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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Knowing Your Personality, Recognizing Your Voiceover Niche

Voiceover work does differ substantially from stage and screen acting, but there are some similarities.  Just as a stage actor would find him- or herself eventually typecast, seeking a certain type of character over and over again, there are definitely ‘types’ in the voiceover realm as well.  If you can define your ‘type’ well, you can actually use that knowledge to get more jobs and greater recognition.

Age? This isn’t necessarily defined by your actual age, but rather but the range of ages that your voice works for.  It can be difficult to determine this on your own, so ask for advice from others who can be trusted to provide honest critiques. 

Sex? Again, this isn’t necessarily limited to your actual sex.  Some voiceover artists are able to voice both male and female characters, but most are not.

Vocal Traits? How do you define your voice?  Is it sexy? Serious? Deep? Warm? Inviting? Authoritative? Funny? Consider the adjectives that best describe your vocal traits and then consider how those translate to various characters.  For instance, a voice regularly described as funny and lighthearted would be better suited to a comedic novel than to a murder mystery. Similarly, a childlike innocence to your voice wouldn’t necessarily be desirable to those recording US Army training videos.

Some voiceover artists are more versatile than others – able to seamlessly shift from instructional videos to cartoons, audio books to radio advertisement.  It is great if you are malleable and able to adapt to the job, but narrowing down to a particular niche can actually make it easier to market yourself and will help you establish a reputation within that specific arena.  You will spend less time vetting potential jobs.  You will be able to narrow your search to those sites, sources, and publications serving your niche.  And you will make it that much easier to be found by voice seekers/clients. Furthermore, you will quickly build an impressive portfolio that will appeal to the casting directors in that particular niche, while honing your skills in that area as well.

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