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Sunday, October 22, 2017

6 Surprising Facts About Voice-Over Work

Interested in voice-over jobs? Before you start, here are six intriguing facts about the industry to bear in mind. Take a look at the short video for an insight into how the business shapes up.

1.  Your Voice is Immaterial

Firstly, your voice is not as important as you think. It is what you do with it, how you use your voice that counts the most. Contrary to popular belief, the sound of your voice only gives you a position in the marketplace. Your voice is simply a musical instrument, playing it correctly is the essential element.

2. You Can Record from Your Spare Room

These days you can work from home. Modern recording equipment is inexpensive. A good microphone and simple acoustics will really help. We use condenser mics in voice-overs and these come in two guises: USB and XLR. Once set up, make sure you have plenty of soft furnishings in your recording space as this helps absorb room echo and keeps out external noise.

3. It Is All About The Reading

Reading is at the heart of voice-overs.  Ninety percent of voice-overs are about what you do and how you deliver a script. Practice reading as much as you can; newspapers, online articles, books..... read anything and everything and bear in mind to make this effective, you have to read out loud otherwise if you just read in your head your brain makes you sound better than you really are!

4. Voice-Over Jobs Are All Around The World

Where can you find the work?  You may be surprised to learn that voice-over jobs are international. This means it does not matter where you are and neither is it important where your client is.  As long as you have your home studio and a broadband connection, you can access customers globally.

5. Age is Irrelevant

A lot of people assume that they may be too old (or too young) to do voice-overs. Age is certainly a significant factor, but not in the way you might think.  If you are an older voice, then you will appeal to clients who are looking for more mature voices. A student of mine (67 years young) is now narrating her second audiobook, having never recorded a voice-over in her life before.

6. Silly Voices Are Not Required

Ok, they may be needed for characterisations, but these constitute a very small fraction of the voice-over business.  Just because you make your friends laugh with your impressions and jokey vocalising, does not mean you are going to get voice-over work. 

The bulk of voice-over work is using your own natural voice. It is not about 'putting on a voice'. If you are reluctant to use your own voice, perhaps voice-overs are not for you. 

I hope that has helped dispel a few of those commonly held voice-over myths. 

Gary Terzza is a British Voice-Over Coach

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