As the narrator of an audiobook or an ad for an app, voiceover artists create the soundtracks of people’s lives. They are a diverse group, including experienced actors, singers, radio DJs and podcasters who choose this career to complement their existing work or as a way of supplementing their income; and semi-professionals who make the bulk of their living through voiceovers while juggling other side gigs. Those who make a full-time living from voiceover work tend to be highly successful, though the industry is still filled with talented beginners who are trying to break through.
Regardless of where you are on your journey, there are some fundamentals to consider before you jump in feet first. In addition to having a strong demo reel, you need to decide which type of voice acting you want to specialize in. This can be based on the types of products and services you have an interest in, or it might be a function of your natural voice characteristics and tone.
If you want to become a commercial voice actor, for example, you will need to develop a professional-sounding, neutral accent. If you want to voice children’s characters, on the other hand, you might need to tamp down the sweetness of your voice. Once you have narrowed down the type of work you’re interested in, you can begin to find clients and audition for projects.
Getting a job as a voiceover artist requires a strong work ethic. It is not uncommon for a voice actor to spend many hours of the day and night auditioning for one project or another, so you’ll need to have a lot of self-motivation to maintain your success in this profession. You also need to be able to follow the direction of the project at hand, as well as understand and interpret the script that you’re reading from.
A good voice actor needs to be able to convey a variety of emotions and characters. For example, a child character might need to sound sweet and naive, while an adventure video game hero requires a more optimistic and energetic voice to immerse players in the story.
Voice actors need to be able to articulate every word of the script, and they must be able to adapt their voice to the nuances of each language. This skill is often called “articulation.” Depending on the client and the type of project, a voice actor may also need to alter their accent or other aspects of their vocal style.
The rewards of a career as a voiceover artist are numerous. Even small voice over jobs can make a big difference in a company’s marketing campaign or the user experience of an online product, and it is highly fulfilling to see that your contribution has made an impact. It’s no wonder that so many people are drawn to this exciting, flexible and rewarding type of performance. Whether you’re an established professional or just starting out, the future looks bright for this ever-popular career. voiceover artists