Free VO Giveaway!!!

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Free VO Giveaway!

Do you ever give away your VO work for free?

Why would anyone do that?!?!?

Well, actually, there are a number of great reasons to work for free.
(and a metric tonne of reasons *not* to work for free)

Here’s just a few ways to use your VO powers for good:

Reading for the Blind and Visually Impaired

AIRSLA provides podcasts on news, current events and entertainment.
More info at: AIRSLA: Audio Internet Reading Service of Los Angeles

Audio Eyes adds captions and verbal descriptions to videos.
More info at: Audio Eyes: Video Description and Captioning Provider

Google “Reading For The Blind” to find out if there are any companies local to you.

Donating Your Voice… Literally!

Vocal ID is a very unique project that allows people to donate their voice for people who have trouble speaking. This may be due to issues with their voice, brain injuries, or other medical problems.

Donating is as easy as reading. Their site has a very easy to use interface that presents you with one sentence at a time. You record that sentence and move on. During each session, record as little or as much as you’d like. I tend to do it in my spare time between work and auditions. After a while, the tools build up a profile of your speech. These profiles are combined with other donors and even the recipient’s own voice to create a unique voice for them.

Watch this short clip to see a real example of how it works:

More info at: Vocal ID: Voices for Those Who Can’t Speak

Future Possibilities

Giving some of your time to new businesses, student film projects, and new ideas can be a benefit in the long run. You never know who may turn out to be big in the future!

One group that I’ve donated my voice to is BattleBards. They provide background audio for people who do table gaming (ala. Dungeons and Dragons).
More info at: BattleBards: Voices, Music, and SFX for Table Gaming

Charities and Causes

If you have a cause you truly believe in, or a charity you’d like to donate to, giving your voice can be a good way to chip in. Call them and see if they have any need of VO. Maybe it’s for some PSA spots on the radio. Or their phone system needs updating. Perhaps they’d like to start a podcast.

Audio Dramas and Podcasts

I’ve always thought of online audio drama as the VO equivalent of local theatre. It provides a great way to hone your acting skills, develop new characters, and get feedback on your performance.

Here are two that I’ve worked with:

Pendant Productions

Dream Realm Enterprises

… And of Course, Joe’s Dump!

Songs, animation, poems and other miscellaneous audio baubles… All creative uses of my voice that I don’t get any direct compensation for.

However, the skills I gain, characters developed, and creative inspiration… These all come into play daily in my career. And that’s an invaluable benefit!

Where Do You Give It Away?

I’d love to hear the places that you donate your voice to, and how they may benefit you.

Drop me a comment below and let me know!

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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22 thoughts on “Free VO Giveaway!!!

  1. I was a volunteer for several years at North Texas Radio & Reading Service in Dallas. Every year I volunteered between 84 and 110 hours of free time where I learned more thsn I could have EVER been compensated. I read the daily newspaper, “The Dallas Morning News” on the air and I also read text books, and also had my own show called, “Weekend World” which aired every Friday with news, event ideas & suggestions, and entertainment from the area. It was a lot of fun to produce those segments and I hope I helped people as much as I enjoyed creating that show.

    • How cool is that! Way to go, Susan!
      I’d like to try something like that related to science or tech.
      It’s definitely a great way to contribute and learn at the same time.

  2. This is great. I’ve done volunteer work with a company called Developmental Pathways, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and as a speaker on Sensory Integration Disorder. My son also recently befriended a deaf boy in our neighborhood, and it has been very rewarding as we embark on learning some sign language. It has been so refreshing, watching my son communicate with this child, as opposed to verbally communicating with the other rotten 9 year olds in the neighborhood! This is also great for someone who is in the early stages of entering the business. I’ll take anything you want to part with.

    • Hi Ricky.

      Kudos to your son! He sounds like a winner. Sign language could be a great plus for his future, and it’s always good to see things from another perspective.

      We donate to Habitat for Humanity, but it never occurred to me to voice things for them.
      Great giving all-round!
      Joe

  3. I have in the past done Recording for the Blind at university. All textbooks and required reading materials. Now I do pro bono work for what are called “Modders”.

    Modders are game enthusiasts who singly or in collectives create new content for some of the major Role-Playing Games, like Fallout and the Bethesda Elder Scrolls series. I’m a big gamer myself and it is my way of giving back to a community that has given me so much pleasure and entertainment over the years..

    • Thanks, Ed.
      Didn’t know about modders.
      I did a bit of machinima a while back, though.
      Interesting use of game tools.

  4. You know I’d thought of donating my time & voice to reading for the blind, but I’ve not yet taken the plunge. I’m even more excited now after watching the short clip of Vocal ID – I realize that’s not for the blind, but it’s along similar lines. I may have to check into that – way, way cool! I give in other ways, so why not add this to my repertoire? 🙂

  5. I am currently recording sentences for Vocal ID. Just finished 500 sentences which equals 1 hour of speaking. It is definitely a worthwhile cause.

  6. Crikey, Joe…there isn’t one little thing I can disagree with here. Excellent! I can’t pretend to higher altruistic motives, yet reading for RFB&D (Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic) was a large part of my earliest intro to sitting in front of a mic and just speaking clearly. And now that I think of it, I’ve recorded at least telephone incoming messages for friends. It’s a SKILL, ya’ know.

    Back in the day I recorded some “jobs” for free…there being a big difference between doing it purely for the experience and doing it for cheap.

    Aye. Speak on, brotha’.

  7. Yes, I have donated plenty of VO work. It’s mostly to students with a project with no budget. But circumstances have to be right. Mostly I have to like the person making the request, and feel like I’m contributing to their cause. I have also done some character work for someone’s passion project of an original audio book.

    • Yes… Agreed. It’s important to believe in the project or cause you’re giving your valuable time and talent to. And it’s encouraging to see projects and people blossom when given support. Thanks, Debbie!

  8. I’ve dubbed a film role for a film maker and lent my voice to audio dramas written and produced by a friend.
    I also narrate and produce a podcast weekly which features my favorite bloggers’ stories, and its free content.

  9. Wow. Just-WOW. I’ve been a Joe’s Dump/Facebook follower for only a few months (and even greener student of the amazing world of voice acting since early this year.) Insight like this is GOLD for newcomers like myself. I’m a SpongeBob when it comes to these resources-and I’ve been taking advantage of them ALL. Joe-Thanks to you I landed a part with Pendant Productions, Seminar! And awaiting gigs for Battlebards. – Joe, I owe you a tall glass of 1 percent milk-or an adult beverage of your choosing.

    As you mentioned-for places to donate your voice, in Los Angeles; LARRS (Los Angeles Reading Radio Service) is in constant need of volunteers. I can personally say like AIRSLA it’s a great way to give back. I love Jolie and the Friday LARRS crew! If you live in the Los Angeles/SFV area, check out LARRS.org and pay it forward.

    • Congrats on your Seminar role! You’ll like the Pendant folks -they’re good people. And thanks for the link to LARRS.org Cheers, Joe

    • Hi Audrey,

      No, you don’t need an agent to do VO work. It definitely helps with finding paid work, and can make work in some cities much easier. Most union work comes through agents.

      However, if you have some acting experience and a desire to help others, there are plenty of opportunities. There are also groups that perform audio dramas. Most are free and unpaid. A good one to check out is Pendant at http://www.pendantaudio.com

      Best of luck, and remember to have fun with it!
      Joe

  10. I am studying VO and would like to get some experience volunteering my voice work, and helping with instructional video, Charity PSAs audiobooks etc. Any adivice to get started?

    • Hi Linda,

      Aside from the advice above, I’d suggest getting involved with theatre, improv and singing. These will also help build the skills you’ll need for a career in Voice acting.

      Best of luck on your journey!
      Joe

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