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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Voiceover 101: Defining Your Voice

Most people will admit that it is difficult to talk about-, write about-, or in any way market themselves.  We are taught all of our lives to be confident but modest.  Thus, it goes against the grain to proclaim our own superiority.  However, that is exactly what you must be able to do if you are going to sell yourself as a performer -- on stage or behind a mic.  Voiceover artists, in most cases, will spend many years building up a portfolio of work, which will involve a lot of auditions and interviews.  Undoubtedly, along the way, they will be repeatedly asked to define their voice.  If you are entering the field of voiceover, then you better be prepared for the same.  Potential clients want to know if you fit the character or sound they are trying to portray.

So, how do you define your voice?

LIsten to Your Own Recordings This can be a painful practice.  As human beings, we tend to be our own worst critics, which leads many actors to not watch their own films, and many voiceover professionals to avoid listening to their recordings any more than absolutely necessary.  You must get past this and really hear what makes your voice special, so you can relay this information.

Does your voice sound childlike, young, old?  When potential clients ask about your voice, they really want to know which segment of the population you are most apt to represent.  This
begins with defining a stage of life.  Based on your voice alone, how old would people think you are?

What word best describes the personality of your voice? Does it sound bubbly, aggressive, motherly, highly starched, or carefree?  If you can describe your voice in one word, then you can more easily define your target market and that will make your job of selling your skills so much easier.

What accent or dialect does your voice fit? This is also something of great important to potential clients.  Most have a precise dialect and accent that they want to hear speaking their scripts.  This is generally because they want a voice similar (or appealing) to their intended audience.

So, now, how would you describe your voice?  Are you a British working mum of three, a rough and tumble high school jock from New England, or perhaps a warm but rugged Texas cowboy?

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