Become a Voice Over Artist
The career path of a voice over artist isn’t for the faint of heart. Despite the allure of being your own boss and working from home, this industry is both competitive and fast-paced, with often-times demanding turnaround times. Getting to the top of this field requires a certain level of dedication and skill that is often learned through years of training and professional experience. Many voice over artists have a background in acting, singing, radio, or podcasting, while others come from a variety of professional careers and educational backgrounds.
Regardless of their backgrounds, successful voice actors are characterized by a suite of soft skills that help them stand out from the competition. This includes the ability to take direction without resentment and to work well outside their comfort zones. The ability to listen attentively and understand the scripts they read is also essential. Whether they are recording a commercial for a new car or voicing an e-learning course about mechanical presses, voice over artists must be able to adapt their tone, pitch, and inflection to the specific needs of each project.
Aside from having the right voice and a solid understanding of the craft, voice over artists should be comfortable recording in different environments and using various equipment. They should be able to record both on-camera and off-camera in a studio setting, as well as deliver their lines from a script and an audio cue. Lastly, they should be comfortable with a variety of different recording formats and file types.
In addition to their audio-required skills, voice over artists must also be able to meet the creative requirements of each job they accept. This means being able to adapt their voice and delivery to suit the content of each recording, while remaining true to their own unique style. This is particularly important when working on foreign-language voice over recordings, where the artist may be required to pronounce words in a way that is distinctly different from their natural accent.
The ability to be a team player is another key attribute that voice over artists must possess. They must be able to collaborate with other members of the production team, including directors, dialogue editors, and recording engineers. They must be able to listen to feedback and make adjustments to ensure that the end result is perfect for the client.
For those who are able to fulfill all of the requirements for being a successful voice over artist, this is an exciting and lucrative opportunity. It is not uncommon for successful voice over artists to earn tens of thousands of dollars in a single year, and it is possible to work on projects that are seen by millions of people. This can include NY Times best-selling books, film trailers, and even national television and radio commercials.
To get started, those who are interested in becoming a voice over artist should first learn more about the craft and seek out training opportunities. It is also a good idea to invest in a quality microphone and familiarize themselves with a Digital Audio Workstation (hint: Audacity is free, Reaper is cheap). After that, it’s just a matter of practice, with lots of positive reinforcement and guidance from a professional coach or mentor.