People don’t usually pay much attention to the automated voices they hear on robo-calls and voice mail systems or in video games, but the Southold Town Recreation Department is offering residents a chance to see what it’s like to be a voice actor.
On Tuesday, July 9, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. the department has scheduled a voice acting class at the Peconic Lane Community Center. Professionals from Voice Coaches will give a program on voiceover work called “Getting Paid to Talk.”
“We really try to balance the presentation so it’s fun but realistic,” said Voice Coaches president David Bourgeois. “This isn’t a ‘learn the secrets of breaking into the industry’ kind of class. We go over the things people might like about it, but also the stumbling blocks that may be encountered.”
Those lacking the stereotypical booming announcer-type voice need not worry, said Mr. Bourgeois.
“I’ve been a producer and have cast a lot of voice actors,” he said. “We used to use that low, loud radio voice, but this is not the case anymore. We are after someone who sounds believable and convincing, which is actually different for every audience. The most desirable voice is sincere and believable, which allows for a broad range of voices.”
The class might seem an unusual choice for the North Fork, which is not exactly a hotbed of acting or advertising, but town recreation supervisor Ken Reeves says 11 people have already signed up.
“I got an email from Voice Coaches out of the blue,” he said, “I thought it looked interesting so I checked out the website and decided to set something up. I just thought it sounded like something exciting and unique for around here. We’re always looking to offer new programs to the area.”
The rec department has offered a range of classes, including yoga, various sports and chair-making, but this is the first voice acting class.
But it may be the perfect time. According to Forbes.com, the average voice actor earns $50,000 to $80,000 annually. Also, modern technology and the Internet allow voice actors to do much of their work from home.
The class costs $15 for residents. To enroll or get more information, call the recreation department at 631-765-5182.