Voice over artists around the world can always do more to get that next job and up their game here’s some advice from Amelia Forsbrook, Site Manager at Voices Pro on how to become a voice actor.
How do you get into voice over work?
“The ways into voice acting are as varied as the types of work on offer here. A lot of the artists on our site have a background in formal acting, which leads them to specialise in vocal work. Others claim to have “fallen into” voiceovers. I hear some great stories from individuals who were, quite simply, at the right place at the right time. For instance, an encouraging conversation in a charity shop was enough for one man; similarly, in true showbiz fashion, a record producer I spoke to recently found herself getting into the industry when a booked artist didn’t turn up to her studio.”
Do you need any experience or training to get started?
“While courses in vocal technique exist, artists are not expected to have specific formal training. However, voice artists are expected to be professional, and there is a certain etiquette within the industry, which we try to outline using the guides on our site. Experience is very important, and we advise aspiring voice artists to develop a voicereel, which we see as an essential marketing tool when it comes to showcasing your style, ability and commitment to your work. Everyone has a voice, so a big part of your job will be proving you can use yours as a professional and give a production that extra gloss.”
How should you market your voice?
“When it comes to voiceover work, one thing’s for certain: you won’t get far if you stay silent. Remember to keep thinking about your words and your tone, even after the microphone is switched off. A lot of the employers on our site like to use the same voice talent again and again, so if you can prove that you can deliver top quality work on time – and remain friendly throughout! – you’re certainly onto a winner. On a similar note, it’s hard not to notice the voiceover artists who have embraced social media such as Twitter. Network. Network. Network. Use Twitter and our forum to chat with other voice artists, and stay in touch with employers as much as you can without being annoying.”
What’s the most exciting thing about being a voice over talent?
“Voiceover work can be very exciting indeed. I speak to a lot of voiceover artists on a day to day basis, and so I can tell the appeal of this unique vocation lies in the variety of work it offers. If you’ve got a good home studio set up and have built up a bank of contacts, you can go from a recording a naughty phone-line message to a soft drink advert to a game character… all before your morning coffee.”
What’s it like to work at Voices Pro?
“Voices Pro is part of the Blue Compass network, a lively arts and media recruitment service that includes Casting Call Pro, Singers Pro and Music Network Pro. Because I’m the only member of the team working on the site full time, I get to know a lot of the actors. I love being able to build on relationships and support artists as they develop their careers. I spend a lot of my day in a state of mild awe as I speak to spectacular voice artists on the phone. From these people, I’m constantly learning little tips about the industry, which I’m currently putting into guides.”
“The voice industry can be extremely rewarding and lucrative, but it’s also competitive. At Voices Pro, we work to support artists who have already made their first step into the industry and are willing to find more work, build up their credits and get headhunted. If you feel like voice work is for you, give me a shout!”