The voiceover trade can be hard to get into and it can be just as hard to get ahead. You need to have a voice that people want to hear, a voice that can morph into a number of different accents, pitches and tones and a self motivation that won’t allow you to slow or quit.
There may be many times when you won’t see where the next voiceover role is coming from or how you’ll track down a lead for a job.
In today’s Vox Daily Guest Blogger Jeff Jackson provides sound advice on what it takes to succeed as a voice over artist.
Get Rich Or Lose Your Voice Trying
By Jeff Jackson
In the voiceover industry, persistence is the key. You need to get after the job that you want, practice over and over for that audition and go in full of confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself, the casting agents and employers certainly won’t. If you are a member of a voiceover agency, keep chirping away at your agent in order to get yourself put forward for anything possible. They are there to help get you work, make sure they are working just as hard as you!
One thing I do want to make clear though, is that working with a voiceover agency is not a necessity by any means. While it can be a handy, there is plenty of solid work out there available without the help of an agent. If you look online you can find a few companies that help you find voiceover work. They don’t work as ‘agents,’ they simply list jobs online for you to apply for. If you’re serious about being a voiceover artist, it can be an easy and cost-effective way to get some extra work, on top of your own self generated work.
Building a relationship is an underestimated aspect of the business. If you’re doing a job for someone, really strive to make it the best you can and connect with them on somewhat of a personal level (don’t overstep the mark though, they aren’t looking for a stalker!). Doing this will drastically improve your chances of them referring you to anyone they know who needs a job done, or at the very least, allow you to obtain a good reference which you can flash to prospective employers. So try to avoid becoming a diva just yet, hold off until you become successful!
Experience is another side to the job. When starting out you may find that you need to work a couple of jobs for free. While this sounds like exactly the opposite of what you want to do, it’s a vital step. It will enable you to build contacts and get a couple of additions to your show-reel which can be used to send out to producers to garner interest. Also, there’s the aspect of you feeling confident enough while recording.
Working from home as a remote voice-over artist removes the need to be nervous, as you can record within the sanctuary of your own walls. However, some jobs will require you to go into a studio and work with people. This can be very nerve-wracking. You feel all eyes on you, you have to perform, and unless you’re recording a voice-over for a 1920s Charlie Chaplin movie, you’re going to need to speak! The best way to get used to this is simply just getting experience. A couple of jobs and you’ll get the hang of it. Learn just to trust your voice. That is how you really start making headway in this industry.
The voice-over industry isn’t one that can be cracked within a month, or maybe even a year. It requires dedication and belief that you can be the best. If you consistently put the time in, work on your voice and various accents, spend time networking to get your name out there and have that never-say-die attitude; you’ll put yourself in a great position to really make a name for yourself.
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