Many factors go into getting voiceover work. You can create a profile on pay-to-play websites and audition for jobs from clients worldwide. You can also search for voice over jobs on freelancer websites like Upwork.com. Another option is to create your own website and network with other talent, producers, and directors. Most importantly, you’ll need to create professional demos of your best work to showcase your talent. Working with a voice over demo producer will ensure you get the best results. Beyond making demo recordings, there are other things you can do to understand what it takes to work as a voice over artist.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Voice Actor?
No formal qualifications are required to become a voice actor, although many have training in acting, singing, or public speaking. Voice actors need to be able to project their voices in a clear, audible, and flexible manner. A certain degree of acting skill is needed to interpret the script. Some voice actors can perform multiple roles from one script or impersonate people of different ages and genders. They might also have abilities in other areas, such as improvisation, coaching, or teaching.
What Does Voiceover Work Entail?
A voiceover artist records audio for commercials, TV shows, movies, and video games and provides characters’ voices in animations or audiobooks. They earn money per project and are paid according to the production company or organization. Most voice actors will need to spend significant time auditioning between gigs. Many voice actors find that auditioning for new projects is an excellent way to stay sharp and keep their skills fresh.
Tips for Becoming a Better Voiceover Talent
To improve voice-over work, start by recording yourself reading aloud from a script. Listen to the recording and identify areas where you stumble or sound unclear. Practice those sections until you can read them smoothly. Then, focus on your delivery, inflection, and pacing to add interest and personality to your performance. Experiment with different techniques until you find what works best for you.
Work with a Voice Over Coach
Whether you are a newbie or a pro, working with a voice over coach can help you achieve the next level of your career. It will also help you narrow down the genres you are best at performing so you can capitalize on your talent. Many coaches also do demo production and can be a great asset.
Take a Voice Acting Class
Taking a voice acting class is an excellent way to improve your skills or learn how to use your voice to its fullest potential. In these classes, you will learn how to project your voice, enunciate properly, and use inflection and emotion to bring your words to life. You will also learn about microphone techniques and how to record your voice in a studio setting. Whether you are interested in acting for film, television, or video games or want to improve your public speaking skills, taking a voice acting class is a great learning opportunity.
Network With Others for Voiceover Work
Working with other voice actors is one of the best ways to expand your sphere of influence. You can learn from each other, collaborate on projects, and get feedback on your work. And, of course, it’s always nice to have friends in the industry! There are a few different ways you can network with other voice actors. One is to join a local meetup group or online community dedicated to voice acting. This is a great way to connect with other voice actors in your area and start building your network.
Another way is to attend industry events. These events are usually packed with voice actors of all levels, so you can meet new people and learn more about the industry. And last but not least, you can always reach out to voice actors you admire and see if they’re open to meeting for coffee or chatting over Zoom. Many voice actors are happy to chat with aspiring talent and offer advice and guidance.
Keep Your Demos Up-to-Date
Your demos are essential tools as a voice actor, and you will use them repeatedly to showcase your range and skills to prospective clients. For your demos to be effective, they should be:
Well-Produced: A “sloppy” demo only turns off potential clients. It should have proper levels and sound quality comparable with the production values of professional work in the industry (i.e., video games, TV shows, etc.).
Concise: You don’t want to bore listeners with a lengthy demo. Keep it short and sweet so people can get a good idea of what you can do without putting them to sleep!
Focused: Your demos show off the kinds of voices you perform best. Make sure that all the material is focused on this so people can easily see (and hear) what you can offer them.
Diverse: Mix things up by including one demo for narration and one for each genre you work in.
Seek Out Opportunities to Build Your Resume
Some people seek pro bono gigs for causes they care about. Not only will you gain experience, but you’ll also build your resume and earn some samples to share with prospective clients. There are many opportunities for pro bono work if you know where to look. Check out online job boards, classified ads, and online directories specifically for voiceovers. You can also contact local charities or non-profits directly. These organizations may require someone who can provide voices for their campaigns or events.
You can also reach out to local production companies working on projects requiring voiceovers but may not have the budget to pay talent fees. These companies may be willing to give you an opportunity in exchange for exposure or credit instead of money. It’s a great way to build up your experience and samples while still getting paid.
What Are the Challenges of Voice Acting?
One of the biggest challenges of voice acting is making the character your own while staying true to the original vision. Finding the right balance between the two can be challenging, but finding that middle ground is essential. Another challenge is ensuring that your voice is strong enough and clear enough to be heard over all the other noise in a production. You need to project your voice without sounding forced or strained.
5 Ways to Care for Your Voice
Caring for your voice is critical to maintaining a successful career, just as a basketball player would prioritize a healthy lifestyle. To keep your voice in top form, try the following:
- Rest your voice as much as possible.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep your vocal cords moist.
- Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Practice proper coughing and sneezing technique (i.e., covering your mouth and nose with a tissue).
What is the Typical Salary for Voiceover Work?
There is no one answer to this question because salaries for voice artists can vary greatly depending on their experience, the size of the project, and other factors. However, most voice artists charge by the hour, ranging from $50 to $300 per hour.
Types of Voiceover Work
There is a growing demand for voiceover jobs as businesses use digital media to promote their products and services. Many voiceover jobs are available, from narrating audiobooks to providing character voices for video games. The most significant portion of voiceover jobs are in the following genres:
- Corporate Narration includes videos on training, corporate policy, human resources initiatives, and much more.
- Medical Narration is a great way to implement education, instructions, and information in the healthcare industry.
- Character voice over is used in animation and video games to create a unique personality for the characters.
- Commercials are often used to sell products or services.
- Promos are short advertisements for a product or service. Promos are typically voiced by the same person who narrates the project.
- Trailers promote a movie, video game, or other product. Trailers are usually voiced by someone other than the narrator.
With so many businesses operating online, there is a need for a wide range of voices to be heard. Whether you have a deep, rich voice or a high-pitched, childlike voice, there is a job for you.
What Equipment Do You Need for Voice Acting?
Voice actors can use a range of equipment to help them record their lines. More advanced setups might include a pop filter, a shock mount, and other recording equipment and software elements. Voiceover equipment needed to produce a professional recording includes a microphone, stand, audio interface, and recording software. An audio interface is required to connect the microphone to the computer. Many different types of audio interfaces are available on the market, and recording software allows you to record your performance and edit it as needed. There are many different types of recording software available on the market, so it is crucial to choose one that offers the features and functionality required for the particular project.
How to Pick a Voice Over Microphone
There are many different types of microphones available on the market, so choosing one that is well-suited for your particular recording environment is vital. Reading online reviews is not the most reliable way to get information, as many contributors are compensated for endorsing the brand. Microphones sound different in various environments, so in the end, you’ll need to use your own studio and your own judgment.
You can ask your peers and professionals you know for their opinion and try to test drive a few microphones yourself. A colleague or voice over group may lend you theirs to test, and some audio stores will allow trials. The Harlan Hogan’s VO: 1-A microphone has a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, and Kam Instruments offer a seven-day trial.
A stand is necessary to hold the microphone in place during recording. Many types of stands are available, so choosing one sturdy and adjustable is essential to ensure the best possible recording quality.
Auditioning Tips for Voice Over Jobs
Here are a few tips to help you nail your next voice over audition.
- Make sure you read the script thoroughly and understand the character. The best way to do this is to break down the character. Who are they, and what do they want? How old are they? Male or female? Where did they grow up? What kind of accent do they have? etc. You need to be able to answer all of these questions about your character before you start recording.
- Make sure your recording environment is as quiet as possible. Turn off any fans, air conditioners, or other noise makers that might interfere with your recording.
- Use a good-quality microphone and position it correctly. It should be about 6-12 inches away from your mouth and slightly off to the side so your breath doesn’t hit it directly.
- Speak clearly and at a consistent volume. Avoid any strange inflections or mannerisms in your voice. Be natural and relaxed while you’re speaking.
- Take your time when recording each line. Make sure you have recorded a few takes of each.
Benefits of Becoming a Voice Actor
Voice acting can be a gratifying and fun career. Not only do you get to use your voice to bring characters to life, but you also get to work in a variety of different genres and styles. Additionally, voice actors can earn a good salary and may even be able to negotiate their pay rates. You can also work from home, which is an excellent perk for many people. You can often set your hours and work around your other commitments. Freedom, flexibility, and fun can all be yours!