Some people have a simple conception about voice over work. They think you just show up in a studio and talk like a funny squirrel for a few hours and then cash your enormous paycheck. The voice over life is bit more complicated. It's like starting your own business and you're the product.
But your also the coach, the CEO, the marketing manager, the bookkeeper... Heck nowadays you're even the casting director and the engineer. It's not hard but you have to be able to wear several hats. Let's look at these responsibilities.
Your number one responsibility of course is to perform voice over scripts as a voice over talent. As you progress in this field you'll find that there are a variety of voice over jobs out there. These can be narration, commercials, animation and more specialized work like TV promos, movie trailers, and audiobooks.
You have to be trained to excel in each of these areas so don't just jump in. Take some voice over classes or get some voice over coaching so you know what is expected of you. Put together a quality voice over demo reel. Then you can take the plunge and earn while you learn.
As a voice over talent you are usually a private contractor. You have to perform for voice over agents, casting companies and online casting. You also have to record and deliver various jobs you win. So you're the boss of you.
You need to organize your time, stay on top of the tasks required of you and make sure things get done. And, yes, there are mornings when you have to kick your own rear end to get your self started.
More and more voice casting is moving online through the internet. All of online voice over casting works this way. Even voice over agents are emailing audition scripts to their talent. The talent records the audition at home and returns an MP3 file of the performance to the agent. In this brave new world you gain the convenience of auditioning from home on your own time schedule.
But you also become your own casting booth director. You need to interpret what type of performance the client is requesting, perform the audition to match this requirement and then evaluate your performance to make sure you're delivering what the client requires. You have to self-direct.
For most auditions and many voice over jobs you will also be your own recording engineer. It's not that complicated because you're only recording one track of your voice. But you need to produce broadcast quality auditions and jobs.
You should create your own home voice over recording studio so you can participate without leaving the comfort of your home. Nowadays this can be done for a few hundred dollars.
So you audition, you book the job, you record the project, you upload the files and the client says... Send me an invoice. Remember you're not doing this for fun. It's a business and you want to get paid for your efforts. So you have to learn the basics of invoicing and accounts receivable.
You also need to keep track of expenses. The easiest way to do this is with a bookkeeping software such as QuickBooks. The less you're interested in money, the more you need to keep track of it. You did the job--make sure you get paid.
Voice over jobs don't just drop down from the sky. You need to promote yourself to potential clients. They want to know about your skills and availability. So you need to promote yourself to ad agencies, production companies, animation companies, voice over casting, and online casting.
If you've got it, flaunt it. Send you demo out and audition to build you voice over reputation and clientele. Remember you're building a business. Promote yourself!
So you wanna be a voice over star? It can be done. Get solid voice over training. Get a professionally produce demo. Set up your home studio and achieve broadcast quality recordings. Market yourself directly in your market and seek the assistance of an agent to give you a wider reach in the voice over marketplace. Take it one step at a time and you'll create you own voice over business!
Good luck and go for it!
And keep talking!
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