The voice over (VO) is a crucial component of many video pieces and audio pieces. It is often used to provide a running commentary or tell a story in movies, documentaries, and TV shows. It is also a common component of commercials, as well as radio and podcasts. In the past, VO was often done in a studio with actors and recording equipment. Today, however, technology has enabled voice over artists to record and complete jobs from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a high-quality microphone and a computer.
Despite the wide use of voice over in many different types of media, not everyone has a clear understanding of what it is or how to use it. In fact, some people even misunderstand the terms voice actor and voice over artist. While a unique, ear-catching voice is certainly an important asset for a voice actor, it is just one of many required skills.
In order to become a successful voice actor, it’s essential to cultivate your craft through professional training. This can be achieved through acting and voice coaching, listening to established VO professionals, or through self-study. Regardless of the training method chosen, it’s important to always keep improving. For example, when narrating an animated film, it is vital to have a clear understanding of the emotional state of the character. This can be communicated through intonation, pitch, and speed of speech. Additionally, it is essential to know how to pace the narration in order to maintain attention and captivate audiences.
Another critical skill to develop is the ability to read a script quickly. This is especially important when doing a VO for an animation, as it may take some time to complete the entire scene. It is also a good idea to practice reading the script out loud and practicing pronunciations of difficult words, as it will help prevent any stumbles in delivery during the actual recording. Finally, it’s important to be comfortable with a variety of sound levels, as some projects require higher or lower voices than others.
While a strong grasp of these technical aspects of voice acting is important, the most crucial asset for any voice over actor is versatility. The ability to adapt and adjust to feedback from a director, dialogue editor, or recording engineer is imperative, as is the willingness to work outside of one’s comfort zone. In addition, a voice actor should be able to produce a high-quality sounding recording in a short amount of time.
If you want to become a professional voice over artist, it’s a good idea to seek representation from a casting agency. Casting agents will market your talents to recruiters, and they can also negotiate your salary on your behalf. It’s best to find a casting agent that specializes in your desired market, such as radio or movies. Once you’ve compiled a list of agencies that are accepting submissions, follow their protocol to submit your demo reel.