Just as you must get into the water when first learning how to swim, you have to dive into the voiceover industry headfirst and gain real experience to ultimately get noticed.
Don’t be hard on yourself - the entertainment business in Nashville, TN is about as cutthroat and full of competition as it gets. Tons of people want a piece of the pie - but, if you are willing to work hard, use your head, and have thick skin - you will inevitably do well.
One of the most valuable skills in a voiceover actor is a thorough understanding of the different script genres, such as:
- Real Person
- Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR)
- Public Service Announcement (PSA)
Each of these genres requires various sets of interpretive skills/talent. Among these (although there are several more) promos, animation, audiobooks, and ADR are the most in-demand. You will probably find that you have a natural talent for one or another (or perhaps several) - it’s wise to focus on these and strengthen them further.
In addition to familiarizing yourself with these genres, you’ll need to beef up your skills and get noticed through voiceover training. Things you will focus on in training include:
- Using a Natural Tone
- Microphone Technique
- Lowering Inhibitions (naturally)
- Breathing Life Into a Script
In stark contrast with acting on film, TV, or a stage, you won’t usually have any actors with which you can interact - this will come entirely from your heart and imagination.
After doing a bit of research, begin crafting what you feel is your perfect demo tape. Once you’ve finished it, you can resort to it as an invaluable tool to showcase your talent after contacting potential clients.
If you still find yourself stuck even after taking all these steps, here are some additional recommendations to help you get noticed and seize your first dream job as a voice actor:
- Take communications/broadcast classes at your a community college (this can help you learn how to use your voice and how the industry works - as well as being great for networking).
- Do theater.
- Take an acting class.
- Spend time volunteering at Public Radio and make connections.
- Study the habits of successful voiceover actors
Be patient and work hard - you’re sure to get noticed for your voiceover skills!