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.