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Nov 30th 2021
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Home Youth Education The key to be a good voice over artist

The key to be a good voice over artist

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Being a voice over actor is a lot of fun if you learn to face the obstacles bravely.


If you are an aspiring voice over actor it would be helpful to know some of the finer points of the trade. From the beginning it starts with a desire to learn the craft and a resolve to push through hard times. Anyone can become a voice over artist with enough drive, determination and willingness to work to develop their natural talent. It is a craft like any other that can be learned and enjoyed. For those who believe in the craft, understand it, and want to develop it while they create a mark for themselves, there is a big chance for success.

Anyone who is a successful voice over actor has had formal training in acting; you are essentially an actor with no camera lens staring at you. A voice over artist has to portray a story, sometimes with no visual to help explain what you are describing, selling, or educating someone on. You must learn to understand how to speak with the proper inflections in the right place to help your listeners understand the meaning.

Not all voice over actors will do everything well, so the industry offers different directions including commercials, narration and animation. Voice over talent will need a coach throughout the career to keep up with the changing industry and to continue perfecting the craft. Look into the various courses available which are designed to help you understand your limitations and maximize your potential.

With the help of your coaches and teachers, you will discover when you are ready to make your demo. Do not rush this process. If you are unprepared, it will be obvious in your demo. This is your calling card, so make a good one and do not settle for anything that does not make you shine. In this industry, the demos are only a minute long and most people will not listen beyond eight seconds if you do not catch their attention.  Make sure you use a reputable production house to cut a proper demo and expect to pay anywhere between $450 to $1500. Start with a commercial demo as it is the most commonly used, and then create a narration and finally an animation demo.

Knowing who you are, what you enjoy, and what your strengths are as a voice artist is important. Understanding these unique aspects of you and being able to take advantage of them is called branding, and will get you noticed in the industry.

Now that you understand and have learned how to be a voice over artist, the next important step is networking. Marketing and gaining momentum in any industry is a difficult job when you are not known. The online “Pay to Play” sites are one way to gain experience in auditioning. But, keep in mind that there are thousands of voices competing on these sites, so don’t expect to land too many jobs. Voice over acting is not for the faint of heart and the amount of rejection any artist/actor receives is a tremendous  barrier to overcome. It is not uncommon to get only one job out of every 100 or more that you audition for to start with; you have to develop a thick skin to handle rejections, that is if you even hear back after an audition. No news is not good news in this industry!

The local studios in your own town or city are a good place to start looking for work. Do everything you can think of to get your voice out there; network through your friends and family, church and community centres, even offer to volunteer your voicing talent in order to build up a portfolio. Work hard to learn the craft, get your voice out in the world of your marketplace, once established get an agent and keep pursuing your dream.

This is not meant to sound disparaging, it is a fantastic industry and if you want it bad enough you will get there. Be prepared to work for it, and when you get it, work even harder. It is a fun job. Imagine working in your own studio at home in pyjamas while everyone else fights traffic and has that hard day at office. As a voice over actor you have hard long days but there is nothing compared to smiling (you also need to learn how to smile when doing voice work, it is mandatory!), laughing and enjoying every day to the fullest.


---Ron Dickison is a Canada based voice over artist.


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