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Stuff You Need To Do To Become a Voice Actor

02 May

You’ve wanted to get into voice over for ages!

You’ve had some training, got some studio experience and you’ve even put together a demo.

Life is good…

So you get the demo out there and – crickets!   No bookings!

“Oh My Gosh” you cry “maybe I’m really bad?”

But before you freak out, melt down and throw away your voice actor dreams – here’s some stuff you may want to do…

It can take some time to attract attention, make an impact, or even a splash in voiceover.

If you’ve made your demo and thought, ‘Okay goodo – that’s done, now I’ll just wait for those jobs to come rolling in’ – you need to think again.

Voice acting work doesn’t just “roll in the door”.

When I first started, it was almost 4 years of staying focused on the prize (a voiceover career) before I could support myself from my earnings as a voice actor. 

I did all kinds of strange little jobs to augment my income, but always made sure I was available when that call came in.

While you’re waiting for your next voice over job, you need to do the stuff that other’s aren’t prepared to do.

And, if you’re passionate about voice over and really want to become a voice actor you need to be doing something everyday to stay connected and stay focused. 

You need to be constantly making a study of voiceover.

Here’s some stuff to do and it will only take a few hours a week:

1 Listen to radio stations

It’s amazing how many people who want to work in voice over don’t listen to commercial radio, let alone the ad breaks.

It’s essential that you listen for who’s doing what.

Listen out for you – as in, ‘I could be doing that ad’!

You also need to listen to radio stations you wouldn’t normally listen to. Discover if there are opportunities for your voice at that station.

2 Watch TV Ads

As you watch the TV ads, listen to what’s going on with the voice performance. 

Listen to who’s reading it and what kind of voice and style they have.

Also listen for how they’re converting the ad message – is it with stylised language or a meaningful message?

As you focus on the ads, ask yourself, ‘Why is this ad being played at this time?’  

The answer to that question will be about:

  • the program the ad breaks are in,
  • the audience watching that program, and
  • what products they may use or be looking for.

Just look at the ads that are played during a show on home renovating, as opposed to a chick flick or a sports program.  They’ll be targeted at a different listening audience.

And remember voicing TV ads is different from radio – for more details on why and how go to this blog.

3 Listen to other voice demos

Look at voice agent websites and listen to what other voice artists are doing.

This will help you understand what got them representation.

Then listen to what works with their performances and how they understand how to convey the right meaning in the script.

4 Get more training

All of the above is really important, but you do need to understand what you’re listening for and how to incorporate that into your own work.

Voice over is not just about the voice – the voice is important but there are so many other elements.

As you become more experienced and learn more about the skills and techniques of voice acting, keep focused and connected with your passion.

Voice acting is truly an amazing career.

Happy voiceover-ering!

 

 

 

Abbe Holmes About Abbe Holmes
Find Your Voice As a Voice Over Actor And Artist With The Voice Over Coach. For over 30 years I've had a successful voiceover career. I work in mainstream voice over for radio and television, narration for the corporate sector, website content and documentaries, as well as characters for animation, IVR, ADR, on-hold and foreign film dubbing.

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