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Students try to find their voice Wednesday at SUNY Potsdam

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POTSDAM - Fans of the iconic voices of James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman and Don LaFontaine may take their first steps at launching a voice-over career Wednesday night on the SUNY Potsdam campus.

SUNY Potsdam, in conjunction with Voice Coaches, will present “Getting Paid to Talk,” a “single-evening, realistic and entertaining introduction to the world of voice-overs,” from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The class, which has taken place on campus each of the last two years, will be led by Voice Coaches Senior Creative Director John Gallogly.

The Albany-based company has been in existence for 15 years and has trained over 6,000 individuals in the United States, Canada and abroad.

“(Getting Paid to Talk) is intended as a community education class and it is intended as an upbeat, realistic introduction into the field of voice-overs,” President and Creative Director David Bourgeois said. “It is for people that have been told they have a good voice. It is for people to discover the field who are interested in this type of work. It is simply an introductory workshop.”

Voice Coaches provides “industry-leading educational resources, training and professional development to individuals pursuing professional voice acting.”

Mr. Bourgeois noted the class will be limited to around 25 people, so pre-registration is important. Those interested in registering are asked to call 315-267-2167. The class fee is $25.

“Wherever we are invited to talk about the voice-over field, there seems to be a lot of interest. I think that is because interest in our field is definitely on the up rise. Interest has been very, very good,” he said. “As we begin to embrace a wide range of voice, we hire a large range in people.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is that voice-over commercials make up about 10 percent of our material. The majority of it is narrative voice-over work. Commercials are actually a relatively small part of the voice-over field,” he added.

Attendees for Wednesday’s class will learn a wide variety of material related to voice-over work.

They will learn about working in the studio, effective demo production methods, industry pros and cons, and where to look for job opportunities in their community.

“We’ll give people a chance to learn where voice-over opportunities lie in the market,” Mr. Bourgeois said. “If anybody is curious about the field, it is a good way to get an introduction into the subject.”

Voice Coaches officials said despite their efforts they seldom hear from people who take the classes so they don’t have information about students who have gained voice work after attending the training.

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