Curious about the Art of Science and Self-Evaluation where voice over is concerned? Looking for a formula for success as a professional voice over talent? Connie Terwilliger may just have the answers you’re looking for! Read about Connie’s lecture from VOICE 2007 to conduct your own self-assessment of where you stand in the world of voice overs.
After the break on Tuesday morning, Connie Terwilliger took the mic and gave a very informative lecture on the different stages people go through when becoming voice over talent as well as equipping her audience with the tools necessary to define where they stood as voice talent. Connie’s lecture was entitled: The Art of Science and Self-Evaluation. There are four basic phases that people go through as they mature in the voice over career. These Four Basic Phases are:
To define them further, a Wanna-be is someone who has been told that they have a great voice and should use it to make money.
A Newbie has taken a couple of seminars, has an idea of the direction they want to go in, simple technical abilities, and a low cost home recording studio.
A Part-time voice talent still works a day job to pay the bills, is more educated in voice overs than a newbie and has the ability to record pro quality audio.
Lastly, a Full-time voice over person is actively working in the business and can pay their bills in voice over or a very closely related area.
Of those who participated in Connie’s poll to see how many people belonged to each phase, a quick show of hands revealed the following:
Wanna-be – 6
Newbie – 40
Part-time – 40
Full time – 30
The exciting aspect of voice over is that everyone has the ability to learn from each other because everyone is unique and has different backgrounds. In order to discover where your niche is in the business, research the industry and options available; essentially, explore what it out there and how you can apply your skill sets. For instance, you may find that you are a fabulous writer or can create or put music together with words. These skills are relevant and in some cases, necessary components of working in voice overs.
Connie insists that you explore the industry!
Be sure to ask yourself some questions. Start off with these:
• What do you sound like?
• What is your true natural sound?
• What are you doing?
• What can you do with your voice?
Evaluate your potential. You should be constantly evaluating your choices, decisions, and route of your voice over career. Finally, figure out all those things and find where you fit in the industry. You really need to know where you fit in order to find success initially before you can branch out.
Now for the big question:
DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
• Talent: Is your voice in demand or does it need a bit of work? Find your signature sound. What™s your money voice? Big money takes something unique and special that grabs people by the ear. It’s a combination of your body and acting know how.
• Business: You need to know that you can actually run an office and get invoices sent out. Follow up, due diligence, customer relationship management (CRM).
• Marketing: Marketing is a major part of voice over career. Market yourself by following up, meeting new contacts, and advertising your services.
• Technology: In today’s world, technology places a large role in how voice talent do business. Research hardware and software but also know your limitations.
The formula for success is simple: Find the people who want to buy what you have to sell.
If you want to take the bull by the horns, follow these suggestions:
• Make demos that showcase that ability and then get it into the hands of the people who have the money.
• Listen to what you hear on the air, websites, anything that has voice over. Think about the many different ways that people are hiring voice over people to voice things for them.
• Some jobs will pay top dollar, some won™t. Some will challenge you and some are boring. There are some fun things in the industry but a lot of it could be dry, however, it pays very well.
• Suffer through names, addresses, etc. to do other fun projects
• Know the voices that are out there and what they are actually doing
• Where are people making money – who might have the money to pay for this spot?
Connie ended the lecture with an easy listening exercise:
• Listen for what the voice type is
• Identify the attitude of the character speaking
• Discern the product being sold
• Interpret the meaning of the words and not the words themselves
Voice type: Urban, youthful, etc.
Attitudes: REAL PERSON – Hip, sexy, tough, warm, motherly, everything in between.
Product being sold: Target demographic, regional? Radio and TV?
Interpretation: Figure out what required voice over style is along with nuances and coloration of the words.
I’ve published another post about Connie Terwilliger’s presentations at VOICE 2007. Please note that much of this material was taken directly from her copyrighted materials in the Conference Workbook. Please contact her (connie @ voiceover-talent.com) before reprinting this content. Click here to learn about the second lecture.