Voices Insiders—A Year in Review and What to Expect Next
The Voices Insiders program has grown beyond a simple monthly-survey-turned-blog-post. It’s brought together a group of voice actors from all different specialities and with different experience levels. Everyone’s perspective enriches the discussion far beyond what we originally imagined.
There is trust here. There is a chance to speak freely and frankly. With no holding back, the Voices Insiders shed light on the topics from a real-world vantage point. Each response has been simultaneously unique yet echoed by other respondents with their own perspective—a recurring phenomena that the Voices Insiders have also picked up on.
To provide one last opportunity for the Insiders to speak candidly about their experiences as Voices Insiders, we created an anonymous survey. We learned that what the Voices Insiders love most about being a part of the survey is seeing how the others answered the same questions when the article is published. They recognize that their opinions are both unique and shared which, over time, has given way to more lengthy responses, more nitty gritty details, and more excitement about seeing how exactly others are doing similar tasks.
“The ‘trying’ is probably the biggest mistake I’ve made with my conversational reads in the past. Sometimes, if I try too hard to sound conversational, it will come off as forced and stiff-sounding. Take a breath! Watch something funny or do some yoga to relax before recording your conversational read and it will sound more natural.”
When we covered tips for writing great proposals when responding to job postings, Chloe Taylor reminded us that a voice actor brings valuable expertise to the table and can hold confidence in that. In her response, Chloe highlights the partnership between talent and client, even if for the most fleeting of projects!
“You must think of yourself as an expert with your own business, as opposed to an actor hungry for work. If you speak/write from this perspective, you’ll be more likely to communicate your policies, rates, and workflow confidently. And you’ll also help the client considerably. So many clients are new to voice casting, and talent can have different methods of working, so a confident talent will be an effective tour guide in the world of voice over.”
When we talked about live directed sessions and tips for helping them run smoothly, Kristy Reed responded generously, offering a step-by-step approach to live-directed sessions that has been working wonders for her.
“I always begin my session with new clients asking how they prefer to run the session (if they don’t ask me first). My preferred order of session is to do a full read of the script that they can make notes on and then break down the script section by section, slating each take. At the end I love to give another full read after I have heard how they like each section delivered. For short lines, I give three variations of the line in each take. Always close your session by clarifying how they would like the file edited and delivered.”
When we ventured into productivity apps and workflows, Lenore Hume took the conversation another direction with her recommendation of using Hootsuite for maintaining a social media presence more productively.
“Hootsuite is a fantastic social media scheduling tool that lets me publish throughout the day when I’m not always available. I’ll post ‘Things I Learned in VO this Week,’ testimonials from clients, and samples of the work I’ve voiced. This helps keep me visible in the voice over community and allows me to connect with industry folks and potential casting directors.”
“I avoid gigs that I don’t think fit me as a person. Sometimes I’ll read something and think ‘I don’t want my voice on that,’ or that I don’t think my heart will be in the audition.”
His contribution encourages other voice actors to be selective in a way that goes beyond matching just the creative brief, availability, etc. And that sort of openness is what helps voice actors find their voice—pun intended—in their business management.
Regardless of the topic, the Voices Insiders all pass along encouragement to other voice actors through their ability to share openly and authentically on topics so closely related to the career of voice over. If you’ve missed any editions of the Voices Insiders this year, here is a roundup for you!
How the Voices Insiders Program Will Grow with the Voice Acting Community
Being a Voices Insider means being a stakeholder in the types of topics about which we converse. This month’s survey brought to light the topics the Voices Insiders want to touch on next year as well as the topics they want to revisit.
We always look at a voice actor as a professional on a three-legged stool— one leg of artistic expression, one leg of technical skills, and one leg of business savvy. You can expect that next year’s Voices Insiders program will build on those three areas:
- More hands-on tips for marketing yourself as a voice actor through social media to potential clients and not just other voice actors (although we’re huge proponents of the collective love within the VO community).
- Digging deep into quoting and pricing your voice over jobs. We’ll look into the characteristics of a voice actor and the components of a job to understand how different experience levels and different specialities within the industry quote for jobs.
- The different business management strategies the Voices Insiders use to manage the many facets of their voice over businesses—managing a book of clients and outreach activities, keeping track of invoices and renewals, and more.
- Talking through how virtual and in-person events impact a voice actor’s ability to grow and expand their skills in any or all three of the areas mentioned above.
Lastly, we’ll be switching up the format of the Voices Insiders articles by incorporating video responses to the questions we ask by leaning into activity- or scenario-based questions to get a variety of perspectives on the same scenario, and more!
Gift yourself, and subscribe to our blog to bring the Voices Insiders pieces straight to your inbox every month! Want to become a Voices Insider? Fill out this short survey and we’ll be in touch when opportunities become available!