Hey Reddit!

Proof: https://twitter.com/janemarielynch/status/303683052800974848

Hi! Jeannie Elias here - I teach voice-over to VO actors at my studio in LA and over the phone (or skype) to people all over the USA and Canada. If you're interested, email me at [email protected] or visit my Acting4VoiceOver website.

I've starred in TV shows such as The Oblongs, As Told by Ginger, Dennis the Menace, Super Mario Bros. Richie Rich, The Adams Family, and yes...My Little Pony - to name a few.

My Video Games include Golden Eye: Rogue Agent, X Men Legends, Mafia II, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy XIII, and Dragon Age Origins.

And Movies such as Over the Hedge and The Wild.

I directed Jane Lynch and Ernest Borgnine in the animated feature Miracle Mouse, and Jane again in the color nookbook "Elfbot", which we hope will be picked up as a TV series.

Here's my imdb page.

I'm becoming a member of the 21st century and launching a Twitter account today @Jeannie_Elias.

As well, I coach actors in preparation for their TV, Film and Theatrical auditions. Having studied with Uta Hagen, I incorporate her brilliant acting principals into both my VO teaching and my acting coaching.

I'll be at Animation Toon Con on March 16th in California. Come on down and say hi. It's free and will celebrate VO actors who voice Animation, Anime and Video Games.

I am conducting two weekend VO intensives in Los Angeles April 6 & 7 Saturday for Commercials, Sunday for Animation. (details forthcoming), a VO seminar - Mastering the Commercial Monologue - in San Francisco at the wonderful VoiceTrax SF on March 1 & 2 and another Weekend intensive in Calgary, Alberta through www.VAOC.com on April 27 & 28.

Ask me anything.

Comments: 171 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

EpicBlargh14 karma

How easy and rewarding is it to be a voice over actor, and what interested you to become one in the first place? I love voice acting and have performed on small animations across YouTube, and I would love to take it bigger than that.

Jeannie_Elias18 karma

What got me interested in the first place was talking to my dogs in funny voices. It's unbelievably rewarding, as you get to be so many different kinds of people, creatures, and objects that you'd never get to play if it were live action.

WayTooSWOLE8 karma

Do you have another job besides voice acting or is this enough to put bread on the table?

Jeannie_Elias15 karma

It is certainly enough to put bread on the table, but I have a passion for teaching. It's great fun to impart what I've learned over the years to others with the same passions that I have.

ndwade5 karma

I've recently become completely taken with the thought of being a voice actor, how did you get your start? What did you study?

Jeannie_Elias8 karma

How to start? Study study study! Listen listen listen! To the radio, to TV, to everything. Observe and practice. Then take a class. I started as a theatrical actor - stage, film and TV and then discovered VO acting. Did them all for a long time, then Voiceover just took over.

mariox194 karma

But isn't there a way to know whether or not you ought to bother in the first place. I have to assume desire or interest is just not enough. I'm not saying that you have to be a one-in-a-million person to find work as a voice actor, but how would a person go about making some sort of initial evaluation?

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

by booking a lesson with a teacher who can assess.

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

hire a teacher and see how you do. after several classes (you really have to try to know) ask her/him for an honest evaluation.

The_Tallest4 karma

It seems like voice acting is a really cool job and I always thought that would be a cool thing to do for a living. Is there any part about the job you don't like?

Jeannie_Elias5 karma

Not really. It's pretty great all around!

mynameisadrean4 karma

Is it more difficult to coach someone over electronic devices rather than in person?

Jeannie_Elias4 karma

I love doing it over the phone or cpu. The phone is a perfect medium because it's all about sound, and not what shoes you're wearing that day.

tainaaax4 karma

Are you interested in furthering your acting career? Maybe staring in a feature or short film?

Jeannie_Elias6 karma

I was on Weeds last season, which was great, but I don't pursue it actively. But if anyone wants me just call and I'm there! But seriously I'm pretty busy doing VO and teaching.

thomp2mp3 karma

How's it like working with Jane Lynch? I think she's hilarious! It'd be great if we could see/hear some outtakes from your voiceovers with her.

Jeannie_Elias8 karma

Phenomenal. She's a consummate pro, and funny as hell.

bunknown3 karma

Do you work from home or are you always somewhere else? I also though voice actors had a studio in their house, and most of them work out of there. Thanks!

Jeannie_Elias4 karma

I have a home studio. I sometimes work in other studios, but mostly from home.

kurlyhairedfoe2 karma

I make a lot of good/ weird voices how can i get an audition? Lol

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

there are many websites that offer auditions for a yearly stipend. Make sure you know what yr doing - to beat the competition, you have to be primed and ready.

SoldatJ2 karma

What advice would you have for an aspiring VO actor who has managed a minor role but is still working on making it a career?

Jeannie_Elias6 karma

Keep practicing, keep working with a coach/teacher, and keep submitting yourself for auditions.

stormyeleven2 karma

voice acting has been my dream job since as long as i can remember. how did you get started doing it? how would you recommend starting up if you have no experience?

Jeannie_Elias2 karma

Study! see my answer to Bitwise

Teh_Smell1 karma

I've been working on getting in to VO. How would you suggest I put together a portfolio for this when applying for work?

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

pls see my answer to bitwise

GuyLoki1 karma

How much time goes into voice recording for, say an hour long program? That is to say, for the typical actor how long do they actually spend in the studio doing takes to get a whole hour long program's dialogue recorded?

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

really depends on the project. A 30 sec commercial can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour and half (how long the union gives the client for a session before it's OT). An episode of a cartoon is bt 2- 4 hours. An hour long narration for a doc might take 2-3 hours. It also depends on the director - some (on animation) will rehearse before going to tape, others jump right in.

Kazataniplayer1 karma

Hello, I've been told by family and friends that I should go into voice acting for several years now, but the problem is that I live in Israel (there isn't a proper place to really work here). I'm stuck here until something comes my way. here's my question: What would be the best way to get into voice acting from my position? Thanks.

Jeannie_Elias2 karma

There are many international VO websites. As we r a global community now, you can study in Cyber space. I conduct class over skype on a regular basis.

initials_games1 karma

Awesome animation demo. Nice work.

Do you take on projects from small independent projects? And if so, how do you decide which ones you want to be a part of?

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

would have to hear the details

chingao3271 karma

How difficult is it to break into VO for a newcomer? Is it true that having actual study is necessary to even book auditions? Do demo reels help out or are live auditions the norm? Impersonations are good or bad?

Jeannie_Elias2 karma

1 st u study. when yr ready you make a demo. If u can score an agent great. or get auditions from the various websites. Nobody auditions live - except for the occasional callback Impersonations can help you zero in on an animated character. It's a technique I use to help students find voices.

StillTrill4Real1 karma

What advise would you give to an aspiring voice over actor to get an opportunity to work in your industry?

Jeannie_Elias2 karma

you must learn HOW. VO is an art and a craft and like any other, must be learned and practiced. It takes time. Find a great teacher (like me!) and get started!.

kennydoesntcare1 karma

I so want to do what you do for a living. I'm in L.A. Whose class do I need to take so I can get on track for making it my full-time career?


Duh... yours!

Jeannie_Elias2 karma


quietude381 karma

Ever done Rob Paulsen's podcast?

Are there any peers of yours in the V/O industry who you enjoy listening to or working with?

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

Rob and I did a panel at Wondercon last year - you can find it on Youtube. I love working - and VO actors are a great bunch of peeps. I've rarely met one I didn't love. They are funny, quick-witted and talented. What's not to love.

Gas_pains_suck1 karma

How much money do you make? Is this a good living?

Jeannie_Elias2 karma

If yr good, you can make a great living. I have been for a lot of years.

harrydickinson1 karma

When you type your name into google, this image shows up. How does that make you feel?

Jeannie_Elias2 karma

Ha! It's from The Twilight Zone episode I did.


I am seriously interested in becoming a VO actor.

  1. How much does a demo tape cost to make?

  2. Where would I even go to make one?

  3. Do you think the local casting agency could help me with this (Pittsburgh)?

  4. How would I even market myself to audition for gigs?

kkantouth1 karma

  1. free if you know how to work the software. +blank dvd prices
  2. call up friends, im sure you know someone with a microphone.
  3. wouldn't hurt to call.
  4. mail in your demo reel / audition tape. (mostly mp3's now)

Jeannie_Elias2 karma

Uh, what about learning how to do it? It's not just about a voice, it's about acting, what the contemporary vo style is (for commercials), about knowing what to do. and for that you must study - especially now that there is so much competition even tho there is so much more work. A teacher can help you organise getting a demo together and help you find contacts ONCE yr ready to go out with it.

Mechashinsen1 karma

Are you related to any Elias' in Canada? Would be nice to know that one of my relatives is famous.

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

I am but there are only 4 of us and I know them all!

CrazyTillItHurts1 karma

I'd really like to know... how would an aspiring voice actor try and get some work? I can do hundreds of believable unique voices; I do it all day. Some voice actors only do one or two but have tons of work. Where would someone like me start?

kkantouth1 karma

record your stuff brah, all of em. throw em up on youtube. send the video to casting agencies. get yourself on some VO work.

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

not really how it works. there are a lot of people vying for agents and attention from casting peeps. you need to know what yr doing, get a professional reel together and go out to agents or put yrself on casting websites..

burntham771 karma

What are some of the better cities to get VO jobs?

Jeannie_Elias2 karma

Anywhere now. we are a global community. I work with people in India, France and England.

TiredMold1 karma

Do you think it's possible to have a career in character-based voice acting outside of LA?

I'm in Chicago and I've heard several times that you can get voice work, but you basically have to have a standard deep radio voice.

Jeannie_Elias2 karma

I'd have to hear you to answer that, but I can tell u the style is real, natural and conversational now NOT announcery

Bringyourfugshiz1 karma

I'm glad you're doing this AmA. I've always been interested in acting but don't think I have the look, but certainly have the personality. How much do your classes cost? I think once I get a little extra cash I'm going to give them a shot, although I dont live out in LA yet.

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

I work with people who aren't in LA over the phone. I have students all over the States and Canada. Go to Acting4Voiceover and you can read how I teach and the cost etc.

alex33051 karma

Do you mind, when you're overdubbed in another language? And do you still get royalties and such from being overdubbed?

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

uh, no

ramen2441 karma

What's your favorite voice that you have done?

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

Creepy Susie on the Oblongs and Carl Foutley on AS Told By Ginger

ObviousMagikarp1 karma

Hey Franky, Vito coming back from the war yet?

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

I dunno mama, I dunno....

uchuskies081 karma

How has your career changed over the years considering the quality of home recording equipment and the internet? Looking at your imdb, I'm sure recording for the Super Mario Bros. cartoon was a tad different than anything you've done in recent years.

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

Well, I do most of my auditions from home studio now and occasional jobs too. I've learned to direct myself as we all must. And of course the material is a lot edgier - like The Oblongs

zackymcharvest1 karma

Do you lose your voice often from all the talking after recording?

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

NO, You learn to use yr voice properly and it's not really a problem - with the exeption of screaming in video games....

ajtexasranger1 karma

What has been your most difficult voice to do?

Jeannie_Elias2 karma

a 100 year old male dwarf with a Russian accent who had a valley girl intonation. And that's true!

bitwize1 karma

Voice acting -- for toons, games, etc. -- is like a "yeah, right, like that'll ever happen" dream of mine.

How do I get into VA? What do I have to do to prepare? Are there substantial opportunities in every city, or is it like, your choices are New York, LA, or reading TV ad copy for Bedding Slum off the interstate in Sheboygan?

also is jane lynch as awesome as she sounds?

Jeannie_Elias1 karma

Jane is as awesome as she sounds, looks, and IS! There are opps all over now. All you need is a home studio that has become very reasonable to put together since the technology has become so advanced. There are many sites from which to get auditions as well as through an agent in a major city (whether or not you live there) who make take you on once you've learned and are adept at VO and have made a demo. BUT you must learn HOW. VO is an art and a craft and like any other, must be learned and practiced. It takes time. Find a great teacher (like me!) and get started!.

AwesomePancakes1 karma

What kind of special perks like free games come with being a voice actor for games or are they not very substantial?

Jeannie_Elias8 karma

It's great fun. And it makes me popular among gamers. That's about it.