Voice over artists (also known as voice actors) provide the voices for everything from commercials and video games to audiobooks and e-learning courses. They’re auditory performers who make a living from freelance work that can be done remotely. There are a few top professionals who do a lot of different jobs and are considered all-rounders, but most voice over artists tend to focus on one or two niches.
The main function of a voice actor is to read out scripts that are meant to be overlayed with visual material. They must be able to convey a message in a natural way that fits with the type of content they’re voicing. The nuances of the job are very diverse, which is why most voice over artists take voice lessons to develop their talents and become as versatile as possible.
As well as a good voice, they also need to be very fast learners. The demands of the industry change all the time, and voice over artists are often expected to turn around scripts at the drop of a hat. It’s therefore important for them to be able to adjust quickly and to accept feedback from directors, dialogue editors or recording engineers.
A lot of voice over work is sourced through social media, and so a good online presence and network are essential for the career. It’s no longer necessary for voice over artists to be based in specific cities or travel to studio sessions, and the internet has made it easy for them to find and audition for jobs at all hours of the day and night.