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How to Get into Voice Over

Updated on December 2, 2014

What is Voiceover, Anyway?

Any time you hear words being spoken on radio, the internet, or even in film or television when you don't see anyone speaking, that's voiceover. Voiceover is used extensively in radio and television advertising, in animation, in network television promos, in videogames, even at live sporting events and conferences. Professional voiceover artists called loopers provide background dialogue for crowd scenes for film and television, and sometimes, when editing a film, when a particular actor is not available to overdub a line of dialogue that is unusable for whatever reason, a voiceover actor will be brought in to "voice-match" that actor, blending in seamlessly into the soundtrack of the film. In short, though you never see it, voiceover is everywhere!

How to Be a Voice Actor - the animated video!

Want to Get into Voiceover?

Here are the next steps!

--Take a class. This is the very first thing you'll need to do. There's really no better way to find out if you have what it takes to make it in voiceover than to get behind a mic, read some copy, and hear yourself. Lots of people are drawn to voiceover because they're told they have a great voice, but that's only half the battle. The other half is knowing how to use that voice. Believe it or not, there's a great deal of technique that goes into reading copy, and the best place to learn that technique is in a class. Do your research and find a reputable class near you, preferably one taught by someone with lots of experience in the industry.

--Listen to the radio and television. We're a long way from the time when silver-tongued announcers reigned in radio and TV. Today, it's all about the natural sound. In order to get an idea of what contemporary voiceover sounds like, listen to what's out there right now. And then listen some more. You may be surprised.

--Make a demo. Once you've taken a class and done your research, the next step is to create a demo, one that captures your vocal essence in 60 to 90 seconds. It's imperative you get this just right, because it will be your calling card. We highly recommend doing extensive research to find someone reputable who will help you craft a great demo-there are a lot of people out there who promise the moon in terms of contacts and access to the industry but ultimately can't deliver. Oddly, those people tend to charge a more than anyone else-a lot more. Again, Google is your friend here, so try to find out what the going rate is in your region.

-- Find an agent. Once you've created your demo, the next step is to find an agent. A comprehensive list of agents and their contact information can be found at Voicebank (http://tinyurl.com/2fucfht), or by checking out the Voiceover Resource Guide, at http://www.voiceoverresourceguide.com/. There are a number of agents out there, and they can range from small, boutique agencies, wherein, ideally, you'll get more personal attention; to the large, international agencies, in which you'll be part of a larger pool but will get the cache of being affiliated with an impressive brand.

Voiceover Books on Amazon

How to Be a Voice Over Actor
How to Be a Voice Over Actor

This totally straightforward guide is honestly, the best one we've found if you're looking to just get started in voiceover. It discusses how to find your sound, how to make a demo reel, and how to start working even if you don't live in a major metropolitan area. Awesome!

 

Got a question about voiceover? - Ask away!

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