Get important knowledge about the nuts and bolts of working as a voice-over actor and announcer with the Voice Acting & Announcing e-book series. These guides lift the curtain on what it takes to pursue voice acting in 2020 (during the pandemic and beyond). All the other e-books in the series build upon it.
Whether you’re seeking to make a transition to a career in voice acting or announcing because it’s the logical next step in your career, or because you want to feel stimulated by a new career, this e-book is meant to empower you in the next phase of your journey. The entire three-part-series is a must have for new voice actors and announcers. Pt.1 follows the path of the artist (training, what is expected of voice artists on the job, everything you need to know about getting hired, the voice acting budget, important decisions you may need to make), pt. 2 follows the path of the technician (the intricacies of working with sound, best editing and recording practices, and the studio set up), and pt. 3 follows the path of the entrepreneur (best voice over business practices, processes, policies, setting rates for non-union actors, and marketing).
When I started recording voice overs in my small market twenty years ago, people couldn’t believe I actually made a living with my voice. Times have changed, especially in the last decade because everyone seems to know someone who makes a living as a voice actor or announcer. Here, technology is a double-edged sword. It contributes to creating a high demand for voices (there are more YouTube videos, video games, audio books, and advertisements than ever before) but it also makes it relatively easy to set up a home studio. On the flip side, thanks to pay to play sites (websites that enable voice talents to audition for individual clients for a fee) aspiring voice actors populate the field at a dizzying pace. Casting directors, producers and clients can receive hundreds, if not thousands of auditions for a single project, regardless of how much it pays (and the more it pays, the fiercer the competition).
In this modern age of self-employment, celebrities, singers, actors, performers, and stay at home parents all want a piece of the action. Every year, hundreds, if not thousands join the work force for some time and to some degree. If you’re reading this during the Covid-19 pandemic, or after it, you’ll find even more professional actors and people who want to work in their pajamas joining the arena.
Let’s go over the very basic definition of the term voice over so as to put it in the context of a voice actor or announcer’s job. The words themselves describe the practice of placing a voice over an image on screen. The term is correctly spelled voice over, voice-over, or voiceover and is abbreviated to VO.
Here are some functions of voice overs:
- In commercials, VO’s are generally used to persuade. This can be done by evoking emotions;
- In narrations, VO’s are generally used to explain (teach, inform), to entertain and/or persuade;
- In announcements (whether on a GPS, at a train station, or during live events) VO’s are generally used to explain (teach, inform,) and/or provide structure;
- In animation and video games, VO’s are generally used to entertain and sometimes to teach.
Over the years, I’ve found that the main reason people don’t succeed (in any endeavor) has little to do with outside factors. Most obstacles stem from within our own hearts and minds. To address this, I’m inviting you to clear some psychological clutter so that you can get out of your own way and have the best chances of succeeding.
To do this, lets divide aspiring voice actors into two groups. The first group seeks contentment and luck, avoids what they fear (i.e. failure), and seeks to put the least amount of effort in their endeavors. The second group aims high, dares to fail, and understands that whatever stands between them and their dreams is a solvable problem that often requires hard work. I can assure you that given the competitive nature of the voiceover field, the enthusiasm and fearlessness of the second group leads to better outcomes. Counting on luck isn’t a recipe for sustained success. Most people who have a voice acting career have worked very hard and they generally prefer working with others who have the same work ethic since they know they can count on them (they know their process is reliable).
I’d like to take this concept of working hard a step further. In my years of experience, I’ve noticed that surpassing ourselves is usually where the gold lies. And yes, this relates to having a career in voice over since surpassing ourselves on a creative, technical, and business level is essential to breaking out.