A voiceover artist is responsible for the off-camera narration or dialogue that accompanies many video productions. Often, these recordings are used to provide additional information on the product or service being advertised or to build excitement for it. While some voice-over talents work in a variety of different industries and markets, others are known for their expertise in one or two niches. For this reason, it’s important for prospective talent to define their target market when beginning their career as a voice-over artist.
Whether they’re reading scripts for film, television, or commercials, or supplying audio for educational material, voice actors are expected to deliver a professional performance every time. This means honed acting skills that can be developed through formal training or a voice coach, as well as a set of soft skills that will help them adapt to the needs of clients and the demands of the industry.
A great way for a new voice actor to begin building their portfolio is by offering to do some pro bono work for free. This is a good way to get familiar with the industry and also provides an opportunity to build a resume, which is essential for attracting jobs in the future. It’s also a good idea to invest in a high-quality actor headshot that makes you look competent and trustworthy. Even though people who hire voice actors don’t technically need to know what you look like, most will want to be able to put a face to the name they’re hiring.
In addition to honing acting skills, aspiring voiceover artists need to develop the ability to mimic a variety of voices. This can be achieved through practice by reading aloud a range of materials that vary in tone and style, from sadness poetry to product advertorials. It’s also important for a voice actor to have the ability to adjust their vocal range based on feedback from a director or sound engineer.
Once a voice actor has honed their craft and established a strong resume, they can start looking for professional representation. A casting agent will market their voiceover services to recruiters and inform them of casting calls where they can audition. The agent will also negotiate the voice actor’s salary on their behalf.
To find voiceover work, talent can also use online freelance marketplaces to showcase their skills and connect with producers. These platforms feature a massive global pool of independent contractors who can offer their services for an agreed upon rate. However, it’s important for aspiring voice actors to be aware that these platforms usually don’t vet freelancers before they accept them, and it can be difficult to tell who’s legitimate.
Finally, a strong network of connections is essential for finding voiceover work. This can be done by establishing a connection with production companies that often hire multiple voice actors at once. It’s also helpful to join a professional voiceover association or guild, which can connect talent with opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them.