How to Transition from Singer to Voice Over Artist
If singing is your passion, developing a career as a singer will probably be fulfilling, but it may also be challenging and competitive at times. It takes practice, dedication, and a commitment to craft.
If you’ve spent many years perfecting your trade and you’re seeking to parlay your talent into other professions, try something new, or generate alternate streams of income, becoming a voice over singer may be the opportunity you were looking for.
Voice over is a fast-growing industry. With audiobooks and podcasts on the rise and audio content becoming more sought after every day, voice over work can provide a steady income for years. Video games, animated shows, advertisements, corporate messages, and educational videos are just some of the ways that voice over artists make money.
Like singing, voice over is a competitive field. Fortunately, as a singer, you have a significant advantage: You already know how to use your voice! Read on and learn all the key information on how to become a voice over artist.
Advantages Singers Have in Voice Over Work
Singers come into voice over work with many advantages. Your commitment to regular practice, experience in performance, ability to take direction, and understanding of how to take care of your voice are some ways your career as a singer can help jumpstart your voice over singer career.
Here are three advantages that singers have to transition into voice over work:
1. You Know How to Perform
You’ve already spent years perfecting your tone, style, and performance. You know exactly how your voice works and are familiar with your quirks and limitations. You understand how to convey a message using your voice.
If you have performed in musical theater or opera, you probably know how to get into character and how to interpret a script. If you have worked as a recording musician, you have microphone technique and understand how to get the best sound out of a recorded performance.
These are all techniques that are crucially important in voice over work.
2. You Know How to Take Direction
Singers are familiar with being told how to perform a piece or how to change certain aspects of their performance. You are probably familiar with being directed by a choral director or receiving feedback and critique from your vocal coach.
This asset comes in handy when you need to take direction during a recording session. Singers can quickly incorporate notes and changes without getting upset or feeling attacked. They also often speak ‘the language of performance’ and understand certain idioms and phrases that an average person would not know.
3. You Understand the Importance of Vocal Health
Nodes and nodules, breath support, water, stress—you know what all of these mean for the health of your voice. As a singer, your voice is your most important tool, and you are probably very careful about not damaging it. That’s going to be important in voice over work too!
Challenges Singers Face in Voice Over Work
Despite coming into voice over work with many advantages, singers also face some difficulties when first starting in this industry. It can be challenging for singers to let go of habits they have built up over a lifetime.
The most important thing for a singer to remember to be successful as a voice over artist is to let their natural voice shine through.
Here are two challenges singers face doing voice over work:
Over-performing is the number one problem singers face in voice over work. Today’s voice over scripts frequently call for a ‘natural’ or ‘casual’ tone. Many clients want a sound that is as close to an unscripted human as possible.
For singers, especially those used to performing classical or highly stylized music, turning in a casual performance can be challenging. Learning to let go of your preconceived notions of what constitutes a ‘performance’ is essential.
There are places where heightened performance is required—for example, when performing dramatized readings of audiobooks. Many young adult audiobooks call for a heightened tone to make the emotional work come alive for younger listeners.
Relaxation goes hand-in-hand with over-performing. Learning to relax during a recording session is crucial, as it will help convey the natural tone that clients are looking for. It’s as important to keep your body language relaxed as it is to keep your voice relaxed.
Relaxing will also help you avoid stressing your vocal cords, squeezing, or losing your breath support.
Other Tips and Resources
As with singing, you must take the time to hone your craft as a voice over artist. There are many books, videos, and online courses that can teach you the basics of voice over work and how to get started with a voice over career.
It can be beneficial to hire a voice over coach when starting. A voice over coach can guide you in perfecting voice over scripts and learning acting techniques and can often help you navigate the career side of voice acting.
A voice over class is another great way to dip your toes into the voice over world before making the jump into a new career. A class allows you to work with other voice over students and with an experienced professional coach.
Many voice over schools offer free introductory classes and offer discounts on class packages for new students and people who are just getting started in the voice over industry.
If you’re looking for a way to expand your horizons as a singer or to earn some income on the side using your voice, then a career in voice over work might be just what you’re looking for. Try dropping into an in-person class or joining an online course to see how you like it.
Hopefully, now you’re well versed on how to become a voice over actor. If you’re a singer who has decided to make the jump into voice over work, welcome! You’re choosing a career that will be fun, challenging, and could provide you with some lucrative work for years to come.
Sign up as a voice actor on Voices today!