Becoming a Voice Actor - Part 3, “There is a lot of voiceover work available!”
Part 3 - “There is a lot of voiceover work available!”
Yes, yes and yes!
Saying that there is just a “lot” of voiceover work available at this time is a gross understatement. To give some scope of the available work, consider the following types of voiceover projects you may run into:
Product Explainer videos
Animated TV/Movie characters
IVR Phone Systems
Public Service Announcements/Emergency systems
In a local sporting goods store a few days ago I was even reminded that when someone walks out of the store with an item that has an active security tag a pre-recorded human will ask them to see an associate!
The point is that voiceover work is everywhere. And while there are a lot of professional and would-be voice actors out there, the work is nowhere near being completely spoken for.
THE WHOLE TRUTH…
While there is a lot of work available, you still have to work for it, and work for it hard. It’s unlikely that you will quickly ascend the ranks of the VO world (although it does happen…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N5l0sgPP5k&t=127s). You need to understand that in order to obtain work, you have to be able to present a truly compelling reason for your potential clients to select you over thousands of other talent options to deliver their message.
In order to successfully win voiceover work you must be able to do 3 things consistently:
1. Get yourself in front of clients.
2. Deliver a great performance.
3. Produce high quality audio.
Get yourself in front of clients.
Before you can get the work you have to find the work. This topic deserves a blog post all its own, and I intend to do just that in the near future. For now, simply know that there are many options for getting in touch with clients, from cold calling, to emails, to utilizing “pay-to-play” sites such as voices.com, bodalgo.com, and even fiverr.com. We’ll revisit this soon.
Deliver a great performance!
Voice Acting is, first and foremost, acting. It is NOT simply reading. Having a nice voice and reading flawlessly and articulately does not necessarily make you an engaging voice actor. You need to be able to own scripts, and to deliver not just words from a page, but emotions from your own heart.
Many tenured voice actors suggest taking formal classes. I would agree that this is a great way to gain some skill as well as street cred! But if you can’t afford a coach you can - and should - still work to improve your skill.
If you’re strapped for cash, consider reading books to kids in local schools or libraries (you’ll receive 100% authentic feedback), narrating public domain audio books for free, or attempting to reproduce professional voiceover spots you hear. These are just a few ways to hone your craft.
Produce high quality audio.
As I mentioned in a prior blog, aiming “too cheap” on your audio gear and space can cause you to produce less than stellar audio quality. Sometimes this will be OK, such as when you are narrating public domain audiobooks for free, or working on a student project. But in many instances, this just won’t fly.
You don’t have to have professional, broadcast quality audio to get the ball rolling in this business. However, your audio quality does need to be competitive. While most people can’t tell the difference between a $200 and $500 microphone, or $20 and $90 XLR cable, you don’t want to give your potential clients any cause for concern.
Spend the time and resources you need to obtain good quality gear, even if you’re on a budget. If you produce a low quality project, expect low quality results.
I truly hope that this blog offers a helpful “reality check” for aspiring voice talent, and I welcome any questions or comments to help improve the content.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog, Part 4, “I need to have a professional VO demo!”