Castings >Voicetrax San Francisco
1207 Bridgeway Ste D, Sausalito, CA | Directions 9496537.859221 -122.485524
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Professional and Exceptional – It's surprising that anyone could be confused by the classes and instruction offered through Voicetrax.
In 2007, I took the intro "Finding Your Voice" workshop and had the uncanny feeling that voice acting was something I wanted to do. In that workshop, Samantha Paris was very supportive to the people who attended.
But, she also was very honest, pointing out that to excel in such a challenging industry took determination, investment and time. Since that workshop, I've steadily taken scheduled classes and private lessons through Voicetrax. I've had the opportunity to have classes with probably every instructor at the school, and have taken something of value from every class I've attended. Yes, the classes fill quickly - because the classes are limited to reasonable size and folks understand the quality of them.
It is certainly not a quick fix to provide a jump start into the voiceover profession. The skills required are at times reasonably subtle, and arrived at through a loop of practice and feedback. Some students move ahead quickly. Others have more challenges.
I'd also say that the quality of the students at Voicetrax is excellent as well - honest, supportive and very helpful. Samantha is very protective of her students, but also demands commitment from them. The people who stick around, do the work and learn all seem to be getting represented by good talent agencies and start booking quality work. Hard to argue with those kinds of results. And she's been doing it for 20 years.
For me, the training I've invested in has paid off. I count myself lucky to have been a part of it for the last couple years. When I invested in doing my voice demo, I was ready to do so. (And there are plenty of people who will happily take your money for a "Pro Demo" well before you are ready.) When I booked a job and began working with producers, I had a good sense of what to expect and didn't flail around when the time clock was running.
It's a high quality school with excellent training.
Think twice before signing up for Voicetrax – They give the impression that they just don't care. Voicetrax is the self-proclaimed varsity school of voiceover finishing 1st overall in the nation according to its brochure. Sadly, this was not my experience. After commiserating with fellow students over the course of many months & the handing over of many a greenback, it occurred to me that we were not in fact learning the art of voiceover nearly as quickly as spending thousands of dollars clamoring to get into programmes that for some very odd reason seemed to fill up within hours of their anticipated release. Classes are recommended to you by the owner Samantha Paris. She highlights between 10-14 classes that she believes you should take. Then it is up to you to see how much you can afford to take in a matter of speaking. Because Voicetrax does not solicit student feedback, it sends the message that there is no room for improvement on their part & student opinions & their experience does not matter. There is no mentoring & the administration of the school is indifferent to concerns unless you are reading your credit card number over the phone. Basically, I just don't feel like they care. Samantha is only available for private meetings ($$$ hourly) & Shirley doesn't know anything about the classes. Asking her a Q is truly unpleasant. She seems inconvenienced & lets you know it. She has no patience for students & calls on her fall back position 'you will have to ask Sam'. Unfortunately, Samantha does not have any office hours. You cannot communicate with her unless you are willing to pay. Another pet peeve is Shirley often waits weeks before processing payments which is a nuisance. Classes have actually been cancelled if one of Sam's dogs took ill and a last minute substitute could not be found. BEFORE YOU SPEND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, HOURS OF TIME COMMUTING & REDIRECTING PRECIOUS RESOURCES, MAKE SURE THE SCHOOL HAS YOUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART. Voicetrax falls short. Hope this was helpful. Just being honest.
Training you can count on – My experience at Voicetrax -- over two years, 20 or so classes averaging about 10 hours each--- has really honed my skills. Samantha, the founder, is a top talent and teacher. The staff at Voicetrax never lowers the bar, but they train you so well that you find you can jump higher than you ever imagined. You gain expertise, you gain confidence, and you get cutting edge information about the business. Yes, it is expensive (over $300 a class), but it is a worthwhile investment. And... you have a lot of fun!
Voice Over Victorious – Let me first say that I have been studying at Voicetrax for a little over a year. In that time, I have taken about 12-13 classes and one private lesson with Samantha. I have received an excellent education and I continue to learn what it will take to be a working voice actor.
I can imagine that those looking for quick fame and fortune might be put off by the modest environment of Voicetrax. Sam, Shirley and Chuck are real, caring people and they treat all the students like family. Is everything slick and computerized so that people become numbers? NO! & I for one am grateful that this is the case. Once in a while you have to wait a minute for Shirley to find an answer but honestly, if that is as bad as your life gets...count yourself as lucky.
As for the instructors, they are amazing professionals and they care that everyone gets the most they can out the classes. I have often been in classes where the reality of the business is discussed. So, there is no truth in the review that claimed Sam only cared about getting students and not about being real. Classes fill up quickly and there often isn't the space or ability to add an additional class. So there are limits to the number of students VT can handle effectively. In each class, I learn not just from the time I am in the booth but also from the adjustments that others make when they are in the booth. The statement that the classes are too big is ridiculous. At most a class might have 13 people but usually it is 10 or 11.
I think anyone who wants to do this work or improve their performance skills should call Voicetrax and start their journey.
VOICETRAX IS NOT A GOOD SCHOOL UNLESS YOU HAVE MONEY TO BURN – Very expensive, no mentoring, very hard to break into voiceover profession. In order to be properly trained you need a critical mass/momentum in instruction but the classes are so short and so costly it is an impossible endeavor to determine if you have a chance in this business when you can only take a few classes per season. I tried to explain this to the owner, Samantha Paris, but she insisted that it can take up to 4 years of taking classes before you will know. I don't have 4 years do spend on a maybe. The problem here is the school lacks structure. There is no way to train yourself outside of class but in class you get very little training. Too many students per course.
Editorial Review – Voiceover school and agency offers beginner through advanced training classes alongside casting services. Desert Cities and San Francisco locations.
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