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Friday, March 28, 2014

Thinking Outside The Voice-Box

by Gary Terzza

If you are feeling a little dejected by the whole voice over thing, perhaps you just can't seem to get any work or you simply don't know where to go from here, then it may be time to start thinking differently. Let me try and freshen you up.

Be a contrarian

Take Friday night for example. It is when when the nine to fivers prepare for the weekend, right? Some of those who have been slaving over a hot microphone from home all week may wish to take a well deserved break, but this gives the perfect opportunity to do something few others may be doing. Why not start applying for jobs on the P2P (pay to play) sites like Voice123 and 

You should find competition is less and clients (at least those seeking to book a voice quickly) are more likely to listen to you over the weekend. Crucially you will be getting your audition in early before the mob get there.

Advertise creatively

If you put 'voice over' into Twitter (which I do on a regular basis) you may notice one or two enterprising individuals selling their wares. On more than one occasion I have noticed Darren Altman and Julie Donaldson being quite brazen with a cheery "good morning my studio is now open; can I voice anything for you?" type greeting. 

I know social media is not supposed to be about promoting yourself, but these posts are so friendly and welcoming that I think potential clients will be attracted by their honesty. Does this work? I don't know (perhaps Julie, Darren and anyone else doing similar stuff can let me know in the comments section), but I regard this as an inventive way to advertise your voice over services. Why not give it a go? It's effectively a free commercial.

Talking of freebies

If you have read any of my previous blogs, you will know I am not a big fan of giving away your voice  for free, or next to nothing. The price we charge reflects our true value; if you are offering a  dirt cheap VO, the client perception is that you are, well without being rude, dirt cheap. But every once in a while you may wish to surprise a client. Just say 'this one is on me'. 

Shock horror, has Terzza taken leave of his senses? Nope, not a bit of it. Enticing a prospect with a complimentary voice over job may just prompt her to come back for more ..... only this time you charge your normal (or perhaps slightly above your usual) rate. It could usher in a coveted long term relationship.

Do something outrageous

Now when I say outrageous, I don't mean anything that is likely to offend public morals, but something really out of the ordinary (in a voice over context) i.e. radical for you

Say you normally do corporates or straight-down-the-line narration,  then grab the mic by the horns (sorry about the half-cocked metaphor) and do a script that is totally out of your comfort zone. In this case it could a be a video game or animation character, or perhaps a bonkers character out of an audiobook. 

Don't hold back, be bold and go for it. If you make a fool of yourself so what, it will be good fun and if nothing else should reinvigorate those tired old vocal folds. I reckon you might enjoy it too.

Have you got any tips for breaking the voice over mould? Please let me know.

Gary Terzza

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