Teleseminar with Harlan Hogan

by | Training

I was lucky enough, along with 770 other folks out there- to sit in on a teleseminar this evening hosted by Dan O’Day, featuring Harlan Hogan, professonal voice actor and author.

After trying fervently to dial in at exactly 7PM, Pacific time, only to hear, “We’re sorry, all circuits are busy”, I hit the speed-redial button repeatedly until I FINALLY connected, about 15 minutes into the presentation.

Some highlights:

On Auditions
Make the words sound like something you’d say.

On Demos
1) Have a plan in advance, have a structure, showcasing your niche, perfectly.  Know what you’re trying to accomplish.
2) Don’t be a “one note”. Not all fast, , slow- not all high-energy spots. Show everything that you can do.
3) Don’t copy anyone else’s work.
4) Get a real engineer to put together your final demo. Get outside “ears” to help lend objectivity.
5) Spending $3-4,000 on a demo is not justified for a :60 demo. “It’s just stupid.”

On “pay for play” websites
These can be fine for when you’re just starting out, or part-time as a voice-over. Trying to be the first one to get in and audition all the time can really become a distraction, especially for the many low-end auditions that don’t pay much.  If you are successful, there will come a time in your career that you just won’t have the time to be involved with these. Plus if you’re paying to be on a site with 3000 other talents- you may find it is not a good business decision.

On Agents
If you’re good enough to get an agent, you need to respond quickly when you are sent a script to audition. Talents who think an agent will get you a lot of work are “watching too many movies”. An agent is a manufacturer’s representative, of sorts. The agent is the first filter in the supply chain, and is essentially working to promote their agency. The agent makes 10%, no matter who books the job. The agent is not your manager or marketer.You must market yourself, and pound the pavement.
You can expect an agent to send you auditions, make recommendations on your behalf, and they’ll get your demos on their website, watch the paperwork, etc. . They won’t hold your hand.

If you’re approaching an agent, it’s not easy. Before you’re looking you need to be sure you’re ready.  Don’t blurt out that you’re seeking representation. You’ need to find out their name, and learn the agency’s background. The first thing is listen to all the demos on their website and find if you fit in. If there are 30 others who sound just like you, then it’s probably not a good idea to submit there.

Say to the Agent, I’d like to be part of this business relationship. Point out differences between one talent and another, you may say, “Even though I sound similar to XYZ talent, I bring something a little different to the table with characters, etc.  Try to think of being with an agent as a business partnership.

Studio Etiquette and Working With Other Voice Actors

Want to Work again ?Be on time or early for all sessions. Never make prople wait. 

Be professional . Nice casual dress is OK . No T shirts and flip-flops please, and have good hygiene.
Be interested in others, and don’t be a braggart and talk about all the work you’re doing. Don’t insult others and try to say I can do yadayadayada.

Don’t talk about equipment. Don’t touch the mic. Don’t hang around after the session to chat. Sign the contract and


Don’t scream at your kid’s basketball game.
Be concerned about your hearing. When you have headphones on, control the volume. Wear one headphone on, one off the other ear.

If you have a cold, tell the engineer quietly about it. Ask, “If there’s anything you can do to make me sound better….” (The engineer has compression “tools” and EQ, to make you sound all better. Avoid dry salty food. Some people take apples into the studio.

On Voice Coaches

Avoid the classic bait & switch coaches, who put on a $50 class, then suggest you either make a demo( that costs a bunch) after an introductory one hour class, or spend thousands on a master class, when you’re just a beginner.

Avoid those who focus on the voiceover only (“because your voice sounds so great”) and not the business.

There are many who teach who ARE good. You need to finds them.

On Home Studios

Rock bottom prices- USB mics are good for auditions. He mentions Samson, and a computer. Audacity, SoundForge for editing equipment are low or no cost..

A reasonable product cound be produced for at least $500 in a studio set up, with a good mic for broadcast.


There’s no ONE great mic. What it comes down to is what sounds good on you. Many places will let you try a good mic, like Guitar Center.


  1. Hello Bobbin. I too was lucky enough to get invited to Harlan Hogan’s Teleseminar tonight through! What a great and informative hour (thank you Harlan and Dan)! This was worth good money, and as a service, they gave it away free! Very cool.
    Wayne Henderson

  2. Wayne,
    I totally agree. This was an excellent service, and a great perk for those of us who are clients of Dan O’Day, who never ceases to amaze!
    All the Best,

  3. Bobbin,
    Thanks for this summary… I’ve linked to your blog from mine today. I hope you don’t mind… good stuff!

    Dave C

  4. Thanks for the link, CourVO. Much appreciated!
    All the Best,

Advertising will end in 
This content is private
Please enter valid password!