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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Tips To Keep Your Voice In Shape

 


Your voice is your instrument. It's what you use to make a living. To stay healthy, your vocal cords must be stretched out and played on a regular basis. You can do this by practicing voice exercises every day that stretch your range as often as possible. The sound of your voice is an expression of who you are. It can be rough, smooth, high-pitched, low-pitched, or anything in between. The way you deliver words and phrases also reflects your personality.

If you've ever had to record something while sick with the flu or strep throat, then maybe you know how challenging it can be to project your voice when feeling congested. Many voice actor beginners don't realize their voice needs care just like any other body part does. When something happens to your voice, it affects how you sound and your ability to communicate with others. Here are some ways to keep your voice in shape.

1. Drink lots of water to hydrate your vocal cords

It is essential to drink plenty of water so that your vocal cords stay hydrated. Consuming too many caffeinated drinks can dry out your vocal cords, which can lead to respiratory infections, sore throats, and voice loss.

2. Take a break from speaking every hour or so

We've found that one of the best ways to keep my voice in shape is to stop speaking every hour or so. The main idea is to give your vocal cords a rest. This prevents them from getting too tired, leading to vocal fatigue, pain, and even permanent damage. It's also a good idea to regularly meet with a voice coach for voice lessons/training sessions, and this can help significantly with your voice acting skills.

3. Avoid shouting too much

Shouting is a habit that many people have when they are angry or frustrated or during spectator sports. However, this could also affect your vocal cords because it forces the air out of your lungs at a higher volume which can cause problems. If you need to assert yourself, do so in a calm manner.

4. Get enough sleep to keep your voice in shape

Next, it is important to mention that getting enough sleep is key when it comes to keeping your voice in shape. Getting sufficient sleep helps the vocal cords rest and heals any damage during the day. Your voice sounds more rested, easier to understand, and more pleasant when you are well-rested. Studies show that the average person needs at least 8 hours of sleep for optimum vocal cord functioning.

5. Use a humidifier when the air is dry

When the air is dry, it can lead to throat irritation and sore throat. This is because of all the particles in the dry air that might aggravate your throat. A humidifier will help to increase the moisture in the air.
Stay away from antihistamines and similar products that will dry out nasal passages, mouth and throat.  

Conclusion

If you want to keep your voice in shape and protect your vocal cords, there are a few things that may help. Drink plenty of water, take breaks from speaking every hour or so, avoid shouting too much, get enough sleep for proper hydration and rest, use a humidifier when the air is dry as well as stay away from cigarettes and alcohol. Practice vocal exercises regularly to improve breath control so it will be easier on your throat muscles. During workouts, use good inhale/exhale technique to build up ling capacity.

The more we know about our voice, the better.


How To Become A Voice Actor Without Any Experience

 




Voice acting is an art that allows you to enter the world of movies, video games, animations, and more. It's also a career where there are no age or height restrictions. A career as a voice actor does not require formal training, but it needs some real experience to be successful. Learn about the various ways you can get your first gig and start making money as a voice actor. Here are some tips for beginners who want to break into this highly competitive industry.

1. Find your niche

One of the best ways to get started in Voice Acting is to find your niche. Narrow down what you want to audition for - whether it's cartoons, TV, video games, audiobooks, or whatever else interests you. Know your voice and what type of characters you sound good as - this will save you a lot of time in the long run!
 
2. Get training and practice

One good way to get training and practice is to become a part of a Voice Acting Club. These communities can help you hone your skills, work on specific techniques, and even connect with people working in the industry. You might also consider getting into an acting class or workshop. The more you learn about handling microphones, cables, and other recording devices, the better prepared you'll be for a voice acting job.
 
3. Get equipment and software ready

In order to get started with voice acting, you need to have some basic equipment and software. Some of the essential things you will need are a recording device, a microphone, a pop filter to reduce plosives and breath noises, cables, and adapters.

A good place to start is by using your computer's built-in mic or webcam to try voice acting techniques. Once you have mastered the basics with those two pieces of equipment, it's time to move on to the more options like any one of these:

● Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone

● Roland R-05 Audio Recorder with Lavalier Microphone

● Zoom H1 Portable Digital Recorder for Mobile or Live Venues

4. Learn some basic recording techniques

Sound quality is one of the most important things to keep in mind when recording. That means picking up on background noise, using a foam ball or blanket to minimize the amount of ambient sound picked up by your microphone. You also want to make sure your mic volume is always set to "0". The best way to do this is by putting headphones on and adjusting the volume so it is at a level where you can hear nothing but silence.

Make sure you spend some time on "sound" treating your recording area. Small areas around your mic are best. Treating the walls and hard surfaces with acoustic foam panels. Look online for lots of information regarding this. Remember, even an expensive mic & preamp combination will still sound terrible if the room it's in is not sound treated for echo and noise. Again, read on line about achieving a well-treated recording room.

When you're ready to use your mic, start off with something easy like reading text from the internet or an article that's too hard for you to just speak out loud. This will help you get used to what it feels like before reading more difficult passages aloud, which might cause you more anxiety. Start with slower reads and gradually get faster.

Try to keep your voice clear but don't force it out. As long as you can produce a steady stream of words, you'll be fine. Practice speaking in different pitches and volumes too! This will help to give your voice more range and also improve breath control.

5. Take risks or try new things with your voice acting skills

Don't be afraid to take risks or try new things with your voice-acting talents! This can be helpful when you are feeling stuck in a rut. If you feel like you want to experiment with the way your voice sounds, go for it! This could open up a whole new world of opportunities for you in the future. It could also inspire others to do the same.

Conclusion

There are many ways to become a voice actor, but you'll need to find what works best for your personality. Find out where the jobs are and get training, practice recording yourself or other people in different voice styles. Get equipment and software that will help you record better quality audio files so you can market yourself as an industry professional!


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Voice Acting Tips For Beginners

 




If you’ve decided that the time is now to get into the world of voice acting and make a go of it, congratulations! Choosing to pursue your dream of wanting to be a professional voice actor is a bold and brave decision. Whether you’re up and going on the world of voice acting and want a refresher, or coming at this from the point of view of a new student, here are the essential details to think about.

Top tips for starting out in voice acting

Voice acting is a fun, rewarding, and innovative career. When you are hunting for a way to get into it, you’ll need to start with the basics and work your way up from there. Some of the most important tips to consider include:

● Know the terms and the industry: Simple, but important. You’ll need to always keep in mind the terms for your jobs so that you can understand questions at interviews and even the job ads themselves. Familiarize yourself with the industry terms and branch out to more complex ones as you need them.

● Figure out your “professional personality”: Some acting roles will suit your voice better than others. Get a feel for what you are going to be best suited for, and use that to help you narrow in on the professional side of your applications and focus for education, even vocal coaches.

● Have a studio ready to work from: It could be through renting hours at a local studio, or it could be something more like a DIY home studio. Whatever you decide to be the right decision, just make sure that you understand your responsibilities and how to use everything without stupid mistakes! Really home studios are a must these days since jobs & auditions come up so quickly.

● Practice, experiment, learn: When you’re looking at the idea of enjoying your new career, it comes at the price of, well, working for it. You need to practice your skills, experiment with tasks that feel outside of your comfort zone, and learn from everything that you do. It all makes for a much stronger professional personality.

● Be patient and take your time applying for jobs: No matter how determined and how good you are, you’ll want to be careful to take your time in applying for jobs. It’s a saturated industry, so it will take time to get your name out there. Just be patient and focus on honing your skills so that you're ready when your time comes.

Stardom is waiting

This is, of course, just a sample of what you’ll want to think about when it comes to the idea of focusing on the right professional details to help you get ready to enter the world of professional voice acting. Regardless of what you end up deciding as far as your path, the amount of jobs that you choose, and how you determine success, these tips will be geared towards the beginner on the hunt.

Now is the time to break out as a professional voice actor. These tips will help you to be ready to impress and also give you that sense of professionalism that you’re looking for from start to finish. Just because you’re a beginner doesn’t mean that you need to be unprofessional, after all. In fact, that’s what will separate you from the crowd and help you to land those jobs you seek.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Tips to Help You Get Voice Acting Jobs

 




Voice acting jobs are all over the place these days. If you’re looking at putting yourself out there and making sure that you actually land the jobs that you are looking for within the niche of voice acting, you’ll want to consider some of the following tips for voice acting jobs.

Top tips to help you get the best voice acting jobs

Everyone wants the job they’re applying for, but only the best ones are going to get the role. Make sure that you are focusing on all of the things that you need to in order to win the position. Here are the details that voice seekers will find appealing.

● Learn your craft well: Perhaps this is through textbooks. Maybe it’s online classes that you take to help give you extra certification. Others will find learning their craft comes from watching years and years of past professionals at their craft. Whatever you decide to use as your educational source, do it well!

● Hire a vocal coach and an acting coach: coaches are crucial to helping learn the inside secrets. Quite a few are connected to recruiters, too, who will ask them for referrals if a job falls through at the last minute, for instance. You’ll want to hire both a vocal coach and an acting coach, since there are two main elements to focus on when it comes to being a vocal actor. When you have to practice and do homework, make sure you do it. A voice seeker will be able to tell!

● Have a top notch demo: While not always required, it’s a good idea to have a professional top notch demo file ready to go with lots of variety in it. This will show recruiters that you’re serious about the craft and that you are ready to dedicate yourself to doing it the right way. It also shows that you can prove that you know what you’re doing and that you’ve, in fact, done it. Make sure there is nothing on the demo that you CANNOT reproduce live at a moment's notice.

● Spend time watching and listening to the trends: To help know that you are bringing the right skills to the table for each position you’re applying for, stay up to date on the trends that are in use. Learn about what’s out, what’s in, and generally stay in the know. This will also come through to the voice seeker in a good way, and it also helps you continue learning about your craft.

Land the job you love

Voice acting is a great career move in the days of remote working. It’s also in high demand, and a whole lot of fun! Just make sure that you are making your resume as strong as possible by putting these tips and suggestions to work in order to help you land the position you’re aiming for.

Whether it’s a big job or a tiny job, you’re going to really enjoy the idea of knowing that you’re doing everything possible to help yourself win the position that you’re considering. The rest is up to the client and/or voice seeker.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Tips for Voice Over Acting Auditions from a Seasoned Professional

 


Pay Attention to All the Details

The first step when getting an email in the audition process is to thoroughly go over all the details and directions in the email.  A common mistake made is that you are so excited about the audition and the details in the email are skipped over.  The directions make give you the age, attitude, accent, backstory of the character.  All of those details will be what makes your read more successful.  They are giving you the information so that you can create a better voice-over for the client.

Research

If you do not know the company that you are reading for, Google it.  If you are reading about a product, check it out.  The more you understand the brand and the products or services, the better the audition will go.  Get as much information as you can.  The brand will see that you did your homework.  Being more prepared is always best.

Storyboards or Image Cues

Be sure to examine these images or visual cues. Don't just blow them off! They can give you an insight as to what is being seen at any given moment during a video, TV show, movie, etc. I know they may add a lot of extra length to reading a script. And sometimes make it difficult to even read the copy but it really helps orient you to the action within the script. Helping you feel more involved in the production as you read.

Rehearse

Once you have all the details, you’ve done your research, it is time to rehearse the script.  What makes a voice over actor book a job is that they put in the time to rehearse and not just read it cold.  You can tell the difference between someone who has rehearsed and someone that has just shown up and not done the work. Don't be afraid to put a little of your own personality into it. That could be what interests the client most and can set you apart from the other auditioning talent.

One Take or Multiple Takes

Once you have gone through rehearsal, it is time to lay it down.  Many times, I have found that I have an idea for a second take that is different from the first one and shows a different style.  However, if you do not have a second take, don’t worry. 

The key is to make sure the directions don’t say one take only. If they say that, then one take it is and give it your best one.  Sometimes, it will say two takes or nothing at all then if you have an alternative idea, then go for it. When you slate (if allowed) say "two takes" as part of your slate.


Audio Quality

The audio quality must be excellent.  No matter what equipment you are using, be sure that the audio quality is optimal.  Bad audio quality sends the message that you don’t have the equipment or knowledge to turn in a solid voiceover for the project.

The other important part of the audio is that now in the past year, with more remote work brands, casting directors, and agencies, expect to get quality work.

Forget About It

Once you are done with the audition, it is time to forget about it! It is better to move forward and look for the next opportunity while you are waiting.  Sitting around waiting for an answer will only drive you crazy and means you are waiting for one possible job.  Keep moving forward and you will get multiple job bookings. Jobs get thrown to various talent all the time for reasons unbeknownst to us. Sometimes even for the lamest of reasons. 

Good luck and remember preparation and choosing opportunities that showcase your talents and style will make you a successful voice over actor. Don't be afraid to "stretch" when deciding which auditions to accept; just be certain to work within your extended wheelhouse. ( your root voice)


Podcasting as a Voice Over Talent – Improve Your Career

 


Podcasting is becoming more and more popular.  What was once only on iTunes or Apple Podcast is now Amazon and Spotify offers podcast streaming.  Podcasting not only offers job opportunities, but it is a great way to connect, practice, and share.

Listen to podcasts

Listening to podcasts can open up your eyes and create new opportunities.  There are many podcasts for voice over actors and tons of information shared so that you are always learning and growing.  By listening to podcasts it also gives you an idea of what is out there and different styles that other voice over talent use.

The Power of Community

Podcasts have an amazing community.  Do you know how many people listen to podcasts, and it is all about the voice.  Agencies listen, and many connections are made within the podcast community.

Work on Your Skills

Podcasting is a great way to practice your microphone skills and getting your voice out there while having fun sharing about a topic.  Think about your niche that fits well with your vocal style.  Want to test out some new voice work?  A podcast can give you the arena to test run new ideas.  You want to share great information and showcase your skills while doing it.  You never know who is listening.

Get Your Brand Heard

Voice over talent already have the equipment and know how when it comes to podcasting.  Besides the recording equipment, you understand editing and audio files.  Podcasting is the perfect way to get your  brand out into the market.  Share your voice with others.

Think of a podcast like another calling card or demo reel.  Your gift of using your voice to make a subject interesting and fascinating is why you are desired.  Use your voice for yourself too.

Podcasts are Looking for Voice Over Talent

Podcasts understand that having a professional voice over talent will set them apart.  A voice over actor adds professionalism and understands how to engage with an audience.  This is why you will find job opportunities for the intro and outro of podcasts.  The intro sets the mood and the tone while introducing the show and the host.

The outro is what closes out the show and ties it all together and ends with a tagline or call to action.  The outro is an important piece for any podcast, so the show needs the listeners to be interested.  A voice over talent is trained in connecting.  The voice over talent makes the podcast sound like a full production whether someone is hosting it from their house or a larger studio.

Podcasts Offer Many Opportunities

Podcasts offer voice over talent many opportunities, not only to hone in on their craft but to also help other podcaster’s and book jobs.  If you have not considered podcasting as a possibility, the time is now. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Brand Anthem Videos are a Huge Job Opportunity for Voice Over Actors

 


There are many opportunities in voice over acting and corporate work that can make up a large part of your jobs.  Whether it is commercials, videos, training, or AI they all have one thing in common, the need for a trained voice over actor.  In addition to these opportunities, there is one that is sparking more attention for brands the “Brand Anthem Video”.  Brand anthem videos are a great opportunity to help a brand by being the voice and opening the doors to other jobs within that company.  Here is a look at what these videos are.

What is a Brand Anthem Video?

Brand anthem videos are a way to connect with customers and inspire them.  They focus on who the brand is and not on what they sell.  It gives clarity to the purpose and values a brand holds dear.  These videos are used to engage employees, investors, partners, and clients.

How they differ from A commercial or explainer video

Commercials and explainer videos focus on the product or service. They tell you about the what.  Brand anthem videos go deeper they tell about the why.  It is about the purpose behind the company.  Some people may say it is the passion of the brand.

The best brand anthems derive emotion from the viewer.  This is done by using powerful imagery, the right music, and most of all well-written voiceover copy.  A voice over can create a more human connection with the brand.  The conversation is what drives the video and can make it go viral.

While brand anthem videos are not new, they are increasing in popularity and are considered a necessity in this day and age.

Narration and Your Role as the Voice Over Actor

The voice over actor must match the tone and style of the brand so that it sounds real.  You must also evoke emotions in the audience.

As the professional read over the script and ask about the visuals being used so that you have a clear understanding of the video and all aspects.  Often the script shows a description of the imagery or the imagery itself in the form of a storyboard. Your voice is what ties it all together.  While this sounds like a huge task, a brand is going to look for a tone and voice that aligns with their message.  Your voice may also be branded as their consistent voice and lead to more opportunities for you.

Create Corporate Demos

If you have booked other corporate work with brands, then choose your best and create demos that focus entirely on this area.  However, if you do not have work that showcases your voice then you must create some reels.

What a brand is going to look for are the key elements in an effective video and how your voice brings those elements to life. These five elements are emotion, (story-based not sales-based,) a unified message, visuals, and narration.  Take these five elements and make sure your voice merges them while still showcasing your style.  Your unique voice traits will set you apart and give you the edge.  Brands want to stand out from the competition, and it is the voice over actor that does this for them.