialogues. You’ll leave this seminar with a better understanding of the voice acting craft, and an awareness of the particular skills and techniques you’ll need to succeed in the current marketplace.

Beginning Workshop

Director: Vicki BaumLouisa MacKintosh

Length: 12-Hour Four Week Workshop

You’ll explore basic voice acting fundamentals including script interpretation, microphone technique, acting choices and dialogues. You’ll jump right into the booth from the very beginning experimenting with improv exercises and audience participation guessing games. By the end of this workshop, you’ll have a solid understanding of the voice acting craft, and an awareness of the particular skills and techniques you’ll need to succeed in the current marketplace, and perhaps even a different perspective of who you are and what your voice actually sounds like!

Creating Characters

Director: Chuck KourouklisBrian Sommer

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

Whether it’s been your dream to be a cartoon character or a video game villain or not, you have many characters inside you that you never knew existed. Chuck and Brian will share their insights, tricks and techniques that have lead to their remarkable success in the character genre. You’ll gain an enhanced understanding of the character creation process.

For those of you who might find the idea of character work a bit intimidating: don’t fret! After this weekend you will possess an increased confidence in your ability to invent colorful and memorable yet realistic characters. With Chuck and Brian’s expertise and encouragement, get ready to unleash your hidden creativity and characters within.

Finding Your Voice

Director: Samantha Paris

Length: 3-Hour Overview

Join Voicetrax founder, Samantha Paris, for an enlightening overview that’s half “everything you ever wanted to know about voice-over” and half interactive exercises where volunteers who are game get to jump right in and actually go into the sound booth and record a character or a radio commercial! You’ll be introduced to the various genres of voiceovers including radio and TV ads, animation, narration, promos and video games. Samantha will offer a straightforward outlook regarding the financial realities of the business, the commitment and training required to become a successful, working voice actor and how you’ll know when you’re really ready for a demo.

Introduction To Narration

Director: Vicki Baum

Length: 14-Hour Four Week Workshop

With narration being the predominant genre in the San Francisco voiceover landscape, if you want to be a consistently working voice actor, your introduction to this field is as important as ever! The different genres of narration are endless including audio tours, audio books, tutorials, medical narration and documentary narration just to name a few.

During this workshop you’ll explore some of those narration styles and techniques as you work with a wide variety of copy including the always growing field of narration for the populous tech companies in the Bay Area. Learn how to engage the listener and weave a story that takes your audience along for the ride, without overpowering the visuals. You’ll acquire a clear perspective on the storytelling skills required to deliver strong, connected, narration performances.

Simply Acting

Director: Frank Coppola

Length: 12-Hour Four Week Workshop

Frank teaches the fundamental acting techniques he’s learned and used successfully over the years, both as an actor and director. Through participation in theater games and improv exercises you’ll increase your comfort level, gain confidence in your performance ability and learn to make bold choices. You’ll also spend time behind the microphone learning how to apply these basic acting concepts to performing commercial copy.

To Paris and Back

Director: Samantha Paris

Length: 6-Hour One Day Lab

Join our founder, Samantha Paris, as she takes you on a whirlwind journey, exploring the world of voice-over. Samantha takes great pride in the fact that she personally guides each student through every step their voiceover voyage, whether your personal path lasts a day, a couple of years or a career lifetime. Through comedy driven dialogue and character work, Samantha will take you through “real world” audition exercises, just like the pros do it. We can’t promise you croque monsieurs and pommes frites, but good old Domino’s pizza will be provided. Working directly with you will allow Samantha to get to know you better, so she can recommend with personal knowledge your next best step as your adventure through the voice-over world continues.


Classes for 2018

Beyond Beginning

Director: Chuck Kourouklis

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Note: None

Now that you’ve built a strong foundation in the fundamental basics of voice acting, it’s time to start considering all the factors visual elements add, and how you can use them to shade your performance. What kind of influence should a television commercial that emphasizes wide open spaces have on your interpretation? Would a tight, detail-oriented shot mandate a difference in your approach? And finally, what are the implications of all this on where you should position yourself on the microphone? Explore all these factors to make your performance just that much more specific. Ultimately, you’ll be able to leverage that knowledge to be the actor that “gets” the script, and therefore, the actor that “gets” the job!

Character Magic

Director: Jeannie Elias

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

Class Note: None

Come prepared to learn proven acting techniques to expand your range and bring fully realized characters to life organically and truthfully. As you explore characters from animation and video games, you’ll learn to use instinct, imagination and emotional authenticity to explore and understand the layers of each one. You’ll discover that once you are genuinely engaged and in the moment… Abracadabra! The “voice” of the character will spring naturally from the work.

Colors Of Your Voice

Director: Chuck Kourouklis

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

Class Note: This introductory course is a prerequisite for enrollment in any class taught by Thom Pinto.

What color is luxury…Silver? Trust…Blue? Excitement…Red? The Colors method, originally developed by Thom Pinto, has helped thousands of actors including your instructor, construct a richer, more vibrant voiceover foundation by assigning different emotions to a specific color. As Chuck leads you through an exploration of your full vocal and emotional spectrum and associates it with colors, you’ll uncover a multitude of voices and interpretations that you’ve never before considered or realized you were capable of delivering.

Founder’s Seminar

Director: Samantha Paris

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

This challenging weekend seminar is script analysis, mic technique and a few surprises all rolled up into one. It’s uncanny how much better your acting gets when you understand the script, so Samantha will take an in-depth look at analyzing copy. You’ll work on dialogues incorporating mic technique to bring the scene alive and tap into a creative side you never knew you possessed. And those surprises we spoke of? Well, if we told you what they were, it wouldn’t be a surprise now would it? As you walk out of the door at the end of the weekend, you’ll be shocked and amazed at the new level of performance you’re capable of.

Improv for Voice Actors

Director: Anna Mathias

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

Ever wonder what a bowling butterfly would be like? How about a rhino with low self esteem? Well get ready to find out and open your mind to all the endless possibilities! In this energetic and fun workout, Anna will jolt you out of your predictable everyday choices, freeing you to take chances and find new and unusual characters, voices and approaches to copy that even you didn’t know you had. Using a variety of tried and true theater games and improv techniques, you’ll gain confidence as you learn to relax in front of the mic.

Voiceover 411

Director: LA Booth Director

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

The first half of this intensive workout with one of San Francisco’s top talent agents will consist of industry insights, advice and how-to’s. Topics such as professionalism, attitude, marketing, realistic goals and industry do’s & don’ts will be explored. You’ll participate in a non-stop audition lab, turning over script after script and get the same type of direction and feedback that you’d receive if you were actually auditioning at a talent agency.


Classes for 2018

Intro To Home Recording

Director: Jim Edgar, Chuck Kourouklis

Length: 18-hour six-week workshop

Class Note: Prerequisites – Students must understand basic computer commands such as Cut, Copy, Paste, Save, Save As, Undo/Redo, etc. Students must have home recording capabilities.

We stopped short of calling this workshop Engineering for Dummies because you’re not a dummy, you’re just “pre-knowledgeable”. This workshop is designed for students who are about to buy their first microphone or just did. Join Jim as he takes you through the basic fundamentals of home recording including recording hardware and software, editing conventions, exporting sound files along with suggestions for a basic set-up if you don’t already have one. You’ll get some hands-on experience in class and by the end will know how to record, edit and submit an mp3 of sufficient quality so you can start getting in on all those super cool, advanced Voicetrax classes that require home recording capabilities. And JUST when you think the story is over, it’s time to put what you’ve learned with Jim to good use, as Chuck will finish the last two weeks of the class listening to scripts you’ve recorded at home. He’ll not only give you succinct feedback on your acting performance, but will also comment on your new and improved “Edgar-ized” sound quality.

Inside The Voice Actor’s Studio

Guest: Tasia Valenza

Moderator: Vicki Baum

Length: 3-hour evening interview

Class Note: None

We are back at it with a guest that’s sure to expand your mind in all things voice-over and beyond. Los Angeles voice-over star Tasia Valenza started her acting career early, earning an Emmy ® nomination as a teenager for her on-camera work on the legendary soap opera, All My Children. She brought that superior acting technique to the voice-over work she has enjoyed for the past several decades, voicing roles in numerous powerhouse animation and video game franchises including Star Wars, World of Warcraft, Marvel Heroes, Final Fantasy, Spider-Man and Metal Gear Solid, as well as her turn as the iconic Poison Ivy in multiple Batman animation and video games. Beyond animation and video games, Tasia has worked in nearly every genre in the voice-over industry including national commercials, series narration and promos for numerous networks. And as fantastic as she is as a voice actor, she’s an even better human being. Join us as Tasia, the ultimate storyteller, shares her secrets to creating memorable performances that get you the gig, as well as the emotional fortitude it takes to create a balanced life and make it in the business.


Classes for 2018

3, 2, 1… Blastoff! w/Brian Sommer      

Director: Brian Sommer

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes: None

Take flight with Voicetrax Alum, Brian Sommer, in this rapid-fire workshop. You’ll enter the booth with an unseen character audition sheet. On the “GO” from Brian (he has a stopwatch and he’s not afraid to use it), you will have 3 minutes to prepare your performance, 2 chances to record the copy and will choose 1 of those takes to submit. Because Brian will be putting a revolving door on the booth, there’s no time for deep philosophical character study. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in ‘finding the character’, that we forget the basics (who, what, where, etc.), so this class compels the student to return to those basics. The rapid-fire approach and limited time will force you to focus on the fundamentals to create a believable, unique character.

Audio Tour Narration

Director: Peter Dunne

Length: 14-hour, 4-week Workshop

Class Notes: None

Remember the first time you were transported to another place in time just by listening to an engaging museum audio tour? Learn the art of storytelling with Peter Dunne who has locally cast, directed and produced audio tours for many of the world’s best-known museums and most prestigious exhibits. To expand your audio tour auditioning skills you’ll read a wide range of copy from scholarly and intellectually-demanding narratives to funny, Sesame Street-like scripts for kids. Peter will bring examples of ear-catching demos and coach you on getting through the challenges all voice actors face during long sessions including reading cold, taking direction on the fly, handling difficult words and sustaining energy, characters, dialects, concentration and connection to the copy.

Commercials Vs Cartoons Vs Video Games

Directors: Sam Pond, LA Agent, Brian Sommer

Length: 10-hour weekend Seminar

Class Notes: None

This fast-paced seminar offers you a side-by-side-by-side look at the differences and similarities between commercial, cartoon and video game characters – when to be broad, when to be subtle and real. You’ll discover the appropriate lively tone and energy for your Saturday morning characters and learn how to “dial it down” while sustaining the reality and intensity required for video game characters, not to mention developing the funny yet conversational and believable characters that commercial copy demands. The award-winning writer/producer, Sam Pond, a premiere LA animation agent, and video game superstar Brian Sommer are tops in their field and know their craft. These three character connoisseurs will deepen your understanding of the nuances of these unique voice-over genres and challenge your versatility. As Sam Pond put it, “Be ready for anything.”

Copy 911: Turn Disastrous Into Fabulous 

Directors: Samantha ParisChuck Kourouklis

Length: 12-hour, 4-week Workshop

Class Notes: None

If you’re ready to take on a real challenge, come prepared to do some very heavy lifting, because this workshop is designed to tax your script analysis and interpretive abilities to the nth degree.

Give any average voice actor a well written script, and chances are that he or she will do at least an adequate job of performing it. But it takes a true voice-over champion to turn a horrific script into a listenable or even good commercial. Why is learning this skill important? Because in the real world of auditions, bad commercial scripts outnumber good scripts 2 to 1 and the pay is the same.

Throughout this class, you’ll tackle script after cringe-worthy script and learn how to clear this minefield without getting blown to smithereens! PRIZE ALERT: This workshop will include with a fun mystery challenge whose reward to the winner will be a free private lesson with Samantha!

Destination Truth

Directors: Melissa Gray

Length: 12-hour, 4-week Workshop

Class Notes: This course includes homework assignments.

In this workshop, Melissa will challenge you to think, breathe and voice from the standpoint of quintessential acting techniques. Develop a critical ear and increase your ability to take direction and make instantaneous adjustments as you navigate back and forth between monologues from plays and voice-over copy. Exercises are designed to enhance the believability of your reads and develop a fuller, richer sense of “you” and your unique individuality that the mic cannot help but reflect!

Direct Thyself

Directors: Samantha Paris

Length: 12-hour, 4-week Workshop

Class Notes: None

The time has come… you can’t avoid it any longer: the director’s chair (insert spooky music and student shudder here). By now you’ve heard from multiple teachers and working professional students that self-direction is the name of the game when it comes to the current landscape of voice-over auditioning, and they’d be exactly right. These days you are mostly on your own to create an attention-grabbing, competitive audition. This seminar presents your first chance to sit in the actual director’s chair, and you’ll soon realize that by having to articulate a clear analysis of a script as a “director” for your classmates, you will gain confidence in your ability to break it down for yourself when you have to.  Spend a weekend in the director’s chair channeling your “inner Samantha”.

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You

Director: SF Agent, LA Booth Director, LA Agent

Length: 10-hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: This course includes a pre-class homework assignment. Students must have home recording capabilities.

The further you travel down the path to becoming a competitive voice actor, the more you realize that although there are some fundamental truths to brilliant performances, subjectivity is a prevalent theme in our industry. Remember what we always say, “It’s selection, not rejection!” In this seminar, we’ve brought together three top professionals, who because they are three unique individuals, just might have different perspectives. Having recorded a commercial script of your choosing at home, you’ll be afforded the opportunity to get feedback from each of them on the same performance. Compare and contrast the individual opinions they offer and decipher what influences their perspectives based on their particular marketplace and their position in the industry. You’ll also perform scripts live provided by this trio of top-notch talent. Learn what you do well and what you need to work on, while getting straight talk from industry insiders about the current Los Angeles and San Francisco voice-over market outlook and trends.

Get Animated! 

Director: Townsend Coleman

Length: 10-hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: None

Worried that characters are not for you or you’ll never be any good at them? One of the most beloved animation voice actors in the country (see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Tick) brings his extensive experience to this seminar to prove you wrong.

With Townie leading the charge, you can become a character whiz. You’ll explore all the vital skills and techniques, and foster the required mental approach that aspiring animation and video game actors need to be successful including developing a specific back story, using prototypes to create an original character and of course, breaking down the copy. You’ll develop and expand your own cast of characters and gain confidence in your ability to perform and sustain a fully-fleshed and truly believable character.

Get In The Acting Game

Director: Dave Fennoy

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

Join one of the first Voicetrax students ever, Dave Fennoy, as he explores approaching various voice-over genres from an actor’s perspective. Although Dave is most widely known for his gaming credits, he has worked consistently in promos and narration, too. With a million-dollar voice, Dave could have rested on his laurels, but he’s studied hard to develop his acting chops. Spend the weekend with Dave examining how authenticity and context can bring a performance to life no matter the genre.

Invitational Finding The Bunny

Director: Samantha Paris, Chuck Kourouklis

Length: 14-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: By invitation only

Casting Call!! Experience a once-in-a-Voicetrax-lifetime event! Samantha is writing, directing and producing the audiobook companion to her soon-to-be-released memoir, Finding The Bunny. She’s shattering the traditional audiobook concept and producing it like an audio play, and with over 80 unique characters to cast for the play that is her life, she needed a little help. That’s where you come in! Over the weekend you’ll learn how to perform improvised crowd reactions and noises aka “walla”, explore how to make the most out of a role that’s only a line or two and differentiate your performance for multiple characters. At the end of it all, you’ll set your place in Voicetrax history and get to add to (or maybe start) your professional voice-over credits with a one-of-a-kind audiobook.

Know Your Zero: The Sampler Edition

Director: Vicki Baum

Length: 15-hour 5-week Workshop

Class Notes: This course includes homework assignments. Students must have home recording capabilities.

Vicki has talked so much about “knowing your zero” in all her other classes, we finally said, “heeeey, why don’t you develop an entire class around that concept?” Luckily, Vicki jumped all-in and a new class was born! Have you ever looked at a long list of specs on the script and been confused as to what to focus on? Knowing yourself, what you naturally bring to the table is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to choosing what to add into the recipe to create an outstanding, yet uniquely YOU performance. Vicki will assist each student in ascertaining what makes you, well… YOU. You’ll work on quintessentially you scripts. And the free gift with purchase? You’ll come out of this class with two samples of your signature sound that will be professional and competitive enough to post as a demo on an online casting site for which you may be auditioning.

Off The Page

Director: Tasia Valenza

Length: 10-hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: None

As you start to really amp up your performances to a working professional, real-world, competitive level, one of the hardest things to do is to take words that you didn’t write and might not ever say, at least not in the way they’ve written it (have you EVER said introducing while sharing an exciting secret with a friend?!?), and make them feel genuine, alive and real, aka “getting the words off the page”. Professionally performing since childhood both in front of the camera and behind the microphone, Tasia will employ her tricks of the trade, literally born from a lifetime of breaking down scripts of all flavors, to assist you in digging deep to flush out the true meaning of the script while developing the skills necessary to get unnatural voice-over copy to sound off-the-cuff and true. Approach commercial scripts as “mini plays” from a true actor’s perspective to get the most of out the script and your performance.

Retail:  Not Pretty But Profitable

Director: Thom Pinto

Length: 10-hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: None

How many times have you read direction that says “real and conversational” but all you see are copy points, copy points… and more copy points? The reality is that many scripts still require being able to deliver a strong dose of hard sell. Thom will share a variety of practical techniques he has developed to handle challenges typically encountered when auditioning for retail copy, over-written scripts, awkward phrasing, disclaimer tags and way too many exclamation points!!!!!

Script Analysis

Director: Samantha Paris, Chuck Kourouklis, Sirenetta Leoni

Length: 18-hour 6-week Workshop

Class Notes: This course includes weekly homework assignments.

Simply put…if you don’t get the script, you don’t get the gig! This triad of teachers will help you unravel the mysteries of script interpretation as you analyze a variety of TV and radio commercials, animation, video game and narration scripts while discovering how to dissect copy intelligently. You’ll learn to look for hidden clues (aka “bunnies”) and not just the ones buried in the body of the copy, but the ones you can glean from the sound effects, visuals, directions, music, length, even the agency name. Strengthen one of the foundational skills necessary for voice-over success in this class newly fortified with an additional two weeks in response to overwhelming student demand. We can take direction, too!

The ABCs & 123s Of Toys

Director:  Gavin Hammon, Chuck Wedge, Lauren Kelly

Length: 12-hour, 4-week Workshop

Class Notes: This course includes pre-class as well as weekly homework. Students must have home recording capabilities.

Let loose in the playground of educational toys and apps! You’ll spend time with Leap Frog producer, Chuck Wedge, and Voicetrax Alum, Gavin Hammon. Learn about this genre from both sides of the glass. As an award-winning toy producer, Chuck will explore the development side of this industry including the different sub-genres in this field and the different roles within a specific product. Gavin, having performed literally tens of thousands of lines for toys, will review the specific skills toys demand including consistency, diction and, of course, acting! Then with Lauren Kelly, you’ll explore the ever-expanding world of gibberish, made popular by The Sims video game franchise, that is a distinct and very marketable skill, that when mastered can really bring in the bookings. Lauren will take you through several exercises that will teach you how to create a creature including improvisational tools, different ages of the same character, singing, sound effects and what to do when there isn’t a script at all!

The Voicetrax 500

Director: YOU!

Judges: Samantha Paris, Chuck Kourouklis, Vicki Baum, Roni Gallimore

Length:  All Participants: Preliminary round recorded at home.  Finalists Only: Final round recorded at home plus full weekend seminar.

Class Notes:  Students must have home recording capabilities.

Ladies and Gentlemen START… YOUR… ENGINES!! Rev up for a fun and exciting class/competition that will result in the winner receiving a FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR class credit. Have we got your attention, now?? We’ve brought back our real-world Voicetrax competition due to its immense popularity. With self-direction so important to today’s working voice actor, it’s never too early to dive into that what-do-you-do-with-a-script-when-left-to-your-own-devices quandary. The preliminary and final rounds will BOTH be recorded at home and submitted by participants, mirroring the exact same structure used in the real world. The finalists (who will have recorded and submitted a second set of scripts for the final round of competition from home) will be invited to the weekend seminar where you’ll work out with scripts as well as decompress with Samantha, as she reviews your home recordings, gives her valuable feedback and eventually announces who took the checkered flag as the winner of the inaugural Voicetrax 500. 

Tours, Tutorials & Tales: The Story Within

Director: Vicki Baum

Length: 14-hour, 4-week Workshop

Class Notes: None

This workshop is prepared to take your narration skills up a notch. And since nearly 50% of the auditioning in San Francisco is narration of some form or another, this class is a perfect vehicle to transform you into a narrator to be reckoned with. By further honing your visualization techniques, script analysis and acting choices, you’ll learn to deliver the more authentic and conversational reads that are in demand currently. You’ll span several genres including audio tour, industrial tech, tutorial and medical narration that are so prevalent in today’s narration market.


Character Direct Thyself

Directors: Samantha Paris, Chuck Kourouklis

Length: 18-hour six-week workshop

Class Notes:  This course will include homework assignments. Students must have home recording capabilities.

After hitting the “send” button on a character audition you recorded at home, do you find yourself asking, “Did I go too far… or not far enough? Is the character I chose too animated or too flat? Is there enough difference between the three characters I chose to audition? Did I play it too safe?” The answer to all these questions often depend whether or not you were able to separate the actor you and the director you. You need to think like a director and look at the big picture, considering the character in context of the story, the relationship with the other character and what’s actually going on in the scene. Not to mention, are you shaping a dynamic performance even if it’s just one side of a dialogue? Samantha and Chuck will put you in the director hot seat to guide your fellow students into competitive character performances including shading and emotional range, giving them a peek inside what you’re telling yourself at home.

Characters Gone Commercial!

Directors: Jeannie Elias

Length: 10-hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: This class includes a pre-class homework assignment.

The most elite voice actors understand that each and every single script they perform is a character, whether it’s a video game, cartoon or commercial, even when they only have a few minutes to make their acting choices. First, you’ll be given a script from a movie or play, chosen especially for you by Jeannie, and given time to really dig into the back story of your character and make specific decisions, in other words, truly live in that character for longer than five minutes. Then, you’ll bring that flushed out character to a myriad of commercial scripts, learning to adapt on the fly. This weekend will ultimately open your mind as you learn to make stronger decisions to answer the oh so important why you are saying what you’re saying question to your run of the mill commercial reads.

Fifty Shades Of Real

Directors: Scott Parkin

Length: 10-hour Weekend Seminar

Doesn’t it seem that darn nearly every audition you receive has the direction “real, natural, genuine, conversational”? It’s time to get your mind out of the gutter (we know what you were thinking…) and get ready for Guest Director Scott Parkin, a top-notch voice actor and ex-copywriter/casting professional who ACTUALLY knows what it means when they ask for real; just how “real” do they truly want it? TV commercial real, radio commercial real, narration real, conversational real? There are oh so many shades to choose from. And how do you get to that place within your own personality in the most unobtrusive, comfortable and natural way while still being able to show numerous, slight variations of real depending on the script and product? Scott will use several of his proven methods including improv (DON’T PANIC… improv doesn’t always mean funny) and will provide students with practical application that you’ll be able to incorporate into your process as soon as you walk out the door.

From “A” To “Z”ager: Layin’ Down The Laws Of Narration

Directors: Lynnanne Zager

Length: 10-hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: This class includes a pre-class homework assignment.

As one of the best crime narrators in the business, Lynnanne Zager has her fingerprints all over this sub-genre of narration, and she’s bringing all of her forensic know-how to Voicetrax! Investigate the various styles of crime show narration with different exercises including recording to picture, a mock audition and an acting game or two to loosen you up. You’ll also bring in a script of your own to get a top notch, eagle-eye assessment on your performance. Be advised that after a weekend with Lynnanne, you’ll emerge with some legit crime show skills that you can take all the way to the bank.

He Said / She Said: Narration

Director: Vicki Baum, SF Agent

Length: 12-hour Four-Week Workshop

Class Notes: This course includes a pre-class homework assignment and weekly homework assignments. Students must have home recording capabilities.

With the wild popularity of the He Said/She Said class format, we thought, what the heck? Let’s take it “on the road” so to speak… destination: narration. Vicki Baum and a top SF Agent, who are swimming, nearly drowning in the substantial number of narration opportunities the San Francisco market offers, are playing both sides of the script in this workshop that explores the subjectivity that is pervasive in voice-over. Week to week you will be performing the same scripts for Vicki and Agent X and receive feedback from both of them as well as get their critiques on stuff you recorded from home. This gives you the opportunity to contrast and compare the thoughts from two professionals very knowledgeable in the world of narration. What did they agree on that was great about your performance that you should keep front and center in future performances, and what do you need to work on to bring consequent reads to a competitive level? Find out as “mom” and “dad” take you through the gauntlet. No tattling or whining allowed.

Home Audition Haven

Director: Jeff Howell

Length: 10-hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: None

Standing all by yourself, out in the “cold” world known as home auditioning? Come into the safe and warm refuge with top casting professional Jeff Howell, as he guides you through direction or specs interpretation, an essential part of giving a good audition, understanding the writer’s intent, as well as making solid, but bold acting choices. As someone who actually listens to auditions and casts voice actors day in and day out, Jeff will help you avoid the pitfalls of home auditions including knowing when to say ‘I’m done’ and resisting the temptation to engineer the life out of the read. Build confidence in home auditioning when you have only your instincts to guide you and no feedback is given.

How’d I Book that?

Director: Thom Pinto, Chuck Kourouklis, Vicki Baum, Roni Gallimore

Length: 12-hour Four-Week Workshop

Class Notes: None

Do you every wonder what the actor who booked the gig did in their audition? What was special? What risks did they take? How did your audition stack up against the winning audition? In this exciting new class format, your four Guest Directors (that’s right people, we said FOUR) will answer all of these burning questions. Each week students will receive two scripts to perform, with minimal direction, since that’s what it’s like in your closet at home. After listening back and discussing the in-class, stand-out performances for each script, you will get to hear the WINNING audition plus a recorded commentary from the actor (all current or previous Voicetrax students) who booked it. And how lucky are we that it took little to no effort to line up numerous students who were eager to help out and lift up their fellow ‘Traxers by divulging their tricks of the home-auditioning trade? Another bountiful benefit sprung forth from the celebrated Voicetrax family camaraderie. A unique and wonderful window into the thought process of successful, working voice actors.

Invitational Animation Extravaganza All-Stars

Director: LA Agent

Length: 14-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: By Invitation Only. This course includes pre-class homework. Students must have home recording capabilities.

Although this is a class, you’ll be walking into a true-to-life session environment. Spend two full days working under “real-world” conditions on complete episode scripts of an actual cartoon series, with one of the country’s top animation experts. Before class, you’ll receive character sides to audition and submit. Upon arriving at class, your director will announce the role(s) you have “booked”. Once cast, your director will walk you through the process step-by-step from the table read through the group recording. And since this is the ALL-STARS version of this class, you’ll be challenged at the highest level to interpret copy on the fly, develop characters, maintain energy and continuity, respond and react to your fellow actors and absorb direction quickly with the poise of a seasoned pro. OK all you Voicetrax All-Stars, you asked for this class and you got it!

Invitational Be A Badder MotherChucker

Director: Chuck Kourouklis

Length: 10-hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: Students must have home recording capabilities.

Prerequisite: Be A Bad MotherChucker Level One or prior approval from Voicetrax.

Soooo, you consider yourself a bad-ass character actor, and well you should. You’ve booked video games and even some charactery commercial roles. But even the most accomplished actors in this genre realize you’re never done, there is always improvement and development to be had. Even your illustrious director, the original MotherChucker himself, has gone back to the well a time or two recently to keep his skills honed and at peak performance. And because there is always another plane of existence to explore, your sage shepherd has created a brand-new adventure designed to take your character work into the stratosphere. And this time around it’s really all up for grabs. Will you be directing? Will you “be” a fellow student? Will you survive an improv melee? Maybe we can break out one little clue: what happens when you are forced to speed up your process? Oooooo… that’s interesting… Step up, execute under pressure and go from BAD to BADDER!

Invitational Lunch With Punch All-Stars

Director: Samantha Paris, Thom Pinto, Ned Lott

Length: 24-hour six-week workshop  

Class Notes: By Invitation Only.

Are you frustrated or exhausted by the home auditioning process that provides you little to no feedback unless you book the job? Are you in a rut, feeling rusty or has the pressure you’ve put on yourself strangled the creativity right out of your home auditions leading to discouraging results? In this smorgasbord of a workshop Samantha is lock and loaded to bring back the FUN. You’ll work on strengthening your auditioning skills from a variety of different perspectives. And because this class will be populated by All-Stars, all we’re prepared to divulge is this: get ready for anything and everything. Of course, the lunch will be brought to you by your fellow All-Star students as you take part in a delicious, time-honored Voicetrax tradition: Friday afternoon pot luck lunch. The punch will be provided by Samantha and her fellow All-Star Guest Directors Thom Pinto and Ned Lott with all their devious but valuable plot twists. We promise no voice actors will be hurt in the making of this class… we hope. Spend six afternoons getting your process and mindset “punched” up – All-Star Style – while eating the most scrumptious pot luck west of the Mississippi. 

Invitational Mistress Of All trades

Director: Lori Alan

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: By Invitation Only.

The phrase “get ready for anything” was never more appropriate than it will be for your time with voice-over superstar, Lori Alan. At this advanced level, students usually bring scripts to class to work on with the instructor, but oh no, Lori is having none of that. Her thought: Let’s see what magical things we discover when the students don’t have the opportunity to prepare ahead of time and just have to let ‘er rip. This class will incorporate scripts from multiple genres and may even include an improv exercise or two to get you in the mood to dig in and let it fly. Tap into the creative workings of a brilliant artistic mind, and push your versatility to the next level as you become your own Master or Mistress of All Trades.

Invitational Parkin’s Playhouse Of Improv

Director: Scott Parkin

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: By Invitation Only

Batten down the hatches and get ready for the tsunami that is the one and only Scott Parkin. His clever mind, razor-sharp wit and unyielding energy are just the elixir you need to bring the joy to your voice-over performances and spontaneous unpredictability to your home auditions. In this non-stop fun-fest where imagination is king, Scott will force you to get out of your own way and jump off the cliff. Become more secure outside your oh-so-cozy comfort zone and develop a mindset that’s sure to juice up your comedic auditions. Creepy clowns and funhouse mirrors not included.

Invitational Place Your Order

Director: Ned Lott

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

To be honest, we’re really not sure what to write for this class description. What has us so uncharacteristically lost for words? Well, it’s that the students in this seminar are writing their own class description. That’s right, you’re invited to create a customized lesson plan based on your specific needs. In the weeks before class, you’ll choose three categories from a menu of voice-over genres to work on with Ned including sound-a-likes, self-direction techniques using visual aids, video game efforts and war sounds, differentiating multiple characters from the same show and singing in character amongst others. And better yet, Ned is open to suggestions you might have for your customized curriculum. Join this “weekend of whatever you want” and remember to tip your waiter.

Invitational Unmasking Your Infinite Potential

Director: Peter Coyote

Length: 7-hour weekend lab

Class Notes: By Invitation Only. Class is limited to ten students and may be decided by lottery.

When we initially ran this class as Sam’s Not-So-Secret Secret Weapon, we basically said Peter f’ing Coyote is teaching the class… what else do you need to know? And we were right, the Voicetrax population flocked to the class. And while we still kinda feel that way, we should probably let you know how truly mind-blowing this weekend will be. Join the one and only Peter Coyote as he masterfully guides you through exercise after exercise including wearing masks to shift your paradigm before spontaneously creating a character, that will open your mind and welcome in all the inexhaustible possibilities your existence offers. He’ll also challenge you to identify the negative thoughts that your psyche categorizes as self-truths, that are merely self-imposed obstacles that are strangling your creativity and stopping you from living a rich, full life. Discover the ability to focus that enlightened state and funnel it into extraordinary acting choices, bringing about a true transformational performance.

Invitational Women Only: Fan-Tasia!

Director: Tasia Valenza

Length: 7-hour weekend lab

Class Notes: By Invitation Only.

Prerequisite: Attendance at Inside The Voice Actor’s Studio lecture.

Being female, all those mom, girl-next-door and compassionate, nurturing health care reads should come naturally to you, right? And of course, those sexy cosmetic-type scripts and luxurious card ads should be easy, you’re a woman after all. Half the battle of performing at an elite level is what goes on between the ears. Is it possible that you’re overthinking it just a bit? Naaaaaaahhhh…. Maybe, just maybe, do you catch yourself going for a “sound” instead of really connecting to the emotion of the spot when auditioning at home? Join Tasia as she helps you relax into your intuitively and quintessential female performances, while encouraging you to just let it rip and have fun. Learn to tap into the treasure trove of your life experiences as a woman to manifest a natural performance. There might even be a guided meditation to get everybody focused and ready to shine. Namaste.

Men Only: Welcome To Announcerville 

Director: Thom Pinto

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: None

Men, if you’ve been told once, you’ve been told a million times in specs, “we don’t want an announcer”. But what about all those roles as newscasters, sportscasters, play-by-play commentators, game show guys, talk show hosts, field reporters, retro announcers, newsreel announcers, infomercial guys? (take a deeeeep breath) If you’ve been told you’re too announcery then this class is for you. And even if you haven’t been told you’re too announcery, there is money to made in this area, so ALL MEN serious about expanding their range and marketability should be developing these skills. Act now!! Limited time offer!!! Operators are standing by.

Pinto’s Playbook For Professionals

Director: Thom Pinto

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: This course includes a pre-class homework assignment. Students must have home recording capabilities.

Let’s be honest, this seminar is just an excuse to spend a weekend working out with one of Voicetrax’s most beloved instructors. But beyond that, Thom does have a plan to bring your already successful professional self to the next level by throwing lots of different scenarios at you including recording from home, bringing in scripts of your choice and a few special tricks from Mr. Pinto himself.  He’ll encourage you to take risks, try something new, be thick-skinned and create a nuanced performance to get the competitive edge you’re looking for. Success loves to breed complacency, and this “tough love with Thom” weekend will send Mr. Complacency running for the hills.

The Actor Narrator

Director: Melissa Gray

Length: 18-Hour Six Week Workshop

Class Notes: This class includes homework assignments.

How many times have you heard, it’s all about the acting? All the time, we’d guess, but with narration, too? You better believe it, and you will after six weeks with Melissa Gray. Approach different forms of narrative copy from a true actor’s perspective, through various acting techniques including content, themes, emotional subtext, energy, variety and pace. Learn to investigate the given circumstances of your narration copy from the standpoint of performing it, not just vocally, but with your whole being.

Work to create a strong prelife that brings the story off the page while recalling real-life experiences to enhance emotional resonance. Heighten your awareness of phrasing and connecting more on a sensory and emotional level resulting in an increased ”vocal presence.” Melissa will assign each student a monologue from a play and help identify the inherent acting beats, verbal actions, subtext and arcs which you will then transfer to various forms of narrative copy that are prevalent in today’s auditioning world. You will learn to ”dialogue” your copy as duets so that your monologue reads will be enhanced by a quality of genuine listening and conversation.

The Color of Acting

Director: Thom Pinto

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: This course will include weekly homework assignments. Students must have home recording capabilities.

Okay, so you’ve mastered ”blue”, you’re feeling good about ”green”, but how’s your ”aqua”? Join the creator of the Colors acting system, Thom Pinto, in this advanced seminar, where you’ll explore the subtleties and nuances of using colors to create interesting and unique acting choices. Experiment with longer monologues, funny partner reads and some exercises designed specifically to help you be more visual with your performance.

The Good, The Bad, And The Weird

Director: Samantha Paris, Brian Sommer

Length: 18-hour six-week workshop

Class Notes: None

In this workshop you’ll travel through the land of characters from good to bad and all the way to weird. Stretch yourself from week to week as each class focuses on a different category. Work with Brian in weeks one through five to bring to life good (princes, maidens, superheroes), bad (witches, thieves, assassins) and weird (zombies, orcs, robots) characters. In the final week, you’ll perform for Samantha the characters you prepped with Brian in the previous weeks. Whoever gives a competitive performance in each of the three categories (good, bad and weird) will win a FREE private lesson!

The Nick Thomas Invitational

Director: Nick Thomas

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

Noooo, it’s not a golf tournament and your director, Nick Thomas, knows a thing or two more about video games than Dinah Share. This seminar will be a good ol’ fashioned workout with your celebrity sponsor, THE MAN HIMSELF, Nick Thomas. A chance for advanced and working professional actors to get in the booth over and over and over, making quick, instinctual acting choices with Nick sculpting your performance while benefitting from his years of real-world experience in the industry. No mulligans allowed.

The Taming Of The Mic: The Final Battle

Director: Chuck Kourouklis

Length: 7-hour weekend lab

Prerequisites: The Taming Of The Mic Level 1

Do you torpedo your home auditions because you forget to incorporate the often overlooked technique of using the microphone to create shape and space? Well the battle lines have been drawn! All your high-tech pop testers, fancy footwork, and geographic script analysis have led to this moment: YOU supply a script you wrote yourself – fresh for this class, or something you wrote for another class if, and only if, it lends itself to VIVID mic technique. Not only that, you will direct your fellow classmates (hopefully with military precision) to get the results you envisioned, with reinforcements from General Chuckie as necessary. Get ready to master the mic to give your auditions a fighting chance.

Triple Threat: The Triarchy 3×3

The classic Triple Threat format is back with an epic vengeance and a contest worthy of the challenge! The distinguished Voicetrax Think Tank was assembled and tasked with creating a class that would do justice to the 30th anniversary of our beloved academy. Harnessing the power of THREE, a triple-decker series of classes was born…

Character Edition

Director: Dave Fennoy, Townsend Coleman, Brian Sommer

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Join a zombie killer, a pizza eating turtle and a pig (no seriously, Brian was Colin the pig in The Wolf Among Us video game) to get your character groove on. Strengthen your acting while working in different genres with three powerhouse character actors who’ll be sizing you up and offering expert, real-world advice. A fun-filled weekend full of character zaniness mixed with a whole lotta learning from a gaggle of guys who know what’s what when creating a memorable character.

Commercial Edition

Director: Sam Pond, Jeff Howell, Scott Parkin

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

We wouldn’t want to go so far as to call these guys the Three Stooges (hmmm… perhaps we just did), but really, it’s more like the Three Amigos (although we’re not exactly sure they know each other… we’re getting off-track…) Anyhoooo, these three powerhouse professionals know commercials backwards and forwards. Work with an award-winning writer/producer, one of the top casting directors in LA and a veteran commercial actor, while working out your commercial chops. When it comes to dollars and cents, commercials are the name of the game, so don’t miss a chance to lay it down in front of the best.

Narration Edition

Director: Vicki Baum, Roni Gallimore, Melissa Gray

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

With this classy trio of ladies (who you calling lady?!?), the learning is guaranteed to be first-class all the way. This weekend seminar will include three different sub-genres of narration: Industrial, audiobooks and documentary. We’re not sure, but have we mentioned before that to be a truly successful San Francisco voice actor you have to be able to narrate? Yes, we’re sure we’ve heard that somewhere before. The storytelling is bound to be magical, masterful and most definitely marketable!

In this anniversary edition of Triple Threat, there are FIVE prizes up for grabs: (sorry we couldn’t incorporate the number three into this part, but five is better, right?)

THREE PRIVATE LESSONS: As is the tradition with Triple Threat, after each weekend class is complete, the three Guest Directors will compose a list of students that performed at a truly competitive level. If you end up on all the lists of all three Guest Directors for that particular weekend, you will be deemed the Triple Threat for that genre and will win a free private lesson with Samantha Paris.

FREE CLASS: To further honor the incredible 30th anniversary that Voicetrax is celebrating, the most competitive thirteen students from all three classes combined will be advanced to the Triple Threat 30th Anniversary Finals. A one day class with Samantha full of fun and challenging scripts. And did we mention it’s free?

GRAND PRIZE – THREE CLASS SCHOLARSHIP: The student who performs at the highest competitive level in the one day Finals class with Samantha will earn a scholarship good for THREE FREE CLASSES.

So… Come one, come all (and by all, we mean all who are dotted by Samantha), but most of all come ready to kick some serious triumvirate ass!

Walk On The Wild Side Level II

Director: LA Booth Director

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: This course includes a pre-class homework assignment. Students must have home recording capabilities.

Voice actors have been going wild for years and now it’s time to take it to the next level!  Wild lining (acting one side of a dialogue all by yourself) is as relevant in today’s auditioning world as it ever was, and to hear agents and booth directors talk about it, everybody needs training at this skill!  Juliet will start your weekend off by listening to auditions you recorded at home, giving you invaluable feedback and then letting you have another crack at it in the booth. Then, with the bar set higher than ever, you’ll work on additional dialogue copy and get the opportunity to perform the same dialogue script by yourself and with a partner so you can compare and contrast, feel the difference and adjust your performance, thus bringing more life into your individual reads. There might even be a contest performing a mystery script with a prize at the end of the weekend, not that you’re competitive or anything…

What’s In Your Wheelhouse?

Director: Samantha Paris, LA Booth Director, Mary Lynn Wissner

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar PLUS a 9-hour three-week workshop

Class Notes: This course will include homework assignments.  Students must have home recording capabilities.

There are quintessential animation characters and popular commercials types that producers and casting directors ask for on a regular basis. Do you know what they are? Do they reside in your wheelhouse? They better… because versatility is the key to success and knowing what the industry calls for is the key to versatility. Spend a weekend with one of the top animation agents in the country and veteran casting professional Mary Lynn Wissner, both of whom will provide you a detailed list of the kinds of characters and commercial types that land in their email inbox every single day. What does Generation X sound like? How many video games villains do you need in your back pocket? Is your health care read in check? And just what does transgender sound like? After absorbing this valuable knowledge, you’ll begin your wheelhouse adventure behind the mic with these industry experts. And since you couldn’t possibly work on all these types in just one weekend, you’ll follow-up the weekend with a three-week workshop! As the three weeks commence, you’ll be required to record one of your best from each of those lists under the precise structure of a three-takes-only Voicetrax class, while your other best two in each category will be recorded at home. During weeks five and six, mama bear Samantha will come in and provide feedback on your performances, script choices and whether recording at school or at home has any effect on the finished product. A six-week odyssey of discovery with soooooo many different lessons to learn!

You CanNOT Be Serious

Director: Jeff Howell

Length: 10-Hour Weekend Seminar

Class Notes: None

Most actors find it easier to be funny and have crisp, comedic timing when reading a dialogue with another actor. What happens when you have to be funny, clever and entertaining all on your own? Paint outside the lines with Jeff Howell in this seminar that will focus on the script analysis and performance of comedy monologues. Character study, quirky reads, that elusive conversational read and a variety of improv styles will all be a part of this hysterical (if you’re funny) seminar.

effect on the finished product. A six-week odyssey of discovery with soooooo many different lessons to learn!