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Working in Voiceover

By Alan Shires. Published May 11, 2023. Last Updated: May 29, 2023.
Filed Under: Business

Venturing into voice acting necessitates a deep understanding of the industry and honing your craft. With opportunities to connect with clients worldwide, platforms such as pay-to-play websites and freelancer websites like Upwork.com provide a gateway to voiceover jobs. Working in voiceover can be challenging. Networking is essential; creating your own website and engaging with other talent, producers, and directors will open doors to potential opportunities. The crux of a successful voiceover career lies in your voiceover demos. Professionally produced demos encapsulate your skills, and working with a voiceover demo producer can help elevate their quality.

Voiceover Skills and Training

Voice actors are not mandated to possess formal qualifications. However, training in acting, singing, or public speaking can enhance performance. Besides vocal clarity and flexibility, a degree of acting skill aids in script interpretation, with some voice actors capable of portraying multiple roles or impersonating various characters. Additional skills in improvisation, coaching, or teaching may also prove advantageous.

Voiceover artists lend their voices to a range of media, from commercials and TV shows to movies and video games, with pay rates set by the production company. Auditioning is a recurring task and serves as a platform to sharpen and maintain your skills. Improvement in voiceover work starts with self-assessment. Recording your voice and identifying areas of improvement, such as clarity and fluidity, can prove beneficial. Experimenting with delivery, inflection, and pacing can inject personality into your performance.

Working with a voiceover coach can help accelerate career growth, helping you identify your strongest genres. Voice acting classes offer an opportunity to refine vocal projection, enunciation, and emotional expression, along with microphone techniques and studio recording. Networking is key in the industry. Joining local groups or online communities dedicated to voice acting or attending industry events can help build connections. Never hesitate to reach out to admired voice actors for advice or guidance.

Working From Demos and Clients

Demos are your primary marketing tool so should be well-produced, concise, focused, and diverse. Keep them up-to-date, showcasing your range and skills in the genres you excel in. Pro bono gigs can help build your resume and offer samples for potential clients. Online job boards, classified ads, and voiceover directories are excellent sources for such opportunities. Contacting local charities or production companies directly can also provide experience-building projects.

Vocal Health

Challenges in voice acting include balancing personal interpretation with the character's original vision and ensuring your voice stands out amidst other production elements. Maintaining vocal health is paramount for success. Rest, hydration, avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, and proper sneezing techniques are crucial.

Voiceover Work

Voiceover earnings vary significantly and there is no such thing as a typical salary for a voice actor. A voice actor can make $0 per hour,  thousands of dollars per hour or anything in between. This is influenced by factors such as experience, project use and size. Voiceover work spans various genres, including corporate and medical narration, character voiceovers for animation and video games, commercials, promos, and trailers. The digital era demands a diverse array of voices, providing opportunities for all vocal types.

What You Are Working With

In terms of equipment, a professional setup would include a microphone, stand, audio interface, and recording software. Picking the right microphone is crucial and should suit your recording environment. Relying on your own judgment, seeking advice from peers, or trialing different microphones can aid in making the right choice. A sturdy and adjustable microphone stand ensures the best recording quality.

A successful voiceover audition requires a thorough understanding of the script and character, a quiet recording environment, a well-positioned high-quality microphone, clear speech, and taking time to record multiple takes.

Working in Voiceover Summary

Voice acting offers a unique, rewarding career path. It provides the chance to breathe life into characters across various media. The potential to earn a good salary, negotiate pay rates, and enjoy the flexibility of working from home are attractive benefits. The voice acting profession offers a blend of freedom, flexibility, and fun.

Working in Voiceover by Alan Shires

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