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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.


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Documentary Voice Over Talent Guide

 


Documentary voice overs require a specific skill set in order to be successful.  The role is about bringing the producer’s vision on a topic to life.  Voice over talent narration can create the entire mood of the film.

Documentaries are different from other voice over talent work as it is not about selling it is about sharing factual information in the nonfiction world.

The voice over talent has a way of connecting with the audience and keeping them engaged while sharing material.  Voice over talent who are skilled at interpreting the documentary are highly sought after and will find that they are continuously working.

A Look Into Documentaries

Documentaries tell stories of real people, places, and events.  The factual elements are woven into a narrative that is truthful but also interesting and passionate.  It is the visual combined with the script that brings life and entertainment to these stories while giving real knowledge.

What Directors and Casting Agents Look For

There are different voice attributes and characteristics that the directors or agents look for.

They are often written at the top of the script like this:

·         Gender – make, female, both, either

·         Age – child, teen, young adult, adult, senior

·         Language and Accent – native speaker, fluent, voice actor who can perform with an accent

·         Characteristics – hip, relaxing, trustworthy, raw, informative, educational, and more

While there are some specifics that you cannot adjust there are several that, with some training, will give you more versatility.

Matching the Films Tone

Everyone can read and all voice over actors can read a script however, in documentary work it is about matching the tone of the film with your voice.  The tone sets the scene and the mood to educate and captivate the audience.

It is important to read the script and understand the theme and the audience.  A calm voice may be preferred for a nature documentary with excited inflections for dramatic scenes.  While a cheerful and upbeat voice for documentaries geared towards children may be appropriate.

The tone also needs to not be monotone to keep the audience interested, so it is about changing the style within the story.  The key is to educate and captivate at the same time.

Timing is Key

As with many voice over jobs, timing is key when creating narration for documentaries.  It is about delivering the lines at the right speed so that it matches with the images and visuals as well as coming across as natural and likable. As talent, you need to stay in the moment throughout.

Timing is a part of rehearsing the script and getting into character.

An Updated Portfolio

Directors and Casting Agents will be looking to find experienced voice over talent that will be a good fit for the job.  By looking at your previous work they will determine if your voice is the right fit for their needs.

If you are breaking into the documentary work, study it and then create some demos to showcase your voice and styles that fit it the best.

Fit Your Style and Book More Voice Over Talent Jobs

Don’t forget to hone in on your voice style and the types of documentaries that fit with your characteristics best.  I found that my personal style is "Americana” with my deep, rich, earthy, and gritty, storytelling sound.  My niche has given me a successful career as a voice over talent.

The voice over talent is the tour guide and leads the film many believe it is the voice that gives spirit to the film.  Work with the producers and creators of the film and be adaptable to help create the vision.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Voice Over Talent and E-Learning for Companies HR

 


Within the e-learning world of voice over jobs there is a niche in employee training videos and HR communication.  The jobs within this niche include new employee onboarding, benefits information, company policies and procedures, training, and safety information.

HR departments need communication to keep teams informed and up to date as well as getting new employees trained. The e-learning niche was around before the pandemic however, it has grown and will continue to grow as remote working will continue.

Voice Over Talent and HR Communications

Most employees are not comfortable or have the right tone needed for e-learning videos.  That is where voice over talent comes in.  These videos and onboarding information set the tone for the company.  As a voice over talent, you are trained in how to create a tone that matches the company.  From financial institutions, IT, banks, software development, each brand needs a sound that will resonate with staff and match the vibe.  As the voice over professional, it is about establishing a tone and representing them in your performance. Also many in-person sales training meetings have been replaced with e-learning sessions.

Once hired by a company, there are many job opportunities initially as into the future as the voice of the brand.  Many voice over actors find that it is a great stream of income.

Onboarding

When a new employee is hired, there is a lot of information that needs to be given.  Voice over for onboarding is gaining popularity as an alternative to face-to-face training.  The voice over talent needs to be a calming, informational voice that sets expectations while getting the companies message across.  During the onboarding process, the employee is getting a sense of the company, which is why the voice over is so critical.

Benefits and Insurance Information

Benefits and insurance information can be confusing with so many options for a new hire.  Narrating benefits and training on how to handle the paperwork and options is another important area for HR.  The voice over talent needs to make it as easy to understand as possible and speak conversationally.  The other key component is keeping the delivery engaging, as the initial reaction of a new hire is to glaze over when the conversation starts getting long.

Safety

Safety training videos are important in many industries, like hospitals, plants, refineries, warehouses, construction, labs, food handling, and more.  Safety videos are a huge part of the e-learning experience for employees.

The voice over talent needs to deliver the information and keep the employee interested, so a monotone delivery is not going to work.  The audience needs to understand and comprehend in order to keep themselves and others safe when working.  This is a huge reason why companies are hiring voice over actors to narrate the safety videos.

Training  E-Learning Videos

Many e-learning videos that are being made.  Not only for new hires but for all employees, management, and even hiring and firing.  There are many opportunities for the voice over talent to create new projects as time goes on. 

Whether you already are working in the e-learning videos or not this corporate opportunity niche is only going to gain momentum and continue to be a great avenue for voice over actors. One thing of note: I personally believe that the best e-learning voices have a bit of a "generic" neutral sound to them. They are clear, concise and articulate. For women, I believe slightly deeper, mature strong voices work well. And for men, a clear tenor non raspy voice with excellent diction works best. Yes, you may have noticed that I just pretty much eliminated myself from e-learning voices. My voice is usually too deep, raspy and distinctive for e-learning. My voice often becomes too distracting from the original material to be properly listened to. And of course, it's the material subject matter at hand that is what's important.