CLASSES

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 Spring 2019

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

Voice Acting Courses from Voicetrax SF

Classes for 2019

Beginning Seminar

Director:  Vicki Baum, Aaron Miner

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

Get ready to jump into a weekend packed full of information and FUN! You’ll explore basic voice acting fundamentals including acting choices, script interpretation, microphone technique, monologues, dialogues, improv and characters. You’ll get right into the booth from the very beginning experimenting with vocal improv exercises and audience participation guessing games that revolve around making specific acting choices. By the end of the weekend, 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 you can do in the sound booth! 


Beginning Webinar Workshop

Director:  Vicki Baum, Aaron Miner

Length: 9-hour three-week online Seminar

Class Notes: None

This workshop is as good as it gets without being in-person in our Bay Area studios! Get ready to jump into three nights packed full of information and FUN! You’ll explore basic voice acting fundamentals including acting choices, script interpretation, commercial monologues and tags and video game characters. Get involved from the very beginning of class with audience participation guessing games that revolve around making specific acting choices, as each student performs. By the end of the three nights, you’ll have a solid understanding of the voice acting craft, an awareness of the particular skills and techniques you’ll need to succeed in the current marketplace, information on the voice-over industry and perhaps even a different perspective of who you are and what you can do behind the mic! 


Creating Characters

Director: Chuck KourouklisBrian Sommer

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

Whether or not you think you “do characters”, we’re here to tell you that you DO! Why? Because you’ve been six years old, when playing wasn’t about pretending to be a character, but about being the character, letting go and using your imagination. And with that mindset, you can learn to do anything, even characters. Chuck and Brian will share their insights, tricks and techniques that have led to their remarkable success in the character genre. Gain an enhanced understanding of the character creation process and realize just how freeing and exhilarating it is as an adult to simply let go and play. 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 the characters that live within you that you never knew existed.


Finding Your Voice

Director: Samantha Paris

Length: 3-hour overview

Class Notes: None

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

Class Notes: None

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

Class Notes: None

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: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

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.


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Classes for 2019

Beyond Beginning

Director: Chuck Kourouklis

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes: 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!


Colors Of Your Voice

Director: Chuck Kourouklis

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: 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 voice-over 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. Not to mention you’ll now possess a tool that is so relevant and effective, it is used every single day by busy, working voice actors.


Founder’s Seminar

Director: Samantha Paris

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

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

Class Note: None

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.


The Taming Of The Mic

Director: Chuck Kourouklis

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes: None

If you’ve ever puzzled over how to show greater range and imagination in your voice acting, this class presents specific microphone techniques that can help you breathe life and variety into your performances. From practical, technical issues like how to minimize “p”-pops and over-modulation, to creative ideas on how to establish a sense of scene and define your characters, Chuck will reveal the many tricks-of-the-trade that he’s developed during his 20 plus years in the broadcast and voice-over industries. It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: If you want to be a musician you need to learn to play the instrument, so if you want to be a rock star voice actor you need to be able to do the exact same thing with the microphone.


Voiceover 411

Director: LA Booth Director

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

This intensive workout with one of Los Angeles’ most experienced booth directors from one of the biggest voice-over agencies in the world 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.


What A Character

Director: Brian Sommer

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes: None

Explore the cornucopia of characters lurking inside you. What might your dastardly villain sound like selling insurance? What would that same individual sound like on a first date? Find out as you perform an ambiguous script and examine how a character would act in different situations and surroundings. You’ll gain practical experience sustaining characters, a required skill when it comes to video games, animation and narration.


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Classes for 2019

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.


Master Your Vocal Prowess

Moderator: John Baron

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Note: The course includes weekly homework assignments. Comfortable clothing is advised for group exercises.

Does flub-inducing tension crop up the minute you walk into the sound booth? Discover how your breath, articulation, clarity of sound, mind/body connection, range, tone, placement, vocal tension and performance anxiety can affect the way you communicate and ultimately your performance, not only in the booth, but in other areas of your life. Learn how to rid yourself of verbal blocks and vocal patterns – that you don’t even know you have – that interfere with your ability to speak smoothly, naturally and with ease. John will help you zero in on vowel and consonant combinations that continually give you pronunciation trouble, increasing your mastery of the cold read and decreasing your flubs overall. After spending four weeks with a true “vocal coach” and his methods, you’ll be exponentially more relaxed behind the mic leading to a future full of natural yet commanding performances.


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Classes for 2019

!Animania!

Director: LA Agent

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

Would you like to bolster your confidence, test your creativity, sharpen your technical abilities and strengthen your auditioning techniques? Of course you would! Delve into cartoon and game scripts with one of the best-known animation agents in the business whose clients have voiced some of the most famous animation characters including Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, The Joker, The Tick, Wakko from the Animaniacs, both Ren and Stimpy, two of the three Power Puff Girls and half the characters from Futurama. Not to mention hundreds of characters in blockbuster video games like World of Warcraft, The Last of Us, Mass Effect, Transformers and just for good measure from the commercial world: the iconic Taco Bell Chihuahua, and that’s just scratching the surface of her credits. With her trademark straightforward style, this unparalleled authority in the animation field will provide succinct feedback and direction, while still maintaining the fun, spontaneity and inventiveness that character work is all about. Spend a weekend with someone who knows what books in the character field and why.


Animation 101

Director: Bob Bergen

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

One of the most sought-after voice actors and instructors in the country, Bob Bergen – Porky Pig himself – brings his popular, widely acclaimed seminar to Voicetrax. You’ll explore all the vital skills, techniques and necessary information that aspiring animation actors need to know including effective mic technique, creating and sustaining characters and breaking down copy. As you go from one fun and wacky animated script to another, you’ll develop and expand your own cast of characters and gain confidence in your ability to perform and audition “in-character”.


Booking Gigs 123

Directors: Vicki Baum

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

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

Tired of spending time auditioning online with few positive results? News Flash: It may not be your performances that are holding you back. Yes, you need to apply your training and submit a creative, competitive performance, but there is much more to it. It can be intimidating when you hear that only 3% of the thousands of registered “actors” on Voice123 actually book a job. But have no fear! The good news is 40% of the Voicetrax student body is within that 3%! And one of the major reasons for that is this comprehensive, A-Z class that reveals not only how Vicki books in the top 10% nationwide on Voice123, but how she consistently books through various other audition resources as a result of her networking and hustle. She’ll cover her entire online auditioning strategy including which auditions to choose, how to build your profile and professionally communicate with potential clients as well as how she keeps track of her finances and bills clients.


Comedic Radio Ads

Directors: Sam Pond

Length: 12-hour, four-week workshop

Class Notes: None

Veteran copywriter-actor-creative agency owner, Sam Pond, knows radio, knows funny, and has a closet full of awards to prove it! You’ll work with Sam to perfect your comedy skills by focusing on characters, story, scene-setting and improvisation. As you perform scripts he’s written, you’ll get a rare opportunity to find out immediately whether your interpretations match up with what he originally envisioned, and if not, what you can do to get closer to the mark. In many instances, you’ll also get to hear the actual produced spots and see how your performances compare. Sam will also share his unique take on the advertising business and the latest voice-over trends.


Direct Thyself: The Voice 123 Variation

Directors: Samantha Paris, Vicki Baum

Length: 10-hour week seminar

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

By now it’s common knowledge to most that have been around the voice-over industry for even a minute that self-direction is the name of the game when it comes to home auditioning, especially with the rise in popularity of online casting sites. These days you are pretty much on your own to create an attention-grabbing, competitive audition which can be a very isolating experience. But you’re not alone! You’ll be put through the paces of directing yourself as you pre-record scripts at home. Over the weekend, The Lovely Ladies of Voicetrax, Samantha and Vicki will provide feedback for your home recordings and take you through live performances of commercial and narration scripts obtained exclusively from online casting sites. You may even find yourself sitting in the director’s chair where you’ll 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, ‘cuz eventually as a working voice actor, you’re gonna have to!


Got Game?

Directors: Chuck KourouklisBrian Sommer

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes: None

How lucky are we that we have two of the most accomplished & prolific video game actors in the Bay Area in our back pocket: Chuck Kourouklis and Brian Sommer! This dynamic duo have put their heads together and created quite the curriculum. Because of Chuck & Brian’s extensive experience, they are in a unique position to give you advice, guidance and direction from BOTH sides of the sound booth glass. Not only can they speak expertly on what a producer is looking for since they’ve booked once or twice or, oh that’s right… hundreds of times, but they are also in a position, being actors themselves, to delve deep into the actor’s process and teach you what it takes to create a memorable audition that GETS YOU CAST. Needless to say this class is intensive, involving and relevant – so come ready to play!


Hit The Ground Running

Director: Sirenetta Leoni

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes: This course includes weekly homework assignments. Class should be repeated.

So you’ve recorded your narration demo or maybe it’s a Voice123 sampler demo or even a full commercial demo. Or maybe you’re on the precipice of one of those steps. You’re excited and exhilarated! But wait.. all of sudden you realize that once the demo’s done, you’re gonna need to do something with it, and you have no clue as to what! Or maybe you used to know what to do with a demo fifteen years ago, but now find yourself in desperate need of a marketing makeover. Never fear, help is on the way! Sirenetta will guide you through the marketing process step by step, covering such topics as defining your brand, determining where you fit into today’s complicated voice-over market, determining which types of demos you’ll need, creating an engaging website, using social media resourcefully and most important, figuring out who the heck to market yourself to. You’ll find out how to build an effective contact list of agents, casting professionals, agencies, producers and other voice-hiring influencers and explore when to register for online casting sites. At the end of this workshop, you’ll have the tools and resources needed to develop and implement a marketing plan tailored to your skills, experience and budget.


Know Your Zero

Director: Vicki Baum

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes: This course includes a pre-class and weekly 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 this 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? Or have you been auditioning online and you’re not sure how to choose amongst the dozens of scripts you receive each day that represents your best odds on booking the job? Truly 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. You’ll work on quintessentially you scripts, as Vicki and the rest of the class will assist each student in ascertaining what makes you, well… YOU. If history tells us anything, we’re betting you just might be surprised at what you learn about yourself.


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.


Off The Page: Calling All Characters

Director: Brian Sommer

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None.

A wise man once said, “The most important things we do as actors appear nowhere in the script.” And who is that astute advisor? Oh yeah… lucky you… it’s your Guest Director for this wonderful new class, Brian Sommer! Character auditions expect interpretation and contributions from the actor which ultimately are what brings a scene to life. Climb into your imagination as Brian teaches you how pre-life, ad libbing and buttons (don’t know what they are? take the class and find out!) infuse an actor’s creativity into the performance and brings a unique perspective and personality to the character. Inevitably your character creations will sing with the freedom of an actor who isn’t trapped by the words on the page.


Once Upon A Time: Acting For Audiobooks

Director: Roni Gallimore

Length: 14-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes: None.

It’s official! Audiobooks is a billion-dollar industry that shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Don’t tell your local librarian, but eventually generations to come won’t know anything other than digital and recorded books. And we all know what that means to voice actors: opportunities, opportunities, opportunities! Join Roni as she shares her extensive knowledge on how she booked all her audio book work on her own without an agent! She’ll share with you her techniques on refining a first person and third person narrator, performing a male/female dialogue by yourself and the very tricky task of performing same sex dialogues while creating separation between dozens of characters by utilizing pitch, speed rhythm, accents and of course… acting!


Script Analysis

Director: Samantha Paris, Chuck Kourouklis, Sirenetta Leoni

Length: 18-hour six-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!


Tainted Tales

Director: Brian Sommer, Devin Glischinski

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

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

Remember all those classic nursery rhymes and lullabies from your childhood? Of course you do! But did you know that a significant number of them actually have a macabre story behind them? You’ll explore that juxtaposition in this script analysis class with a deviously entertaining twist. Using those iconic rhymes as your copy, you’ll be tasked with the challenge of finding the story behind the story including the tales of Hickory Dickory Dock, Humpty Dumpty and Three Blind Mice amongst others while your fellow classmates will participate in guessing games based on your performance. This incredibly unique class will focus on script analysis, acting choices, character work and fine-tuning your analytical ear. You may never look at your childhood the same again!


Taking On The Prototypes

Director: Thom Pinto

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

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

Producers frequently cast voices or write character specs using “prototypes” as a frame of reference. Whether they’re looking for someone who sounds like the hot “celebrity du jour” or a veteran voice actor who is highly regarded within the industry but not a household name, this workshop will give you a chance to immerse yourself in a wide variety of styles while listening, duplicating, and broadening your own vocal range by “borrowing” from the most sought-after spokespeople and character actors. By mimicking another actor’s syncopation, tone or attitude it will not only widen your interpretation possibilities, but it can open the door, inspire creativity and be the foundation of a whole new character for you to develop.


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 Voicetrax 500. 


Three In A Row

Director: Thom Pinto

Length:  10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes:  Class SHOULD Be Repeated.

One of the ironies of our business is that frequently, the short copy bears the most income. In this class, Thom divulges his techniques that are right at your fingertips to ensure that your three in a row aren’t just slow, medium and fast takes of the same read and are truly unique and commercially viable, whether it’s announcer tags, character one-liners or :15 spots. If producers are listening to hundreds of one-liners, it’s critical that you grab their attention from the get-go. And no matter what kind of copy you audition (short or long form), when you book a session, you’ll often be asked to perform a particular line three times in a row, and by “often” we mean in every single voice over session you will EVER be in. So yeah, there’s that.


Tours, Tutorials & Tales: The Story Within

Director: Vicki Baum

Length: 14-hour, four-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.


You Should Be Committed

Director: Sirenetta Leoni

Length: 12-hour, four-week workshop

Class Notes: None

No, we aren’t making a public statement on your sanity (seriously, who are we to talk?). We’re just saying that to really stand out and get your performances noticed whether it be by your agent, a producer or someone hiring online, you have to make clear, strong acting choices and then… GO FOR IT! Through a series of specially designed, practical exercises and games, you’ll be exposed to important acting concepts including being crystal clear about who you are and who you’re talking to, raising the stakes, setting the scene, being in the moment and actively listening. You’ll discover how crucially important these questions are and why being ultra-specific and then totally committing to your choices will bring about a more engaging and ultimately more competitive performance.


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3, 2, 1… O M F G!

Directors: Brian Sommer

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes:  Prerequisite: 3, 2, 1 Blastoff! or prior approval from Voicetrax.

Welcome to the class that puts the F in OMFG. In this ball-busting sweatbox, Brian Sommer will pick up where he left off in his 3, 2, 1 Blastoff! class. Still utilizing the format of 3 minutes to prepare your script, 2 takes in the booth, then choosing 1 take to submit, in this workshop you will be working on commercial copy. After pulling a commercial script, you will also pull an index card with a generic character type listed, i.e., villain, hero, nerd, etc.  When the clock starts, you’ll have three minutes to develop a scene based on why the assigned CHARACTER would be delivering the COMMERCIAL copy. This exhilarating exercise will take you through character voice development, creating a scene, script analysis, sustaining a character, improvisation and self-directing, all in a very rapid fire short period of time. NO TIME to second guess yourself, no time to be timid.  Do it or get out!


Audio ER

Directors: Jim Edgar

Length: 18-hour six-week workshop

Class Notes: This course will include a pre-class assignment as well as weekly homework assignments. Students must have home recording capabilities. Prerequisites: Participants should have at least an intermediate knowledge of recording software.

We’ve all been there… your audition or job is lying there on the table, flat-lining! It needs help STAT! But what tool to use? Equalization? Normalization? Compression? Do you fix the problem but lose the patient? The fact is that as an auditioning/working voice actor these days, the quality of audio is becoming nearly as important as the performance. Great sound quality means increased opportunities for income now more than ever, since what you record at home is actually ending up on the television or radio more often. There are powerful tools at your disposal, but you can do a lot of damage if you don’t use them correctly. And these days it’s not just about your sound quality, but also your ability to be the engineer, which is why our students very vigorously suggested (ok, ok they demanded it) that this valuable workshop be expanded to six weeks. Building a reputation as a voice actor that can do it all – act and engineer – will bring you even more opportunities. This workshop is designed to make you into an audio surgeon, capable of quickly analyzing what is technically wrong with a recording and responding with a precise fix. When a producer or director listens to your audio, the only thing they should be aware of is your brilliant performance.


Audio Tour Narration Level 2

Directors: Peter Dunne

Length: 14-hour four-week workshop

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

Peter Dunne, who produces audio for the largest audio tour companies in the world is uniquely qualified to guide you through the most challenging aspects of this specialized niche of the voice-over industry. In this Level 2 class, you’ll tackle “real world” audio tour recording issues like working under severe time pressure or dealing with complex scripts that require you to be able to understand and communicate abstract concepts like “synesthesia” and “Dadaism.” (Look ‘em up!) You’ll also learn how to handle character scripts which are frequently used in both adult and family tours and require you to sustain a specific dialect or vocal placement for hours at a time. And because so much auditioning is done from home, Peter will assess your self-direction skills on a script that you’ll be asked to record at home.


Be A Bad MotherChucker

Directors: Chuck Kourouklis

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

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

This barn burner of a seminar is part roller coaster ride, part memory jolt, and ALL an exercise in The Grand Unifying Theory for Voice Actors. Any voice-over pro in the Bay Area is actively auditioning these weird, arcane, totally-out-of-context-one-sided character scripts. Now here’s a question: to fill in all those missing pieces and get that darn character off the page, how many of you are remembering to use the tools you’ve acquired over the years at Voicetrax?  Like, E V E R Y T H I N G? Chuck will pry the sarcophagus open and dust off some tools you might have forgotten. Get ready for “anything goes” – spontaneous improv, spontaneous direction, turn-on-a-dime changes. And when you’re done, you’ll remember just what you need to do to get out of your head and be a bad motherchucker just like our wonderful Mr. Kourouklis. Consider the resulting swagger a free gift with purchase.


Cartoon Curtain Call

Director: Sara Jane Sherman

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

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

The dream for any working professional voice actor is getting to learn from a top-notch industry professional who has the ability to demystify the behind the scenes process. Well get ready people because your dream is about to come true! Join Disney and Warner Bros. casting producer Sara Jane Sherman as she pulls back the curtain on the auditioning and casting process for the big-time animation industry. Sara Jane will provide her laser-sharp feedback as she puts you through the gauntlet with cold reads, prepared reads, self-direction, directing others, differentiating between multiple characters and so on and so on. Maybe you’ll even answer the question: I’m submitting good reads… why aren’t I booking? Along the way, Sara Jane will explain how she listens to auditions, what she’s listening for and how the casting process truly works from her insider’s viewpoint. Learn how to create a character audition that pops louder and bigger than the others from someone who is in the animation trenches day in and day out.


Characters Gone Commercial

Director: 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.


Comedic Radio Ads Level 2

Director: Sam Pond

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes: Participants may be asked to complete homework assignments at the whim of the instructor. Prerequisites: Comedic Radio Ads I or prior approval from Voicetrax.

Okay, all of you Sam Pond fanboys and fangirls, you asked for it and you got it; four more weeks of “rolling on the floor, laughing your you-know-what off” scripts of awesomely agile alliteration and off-the-wall (yet oddly arousing) characters. But wouldn’t you know it, there’s a catch. Since you are all up to speed on the ground rules from Level 1, Sam is going to crank it up a notch and test your ability to work without a net, or even a script. You’ll think and act on your feet and see just how well you roll under simulated real-world recording conditions. Intense pressure has never been so much fun!


Everything Old Is New Again

Director: Samantha Paris

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: This course includes no homework assignments whatsoever.

Remember the day you walked through the door of your Beginning Seminar or Beginning Workshop? Ahhh.. yes, the good ol’ days. Well now it’s time to recapture the effortless joy and exuberance of your first time and nearly first-time experiences. By getting back to basics, not only will it freshen and strengthen your foundation, but it’s the simplest way to find calm in the chaos of pursuing your dream. Take the weight of expectations and pressure off your mind and let yourself be a beginner again. This class is solely intended for represented Voicetrax working professionals. No home recording required! YIPPEE!!!!!


Fifty Shades Of Real

Director: Scott Parkin

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

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

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.


Finding Your Character Compass

Director: Townsend Coleman

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

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

Do you sometimes feel lost when receiving a character audition in class or from your agent? Do you get overwhelmed with what to do to make it original, rich and believable? Iconic character voice actor Townsend Coleman is back in town to be the Sacagawea to your Lewis & Clark. Students will record scripts at home for in-class critique. Townsend will be your guide and delve into your performance choices flushing out the different facets the character offers. After receiving Townie’s sage advice, you’ll get an opportunity to get back into the booth and try it again, which most actors are always itching to do. Your expedition from good to great starts here by getting the good kind of “lost” in the genuine character that springs from within you. Happy Trails to you!


How’d I Book That?

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

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

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

Do you ever 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.


Industrial Strength Storytelling

Director: Thom Pinto

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

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

Every story matters, whether it’s revealing a new wonder drug, introducing breakthrough software, sharing a company’s philosophy to new employees, or navigating a tutorial about investments. As an experienced documentary narrator, Thom knows how to tell a great story. And although there are numerous technical plates to spin while navigating the industrial type narration prevalent in the Bay Area, being able to engage your audience through dynamic storytelling remains at the heart of any competitive narration performance. Through imagery, music and immersing in the subject matter, Thom will teach you to treat even the dry, informational or technical non-broadcast narration with same kind of TLC. Focus on making your perspective crystal clear, especially since audiences will only see and hear your message once. Experience a weekend of tough love – Thom Pinto style – for advanced narrators that will assist in bringing a memorable, winning quality to your auditions.


Invitational Actor Narrator: The Sequel

Director: Melissa Gray

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes: By Invitation Only. Prerequisite: The Actor Narrator or prior approval from Voicetrax.

Want to be a working voice actor in San Francisco? Then you need to learn how to narrate. Superior narration skills have never been more important in the local voice-over market. In this four-week extension to The Actor Narrator, you’ll start where that original workshop left off. Continue to emphasize the subtext, ad-libbing and dialoguing techniques that will challenge you to investigate inner thinking and intelligent segues from line to line. Concentrate on the specificity of language – revering individual words (even consonants and vowels) to heighten the drama. Experiment with rhythms, phrasing and pausing, just as all great actors learn to do onstage. Longer copy will be explored so that you are better prepared for the true long-form booking.


Invitational Adventures In Animation Acting

Director: Jeff Howell

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

As our Guest Directors’ professional experiences expand so does their willingness to bring that knowledge to the students of Voicetrax. Veteran casting producer and director Jeff Howell has traditionally offered us all of his hard-earned wisdom in the commercial and promo genres. But NOW that he’s been neck deep in one animation project after another for the past couple years, he’s eager to jump on the character class bandwagon and bring all of that real-world information straight to you. This is not just an animation class, it’s advanced acting class where the skills you’ll hone including scene breakdown and in-depth character analysis can be applied to all genres of voice acting. Don’t miss the boat (or the wagon) and brave the rapids (or prairie) on this super relevant and comprehensive weekend adventure with a true industry leader.


Invitational F#@k The Specs

Director: Samantha Paris, Brian Sommer

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

Class Notes: By Invitation Only. Students must have home recording capabilities.

The specs on a piece of voice-over copy have long stirred epic debates on how much or how little to pay attention to them. Are the specs a barren wasteland that say “friendly and conversational”? On the other end of the spectrum, are the specs verbose and conflicting, making it easy to get caught up in them, getting in the way of a truly connected (translation: bookable) performance? So what do you do? Every time you look at a new script the FIRST THING you should be asking yourself BEFORE you look at the specs is “what are the words in the script telling me?” In this student-requested workshop, you’ll get the answer to that all-important question. Samantha and Brian will take you through various spec-centric exercises with commercial and characters scripts respectively including reading the script without benefit of the specs to see if you naturally SEE the specs in the script. Find out what happens if you let the words on the page tell you what to do instead of relying on the specs. Take your script analysis skills to the highest level by making strong acting choices that result in a SPEC-tacular performance.


Invitational Sam’s Secret Weapon

Director: Hmmmm…

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: By Invitation Only.

You know that old saying: “we could tell you, but we’d have to kill you.” We suuuppose that applies here, kinda. Extreme measures aside, it is problematic to write a class description when the class in question is at its core, a secret. Sooooo, we’ll ask you this one, very pointed question: this time around, is Samantha’s secret a THING or a PERSON? Hmmm… interesting, very interesting… Disclaimer: This is not a class for the faint-hearted who like to play it safe in the booth and stay within their narrow comfort zone resulting in “middle-of-the-road” reads. Only the brave who are eager to take on a real challenge and possibly achieve a lifelong dream need apply. Beware all who enter here…


Invitational Unmasking Your Infinite Potential: The Scene Study Edition

Director: Peter Coyote

Length: 7-hour weekend lab

Class Notes: By Invitation Only. This course includes a pre-class homework assignment. Prerequisite: Unmasking Your Infinite Potential Level 1 or prior approval from Voicetrax.

Join the one-and-only Peter Coyote as he furthers your acting evolution through unique exercises including more mask work as you prepare to dig into and really strengthen your acting prowess. In the weeks before class you will be assigned one half of a scene dialogue to memorize. The fun, exciting and challenging twist is that you won’t know who your scene partner is until you show up for class! Peter will bring the wisdom hard-earned from decades in the industry, with over 100 motion pictures and tv shows under his belt, to help you get lost within your character and really connect with your partner. What else do we reeeeaaally need to say? It’s scene work with Peter Coyote! C’mon, people!


Invitational When Opportunity Knocks

Director: LA Agent, LA Booth Director

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: By Invitation Only. Students must have home recording capabilities.

They say it’s not what you know, but who you know. With all due respect to “they”, we believe what you know is well… ummm… monumentally important. But that certainly doesn’t negate the who you know. And when given the chance to strut your stuff in front of an agent, what would you choose?

The good news is that producers and talent agents are always clamoring for new voices, but the only way for an agent to really get to know your work is to spend time with you. Spend a weekend with a talent agent and booth director from one of the biggest voice-over agencies in the country. They’ll dig into your performances, dissect what you need to work on, and in some cases… Well, the door has been built and opportunity is knocking. Will you answer the call?


Invitational When Opportunity Knocks: Two Heads Are Better Than One

Director: LA Agents

Length: 14-hour weekend seminar

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

What’s better than learning from one Los Angeles-based talent agent? You guessed it: learning from TWO Los Angeles-based talent agents! In this FULL 2-day weekend seminar, we’ve taken our wildly popular Opportunity Knocks format and doubled the opportunity by inviting two industry-leading LA agents to listen to scripts you recorded on your own at home, as well as directing you through live in-class exercises. And because we’ve extended the schedule in this two full-day class, you’ll get equal time – a full day – with each agent to learn, absorb and collaborate ultimately producing your most competitive performances. Two chances to make a great impression. Double the strutting, double the fun.


Let’s Make A Scene

With the overwhelming and unparalleled response to last year’s world premiere of this class/competition unlike any other we’ve ever had in the history of Voicetrax, we literally had no choice but to bring it back this year! Because brilliant acting has always and will always be at the center of every successful voice-over career (we’re sure we’ve heard that somewhere before…), this spectacular will focus on scene study monologues. Each of the three classes below will approach your preparation of a memorized monologue with a DIFFERENT acting technique.

Let’s Make A Scene w/ Chopper Bernet

Director: Chopper Bernet

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

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

It seems most adults don’t use their imagination very much at all in their daily lives. We become bogged down in the slog of survival. And yet most people attracted to acting in the first place likely had a very active imagination as a child. But all is not lost, because accessing your imagination is a skill that can be learned. Throughout the process of preparing your memorized monologue for competition, Chopper will help you get back to a time when you didn’t think, you just did. Chopper’s techniques will help to tap into your already fertile imagination quickly and embrace the power of your creativity while leaving the “adult” behind.

Let’s Make A Scene w/ Frank Coppola

Director: Frank Coppola

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

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

Discover your creativity while focusing on preparation and analysis, including breaking down the script into beats to make specific choices as you explore improvisation and emotional recall. These exercises will help to get that fear monkey (man that guy is annoying) off your back and let loose. You’ll learn the system of unconscious creation through conscious technique, meaning doing the homework, absorbing the character and then letting it go when it comes time to create a performance. Throughout the process of preparing your memorized monologue for competition, Frank will take you through exciting and challenging theatre games to help you make unique and detailed acting choices that you can apply to all forms of acting.

Let’s Make A Scene w/ Jeannie Elias

Director: Jeannie Elias

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

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

Get ready to go deep, reeeaaally deep. Your own identity and self-knowledge are the main sources for any character you portray. In developing the ability to be a human being in performance – as opposed to an idea or concept of a character – an actor must use themselves, understand themselves and consequently understand the character they’re portraying in a moment to moment subjective experience. To help you prepare your memorized monologue for competition, Jeannie will guide you in this modernized version of The Method acting technique and will utilize self-awareness, vulnerability, sense perceptions and skillful substitutions to create an embodiment rather than an illustration of the monologue character you portray.

THE COMPETITION:

The top four students from each scene study class will advance to a final competition class to held in the fall semester of 2019. If you are among the students chosen, you will perform the memorized monologue honed in your scene study class in front of the judges: Samantha Paris and a top San Francisco agent, another opportunity to showcase your abilities in front of an agent and put yourself in the running for a chance at THREE fabulous prizes!

PLUS, all finalists will get priority status for a private lesson with Samantha to further work your competition monologue at a discounted price!

PRIZES:

1st PLACE: $1,000 Scholarship    

2ND PLACE: One FREE four-week workshop or weekend seminar   

3RD PLACE: One FREE private lesson with Samantha Paris


Lunch With Punch

Director: Samantha Paris, Thom Pinto

Length: 24-hour six-week workshop

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

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 locked and loaded to bring back the FUN. You’ll work on strengthening your auditioning skills from a variety of different perspectives. In regard to lesson plan specifics, 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 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 Guest Director Thom Pinto with all his 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 while eating the most scrumptious pot luck west of the Mississippi.


Making It Sound Easy

Director: Sirenetta Leoni

Length: 12-hour four-week workshop

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

Jeff Bezos innovating, Roger Federer winning Major championships, Meryl Streep disappearing into a character. Across all disciplines, what do the best of the best all have in common? They make what they do seem as natural and effortless as breathing. To book consistently or get hired for the more prestigious, lucrative gigs, you can’t sound as though you are trying too hard with a delivery that comes across as labored, contrived and flat. During this four-week workshop, focus on keeping it simple with the goal of delivering a performance that sounds authentic, unforced and above all, engaging, enjoyable and easy to listen to, whether you’re auditioning to be a conversational announcer, character in a video game or voice of an Interactive Voice Response system.


Mistress Of All Trades

Director: Lori Alan

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None.

The term “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.


Say “NO” To The “Go-To”

Director: LA Agent

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

You know that go-to animation voice that you… well… go to that’s earned you praise in class and may have even booked you a job or two? As good as that voice has been to you, it just might be time to put that go-to voice down and slowly back away. Why? Because the times they are a changin’, and the world of animation is not immune. While there will always be the need for cute, outrageous animated voices, the current trend is actually tracking away from the traditional and moving toward a more natural delivery with a greater emphasis on character development. With one of the country’s top animation agents, you’ll work on your character’s intentions and not worry so much about vocal placement. So next time when the peer pressure is mounting, and you feel compelled to go to that safe place and get all “cartoony” with your voice, remember what you’ve learned here and just say no.


The Color of Acting

Director: Thom Pinto

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

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!


Women Only: Welcome To Announcerville!

Director: LA Booth Director

Length: 10-hour weekend seminar

Class Notes: None

Ladies, 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, promos, phone prompts, retail (shoes, malls, supermarkets and cars), talk show hosts, field reporters and infomercial gals? (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 be made in this area, so ALL WOMEN serious about expanding their range and marketability should be developing these skills. Act now!! Limited time offer!!! Operators are standing by.


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