As more and more companies opt to create videos that rely heavily on voice overs, new opportunities for voice over artists have opened up. Many of these opportunities are not only flexible, but can be very lucrative. From commercials to e-learning courses, audio books and video games, there are plenty of options for aspiring voice over artists to choose from. However, a successful career in voice overs requires more than just a good microphone and a unique sound. The ability to work well under pressure, adapt to client requests, and perform consistently are all vital skills that must be developed to achieve success in this field.
Many people who pursue a career in voice overs come from a range of different educational and professional backgrounds. Some have previous acting experience, while others may be singers, radio DJs or podcasters. A few top voice over artists are able to support themselves solely through this type of work, but at the start of their careers, most are unable to do so. Instead, they tend to supplement their earnings with other types of performance work such as theatrical gigs or work as background actors on films and television.
In the UK, voice acting is officially recognised as a specialised dramatic profession and is supported by the British Actors Union EQUITY. The USA supports its voice over artists through SAG/AFTRA. Both of these organisations have their own audition rooms where members can practice recording voices for various projects and receive feedback. They also offer advice on how to develop and market a career as a voice over artist.
While some voice over actors may reminisce about the tight-knit communities and energetic studio sessions that used to characterise this type of work, the demand for quality voice overs continues to increase as new media industries flourish. As a result, it is likely that many more new performers will join the industry, attracted by the flexibility and potential profitability of this kind of work.
The types of work that voice over artists can expect to do varies considerably, and this is often dependent on the country in which they live. For example, a commercial will typically require a clear, crisp sound, whereas a documentary might call for more of a narrative voice. Some jobs may only need a short piece of narration, while others might be part of an ongoing project like an animation or video game.
It’s important for a beginner to learn as much as possible about the industry before diving head first into it. This includes finding out about the types of projects that are available and learning about the technical aspects of recording. This can include the use of a home recording studio, how to set up an online portfolio and how to get casting calls. It’s also a good idea to begin with a couple of pro bono jobs, in order to build up an actor’s resume and start to get a feel for the work.