Meet Jeffrey Kafer
Jeffrey Kafer, a former video game tester for Microsoft, is now a professional voice over artist and winner of the Best New Voice award from the Voicey Awards. Mr. Kafer graciously agreed to answer a few questions about his work process and the VO business.
How did you get started with the VO work? Do you have any formal experience such as acting, radio DJ, etc?
I started doing voice over work about 7 years ago as a side gig when I was working at Microsoft. I was working on a game called MechAssault 2 and the audio engineer needed scratch VO. This is placeholder VO used to help animators and designers get the right timing. I fell in love with being behind the mic and pursued all aspects of voice work. When the big layoffs of 2009 hit, I lost my job. Thankfully, I had built up enough of a client base that I was able to transition into VO work full time.
I don't have voice over training per se, but I have 20+ years of theater acting, which is the most valuable kind of experience you can have. No matter what kind of voice over you're doing, it's acting. Having those fundamentals are invaluable.
How do you arrange audiobook narration deals? Is it with the author or the publisher or both?
Of the 30+ books I've produced and narrated, about half have been from independent authors and the rest for various publishers or distributors such as Audible and CrossRoad Press. I'm also a publisher with distribution channels through Audible and OverDrive, so a lot of authors see that as a good value add, being able to get the audiobook on the same online shelves as the major publishing houses.