How To Start Your Voice Over Career, Part 1
If you have ever been told that you have a great voice, then you may have thought of making use of that great voice in a professional way, as a singer, announcer or as a voice over talent. Voice over, or adding your voice to advertisements and recorded messages, can be a very lucrative field for a trained talent. If you would like to get the training necessary to succeed as a voice over talent then here are a few steps to take. But first before I give the step-by-step guide to a career in voice over, remember one thing: in the commercial world all kinds of voices are needed: low voices, whiny voices, gravelly voices, flat voices and even average voices. So, even if you don’t have a classic “good voice” you can enter the field if you have determination. Here is what you should do.
1. Take Acting Classes: Yes, take acting classes if you are in a major city. Find a course and enroll in it. Why acting classes? You need to know how to create the characters who “speak” in a commercial. Just taking an animation class won't do it. You need to start the process organically. It's not about the voice, yet, it's about the intent beneath the voice that shapes the voice.
2. Take a Voice Over Class After you've opened yourself up for three months in an acting class, time to move into specifics with a voice over class. In L.A., the best resource is http://www.voiceoverresourceguide.com. It lists all the studios as well as all the classes in L.A. At the top are http://www.voicecaster.com and http://www.kalmenson.com.
3. Start Practicing at Home In addition to class, listen to any and every commercial on the TV and radio. Mimic them. Pick up magazines and read aloud the ad copy as though it were a commercial. Get so used to your voice that silence sounds wrong.
4. Find Your Niche Once you've gotten a handle on your instrument - your voice - you need to know what your range is and, by association, what your market is. Are you the classy BMW voice, the GenX hamburger guy, the Don Pardo game show host? You could be all three and more. Knowing all that you can do will help you with confidence and direction when promoting yourself. So, start studying, keep practicing and try to determine where your voice would fit in best. In the next article, I will discuss how to get your demo reel ready and made, how to find an agent, and how to book the job.
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