Friday, April 25, 2014

Even the Voice Acting Teacher books a gig now and then!
Interested in Private Voice Over Coaching?

If you are in the Cleveland area, you'll have your
coaching sessions in person, at the home
of Jean Zarzour, in Lakewood, Ohio. for more about Jean
Scroll down to
So what's the bottom line?
for details about these sessions.
Private Coaching
Scroll down to
for the details on this training
Once you have the proper amount of coaching
that will give you a competetive edge,
(anywhere from 8 to 24 weeks, depending on your level of acting experience)
you will be assessed for the opportunity to
produce a 1:00 commercial demo.
Training is at a rate of $600 for the 1st 8 weeks
 and $550 for each 8 weeks after that.

For Demo Rates Scroll Down To
2014/2015 Demo Production Rates
They are separate from general technique training!
Each demo is produced with custom written copy,
designed to feature your voice acting strengths.
That's right. There are no "copy cat" recordings here.
Your demo is one of a kind and sounds as
professional as the best of them!

The benefit of customized copy is that your potential clients won't have to heard the same demo copy that everyone else uses from!
(it's a great resource for pratice copy, but not for your demo!)
That means that no one will ever know 
if you're a newbie or a seasoned pro.

Here is a sample of what this coaching looks like,
with Danny Bass.
Danny first took my 8 week class and then we had 8, 1 hour writing/rehearsal sessions to create his demo copy before going to
Commercial Sound and Image to record the full length,
1:00 Commercial demo.

Here is the video featuring Danny's completed Demo!

Here is the link to hear more demos produced by Jean
Even if you don't live near Cleveland, Ohio, there's an app for that!
Here is a portion of a skype session with Pittsburgh student, Joanna.

So what's the bottom line?
What can I expect
from Private Coaching with Jean Zarzour, and what
is involved with producting a voice over demo?

(Below is a copy of the contract that we both sign when you decide to register for 8 weeks of private coaching only. Demo production is at a rate of $1000 for 8 weeks of copywriting, coaching on that copy, recording at an award winning studio and copies in mp3, wav and cd formats)


This letter shall serve as an agreement between Jean Zarzour of Find Your Voice – Voice Acting Institute and (print your name here)  X____________________________________________________________for 8, 1 hour, private coaching sessions beginning_______________________ A fee of $600 is due before coaching begins.
Private coaching includes all 8, 1 hour sessions either at Jean's home or by skype at mutually agreed upon dates/times.

Each week, your class work recordings are saved and uploaded to a storage website for your review.  You will also receive regular emails with other VO education resources, web links and other useful information related to the Voice Acting business and free recording software to donwload for practicing between our sessions. You are encouraged to send me those practice recordings for my critique by email. While we are in session, all recording equipment and copy will be provided. All you need to bring is a bottle of water to cool your chords!

The focus of the class is on voice over technique and/or Marketing technique. Jean Zarzour does not guarantee that students will be able to earn a living as a voice over artist after taking these classes. Jean Zarzour will offer all of her advice and knowledge about the proper skills and best practices necessary to launch a voice over career. Hand outs will be emailed to you on a regular basis.  All research of potential employers, marketing and other efforts to obtain employment as a voice over artist is the sole responsibility of the student.

The focus of the one day Marketing Seminar is on the tools, techniques, best practices and resources for marketing your brand in the voice over industry, and other performance industries like stage, film and television. Private coaching students are welcome to attend the Marketing Seminar 1 time whenever they are scheduled.

Jean Zarzour is a freelance actor and, as such, may be presented with work that conflicts with this class schedule. In the event that Jean Zarzour cannot coach you in person, you may opt to do a skype session or reschedule for anothe time. The same applies to your schedule conflicts. If you need to, we can reschedule at any time.

I voluntarily assume all risks of accident or damage to my person or property, before, during and after attending classes and seminars with Jean Zarzour and Find Your Voice - Voice Acting Institute. I agree to abide by all rules and regulations and hereby release from claim, liability or demand, all employees, representatives, trustees and officers of Jean Zarzour and Find Your Voice-Voice Acting Institute, as well as their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns for any personal injury or damage of any kind. I understand that the above-mentioned parties are not insurers of my personal safety during this activity. This release is entered into freely and with full knowledge of its contents and effect and will operate for myself, my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns.

Please send a check or money order for $600 with your signed agreement to Jean Zarzour at 2300 McKinley Ave., Lakewood, Ohio 44107.  If you wish to attend the Marketing Seminar only, the fee is $150.  A copy of this contract, with Jean Zarzour’s signature on it, will be mailed or provided on the first day of class.

The undersigned agree to the terms of this contract.

Signed on this date ______________

Jean signs here______________________________________________

2300 McKinley Ave. Lakewood, Oh 44107 216-832-6557

You sign here ___________________________________________________

Print Your Name: _________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________



2014/2015 Demo Production Rates
Once you have the proper training ($600 for 8 weeks paid separately) and are ready to produce a demo, here is what you can expect.
Jean Zarzour Fees
The fee below is for copy writing (about 10-13 spots), coaching, practice recordings you do from home and send to me between 1 hour sessions, directing you in the studio recording session and post production editing once the individual spots we record are “sweetened”. If this is your first demo, you will need 8, 1 hour sessions which can be scheduled in 2 hour sessions or 1 hour sessions twice per week or however you’d like, but you want to be sure that you have the right material for your skill level and that you are delivering the material with the optimum variety of reads. In order to be sure that your demo is one of a kind, we write all of the copy for approximately 10 spots that show your versatility as a voice actor. This also ensures that producers are not hearing copy that they've heard on dozens of other demos. It DOES happen because people accorss the country use the same copy resource at! Not us. $600 (or $700 if you are over 100 miles outside of Cleveland) paid in advance to the order of Jean Zarzour.

Recording Studio Fees
The fee for up to 2 hours of recording time, 4 hours post production, 3 cds, an mp3 and wav file for web use is $400 paid directly to the studio immediately after recording your demo.

POST PRODUCTION After we record your "dry voice", the engineer edits the length of the spots, adds sfx and music (sweetening) and then sends the cuts to me for final editing to produce a 1 minute demo. When I am finished editing all of the material, I send the 1 minute demo to you as an mp3 file for your review. We make whatever changes are needed for the finished product and I send it back to the studio to create the master copy.  It usually takes about 2 weeks to make decisions/edits until we are satisfied with the final demo.  

Studio rates are discounted for Voice Over Demo Clients. 
Professional studios charge other clients between $75 and $200 per hour for their services. Revisions to your demo are usually done within 4 years after you produce your first demo and any recordings that you didn’t use in your first recording session can be used for revisions. You will not necessarily need a director for a demo revision, but if you like, you can hire Jean to assist with the revision process at a rate of $65 per hour.

Your first demo investment

Jean           600    (or $700 outside of Cleveland) 
Studio        400
Total       $1000   (or $1100) To hear more demos produced by FYV for more about Jean Zarzour

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Jean Zarzour, Owner of
Find Your Voice-Voice Acting Institute, 
will conduct a
4 hour Marketing Seminar for Actors
at 2300 McKinley Ave.
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Lunch is Included!
Total Investment $150
Call 216-832-6557 to register.

Maybe you've trained with me and want to know what's next. Or perhaps you are a theater, film or performing artist and are ready take your career to the next level. Or you may be the parent of a bright young artist. Whatever the case, this intensive seminar is for you!

You will learn how to:  
•  Continue your voice, stage or film acting training
•  Cultivate a client base and maintain consistent contact with your "fans" and "prospects"
•  Create marketing tools: headshots, postcards, websites and blogs. Some can be created for FREE
•  Create a VO demo and acting reel that showcases your niche and gets you gigs
•  Craft a voice over logo that identifies your "brand"
•  Package your demo on DVD and online
•  Use free social media tools
•  Market your demos effectively in your region, with or without an agent
•  Choose an agent or compete without one
•  Decide when to join the union (SAG-AFTRA and AEA) or compete without one
•  Keep your instrument (voice) & technique in top form before, during & after sessions/auditions
•  Audition from your home, on camera and on mic

I want you to succeed! Want to test your VO chops? Jean will record you reading radio copy and critique your performance. Want a professional opinion of your current demo? As time and opportunity permit, Jean will listen to your demo and supply honest and thoughtful f
Call 216-832-6557 to register

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What You Should Know Before Studying VO!
I am very excited to be in the midst of my 8th year teaching Voice Acting Classes under the
Find Your Voice-Voice Acting Institute shingle in Cleveland and at Donna Belajac Casting in Pittsburgh. Over all, I've been teaching this work for over 25 years. In all these years there are a few "constants" that I felt were worth sharing if you are thinking of taking a voice acting class or producing a demo with me, or someone else for that matter.

Browse this blog or for more information about me and the classes I offer.
In my experience, people who are new to voice acting/voice over work have many misconceptions about the work, and therefore, can be prey to scam artists with empty promises. The most common misconception is that if you have a great voice, can read and speak English, then you can make a living in voice overs! How hard can it be for crying out loud?! Harder than you think.

Here is just some of What You Should Know Before You Study V.O.
Proper breathing techniques, vocal warm-ups, elocution exercises, body placement, copy interpretation skills, how to train you "ear", voice maintenance, home work exercises, studio/business etiquette, other resources for learning and everything in-between toward expanding your voice acting repertoire for a wide variety of "reads". Where marketing is concerned, you should learn the best marketing practices for your region. There are subtle differences in the way that artists in large markets like New York, Los Angeles & Chicago do things from the way artists in smaller markets like Ohio, PA & Michigan do things when it comes to agency representation, self marketing, home studios, websites and demo production. That's just the tip of the iceberg. If you are new to this work, a group class will offer much more than private coaching and it is much more affordable.

1. Any voice over training that is offered by phone! I don't mean telecasts or other media classes that only disseminate information. I mean sessions where you are reading copy and getting feedback from an instructor. They are out there. There are a dozen reasons why this is a bad idea, but mostly because a good instructor needs to see and correct how you breathe, use your body and facial muscles, while you work. Tension is the death of voice work. If I can't see it, I can't correct it.

2. Any Voice Over school visiting your town for 1 day, telling you that you have a great voice and can earn a living with only a few weeks of training. After that 1 day introductory class, you will have to get the rest of your training out of town and/or over the phone! They charge thousands of dollars which includes a full length demo that can't possibly compete in the real world with so little training. Not to mention that these demos entirely too long and contain little to no production sweetening (sound affects and music). I've heard these demos from students who come to my class after an agent told them that their demo won't cut it. This is no

way for the novice voice actor to train. 

Your demo is your calling card to the world.
It tells producers that this is the very best you can do. You should never produce a demo until you have learned and practiced what the pros know about being a voice over artist. How long do you suppose they spent training? I can assure you, it was not just a few weeks and they didn't spend thousands of dollars to produce their demo.

A full length demo is a 1 minute mp3 and/or CD, consisting of 8-13 cuts that you carefully select and rehearsed with an experienced Demo Producer/Director, and recorded at a professional recording studio AFTER you have trained for a bare minimum of 8 weeks if you already have some acting training and much more, if you don't.

A demo produced by any reputable producer in Cleveland or Pittsburgh should cost you no more than $700-$900.
With Find Your Voice, that fee includes between 4-6 hours of preparation, rehearsal, recording session, sweetening (sound effects and music) and post production revisions. If you take the time to do it right, no one will ever know that you are a newbie and you won't have to revise your demo for a few years.

3. Beware of an instructor who has only ever been a director, producer, engineer or ad agency exec, but has never been a voice over artist - especially if you are new to this sort of acting. Voice over work is acting work, no matter what you are voicing. You'll gain much more knowledge from someone who has been successful behind the mic and behind the desk.

Even if you are an experienced stage or film actor, there are specific techniques that you will only learn in a class or on the job. (but trust me, no one wants to pay you to learn!) Even if you were born with a warm, rich voice, it doesn't guarantee that you'll be able to interpret copy with the proper 'point of view' and acting skills needed. Some of the most unusual voices work behind a mic because, in part, they have learned to interpret 1 piece of copy in a variety of ways and how to market themselves like a business owner.

1. Get a few books on the subject at the Library:

- There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is: An Insider’s Guide to a Career in Voice-Overs - by Elaine A. Clark
- Secrets of Voice-Over Success: Top Voice-Over Actors Reveal How They Did It - by Joan Baker
- The Art of Voice Acting - by James Alburger

A book won't teach you how to do voice over work, but it will reinforce what I'm telling you about training and give you a good idea about the business end. You'll also read great war stories from the most successful voices in the business.
2. Listen to professional voice over demos so you can compare any instructor's demos with the ones from the top artists who are making a living doing voice overs. is a good place to start for Cleveland talent demos.
3. If you are interested in Find Your Voice-Voice Acting Institute classes, visit for class description, demos that I've produced at area recording studios, class info and more.

Now, more than ever, your investment should produce measurable results, whether you pursue a voice acting career, or not.
The Next 8 week Voice Acting Class in Lakewood, Ohio runs Monday's 2/3-3/24 2014 6-9pm. Click the link at the top of this home page for details about that class.

The Next 8 week Voice Acting Class at Donna Belajac Casting in Pittsburgh runs Tuesday's 2/4-3/25 6-9pm. Visit for details and registration.

Monday, December 30, 2013

FREE Voice Acting Class!
One Night Only - Thursday, January 23 6-9pm at
2300 McKinley Ave in Lakewood

I know that it can be difficult to decide whether or not a class is right for you. So, in honor of my 8th Anniversary offering Find Your Voice-Voice Acting Classes, I am offering one FREE Class to new students only, in order to help you decide whether you'd like to enroll in the 8 week class which will be held on Monday's February 3 - March 24, 2014 6-9pm. 

Visit for details.

In this 3 hour class on Thursday, January 23rd, you'll learn key tools on the following:
- Breathing techniques for optimum vocal delivery that doesn't lose it's mojo!
- Script interpretation techniques that help you create at least 2 completely different takes for each spot
- Commercial reads as a subtle character
- Commercial reads as an announcer
- E-Learning delivery
- 2 person spots
- Auditioning techniques that will get you booked!
Everyone is coached based on their level of ability, in a direct but nonthreatening manner. You will walk away with more knowledge than you ever imagined you could learn in just 3 hours AND a follow up email with a link to your mp3 recordings to listen to at any time.

I want you to succeed! Register NOW for this unique opportunity. Class is limited to 20 participants. All participants will get to work at the mic at least once.  Please reply to with your name, phone number and mailing address or CALL 216-832-6557 with your name and phone number and I'll return your call to confirm your registration.

Have a safe and joyous New Year Celebration!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Below is an ad for my Voice Acting courses. But it's a no frills, down and dirty ad. So, don't look for eye candy.

If you've done research about Voice Over Classes, then you know that what is being offered right here in North East Ohio and at Donna Belajac Casting in Pittsburgh, is the most comprehensive course for the least amount of money anywhere in the USA!

(Confetti, Marching Band and Stilt Walker here)

That's right! The Entire Country!

Now, if you would rather pay $2,000-$4,000 to feel you're getting value, I'll be happy to take it! That's what a select number of companies charge for online, phone or 3 day courses. Really!

They come through town and offer their 1 night teaser courses at Community Centers, Libraries and Colleges for $40.THEN they sell you the 2-$4000 courses, gushing over your remarkable talent, promising you a glorious career in VO!

Well, I wind up teaching many of their former students who were left unsatisfied and feeling ripped off.

Now, read carefully...add more confetti and champagne if you'd like to...

You don't have to pay that much money for a comprehensive, fun and valuable course in voice acting.

You can take my course and learn more than you ever expected in 8 weeks and 1 Saturday, in a real-world environment, from professionals who actually work in the industry.

And NO ONE will blow smoke up your skirt or pants about where you stand with your ability.

I want you to succeed, but I won't lie to you.

The great news is that MANY of my students are making money as voice over artists! NICE! I LOVE hearing their success stories, but believe me, they didn't do it without investing a lot of time, a reasonable amount of money and proven marketing tools.

The hard, cold truth is that it is NOT likely that you'll become a working Voice Over Artist in 8 weeks. Probably not in 16 or 24 weeks! Like those of us who have been at this for more than 20 years, you TOO will have to work at it.

You'll need to practice in ALL of your spare time, take other acting courses that will aid your voice acting skills, and treat this work like a BUSINESS - a business that sells a product you know better than any other - and that product is you.

That's just some of the truth about Voice Acting Work.

Learn More at the Next Find Your Voice-Voice Acting Class

Monday's February 3-March 24, 2014 6-9pm
Marketing Seminar
Monday, March 31, 6-9pm

Call 216-832-6557 to register.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Find Your Voice-On Camera Coaching Session

This is a coaching session with an on camera spokesperson.
The goal is to take Chris from
"talking head reading a prompter" to "authority with a stake in your success".