Articles by Heidi Schooler

"Being Prepared with Voiceover Auditioning"
(January 26th, 2012)

As voiceover actors, feeling confident about what you’re auditioning for is key.  Here’s a checklist for ramping up your preparedness meter, before you step into the booth:


1) Know the material:

• You have to get to know and understand the material! Read article


"The 50th Anniversary Issue: Anecdotes from Back Stage Staff and Contributors"
 Heidi Schooler, Columnist (2008-present)

(Issue: Oct. 13th, 2011)

About:  At the beginning of my career, Back Stage helped me feel like there was some consistency and support, and it continues to inform me today. Originally, it helped me find information about auditions and always kept me up to date about what productions were coming—so I knew which CDs to follow up with—and it kept me organized while trying to make things happen... Read article (Be sure to scroll down to find the rest of Heidi's

"Making Space for Your Voice: Creating Your Own In-Home Recording Studio"
(Issue: May 19th, 2011)

About:  One of the beauties of voiceover work is that you can do it at home by creating your own mini-studio.  But you've got to find the proper equipment.  That takes research. To help you assemble your own VO nook, I consulted with two experts in the field, George Whittam and John Taylor...Read article

"Sound Advice"
Two veterans share how they found their niches and made their
voices heard.
(Issue: Feb. 14th, 2011)

About: When it comes to building a voiceover career in New York, it's important to find what you do well and stick with it... Read article

"A Room for the Voice"
The Don LaFontaine VO Lab 
(Issue:  Oct. 1st, 2010)

About: In March 2009, voice actors Paul Pape and Joe Cipriano joined engineer George Whittam to honor Don LaFontaine, their late friend and a voiceover legend, who voiced more than 5,000 movie trailers. With the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, the three worked to create and build the Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab, where voice performers can work on their craft and record demos and auditions... Read article

"The Match Game"
Veteran Voice Casting Director Barbara Harris on the Art of Voice Matching  (Issue: June 12th, 2010)

About:   In today's voiceover market, there's one area that actors should know more about: voice matching—what it is and when it's used.   Legendary Casting Director Barbara Harris helps us sort through the many questions about this area of the VO field... Read article

"Animation Nation"
Pilot Season is about more than sitcoms, dramas and reality shows.  (Issue:  January 22nd, 2010)

About: While there may not be as many of them, animated pilots can prove just as lucrative for an actor as live-action ones. I spoke with a casting director and a voiceover actor and teacher to get some pointers on what and what not to do to get cast... Read article

"Voice Activation"
Six Websites to Help Amplify Your Voiceover Career
(Issue: October 13th, 2009)

About: Want a new way to be proactive in your voiceover career? Here are the best-known websites geared toward voice talent, along with some great tips from their founders and others. Check them out and get your career into top gear... Read article

"Get In The Game"
Tremendous Opportunities are Opening Up in Video Games
(Issue:  August 21st, 2009)

About: The interactive-gaming industry has rapidly grown into one of the biggest forms of entertainment today. As the public continues to crave new video-game titles with more-original ideas, voiceover actors will be expected to be on their game to meet the continual expansion...
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"(Audio) Book Smart"
(Issue:  June 23rd, 2009)

About:  The audio book business has been booming, as has actors' interests in working as narrators in this field. I recently spoke with voiceover greats Pat Fraley and Marc Cashman, who shared their wisdom about this booming business... Read article

"Backstage: Reader’s Choice Awards 2009, Los Angeles"
Favorite Voiceover Workshop:  Kalmenson & Kalmenson
(Issue:  May 14th, 2009)

About: It's a rarity for 10 minutes to pass, listening to the radio or watching TV, without hearing a commercial voiceover job cast by Kalmenson & Kalmenson. Husband-and-wife team Cathy and Harvey Kalmenson founded the Burbank, Calif.-based company in 1993 and have a combined 50 years of voiceover experience, including time spent as former agents. In addition to their bustling casting department, they currently oversee a faculty of 25 teachers and engineers who make up the company's education department ... Read article

"Celebrities Are Taking All the Jobs"
Or Are They? A Guide for the Nonfamous  (Issue:  April 30th, 2009)

About: There seem to be more and more celebrities doing voiceovers, whether it's Morgan Freeman telling us why we should use Visa or Reese Witherspoon and an all-star cast duking it out in Monsters vs. Aliens. But is the perception accurate?... Read article

"Narrating vs. Announcing"
Veteran Voiceover Artist Randy Thomas Explains the Difference(Issue:  March 26th & April 12th, 2009)

About: To discuss the differences between narrating and announcing, I went to Randy Thomas, one of America's most recognizable female voices. The first woman to announce the Academy Awards (she's now done it seven times), she has also worked the Miss America Pageant, the Tony Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the Democratic National Convention in a career of more than 20 years ... Read article

"Voice:  Creating Cartoon Characters"
(Issue: February 11th, 2009)

About:  Anyone voicing an animated character should have already studied the basics of acting, say Pat Fraley and Bob Bergen. At a recording session, there's no time to discuss how to make character choices or how to sound believable. An actor must quickly add many other ideas and techniques to those basics in order to create a character from nothing ... Read article

"Honing Your Commercial Technique"
(January 13th, 2009)

About: 1) relaxation/breath, 2) concentration/focus,
3) interpretation/imagination, and 4) making it your own...
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"Got Voice?"
To Hone Skills and Compete with the Pros, Get Thee to a Class(Issue: November 11th, 2008)

About:  I've been asked many times over the years about the best way to break into voiceover. It's my hope to demystify the process and provide insight into what's expected of professional voiceover artists. Having worked as an actor in this field for more than a decade — in addition to performing on stage and on camera — I've got a solid handle on what it takes to make it and stay in the game. I look forward to sharing my experience with you and welcome your questions... Read article