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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Beginner’s Guide to Voiceover Acting

When considering a career in voiceover acting, common thoughts that prevent people from moving forward include:

     “It’s too hard!”
     “Where do I begin?”
     “What if I lose money?”
     “What if I fail?”
     “What if I don’t know enough about the technology?”

As the old adage goes, the only thing to fear is fear itself. Although a bit of innate talent can give you an advantage with voice acting, most anyone with a clear voice can break into this industry and find their niche with some hard work and dedication.

Perhaps the most important thing to know when you’re just getting started is that voice acting in Nashville, TN is a competitive market. If you want to get good results, you’ll need a solid plan and a serious work ethic.

Don’t let this discourage you - the fields of voiceover acting are more abundant than ever. Audiobooks, documentaries, film, music, podcasting, radio/TV advertising, businesses, cartoons, video games, translation (if you’re multilingual)  - you name it, there are a million and one avenues to explore to find your first voiceover gig.

To achieve star status as voiceover talent, you’ll want to be humorous, dynamic, enthusiastic, authentic and able to get along well with a wide variety of individuals. You’ll need to be able to take constructive criticism, be easy directable, interpret different genres of copy, and most of all sound believable.

Having a background in acting, radio broadcast, singing/music, or something similar can be very helpful, as you’ll often be tasked with breathing life into something that could otherwise be flat and dry. As you explore the world of voice acting, you’ll find that there are a few main subtypes of voiceover, including:

     Announcers: Often introduce live TV or radio segments, as well as messages as amusements parks, bus/train stations, airports, or airplanes.
     Voice Actors: Have roles in TV cartoons, radio shows, live shows, video games, foreign film dubs, animated movies and corporate videos.
     Narrators: Found in documentaries for TV, radio and Web, educational/business/medical videos, audio tours, audiobooks and others.

When you’re just starting out, doing some work for free is a good way to build your portfolio and gain valuable experience. This could include working with a radio station, local video companies, or a charity. Just don't get carried away with the FREE stuff. You also have a responsibility to uphold industry standards, professional standards by charging fair prices for your work.

Another great way to enhance your voiceover skills is by hiring a coach. The right voice over coach can help you enhance your vocabulary, keep you current with the hottest trends, motivate you to take risks and grow as a voice actor, and help you identify what makes you unique as a voice actor. Finding that "signature" sound that sets you apart as a voice talent.

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