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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 gui...

voice over, career, advertising,how to start voice over career

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.

 

How To Preserve Good Singing Voice

Good professional singers not only have to be fit and healthy to look good for stage performances, they must also know how to maintain and preserve a good singing voice.

You have only one voice and when your voice is damaged permanently, it will probably spell the end of a singer's. Many singers who have not been through professional singing coaching by good singing coaches or attend any singing schools may not even know that they may be damaging their voice.

Many singe...

singing voice, preserve voice

Good professional singers not only have to be fit and healthy to look good for stage performances, they must also know how to maintain and preserve a good singing voice.

You have only one voice and when your voice is damaged permanently, it will probably spell the end of a singer's. Many singers who have not been through professional singing coaching by good singing coaches or attend any singing schools may not even know that they may be damaging their voice.

Many singers also forget that when their singing voice does not feel right and they are not singing effortlessly as they should be, they will have a tendency to compensate with bad and un-healthy singing habits. These newly created or old bad habits may become stuck unconsciously and will have to be unlearned with the right vocal exercises. That is if the singer is aware that such habits are already in existence in the first place.

There are many things you can do to damage your singing voice and sometimes the damage will lead to permanent damage to your vocal chords. Here are some examples of what can harm your voice and there are many more.

a) Constant screaming or talking forcefully all the time. This happens very often if you are singing in a night club environment where you have to speak above the din to be heard.

Making funny voices maybe cute, but you may be doing terrible damages to your vocal folds.

b) Dry air and/or not enough water consumption will dry up your larynx and thus placing too much friction on them.

c) Poor diet, lack of sleep, stress will place more toll on your body and your singing mechanism.

d) Caffeine consumption, alcohol consumption, smoking will also damage your voice.

e) Talking, singing or whispering when you have laryngitis or sore throat. You need to rest your voice when you have a sore throat.

True professional singers must spend a lifetime working to minimize the stresses on their voices. Why should they want to destroy their singing career by being ignorant about what these bad habits can do to their singing?

What is more, if the voice is damaged because of frequent abuse and polyps grow on the larynx, they may even need to go for a surgery to remove the polyps. That will mean a of income and avoidable medical expenses. So you must preserve and maintain a healthy singing voice if you want to have a successful singing career.

 

How To Hire A Voice Over Talent

It's not just commercials on television and radio that need actors to read information off-camera. There are a myriad of ways to use voice to educate, inform, guide, entertain, and, of course, sell. Places where you can use voice over talent include PowerPoint presentations, training videos, eLearning courses, flash introductions, voice mail greetings, on-hold advertisements and website audio messages.

So, look at your media and if you would like to add some zip to your p...

voice over,advertising,hire voice over, freelance voice over, voice over talent

It's not just commercials on television and radio that need actors to read information off-camera. There are a myriad of ways to use voice to educate, inform, guide, entertain, and, of course, sell. Places where you can use voice over talent include PowerPoint presentations, training videos, eLearning courses, flash introductions, voice mail greetings, on-hold advertisements and website audio messages.

So, look at your media and if you would like to add some zip to your presentations then find a competent voice over talent. Here are vital steps that you should take to get the right voice for your job.

1. Search for a Voice Over Specialist Online

You are looking for that perfect voice. Where can you find it? If you are a big company or an advertising agency then you will probably turn to a big talent agency to offer voice over talent for your project. Alternatively, large agencies and companies use www.voicebank.net . This site feeds a description of your need to all the big agencies.

However, if you are a small company you will not be able to afford the union fees that are added on to the cost of hiring actors and voice talent via an agency. Your best alternative is to search online for a free-lance voice over specialist.

Voice 123.com and InteractiveVoices.com are the two main casting portals for voice over. The good news about these sites is that there are thousands of voices in one place. The bad news is that there are thousands of voices in one place!

The problem is of course to find the voice that is best for you.

The voice over portals have a filtering tool so you can find people who have ISDN or home MP3 studios, who can do kids voices or senior citizen voices, etc. However, because these sites are so large, anybody who has ever wanted to do voice over, regardless if they have talent, can sign up and clog your inbox with their bad auditions.

You can widen your choices by searching on Google or Yahoo for "voice over talent." This search will bring up top quality voice over actors’ sites. Usually the very successful voice over artists don't use the voice over portals mentioned above, but just rely on word-of-mouth and the traffic that comes to their well-ranked web sites.

I've been doing voice over for 20 years here in Los Angeles, and I rely on the search engines to bring me serious clients. So, browse the sites and email those whom you'd like to audition for your job.

2. After you have found many voices, you need to choose the best one.

When business folks step into the hybrid world of art and business, they need a way to discern what they are looking for.

Just because a voice sounds smooth or really deep, doesn't mean it will be right for your project. Who is your market? What do THEY sound like? That's a good starting point. Find a voice that sounds like your market.

Once you do that, the next question is, do they sound like they know what they are saying when they read your copy? Are they convincing? Are they natural? Did they follow your directions? If you said in your audition request "need you to be casual" and their recording has them bold and loud, then you might want to avoid them.

3. Determine if the quality of their home recording is up to professional standards. A good voice recorded badly helps no one.

Once you've clarified these things, the right choice will be apparent.

Finally, the last step is to negotiate a price.

Sure, some voice over talent will work for $50. If you find a good voice over talent who will work for that, then their audition was luck, not talent. Any voice over talent worth their salt usually works for fees that hover just under the union minimums. Your savings comes from not having to pay residuals, agency commissions and contributing to the pension and healthcare. You can find union minimums at www.sag.org.

And last, but not least, be nice to the talent. They work alone in dark booths all day!

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