So, you’ve gained some marketable experience in the voiceover industry. Now, as a midcareer voice actor considering your next professional steps, which Los Angeles talent agencies should be on your radar? You know CAA, UTA, and WME; but which agencies really specialize in fostering newer voiceover talent? We looked at the careers of new and established voice actors, as well as standout L.A. voiceover agents, to develop a comprehensive list of agencies with the industry resources to take your career in voiceover to the next level. Oh, and P.S., these agencies are actually accessible to the working actor—not just celebrities! For more advice on narrowing down the right agency for you check out this article. And if you’re already on the path to approaching someone, read this article to help prepare!
The Breakdown: “When they decide to represent someone, they create a long-term game plan. They’re always looking forward five years, 10 years into the future.” —Erica Lindbeck, voice of Barbie
Though an established agency in both Los Angeles and New York, a list of the best L.A. voiceover agencies would not be complete without Atlas. The agency is specifically tailored to serving voice talent, as it offers representation for commercial, promo, trailer, documentary, video game, and animation voice work only. Recognizable voice talent signed with Atlas are Kathy Bates (“When Marnie Was There”), Jim Cummings (the voices of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger in “Christopher Robin”), Kathleen Turner (“Rick and Morty”), Barry Bostwick (“Incredibles 2”), and Sonequa Martin-Green (“Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero”). Since Heather Dame established Atlas’ branch in L.A. in 2007, the agency has maintained a solid professional reputation among the city’s best VO agencies. Dame (then Vergo) told Backstage: “We have a boutique roster where we partner with the talent, and the clients feel like they have real relationships with their agents. We’d rather represent fewer clients and do more with them.” Erica Lindbeck, voice of the latest generation of Barbie dolls, continues to book meaningful voice work with Atlas after signing with the agency in 2015. In 2019 alone, she landed work with “Lego City Adventures,” “Victor & Valentino,” “Promare,” “Helluva Boss,” and more. She tells Backstage: “I love Atlas. They gave me a shot when I was at the very beginning of my career and were willing to develop me as a talent, which is very rare. When they decide to represent someone, they create a long-term game plan. They’re always looking forward five years, 10 years into the future.” The Los Angeles Atlas branch is a close-knit, creative community of agents and talent. Though it might take some persistence to get noticed, working actors can trust that a well-connected and passionate team will be behind them once they do.
“Persistence is key. There are actors who have written to me and I have not been able to sign them, but a year later they write me again and tell me what jobs they’ve booked and as they’ve followed up, I would take a listen to them.”
The Breakdown: “Awesome people, great communication with their clients, and they know what we want and need,” says client Dieter Jansen.
At the forefront of the L.A. voiceover scene is AVO Talent, representing midcareer actors like Emilie de Ravin (“Once Upon a Time”), Matthew Lillard (“Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island”), Roger Cross (“Justice League Dark”), and Backstage Expert Wendy Braun (“Atypical”). Formerly named Sandie Schnarr Talent for over 23 years after its founding member, Schnarr partnered with Peter Varano (longtime VP of Commercial VO at CESD) to expand the company. AVO offers representation for animation, commercial, trailer, promo, video game, narration, and Latino voiceover, and is backed by a small team of experienced agents dedicated to the success of their clientele. Experienced voice actor Dieter Jansen (“The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show”), who just signed on with AVO for another three years, tells Backstage: “They’re the best VO agency in town. Awesome people, great communication with their clients, and they know what we want and need.” AVO’s industry-wide reputation of fostering undiscovered talent is also echoed by voice actor Nik Shriner (“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”), who says of the agency, “Sandie and AVO gave me a shot years ago and have continued to help me grow and evolve as a voiceover talent.” Unlike the CAAs and UTAs of the world, AVO is actually accessible to working actors; its website provides clear instructions on how to submit your demo reel.
The Breakdown: If you’re a midcareer voice actor looking for agents who take a personal ’round-the-clock interest in their clients, CESD might be the place for you.
Offering voiceover representation in animation, gaming, trailers, commercial, radio imaging, and more, CESD is the home of major celebrities and budding voiceover talent alike. Stars on its roster include Mae Whitman (“DC Super Hero Girls: Legends of Atlantis”), Darren Criss (“Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”), and Freddie Prinze Jr. (“Star Wars Rebels”). Up-and-coming voice actors signed with CESD include Sean Giambrone (“The Secret Life of Pets 2”), Jadon Sand (“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”), Logan Miller (“Guardians of the Galaxy” TV series, “Ultimate Spider-Man”), and Gideon Adlon (“The Society”). Voice actor Chris Fries (“Tarzan,” “Batman: Arkham Origins”) tells Backstage that CESD has been an indispensable resource for his career: “Because they have such a comprehensive VO department, they not only took my then burgeoning commercial career to another level, but also expanded my work in other genres including promo, in-show narration, video games, and even the niche areas of ADR work.... [CESD] saw areas that I could excel at that I didn’t even know. And just as important to their support of my career, they have taken the time to know about me, my family, and my personal interests.” Voice actors investigating opportunities at CESD can expect to meet agents who are passionate about developing solid professional relationships with their clients. Paul Doherty, co-head of the agency, says in an interview with VO Buzz Weekly: “There’s a very unique devotion to duty. Our agents are devoted to getting out, meeting people, and being available. They have to be available and on call 24/7. If our clients don’t work, we don’t work.”
The Breakdown: With the industry resources of big-name agencies like CAA and WME, but the personal touch of a boutique agency, DPN is a solid resource for experienced voice actors in L.A.
DPN is the créme de la créme of Los Angeles voiceover agencies, offering representation for animation, commercial VO, narration, puppeteering, and more. Led by Jeff Danis, an industry vet with over 30 years of experience in the field, the agency boasts a stellar roster of voiceover artists. Veteran stars like Phil LaMarr (“The Lion King,” “Incredibles 2”), Tara Strong (“The Fairly OddParents”), David Herman (“Bob’s Burgers”), and Brenda Song (“Dollface,” “My Dog’s Christmas Miracle”) are repped by DPN. But the agency is equally passionate about fostering new voiceover talent like Caleel Harris (“The Loud House”), Kira Kosarin (“Lucky”), and Gavin Lewis (“Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie”).
Accomplished voice actor Samba Schutte (“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” “Sunnyside”) tells Backstage that after signing with DPN, his voiceover career “went from zero, to suddenly actually auditioning for animation, interactive [video games], and commercials.”
“When I first signed, I was nervous I wouldn’t get many opportunities because of the bigger names they represent,” he says. “But they told me there are always parts that bigger names don’t qualify for...and there has been no lack of auditions on my part, so they kept true to their word.” Signing with DPN represents a major milestone in a voice actor’s career, but talent head Danis tells Backstage that discovering new talent at industry events and screenings is a top priority for the agency—so don’t be discouraged!
“Save a few pennies and go to a professional to record [your demo]. The professional will have scripts for you to read.”
The Breakdown: Your personal taste could provide you more guidance at Imperium7 than other agencies. Agents here approach creative opportunities with their clients’ likes and dislikes around projects in mind.
Imperium 7 is a full-service boutique talent agency that specializes in voiceover representation. A few powerhouse voice actors repped by the agency are Mena Suvari (“Justice League Action,” “American Woman”), Elizabeth Perkins (“Finding Nemo,” “This Is Us”), Omid Abtahi (“DuckTales,” “The Mandalorian”), Kate Micucci (“Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island,” “Steven Universe”), and Fairuza Balk (“Justice League”). VO agent Marni Anhalt tells Backstage: “We specifically ask our actors which products, shows, and games they are interested in so we can approach clients on their behalf or keep them in mind when specific things they enjoy come in.” Since Imperium 7 exists on the smaller side of Los Angeles talent agencies, agents are able to cater to the individual needs of talent. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for working voice actors—not just celebrities—to grow.
The agency’s Instagram spotlights consistently working talent like Olivia d’Abo (“Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus”), Cherise Boothe (“Kung-Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny”), and Erica Luttrell (“Apex Legends,” “Reign of the Supermen”), whose exemplary voice work goes all the way back to “The Magic School Bus.” The takeaway: Imperium 7 is a friend to the midcareer, working voice actor, and wants to help you succeed.
“If someone doesn’t shine and share what makes them unique and interesting in a meeting with my agency, I don’t have faith that they’ll do much better when I get them in a room with the client.”
The Breakdown: Utilizing the perfect balance of industry chops and individual service, SBV Talent remains at the top of its game in VO representation.
SBV Talent is a full-service commercial talent agency with representation for both voiceover and on-camera work. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, SBV boasts some seriously impressive talent: Chris Pine (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”), Jessica Walter (“Archer”), Matthew Rhys (“Infinity Train”), Tiya Sircar (“Young Justice”), Frances Fisher (“Watchmen”), and Elysia Rotaru (“Marvel Super Hero Adventures”) are all repped by the agency. Budding voiceover talent like Beck Bennett (“The Angry Birds Movie 2”) and Alix Wilton Regan (“Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint”), as well as longtime industry aces Eden Riegel (“Tangled: The Series,” “Iron Man” TV series) and Jonathan Adams (“The Death and Return of Superman,” “Green Lantern: The Animated Series”) also claim SBV as their collaborators. Working voice actor Rob Shapiro shares: “It’s a rare scenario when you find yourself in a work relationship—and what is an agency but a work relationship?—that helps you realize your goals. What I’ve put in, they’ve responded in kind, and by working together, I’ve found the makings not only of the career I want, but of better and more nuanced work.”
The Breakdown: If you’re looking to sign with a voiceover agency for the first time but want to ensure you’re going with a reputable company, TGMD should be at the top of your list.
On the more intimate side of the industry, TGMD prioritizes quality over quantity. Its motto: “The range of talent represented by TGMD is unmatched; there are bigger, but none better.” While it represents some big-name stars like Molly Ringwald (“Riverdale”), Shantel VanSanten (“Apex Legends”), Cheyenne Jackson (“The Morning Show”), and Megan Hilty (“T.O.T.S.,” “Wicked”), TGMD prefers to work with voice actors whose talent outweighs their celebrity status. Voiceover legends like Peter Cullen (the voice of Optimus Prime in “Transformers”) and Frank Welker (“Scoob!,” “Aladdin”)—who’s known in Hollywood as “the Voice God”—are repped by TGMD, as well as working voice actors Farah Merani (“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”) and Judah Friedlander (“Bob’s Burgers,” “Rio”). You might not know their faces, but you’ve undoubtedly heard their voices. Producer of the Voice Arts Awards Rudy Gaskins says in his review of TGMD: “Nothing but praise for TGMD. Dedicated professionals with great experience and a hunger for seeing their clients and talent prosper.”
Ready to get to work? Check out Backstage’s voiceover audition listings!