If you take any of my classes, I can’t promise you’ll book voiceovers or commercials. I can’t promise you’ll get an agent or even an audition. (I wish I could!) I can only promise that you’ll improve. I want everyone to leave a class or coaching session with significantly greater knowledge about the business, more tools to use when reading commercial and industrial copy, and techniques to deliver that copy more confidently and truthfully.
Good work in camera acting and voiceovers begins with truthful, honest communication. I base my teaching on the “guideposts” from Michael Shurtleff’s book, Audition — as learned from extensive study with casting director and master teacher, Jane Brody. Shurtleff’s guideposts provide a method to help you quickly find the truthful communication in your work.
How can I learn more about you and your teaching before I sign up for a class?
Read The Acting Biz. You can order it via the links on this website… or check it out at the library. (The book is a labor of love — of which I’m very proud. It contains everything I wish I had known 25 years ago when I was a young actor in the Twin Cities!) Sign up for my free newsletter to learn about upcoming on-camera and VO classes. (I’ll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.) Follow The Acting Biz on Facebook.
I want to do voice-overs. Why don’t you accept everyone into your classes?
Voiceover work isn’t for everyone. As I say in my book, voiceover is the toughest part of the business in many ways. (See The Acting Biz, Chapter 12.) It will require a significant investment of time and money (to produce a voiceover demo) before you see any kind of financial reward – and many never see a penny. You should clearly understand the realities of the business before you invest energy, time and money. For current class offerings, sign up for my newsletter or visit www.UndertoneMusic.com and click on “Pro VO Workshop.”
Are your classes for beginners or experienced actors?
Truth be told, I most enjoy helping stage actors transition into camera and voiceover work. Experienced actors have frequent “aha” moments as they learn to apply familiar acting concepts to camera and voice work.
If you’re a beginner, I encourage you to pursue basic actor training before you come to me. Much of what I teach builds on concepts and skills learned in acting class. I could teach you Acting 101, but that wouldn’t be cost effective for you. There are terrific options in the Twin Cities for basic actor and improv training — I list several in my book. You’ll learn camera and voiceover techniques much more quickly if you have some experience first. I’ve learned my acting technique after working with well over a dozen teachers and directors. I’ve learned different critical concepts from each of them. For beginners, it’s important to understand that you can’t learn to act in six easy lessons. I encourage you to train with several different teachers along the way. Be sure to see Chapter 9 and Appendix F of The Acting Biz to learn much more about classes and training – for actors and non-actors alike.
Money back guarantee.
If you try a class or a coaching session and you don’t see significant improvement in your work, you don’t pay. We’ll part ways and I’ll wish you well in your training with other instructors. Actor training is an investment. I want you to realize a return on that investment. If we don’t see improvement, talk to me about a refund.
Do you offer long-term or multi-week classes?
Generally, no. I welcome repeat students, of course; however, my goal is to help you improve as quickly as possible in as few sessions as necessary. I want to give you tools, techniques and advice to follow your own path to success. I think you should study with various acting teachers — not just me. If you want in-depth actor training or if you need to focus on a particular area for improvement, we can discuss several training options available here in the Twin Cities. The commercial / industrial / voiceover business moves very quickly – I try to make my training match that pace.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
For classes at a recording studio, deposits may be non-refundable, depending upon the cost of the studio. For many of my classes, I ask for payment at the end of a class to ensure that everyone is satisfied first. My primary work in commercial and industrials – both on-camera and in voiceovers — will sometimes force a schedule change with classes or coaching sessions. I apologize in advance for the occasional inconvenience of a postponement. In the same way, I expect that my students’ jobs or auditions will take priority over our sessions. (If you book a gig or an audition, by all means take it! Schedule changes are a reality of this business – payment at the end of a session makes it easier.
Where do you teach your classes?
Locations vary. Most of my VO classes are currently offered at Undertone Music in Minneapolis. On-camera classes will vary — Minneapolis and the near suburbs are most common. I can also come to your location, depending upon distance and availability.
How much do you charge for coaching?
For on-camera and voiceover coaching, my rate is $100 per hour. (See “Money back guarantee” above.)
This rate would be the same for private coaching or a class. For example, if you gather a group of four actors for a session, you would split that hourly rate among the four actors. Thus, a two-hour class would cost each person $25 per hour, for a total of $50 per person. If you arrange all the logistics for a class (coordinating students and schedule), discounts are available.
I recommend small group work over private work for most on-camera and voiceover classes. There are “aha” moments that happen when observing another actor working through similar concepts. I’m happy to coach privately, as my schedule allows.