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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Voice Overs Are Not About You; They Are About Your Client's Words

Don't Make Voice Overs a Vanity Project

You're So Vain
To paraphrase Carly Simon, you probably think this post is about you. Perhaps.
We all have an idea about how our voice sounds. If we are lucky, other people may have remarked on it in a positive way. But it's important not to confuse professional voice overs with personal interest.

I've lost count the number of times young guys call me up and say they want to be a voice actor in the next Call Of Duty video game, or mums who say they would be ideal for narrating children's audiobooks.

Indeed they may, but there is more to voice overs than meets the ear.

Get Real
Of course there is nothing wrong with having ambition and if this intersects with your other interests and passions then great. But being a voice over artist is like being a member of the orchestra. You may want to play One Direction's latest hit on your violin, but if you are being paid to perform Beethoven, then Beethoven is what you have to play. That is the reality.

Likewise a good voice over artist takes the script (yes any script) and brings the words alive. It does not matter if it's a radio commercial for a car dealer, or narration on a company's website; at the end of the day you are doing a job of work.

Interestingly my voice over students who tend to get the most video game work are older females! Many have never held a console in their life. The reason? It's the voice characteristics and performance the client is looking for NOT a particular interest in the subject matter.

One day you may be lucky and provide the voice on a subject you are an expert in, but just because you have a GCSE in domestic science does not mean you will be appropriate promoting Jamie Oliver's next series on a TV trailer.

  Gary Terzza is a UK voice over coach training from studios in London, England.

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