Hello, hope you enjoy! Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

A Voice Over Actor Guide for Landing Documentary Jobs


A quality voice over is critical in documentaries.  While the visual takes you into the story, it is the voice over actor that gets you the information and takes the viewer on the journey.

The storyline is what captures the audience and keeps them engaged, and it can only be done with the best voice over narrator. This is called "in-show" narration. You can see it effectively done on popular cable network programming as on Discovery Channel, History Channel, ID, Animal Planet, etc.

When starting many voice-over actors find that it can be challenging.  However, with some training and practice, it can be very rewarding and open up more job opportunities.  There are several skills that you can master to become great at documentaries.

 Context and Tone

The first thing is to understand the context of the documentary.  Documentaries are informational and can be from serious topics like wars and global warming to the lives of celebrities.  By understanding the context and the tone it will help you decide upon the voice acting style to use.

The choice of the voice-over actor will depend on the audience as well.  If the target audience is children, then a lighter, more youthful voiceover may be preferred than that of a solemn voice. 

What are the different reading levels your voice naturally lends its hand to?  While you may have many style options, consider the script when considering the opportunity. Even if you have to make up your own "backstory" (because very little was provided for you in say an audition) you will create an interesting read.


Timing is key to a good narration.  As a voice-over actor, it is something that needs to be perfected to keep the documentary jobs coming your way.  The voice needs to be paced to match the picture.  REad and understand all the visual cues provided in the script. A voice-over actor is also expected to be cool under pressure while sounding natural.

Creative Collaboration

When auditioning for a documentary, give different readings to the script (if permitted), so that you are giving creative options and possibly adding more dimension to the script.  As an industry professional, it is looked upon for you to give ideas and collaborate.  The goal of the director is to have a film that speaks to the audience and one that they enjoy.


Some filmmakers will choose to localize their voiceover in a way to appeal to different audiences all over the world.  One example of this is the documentary Planet Earth in the original version David Attenborough was the voice-over actor, however, in the US version, it was Sigourney Weaver.

The good news is that while your voice may not be used in all versions of the film, it opens up the opportunity to voice over actors to work on more films.

Accept Feedback

Accept criticism and constructive feedback about your work.  The only way to progress in the voice-over industry is to learn from each job and improve your skills.

It Takes Work

Always keep in mind that the best documentary narrators understand you do not just walk into the studio, read the script, and it is ready for viewers.  Take the time to understand the script, perfect the voice to match the content and the timing.  As a successful professional voice over actor, it is these skills and understanding who my voice appeals to best, that has given me a successful career. Know thy voice!

Monday, December 7, 2020

Marketing Tips for Voice Over Talent


Marketing yourself is a great way to find job opportunities in the industry.  It is not only about being a skilled voice-over actor, it is about being seen and found.  With the voice over talent pool being large and competitive, you need to have a marketing plan in addition to the skills.  Voice over talent is a business and you offer a service.  Here are some marketing tips to help you be seen and ultimately book more jobs.


As a voice-over talent, you must have a website.  Think of it as your online calling card.  The website needs to be user friendly, fast and very easy to navigate.  If your site is complicated, a visitor will not hesitate to leave as fast as they found it.

Having a website without demos will do very little in the way of booking jobs, so make sure to have several examples of the type and style options. Right on your landing page!

Within the website content make sure that you used keywords like voice over, voice-over talent, so that your website has a better chance of getting ranked.


Blogging is an effective way to get your voice heard, but more importantly, quality content and utilizing keywords will help your search engine optimization.  What that means is it will get you noticed by search engines as a voice-over talent and people can find you when searching.  The more web presence you have, the more likely you will be found.

Email Newsletters

An email once a month with your latest work included will help keep you at the forefront of prospective clients.  Email marketing is a largely successful avenue that draws a big return on investment.  Do not overwhelm your prospective with weekly email newsletters. 

Get Yourself Listed on Voice Over Talent Websites

Get yourself and your demos listed on voice talent sites.  There are many sites specifically for voice over talent, Voices.com, Voice123.com,VOtalent.com, and more.  Besides being on these sites, you need to keep your demos current on them.  The worst thing is having someone listen to a demo that you did many years ago when you have better work to showcase. Just be aware of the business practices of these sites. You need to decide whether or not playing the "crap shoot" style search for getting jobs is really worth the time. Don't sell yourself short either. Bid with a fair price for your ability to bring your unique voice to a particular project. Working only on the low end of a bid will not be satisfying in the end.

Social Media Profiles

Whether you are a social media pro or amateur, you must have at the very least a LinkedIn profile.  LinkedIn is built for business networking and works extremely well for making connections.  For voice over talent, this is a great place to find directors, producers, agents, and job opportunities.  Focus on setting up your profile to have links to demos, resume, your website, and information about your work.  Also, join voice-over talent groups as a way of connecting and sharing information.

Research Production Companies

Research production companies near you, in your city or state. And because geography in the voice-over industry is not limited, search broader.  Once you have a list of production companies, research the type of work they do and if they hire voice over talent.  If you don’t like their work, then take them off the list, not every production company will be a good match.

With your research, learn as much about them as possible before contacting them.  Find out the info on the creative director and email or call them.  By knowing specifics, it shows that you did your homework.  Send some information about yourself and some demos and see if they are interested in keeping you on file for future projects. This is tedious work so just do this with a few companies each week. That makes for an easier way to keep track of what you're doing and makes follow-up easier. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

So, You Want to Be a Voice Over Actor


As a seasoned voice-over actor, I get asked about breaking into the business, what to do, where to start, and how to be successful at it.  Here is a guide for anyone that wants to be a voice-over actor and needs a starting point.

Is This for You?

Focus on the fun and enjoyment of acting.  If your only goal of becoming a voice-over actor is for the money or fame, you may want to rethink your choice. There's a lot of misinformation out there about this profession. It is NOT a get rich quick venture where anyone with a cheap podcast mic can make an instant full time living at while sitting at home in your underwear. Well... the underwear is optional! You have to put in the time and effort. Learning all you can along the way to become a professional. You will know if it is for you or not. Do you love to tell stories, create characters, entice others to do something. Do you have the patience, time and skills it takes to perfect your style and business acumen? If it is your passion and you want to perfect your voice, then it's for you.

Find Your Niche

The voice-over industry is multi-faceted.  There are a variety of work options and most of it depends on your voice quality and style.  Here are some of your job options.

Voice over for Film

Producers and directors use voice-overs to help a struggling cast member or accelerate the movie’s narrative.  It is used to add depth to a scene or a character.  Narration can also be used to explain the history of the lead or story.

Voice over for Promotional Ads

Voice overs are used in commercials all the time and can be very lucrative.  For an actor, the voice needs to grab the attention of people.  You will need a charismatic voice that is interesting and has a trustworthy appeal to make the audience believe in what you are saying about that brand. In other words, you gotta sell it!

Corporate Opportunities

Many companies make corporate videos for their customers.  For these videos, they need a voice to tie their message together.  Companies prefer a voice over actor to come in and do this instead of an in-house employee. 


E-learning is booming, and it allows people to gain knowledge and preserve what they have learned.  It can also be used to inform staff and customers about a wide variety of topics.  This tends to be training and tutorial videos.  The voice-over actor helps people understand the information better.  The skills needed is to be able to read the entire material consistently, clearly so the module flow is seamless.

Video Games

The audiences these days expect stories behind the video game characters.  Every piece of dialogue in a video game must be able to stand on its own since it does not come in full scripts.  Voice over actors needs to evoke emotions and make a character come to life. Some real acting is required here!

Integrated Voice Response

This the automated voice system that interacts with callers to gather information and route calls to recipients.  IVR requires quality and gives an impression to their customers.  A professionally done IVR will capture the audience and improve customer service.  It requires a voice actor to have a clear voice that is professional, warm and very "real".


Audiobooks have increased in popularity and have also increased job opportunities for voice over actors.  This is similar to e-learning voiceovers, but it also depends on the type of book.  Fiction or nonfiction, books for children, how-to’s, historical, biographical, the genres and styles all differ.  Which makes this a great option as an additional source of revenue.

Study and Hone Your Craft

Study the history of voice over actors and learn from them all.  There is something to be said about studying your craft.  Learn from other voice over actors, take classes, and seek out coaches.  Practice reading... everything. You need to get to a point in your reads to where you are not distracted by your own voice. Getting used to the sound of your voice , while embellishing your VO is the real goal. Believe it or not, the job at hand is NOT to promote "your beautiful voice". The job is usually to get the message out to the listener... whatever that message may be! I 've heard coaches say to students... "get over yourself because it's not about you!" Also, connecting with others in the field will allow you to embrace your skills and provide the tools for learning.  It is always about continuous learning and evolving.

Create Quality Demos

Your voice over demo is your calling card.  It validates your description of your voice by showing potential clients that you can do exactly what you say you can. 

Have a demo for each style of voice over you provide, as well as each language, accent, or dialect.  Keep in mind that you only have a few seconds to hook the listener so give them your best voice-over reading at the intro.

If you have some samples from jobs, make sure you can use them as demos clips.  Get permission from the clients so that you have real work to showcase.  As your voice progresses over time, listen to your demos and critique which one’s showcase your voice the best. This can become the key to finding your "signature" sound. Which will become the basis for developing your brand. 

Questions to Ask When Hiring Voice Over Talent


Whether it is an e-learning video, a commercial, video, or any other project that you are creating, finding the voice over talent to fit may take more time than you had hoped.  If you ask the right questions, then you will get the talent you need and have excellent experience. 

What Type of Vocal Range Do You Have?

Before making a choice, ask the potential voice-over talent to record an audition based on your copy.  You can learn more about the vocal talent and find one who sounds the way you envisioned it.  Sometimes it is not about the resume, it is about the voice.

Also, check out all the voice demos a talent has on their page to consider whether they can deliver in a wide range of vocal styles before hiring them.

Do You Have a Recording Studio?

Most voice over talent have a home recording studio.  However, you want to know how the audio quality is.  While the talent can have an amazing voice and a mic to record on it there is background noise then it is not going to be what you are looking for.

Ask the voice over talent about the equipment, soundproofing, and are they able to edit their work.  It is important to know what they are capable of before hiring them.

What Other Projects Have You Worked On?

This question goes back to experience, but it also tells you what type of work they have done in the past.  If they have a lot of experience in one type of voice acting, and you are asking for something different that is good to know in advance. 

If they have a long list of projects and clients, they can tell you about these experiences. By learning more you can see if they are good at taking direction, are they used to remotely working, and understand deadlines? Their website should have information regarding this and several demos for you to listen to.

Knowing what clients a talent has worked for can also help qualify whether they can be the voice of your brand.  If they have been the voice of a competing brand, then you may want to choose someone else.

Can You Deliver?

When you have a hard deadline, the last thing that you want is a voice over talent that cannot meet it.  Do they have the equipment on hand in their own studio to meet the deadline themselves?  If they are outsourcing the job then that might make it impossible. 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself about the potential candidate.  Do they respond to inquiries quickly and professionally?  Do they sound knowledgeable when quoting rates, and in line with the other voice over talent rates for the same job?  Are they available to speak during business hours?

Go to Voice Over Talent List

By asking these questions, you can determine which voice over talent will be the best for your needs.  Once you work with voice over talent you like it might be wise to keep a portfolio of them so that you have a go-to list.  It will make sure that you have top-notch talent you can rely on for future projects.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Exploring Podcast Work as A Voice Over Actor


The podcast world is worth exploring as a voice-over actor.  Podcasts cover a wide range of topics and many have huge followings.  Not only are there many job opportunities in the podcast world, but you may also decide to have your podcast to talk about a topic and let your voice be heard regularly.

Take Time to Engage

Take the time to listen to podcasts.  Listening will give you some ideas about how to start a podcast as well as the other jobs that podcasts bring.  Just like working on your voice over craft, it is important to do some research on the job opportunities so that you are prepared for auditioning and know what to focus on.

It also will give you some ideas and styles that you may want to adapt to your own podcast.  Are you teaching?  Or perhaps doing interviews with those in the industry?  Or maybe a storytime podcast reading for kids and showing off your character voices and skills.

Podcast Job Opportunities

Podcast voices connect directly with a listening audience.  It is what voice over actors have refined and built a career around.  So, it is only natural that a podcaster wants a professional to help them get the audience engaged.

Specifically, podcasts will hire a voice-over actor for the intro and outro.  The podcast intro is the show’s opening that introduces the show and the host.  It sets the mood and tone of the entire show.  Which is why many podcasters will hire a voice-over actor.  It adds a layer of professionalism and sophistication.

The podcast outro is the closing that ties the podcast all together and leaves the audience with a tag line.  In many outro’s there is a call to action asking them to listen or share the podcast with friends.  Again, having a voice-over actor makes the podcast sound like it is a full production instead of maybe someone in their bedroom chatting into a mic.

Use a Podcast for Your Brand

As a voice-over actor, you may already have a great recording set up at your home, so you already have that going for you as well as the knowledge of editing audio files.  You have the experience and a podcast is a perfect way to talk and share your voice.

Find Your Niche

Finding your niche n the podcast world is much like finding your vocal style.  Know exactly what your topic will entail having an interesting and engaging podcast series.  If your voice has range think of how to incorporate that into your podcast to market yourself and your diversity.

Many Voice Over Actors Are Podcasters

Many voice over actors are delving into the podcast world both as voices for others but also as having their podcast.  It can be used as a calling card and put into a demo reel.  Voice over actors understand that by using their voices they can make a subject interesting and fascinating which is why they are highly desired and what makes their podcasts interesting.  Whether you are looking for another work avenue or a creative project, podcasting has a lot of opportunities available.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Home Studio Equipment a Voice Over Talent Must Have


No matter how good your voice is, the script, the nest editing, there is one more ingredient to having the best voice-over clip, good equipment.  The quality of your recordings will separate you from the rest.  While prior to recent years options of going into studios were readily available, now your home studio needs to be fully equipped.

Here is a guide to help you get your home studio set up.

High-Quality Microphone and Accessories

A high-quality microphone is the first place to start when setting up your studio.  Investing in a quality mic is one investment that you will not regret.

Microphone stand, shock mount, and pop filter can enhance the sound quality.  No matter how good your mic is outside noises can easily ruin your recording. 

The microphone stand will keep the mic steady and free your hands up, no matter how you attach it, keep in mind that movement of the stand will cause vibration.  So, placement is important.  A shock mount will support the mic and help with vibrations and handling.

A pop screen will reduce and eliminate the popping sounds in vocal recordings.

Condensor microphones, most often used by the pros, require 48 volt "phantom power" from a PreAmplifier. There are many outhere to choose from. In many cases, the preamp is part of the computer interface you will need to connect to your computer with. See DAW below, as well.

Studio Headphones versus Standard Headphones

Studio headphones are a necessity.  They give a more realistic... "flat" sound your audio, versus standard headphones that tend to automatically modify the audio.  As a voice-over talent, you need to know how your voice truly sounds.  They also can detect background noises, unwanted clicks, pops allowing you to remove them later or record over.

Studio headphones are also made to be more durable, longer-lasting, and more comfortable than standard headphones. 

Digital Audio Software (DAW)

Recording and editing software is a must, along with a fast, quiet computer will improve your quality and productivity.  It is worth looking into the different types of software, the computer requirements to run them, and what is going to be easiest for you to use.

Mixer Options

This is one that is a preference of some voice-over talent prefer a hardware mixer, while others want a DAW or program that has the audio mixing capabilities mixed in. 

Mixers are meant for multi-source, live production, so live broadcasts or webcasts definitely need the options.  Mixers tend to add an analog step to your audio chain, which is not necessary or always a good thing.  However, your decision will be based on the type of work you are doing or planning to do in the future.

Remote Recording Platform

When working from home you need to have an Integrated Services Digital System (ISDN) that enables recording studios to connect with clients and other studios. However, conventional ISDN is no longer as popular, nor as easily available as it once was. Today there are more options for sending/receiving HIGH quality digital audio. There are several other platforms that offer remote recording sessions for recording studios and voice over talent.  These options include Source Connect, ipDTL, and others.  Not to be confused with platforms that allow audio/video transfer in LOW quality. Such as Zoom, Skype, Facetime and others. You will need to look at the pros and cons of each to find the best one for your skillset and needs. Just make sure you understand limitations of each. 

Studio Set-Up

Where you set up your studio is a big consideration especially since you need to keep external noises out, a dog barking, doorbell ringing, etc.  Professional audio quality really begins with the quality of the room you are recording in. It should be as "quiet" and as well insulated from exterior noise as you can make it. While you can edit out some noises it is not always possible to do that. Even the best editing software and operator can't make up for a "high" noise floor level... or noise tolerance level. Which should be kept as low as possible.

Things that you need to think of when choosing the room are HVAC systems, water pipes, buzzing lights and outdoor noises.  There are many acoustic treatments for walls and ceilings available for "deadening" the sound within a room. If you build your studio with these considerations and equipment you will be set to produce high-quality recordings at home.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Cartoon and Animation as a Voice Actor


Do you find yourself intrigued and creating a variety of voices in your head that would be perfect for animation? If you are still enjoying cartoons as an adult then maybe being an animation voice actor is the niche for you.

Types of Cartoon and Animation Voice Over Jobs

Gone are the days where the only cartoon voice over jobs are with big animation studios. Yes, there are still those opportunities, however, there are many more jobs within this niche.

TV cartoons, character commercials, video games, toys, direct to DVD, plus companies are using cartoons in their business videos. All of these jobs are leaning towards the voice actor to fulfill their needs.

Specific Skills to Focus On

While creating a voice for the character is important, there are other skills that work into cartoon voice acting. If you can master these skills, then you are on your way to being a successful animation voice actor career.

  • A long-form narration that hones the skill of stamina reading and clean character splits.
  • Commercial reads that focus on the art of the sale.
  • Animation projects that prepare for the development of special character work.

With cartoon and animation voice acting it requires a great voice and creativity. A creative mind allows you to find the voice that perfectly suits the scripted character. Successful animation voice actors will work through hundreds of different voices until they settle on one.

Questions that Can Help You create the Character

Put yourself into the character and then ask yourself these questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Where am I?
  • When is it?
  • What do I want?
  • Where have I come from?

These questions will help you determine lots of key features about the character, including accents, pitch, tone, age, gender and more.

Practice and Study

Practice with sample scripts and work with a coach that specializes in cartoon and animation. Another way to be successful is by studying. Study those voice actors that are successful in cartoon voice overs. Researching and studying will give you ideas on the best way to practice and the skills to work on.

Versatility and Consistency

Versatility will enable you to adjust to different styles. With this skill, one can perform voice overs for a wide variety of styles within the cartoon realm. Even after being hired to feature in a single-role.

Consistency is also another key factor. A voice actor needs to be able to offer the same kind of sound throughout a performance involving the same character. Not only in the voice, but the characters laugh, crying and other reaction noises.

Take Every Opportunity

Cartoon and Animation voice over jobs are only expanding and growing as technology advances. So, start working on your craft and skills. It may also prove to be useful to take any cartoon voice actor job as it will build your resume and your demo reel. Furthermore, you will be networking with other professionals in the field who in the future might land you a bigger job. Every opportunity is a way to showcase your talent as you never know where your next opportunity will lie.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Tips on Creating Great Voiceover Demos


Your demo is your calling card. It showcases your voiceover work and what you are capable of doing. A voiceover demo is your pre-audition to an audition.

Many questions that I get asked are: How do I keep my demos current along the way to represent my new work and my expanded talents? How do I build a demo that represents me and will book me the most jobs?

Creating demos is an ongoing process, it is something that will need to be updated and kept current as you work on new jobs and projects. Here is some advice on creating a solid voiceover demo, or a set of demos to land jobs.

The Truth About Demos

Demos can be passed on in the first 15 seconds of listening because of simple mistakes. It is important to put the time in to ensure that your demo has the best quality and that you are showcasing the best of your work.

You want your demos to be fresh, contemporary, and relatable to the listener. A demo needs to reflect your skill and range. Consider replacing spots that are old, dated, and don’t sound like you anymore. You want to sound like the person showing up for the job.

Skip the intro music that will not get you the job. They want to hear your voice immediately when they listen.

A commercial demo is historically the type that agents expect above all others, so if you only make one demo this is the one to focus on. A commercial demo you can showcase multiple aspects of your talent.

The Length of a Voiceover Demo

Your voice over demo can range between 30 seconds to 5 minutes, depending on the type of demo. However, the ideal length for a demo that features multiple spots is 60 to 90 seconds, so that the listener gets a good sense of what you can do.

Different genres require different lengths of time, as do different markets.

A commercial demo that showcases your skills performing radio, TV and Web commercials should last around one minute. While an audiobook demo will be longer 4 to 5 minutes, so demonstrate your ability to stay in character for extended passages in a story, or to perform different voices from different characters. Narration demos (other than audio book demos) can fall in between but not much longer than 
2:00 or so.

If you are uploading your demo to an online marketplace, you will want to keep it to a minute which will load fast and sound great to the listener.

Send the Correct Type of Demo

The industry standard is to streamline the genre of reads to target your listener. You want to send them the demo of the style you are trying to book. You are working with people who have a short attention span, so you want to make sure they hear what they need. You want your best work up front. If they like what they hear in the first 15 seconds they will keep listening, if they don’t then they move on. I even have demos aimed at specific industries that I regularly work for. Such as Agriculture, Finance and Health Care.

If you record your demo in a studio and have it sound perfect, be sure that the quality of the work later matches. Once you get hired, be sure that your actual work is as good as the demo, if not better.

Focus on Your Strengths

Knowing your strengths and the style of work that you are best suited for is going to get you more work. Don’t worry about typecasting. While showing range in a demo is great, you want to target the types of pieces that you are most likely to get called and booked for.

A quality demo will help you create a successful voiceover career. Having training and skills is the first step. The second step is a quality voiceover demo.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Expand Your Voice Over Job Opportunities with Video Game Voice Acting


The demand for voice talent has not let up. In fact, there has been an upswing in both union and nonunion opportunities. While there are many types of voice over jobs that are available based on your skills, there is one very large area that you may want to consider.

One of the largest sectors of the voice over acting industry is video game voice overs. Video games are a huge aspect in our culture. There are 2 billion gamers and the industry value of the market is continuously growing and is expected to hit $180 billion in the next year, especially since the pandemic and more people are at home. The skills that are in video game voice acting are similar to other jobs, and they are in high demand.

Video Game Franchises

The most popular video games are their own franchises and have production budgets, crews, and global audiences. The developers are constantly in search of diverse and skilled voice over actors that can perform an assortment of roles. It is essential for the creators to find the best voice over talent to bring the characters and stories to life.

Voice Over Types in Games

There are two primary categories of video game voice overs; video game voice actors and video game narrators.

Video game voice actors are needed for role-playing games. These feature thousands of lines of dialogue that require dynamic deliveries. Many of the phrases and lines are recorded in a variety of tones and attitudes that matches the player’s experience. While it is the same phrase with the change in tone it takes on a new meaning. This is why having a trained voice over actor is so important. It makes the game content. In this context it is similar to audiobook narration and animated movies.

Video game narrators are a major role in the game. Narration takes place when instructing the player on how to play the game and inform gamers of their progress within the games. Narrators also connect crucial aspects of the game to the storyline such as new characters, antagonists, settings, and more.

Why Book These Jobs

The diverse content on video games allows for you to further develop your voice acting skills. You will be representing diverse characters with unique personalities. It gives you an experience that can further your voice over acting career in a variety of industries.

The video game industry is only growing, so the opportunities are there to book jobs.

Finding the Voice Over Jobs

Just like looking for other types of voice over jobs, finding gaming jobs is fairly easy. Online voice over marketplaces will have postings as the jobs are available.

The video game industry is looking for unique voices, and voice over actors understand this. They want voices to be distinct and recognizable for the branding of the game. The best way to do this is to prepare before the read or sending over the audio of your audition. While it may not be a genre of work that you have considered it can produce some new skills while utilizing skills that you already have and create a new stream of jobs for you to work on.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

5 Ways to Improve as a Voice Over Talent


The goal of any voice over talent should be to continuously work on their craft. Some people are born with a magnificent voice, however, all voice over talent work hard to train their voice to sound better. There is always room to improve and learn so that you are booking the jobs that you really want to have a successful career. Let’s look at the 5 ways you can improve as a voice over talent.

Take Care of Your Voice

The first step in improving is to care for your voice. In order to have the best performance, you need to loosen up the cords and get yourself ready. Incorporate vocal warm-ups as part of your morning routine. With only 10-20 minutes you can wake up your range and be ready to perform. Warming up can also help minimize the occurrence of mistakes, mouth noise, and voice cracks.

Understand Your Voice

Voice acting is a skill. In the past, voiceovers were all about having that “announcer” style, a deep booming voice with a consistent tone and enunciation. That is not so common anymore, a wide variety of styles are now being used. Voice overs now seemed to be more relaxed and conversational in style and tone.

The one thing that has not changed is the importance of speaking clearly and with vocal presence. Be sure that for any style of work that you are performing to the best of your ability. Understanding your individual style and tone will help you decide the best type of jobs you are suited for.

Learn the Material

Some jobs are very specific, and others give room for flexibility. In either case, you should know the material extremely well. The better you know it, the better you can deliver it. Just like an actor who's been over and over his/her lines until they feel second nature.

Once you have read it a few times test out different styles when practicing. This is an excellent way to train your voice. By testing out other styles, you may find that certain words or phrases sound better in one of the reads. Ultimately, it gives you a better read and performance for the client. It also gives you the voice over talent, the opportunity to learn new voiceover tricks.

Equipment Other Than Your Voice

There is more to selling your voice as talent in this business, it is also about editing and technical skills as well. It is crucial to know how your equipment works and be comfortable using it, while investing in a few quality pieces. Star by investing in a quality microphone/preamp/interface and good audio software.

The basic skills that you should understand are how to record, mix, and edit your audio. This will set you apart from the competition, as many voice over actors focus on their voices, not all can put together their own audio. With the movement to working from home studios, now, having the skills to produce your own audio makes the turn around time faster. It also means that you can market yourself as being a one-stop shop.

Learn from Others

Finally, listen to other voices as much as possible. In addition to coaching, this is a skill that can help train your voice. Learn from successful voice over talent and from your competition. You can find out what it was that landed them the gigs that you would have liked for yourself. DO they emphasize certain parts of the script differently. What type of tone do they use? There are multiple places that you can do the research and learn from. Even the best voice over talent learns from coaches, colleagues, and others to improve and continue training in order to improve themselves and be better at their job.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Tips for Booking E-Learning Voice Over Narrator Jobs

E-Learning is a fast and efficient way to teach courses online.  Businesses find that this is the best way to train employees and customers.  It is a huge market for voice-over narrators and can be consistent with regular work.  E-Learning also gives the opportunity for repeat voice over jobs.

What is E-Learning?

E-Learning is different from documentary narration or corporate video.  Unlike audiobook voice over jobs, E-Learning places a greater emphasis on the voice engaging the audience without being able to use character voices.  The voice-over narrator has to keep interested over a long period of time.  It is all about using personality and clarity in the voice.

Different Types of E-Learning

There are four main categories that are commonly used in E-Learning, each one has its own style and its important to understand them when discussing the videos with the potential client.

  • Pure Video Narration
  • Click-through / text-based (similar to a PowerPoint presentation)
  • Interactive (includes additional media and interaction)
  • Simulations (highly interactive)

Tips for Researching and Preparing

Listen to E-learning demos from demo producers and other voice talent.

Check out the performance styles the client has used in the past when possible.  It will give you a feel for what their preferences are. See how you can fit in.

Ideally, as a voice-over narrator, you have multiple styles that you can switch between for different jobs.  Moderately paced professional, more upbeat, quick-paced. Work on adjusting your pace and speed to what the client wants. 

Qualities that A Company Looks for in A Voice Over Narrator

In addition to liking your work or your personality, there are several factors that a company will use to make a final decision when hiring a voice-over narrator.

Voice Quality – The voice-over narration should be crisp, clear, and pleasant to listen to.  It is about the likeability of the voice.

Audio Quality – It is not easy to listen to the audio if it is full of white noise, pops, and other distractions.  Many E-Learning videos are listened to with headphones, so pristine audio quality is a necessity.

Fast Turnaround – These projects require lots of editing.  Which means the recording needs to be completed in a timely manner.  Whether you are only doing the voice-over narration or the voice and editing, it needs to be a fast turnaround.  Companies do not want to wait, be mindful of the timeline.

Audio Technical Specs – The audio file format can vary greatly.  As the voice-over narrator, you are the expert and should have the ability to recommend the best format and/or be able to set it up in the preference of the company.

Voice Over Acting is a Business

You need to think of your voice over acting as a business, not a job.  When you train your mindset to consider yourself a brand, and your voice-over narration as a service, it will help you book jobs.

Marketing is a huge part of making the connections to book the jobs. 

When looking on job boards you want to search for companies who are looking for someone who will hire, manage, and work with voice actors.  This is an indicator that they have projects in the works and will have opportunities for voice-over narrators.  Reach out to the company and ask if they happen to need voice actors.  Many times, you will find they are responsive and ready to discuss right away or put you on the list when the time comes to reach out.  You are then top of mind.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Email Marketing Tips for Voice Over Actors

One of the challenges of voice over work is finding new customers and booking jobs.  Marketing is often one of the most intimidating and confusing parts of running your own business.  There are multiple ways that voice over actors find business, whether it is agents, referrals, websites, ads, and email marketing.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a type of direct marketing that promotes a product or service while developing a relationship with potential clients.  For voice over it is focused, targeted, personal outreach to potential clients who will hire you.

It is a long-term strategy that keeps you top of mind.  Keep in mind, it will not get you booked immediately.  The goal is for them to be interested to learn more about you by either listening to your demos or visiting your website.

Set up Your Strategy

First, take into account what your strengths are and what types of jobs you are best suited for.  Think about who your clients are, is its commercial work, corporate, radio, e-books, etc.

If you are a voice-over actor that works in several areas, you will need to create more than one template.  You want to have an email that speaks directly to the type of voice over actor their projects will require.  The content will vary as well as the links that you share showcasing your work.

Intriguing Subject Line and Personalize It

The subject line is the first thing that they see, and so you want to make sure that it is opened.  You want the reader to understand what the email is about and interested to read it.

The email needs to be personalized, it should have their name and other key points, their company, the type of work they hire for.  Doing the research and making it personalized will give you the edge.

Keep your message simple, informative, and short.  The worst thing is a long drawn out email.

Focus on Your Client

A strong email marketing campaign focuses on what they are looking for, what their needs are, and then how you can help them achieve that.

You want them to see you as the voice over actor expert.  Keep your tone friendly, casual, and professional.  Be sure the content of the email states clearly you are a voice-over actor and how you are ready to help them. What is the one unique thing that you alone can bring to their projects.

Call to Action

You need to give them something to do, also known as a call to action.  If you end it with something like “hope to work with you in the future”, it doesn’t make them reach out or contact you.  You want them to reply to discuss with you opportunities or go to a demo reel, so they can hear your work.  It is far better to have a link so they can hear your voice versus describing your sound.

Stay Connected with Previous Clients

Email marketing is a great way to stay connected with previous clients.  This way they don’t forget about you.  Have you added a new voice over skill set, increased your level of production work or added editing options, anything that will make working with you a better solution... a better value to them.


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Auditioning Tips from A Seasoned Voice Over Actor

Voice over work has tons of opportunities based on your style and expertise.  However, when it comes to auditioning, it can be overwhelming.

Unlike other acting professions, it is just your voice being reviewed and how you choose to read the piece makes all the difference between being hired or being passed over.  There are things that you can do to prepare before you arrive at or digitally submit the audition that will improve your chances of being hired.

The List of Jobs

Choose jobs that best showcase your style, your tone, and your training.  While it is good to add to your list of possibilities, some voice-over actor jobs may not be the best fit.  If you like nonfiction audiobook reads, then look for more of those types of jobs to gain employment, and then look for other jobs to try out to expand your resume.

Review the Script

Read and study the script multiple times to get familiar with the words, the pronunciation, and any group of words that may get your tongue-tied.  When it comes to specifics make sure that you are saying the names of cities, places, etc. the correct way.  The best impression is getting it correct at the voice-over audition without a correction.  It will show that you did your homework and took it seriously.

Take Notice of the Clues

In a script, there are hints about the character, product, or piece.  When you are representing a character, you will see the style that they speak, the tone, or the emotions.  When the script is about a product, it is about making that product stand out, a must-have.  However, it must not be overly salesy, or you will not book the job.  Scripts have details in the text and subtext that a seasoned voice-over actor will look for and so should you.

Keep in mind that you have your voice style and that within the guidelines and clues you are giving them your unique voice.  It is always a blend of giving them what they want and giving them a fresh way of hearing it with your sound.

The Delivery

Many times, the client will have a very specific idea about what they want to hear at the audition.  Practice the delivery using their notes.  You can also have some alternative versions of your own for the audition.  However, they may never hear these based on the notes they give or details that you get when meeting them.  Be flexible.

Take A Deep Breath

Nerves can make a skilled voice crack under pressure.  Before you read take a deep breath and it will bring a calmness and readiness to your performance.

Above All Take Direction

There many times that you have given an excellent read and they will give you feedback. Listen to the feedback from the client and agent, take it in, and then give it to them.  Feedback and notes are not a bad sign.  They have some guidelines for specifics that they want.  If you can take the feedback and re-do the read with it, you have a stronger chance of getting the job.  It also shows that you can take direction and make it work.  A voice-over actor that is easy to work with and will give the best work.

Don’t Let a No Get You Down

Voice-over acting is a tough field, especially when you are starting out.  There are many jobs out there that will be perfect for your voice and style.  Take notes and always work on honing your skills and finding good matches for what you bring to the voice-over acting industry.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Finding Your Unique Signature Voice to Define Your Voice Over Niche

When you are in the voice over business it is a common question that is asked of you or you may be asking yourself, “What is my signature sound”?

Finding your niche

Just like an actor who you notice is always in comedies, or action movies, they know what genre they fit best in.  Finding your voice style, your genres where you can make your voice work best for you and in turn your clients.

If you are unsure about where to start, ask yourself some questions.  Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers, just your answers.

·         Age Range – When you read different characters what age range do they fit in?  Can you sound younger or older than your age?

·         Sex of the Characters – Can you do the voice of the opposite sex?  Or do you stick to male or female-only?

·         Traits – Does your voice have a serious tone?  Warm?  Cheerful?  Inviting?  Deep?  It's about pairing your voice to adjectives that best describe them.  Once you have a list of these adjectives, it is easy to translate them into characters and into genres.  If you have a serious voice, then non-fiction books, or PSA’s with a seriously important message will be perfect for you.

Do Your Personality and Signature Voice Match?

Your voice over work will often coincide with your interests and personality.  If your personality and signature voice matchup, it can be very easy to start working right away.  Whereas, some voice-over actors find that they are consistently hired for a niche, that is not what they are naturally drawn to.  One way to think of it is as your “alter ego” is your signature voice.  Incredibly famous singers often refer to their stage presences as an alter ego.

Multiple Avenues or A Specific Niche

Once you answer some of these questions, you may find that you can transform your voice into several different characters offering you a greater list of opportunities.  It is great if you are able to adapt to the job and gives you opportunity to work more.  However, narrowing down to a specific niche helps you create your brand and establish a well-known reputation.  A brand and reputation that will get you noticed and hired without auditioning if that is the style the client is looking for. Sometimes all you need to do is listen to your clients review of your work. What terminology do they use when they describe your work? What kind of work keeps repeating itself? It may be more obvious than it appears at first. When you hone in on that... make that your signature sound and work to further refine it. 

Your Signature Voice is Your Money Maker

Your signature voice is what gets people to hire you, it is your money maker.  It tends to be the vocal sound that you deliver on a narration; it is the one that comes most naturally to you.  It is the one that you should consider your go-to.  While you may have trained and mastered fun cartoon styles, but the voice that is the most natural is the one that is your signature and it is what you will be most hired for. 

Discover Your Particular Voice Over Qualities

Finding your signature voice and style may take a while.  Don’t worry, the most important thing is to discover your particular voice qualities and sound.  There are so many opportunities in the voice-over industry that you will be successful by using what you have. Once you've got a grip on those qualities, keep your focus on that sound and direct your marketing efforts in that direction.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Steps to Start a Voice Over Acting Career

Voice over talent brings a book to life, a guide through a learning module, a fun voice in a commercial, a GPS device, there are so many times a day you hear a VO talent.  If you are thinking about starting your voice over career here are some steps to get you down the career path.

Understanding Your Voice

When deciding to be a voice-over talent you need to have an idea of your voice and the ranges, and what skills you naturally have.  Giving you a good starting point on what you can leverage and what skills you need to work on.  Here are some things to consider.
  • Is your voice low pitched or high pitched?
  • Can you make your voice sound older or younger? This speaks to your vocal range.
  • What acting or musical skills do you have, dramatic voices, fun sing song, or types of narratives.
  • Can you take direction? Can you mimic the delivery of another actor?
  • Are you a good speaker?
  • Can you read out loud flawlessly? Can you read something the first time – a dry read and do it well?
  • Are you fluent in several languages?
What Voice Over Talent Category of Work?

There are several types of work categories for voice-over talent.  The three main categories are character, commercial, and narration.
  • Character VO – This includes live-action, animation, automated dialogue recording (ADR), and video games. This category requires acting skills, vocal versatility and stamina.
  • Commercial VO – This includes radio, television and online ads and promos, and marketing videos. Voice over talent needs to get a message across or compel the audience to buy a product. It requires adaptability as you may work with directors, reps, and clients on a project and receive lots of notes or direction during a live session.
  • Narration VO – This type of work has three subcategories. Educational narration, corporate, and narrative. Educational includes e-learning and audio guide, corporate narration contains training modules, corporate videos, and narrative involves documentaries, audiobooks, and audio description. The scripts for these projects may be long and being a good reader is going to make a huge difference.
Training for the Type of Work

If you have an idea of the category that most speaks to your natural talents and interests, then it is time to find the best training and coaching for you.

There are a variety of opportunities that are available schools, online lessons, coaches.  Some schools offer opportunities to acquire professional automation, demo reels to take with you, and job opportunities for graduates.   Do your due diligence when choosing the best opportunity.  Training is the most important to take your career to the next level.  Just be very particular about the on-line coaches you choose to work with. Go with only the most popular instructors out there. Many are simply trying to make a quick buck! Also, remember training and honing your craft is a never-ending process.

Industry Associations and the VoiceOver Community

Taking an active role in learning the industry will further your job possibilities.  Look at both associations and online communities to make connections, learn more and have access to resources.  There are a ton of online opportunities if you don’t live in a major city.  The tips and information is endless when you have connections. Join some professional groups and learn from your colleagues.

Friday, May 1, 2020

COVID-19 and the Voice Over Actor

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way the world operates right now, and that is true in the voice over and acting industry as well.  While there are many changes to the way the industry is working, there are also many opportunities out there for a voice-over actor.

In-Home Recording Studio

While many have some type of studio set it up, it might be time to develop a more technically savvy set up so that you can offer more options.  If you don’t have a studio at home, it may be the time to start working on putting one together, even if it is just the basics.

For many that have or are creating a professional studio in-home that produces quality work, this may be the opening that you have been waiting to get into bigger markets.  It is the chance to get auditions and opportunities for more lucrative brands and campaigns.  With auditions being online or submitting virtually, the location is not a factor to hold you back. It's your opportunity to launch yourself... maybe even convince yourself... into the next level of professionalism in the VO business.
NOTE: Be sure your studio is getting hooked up with the necessary client connection tools such as ipDTL, Source Connect, Skype, Zoom and digital phone patch. 


Some agencies are offering a virtual booth platform.  This allows voice over actors to connect with agents, audio directors, and engineers to get feedback on projects.  This may be the time if you are looking for feedback to connect with your agent and see if this is a possibility.  Or perhaps find a mastermind or voice over talent teacher to work with virtually. I just began working with a well-known coach specializing in TV narration. 

Companies like Backstage are creating a new on-camera series called The Slate.  It is featuring insights and direct feedback from casting directors, trainers, agents, actors, and creators.  These interactive group classes will focus on a variety of industry processes and knowledge.

Job Opportunities

Voice over talent are still needed in different types of jobs than you may normally take on.
While retail advertising may be slowing down for a while, there are some other jobs that are picking up.

· Company Phone Messages regarding COVID-19

· Revised messages about changing schedules for hotels, showrooms, and other large venues.

· Advertising messages and PSAs including the newest "We're all in this together”campaigns.

· Science and medical voice-over regarding protecting oneself, hygiene, training modules.

· Life science companies promoting treatments and research

· Companies putting together more training videos and online learning resources.

· PSA work towards mitigating the effects of the virus.

. And manufacturing companies trying to get ready for an upcoming explosion of new products.


The audiobook market has been huge over the last few years and with that voice-over job opportunities are flourishing.  Voice actors are a perfect fit as narrators. Authors realize that having a trained voice is the best option for them. The book needs to be read by an engaging professional, whether it is a non-fiction or fiction book. Many authors feel "left out" if they don't have an audio book version of their latest book.

Many authors who already have a book(s) out there are finding now that they have the time to turn it into an audiobook.  And now is the perfect time to take on an audiobook project as they do tend to be a longer narration jobs.

The Future

While the future is unclear on exactly what will stay the same and what will go back to the way it was.  The home studio will serve you whether it is for auditioning virtually or having the option to work from home when you can.

During this time, it could be a great season to take on some new projects, train on skills to perfect your craft, or update your older demos. There will always be opportunities out there for voice over actors. Just don't lose faith!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Create a Powerful Voice Over Talent Brand Online

Are you taking advantage of the online opportunities to get hired?  As a voice-over talent, it is critical that you are strategic.  You want to be sure that you are visible in searches and that once they find you, they can see your portfolio of audio/video work.  Here are some digital strategies to help increase your visibility and book more jobs.

Google My Business

Google is the largest search engine out there that reaches millions of people daily.  In 2019, it was estimated that 97% of searches online were to find a business.  Are you taking advantage of that?
Google my business is free and helps you appear on google search and maps.  It is the perfect way to get your information out there, whether you are a seasoned voice-over talent or new to the industry.  It makes it easier for customers to find you.  Google Business dramatically increases your search visibility.  For example, if someone types in “voice over talent in Nashville, Tennessee”, businesses matching that will pop up. Hey, including mine!

Not only does it help with customers finding you physically, but it improves your digital search visibility in Google.  When a prospective customer is looking for local businesses, they are ready to hire.

Google Business lets you post useful information and makes it easier for customers to leave reviews.  Add information like your name, what you do, location (if you don’t want your home studio to appear, a city is fine), phone number, website, and pictures.  You can capture their interest in your listing.

Social Media Presence

Be consistent with your brand and imagery.  Keep your content interesting, informative, and fun, followers want to be entertained.  Include your website information on your social media and cross-promote your social media channels with one another to increase your brand’s visibility. 
  • Instagram – Showcase your voice in videos, behind the scenes of a job you are working on or a training that you are doing. Think of Instagram as a portfolio of photos and videos of your studio, equipment, events, trainings, and clients.
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn is mainly a professional networking platform. Your content should be focused on potential clients. It is the perfect place to link to your demos, your resume, and completed projects. Your aim should be showcasing your professional personality.
  • YouTube – Set up your YouTube channel to stream your demos and voiceover recordings.
No matter what social media channels you post on, you want to plan a schedule relatable content consistently. Consistency is major. Also, be aware of trending hashtags and ones that include your location. People follow hashtags and if you include one, they will find you easier.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You should already have a website, if not that is the first step.  Once your website is live, you will want to make sure that your voice over talent website appears in Google searches.  That is what SEO is all about! It's about making sure that your website has the correct keywords in the content.  For example, you can look at the common search result suggestion of people when they type in the word “voice acting”.  From there, you can study the pattern on what keywords are mostly used for researching voice over talent and be sure that your content has them built-in.  This way, Google will find your site and potential jobs will be for your consideration. These days Google search engines seem to be more sensitive to images and video as well as keywords and content.

Tracking Your Results

You can make use of google analytics to track the engagement of your website and your social media.  This way you can see what is working best for you and ways to improve your online presence.  Your efforts will help get your voiceover talent brand more visibility.  More visibility will give you more opportunities for potential jobs to come your way.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Warm-Ups Are a Must for a Voice Over Actor

Athletes, singers, and other professionals warm up before they perform. Why wouldn’t a voice-over actor?  Being a voice-over actor involves strain on your vocal cords, so warming up is a must.  Warm-ups will help get your voice into perfect condition for a great day at the studio.

Why Is It Important?
The more you tone your vocal cords, the more versatile you will be while reducing your chances of injury.  Most seasoned voice-over actors will perform warm-ups after they wake up in the morning and then again before a recording.  Sessions can be demanding for a voice-over actor and a warmup will keep you in top performance shape.

Relaxation Begins with Breathing
Breathing releases tension that can interfere with effective voice production.  If you are holding on to tension, it radiates to the voice box muscles.  Start with relaxing your shoulders and chest, take a regular breath in and then exhale.  The next breath-hold an “s” sound like in a hiss when you exhale.  You want the focus of your breath to come from your abdomen and not your chest and shoulders.  Place your hand on your abdomen as a reminder.  Repeat a few times.

Stretches for the Body
A limber body means a more relaxed voice.  Start with side stretches, they are great for expanding your rib cage and making your lungs feel like they are full of air.  Raise your arms up to the sky and exhale and lean to the right, lengthening your body.  Gently hold it there for a few seconds and then back to center and then to your left.

Gentle neck rolls will help warm up your neck and throat muscles.  Gently rotate your head clockwise and counter-clockwise.

Humming, Lip Trills, and Tongue Trills
A loose, gentle modulating hum is a way to ease your facial muscles and create space for resonant sound.  It gets your resonators warm which helps restore your vocal tone quality.

Lip trills and flutters are also a good way to loosen facial muscles and get your vocal cords warmed up.  To roll your lips, close your mouth and create a constant “b” sound.  This will vibrate your lips, creating a trilling sound effect.

Tongue trills relax the tongue and engage breathing and voice.  Place your tongue behind your upper teeth.  Exhale and trill your tongue with an “r” sound.  Hold the sound steady and keep the breath connected.  Try to vary the pitch up and down the scale while trilling.

Tongue Twisters
Articulation is one of the most important aspects of your job.  If you don’t articulate and enunciate clearly, then no one is going to understand what you are saying, and that means you will not be hired for the job.  Tongue twister exercises are a great tool.
  • She sells seashells by the seashore.
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
  • A big black bug hit a big black bear.
  • How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
  • These are ideal phrases... but they are tough for me too!

Yawning naturally drops your jaw and regulates oxygen while extending your soft palate.  It relaxes your throat muscles and vocal cords, and as soon as they relax, the tone drops.  There are many actors that swear by this technique.

Warm-ups in the Shower

The humidity will help as the moisture will coat and protect your throat, vocal cords, and more.  Plus, the acoustics will be an added bonus.  Wherever in the morning, your warm-up in the shower or in your bedroom or kitchen.  Just remember voice-over actors are like athletes, they need to warm up and train to keep their voice in top condition.