The role of the voice over talent in the voice overs business.
The best way to explain what a professional voice over talent does is to reflect on years of personal
experience, being what can be summed up simply as a "faceless", or off-camera actor. Hence, voice over talent, voice talent, voice over artist, voice actor,
voice artist, voice over actor, and even a "set of pipes" are some of the "job descriptions" belonging to the person behind the microphone. Giving life to words on
paper is a learned skill, developing a balanced relationship between focus and mic technique. Being in character, picturing who's being spoken to, becoming one with the script,
not being self-aware on microphone, all fall under the focus aspect, while controlling breath to avoid "popping" hard consonants like the letter "p" is one mic technique.
The main goal of the voice over talent, whether working from a personal computer on projects acquired through an
online voice over talent website, or recording in a formal
studio setting, is to come across believable and trustworthy. The key is interpretation.
The trick is not to sound like one is reading, yet be convincing in what one is saying. Words should roll off the tongue as if a melody is playing,
no matter what the mood or content of the script, whether it's a commercial, or
narration for a documentary,
or movie trailer, book trailer, or
radio imaging liner.
It's not as easy as some might think. This only comes with much practice. Reading aloud as often
as possible, recording one's own voice, then having it critiqued later by an objective party (and not one's mom.)
Eventually, the aspiring voice over actor will be ready to record voice over demos that represent one's talent.
In spite of the competition and the odds for rejection, the rewards when they happen make it all worthwhile, and the potential for more work is ever present thanks to a world-wide internet audience.
Nothing beats making a living at what one likes best in life, but if it's in voice overs, one must diligently get one's name out there.
This entails a lot of self-marketing, and establishing an online voice over presence. In the words of veteran voice over talent Harlan Hogan,
"90% of the work is getting the work." In other words, there are no free rides, nor over-night get-rich-quick schemes in voice overs. Even a talent agent will only do so much. It requires
commitment, dedication, and professionalism. It takes more than just having a good voice. See a partial list of our voice over clients inside this site.
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