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Since I’ve been approached by many aspiring voice actors and actresses that were interested in getting into doing VoiceOvers, I think it’s about time to do an episode that may help that audience if you’re wanting to break into the business as a talent, producer, or engineer. I’ll keep it brief but good on my two cents if you intend on pursuing this industry.
Voiceovers straddle several different industries, be it film, marketing, video games–at some point you will hear a commercial with a professional voice narrating or plot with a voice that you may have heard in other places as well. Celebrity actors even try their hand at the craft as well, just think about the commercials with Morgan Freeman narrating.
It is now easier to make money now than it was years ago with some sites that handle the business end so you spend more time doing what you enjoy doing.
As you start getting into the business, you may even think about joining a union for the benefits like retirement pension, healthcare, etc.. I would suggest you do the work first to decide if it’s really what you want to do for a living.
One of the first questions I ask a voiceover artist is if they have their own studio setup. I don’t ask so much on the details about the setup because in most cases they are adequate for getting started. On one hand, it’s a waste to invest in the expensive gear without truly knowing the level of commitment. On the other, however, I can see how it can help motivate the person to work harder at succeeding. So if they do, I usually tell them to try their hand at the website Voicebunny. It is competitive but very beneficial as a crash course because you will be able to audition and hear your competition as well to learn! The reason why I only recommend this to voice actors with their own studios is the fact that the deadlines are too short to easily book time in a pro studio–like 20 minute windows to have the audition uploaded! These types of sites are a starting point for voice actors, since it will get them volume to start on but networking also can get them work with other people in the industry.
However, if they don’t have their own studio, I typically advise them to just record something that they feel comfortable saying to at least have a demo reel that can be a sample of their voice. They could even record it on their phone if they’re really strapped for cash to even buy a USB microphone with the free Audacity audio software. With that reel, they have something to show prospects what their voice sounds like.
Understand what your voice sounds best for. This is what is very difficult for one to get their own unbiased perspective on without hiring a coach or engineer to help with. When you get this kind of perspective it will help you and knowing which job to take him which was turned down.
Track your results!
The next episode will build on the fundamentals in this episode and branch it out to the audiobook industry.
If you need further help or interested in the one on one coaching I offer, you can contact me at roy@CompleteAudioProducer.com