21 Jan Voice Over Talent
Voice Over Talent? Voice Over Talent. They are exactly what the phrase says. They are the talent (actor, announcer) that does the voice over-top, often of an image, or a video but sometimes stand-alone such as in a radio spot or an announcement.
The myriad possibilities that this cover is incredible: radio, television, online, broadcast television promotional announcements, industrial narrations (long form how-to, medical, business explanations), characters in animated television series and films, characters in video games. And as technology continues to evolve even our friends and assistants – Siri, Alexa, our GPS devices, announcements in airports, subways. Anyplace a disembodied voice exists, behind it is a voice over talent.
Who are these mysterious voice over talent? They are professional actors, professional announcers and plenty of folks in between who moonlight doing voice-over jobs in addition to a “day-job”. Some of the reads are pretty basic and conversational and others require a high-degree of technical skill. On-air promos, trailers, books on tape, IVR (phone systems, Siri, etc.) all require a good deal of experience and very specific timing and phrasing.
How does someone become a voice over talent? Bottom-line, you start. You read. You put your voice out there. You put together a voice-sample, of mocked-up spots and examples of the types of reads you want to do. Demos are often specific to a particular market, eg: commercials, animation, promos, trailers, narration. And you get yourself setup with a home-studio so that you can record samples, on-demand; these are the much sought-after auditions. Examples of demos, producers, home-setups can run the gamut of economical to luxury. All the possibilities can be easily researched online.
I’ve got a demo and I’ve got a home recording setup, how do I join the ranks of professional voice over talent? Now you need to get heard. You need to find opportunities to put YOUR read in front of individuals who are hiring voice over talent (producers). Where are they? Nowadays they are mostly doing their searches online. They go to a handful of websites, like VOICEOVERS.com that provide a destination for voice over talent to list themselves and host their demos for review by producers and as an interface through which they can be invited to auditions.
Who are these employers of voice over talent? Most of them are producers at ad agencies or production companies. Some are the actual advertiser or company that wants a video for their website. Or they may be the technology company that is populating their voice assist technology with voice-prompts.
How do I get to them? As a voice over talent, you market your “signature” your brand and sound via the sites like VOICEOVERS.com mentioned earlier. And also via direct marketing and promotion. You build a list of contacts and like any business you market your unique selling propositions and promote your successes via mailers, soft and direct touches. You are a business, and you run it like one.
“Faith without work is dead,” applies seemingly everywhere in life. It’s time. Put the wheels in motion, raise your voice and get it out there. The decision starts the day you call yourself a voice over talent.