If you’ve ever listened to a recorded commercial or watched an animated television show, you’ve likely heard the voice of a professional voice over artist. They are hired to deliver a specific script with a particular tone of voice and help convey an overall message. This type of work is highly sought after by people who want to have a flexible career with the potential for repeat gigs. Whether you want to narrate an audiobook or play the voice of a character in a video game, there are many ways to break into this industry.
If the thought of working as a voice over artist appeals to you, it is important to know what the job actually entails before you begin to apply for jobs. The first step is to build a professional portfolio to showcase your range of talents. Your demo reel should feature both your impersonations of different characters and the natural voice that you possess. This will allow the casting directors to get a sense of how you would sound in the role they are hiring for.
The next step is to hone your craft by practicing with or without the help of a professional voice coach. Practicing with a variety of different text helps you understand what your strengths and weaknesses are and how to improve them. It’s also a good idea to record yourself so that you can listen back and see what you need to work on in terms of clarity and diction.
During this time, it’s also wise to seek out as much work as possible, as it will increase your chances of landing the gigs that you really want. Depending on your specialty, finding work can be difficult at times, so make sure that you’re staying proactive in your search. This can mean submitting to numerous projects, getting referrals from friends in the business, or even forming a relationship with a company that hires voiceover artists frequently.
Once you’ve established a reputation as a reputable voice actor, you can start to find more long-term gigs that will give you a steady income. This is especially true if you’ve built a strong relationship with a production studio that hires voice actors for their videos and games. If you’ve worked with a studio for a while, they will be more willing to take a chance on you for recurring gigs, such as voicing the main character of an animated TV show or video game.
Voice over artists also typically have a very flexible schedule, since they can work from home or wherever else they choose to be. They can set their own hours, which makes this a great career option for those who want to remain active and involved in a performance profession as they get older. Unlike more physically demanding roles on the stage, there is no age limit to this type of work.
The term “voice over artist” can be a bit confusing as it can refer to both the person who performs the work and the act of reading words from an audio recording. Some examples of this work include narrating documentaries (think Sir David Attenborough or Morgan Freeman), providing a running commentary in movies or television shows, and narrating audiobooks.