There are a few tools that are critical for a career in voice over. Tool number one is the voice over demo. This is your calling card in the industry. The conversation goes like this… you: “I do voice overs”, them: “Send me your demo!” You can be James Earl Jones or Orson Wells but if you don’t have a demo you are not going to be taken seriously. The demo to start with is a commercial demo. This can be used to obtain work in a variety of areas: commercials, narration, telephone systems, in-house announcements, etc. A commercial demo is a recording that is under two minutes with from 5 to 10 small commercial segments back to back. Each segment is fully produced with music and sound effects to give a sample of what you sound like selling a variety of products. Many performers don’t realize the wide range of uses a demo has. Let’s look at how you can use your voice over demo to further your career. Continue reading
Sometimes auditioning feels like shooting free throws in a pitch dark gymnasium. If you miss you hear the ball bounce off into the darkness. But if you score the rim lights up, signaling your success. Your misses give you no information regarding how you missed or by how far. And your successes signal an achievement and give you a momentary glimpse of the target: you guessed correctly! Continue reading
Today’s voice over talent is required to have their own home studio. And along with the equipment required, you need recording software to actually record sounds to your computer as digital files. One software program I recommend that works just fine for voice over recording is Audacity. In a job where you’re rarely doing more than recording one track of audio it is more than adequate for auditions and jobs.
Along with the basic skills of recording, playing back and exporting your audio, you find very quickly that you need some basic editing skills to clean up your performances and finalize your tracks before export. Here are two editing commands that can speed up your production and improve your final product. Continue reading
One thing I learned very early in my voice over career was that you are a glorified “signal generator” to the clients. I had actually written, edited and critiqued advertising copy as a marketing director for 10 years. So, in an early voice over job, I offered some helpful hints to the client that would make the copy clearer and more effective. Big mistake. I got slammed in a way that would make Hulk Hogan quake with fear. So I quietly whispered to myself, “oops, better not do that again!” And I have continued that tradition up until today. But… Continue reading
Sometimes auditioning feels like shooting free throws in a pitch black gymnasium. If you miss you hear the ball bounce off into the darkness. But if you score the rim lights up, signaling your success. Your misses give you no information regarding how you missed or by how far. And your successes signal an achievement and give you a momentary glimpse of the target: you guessed correctly!
If you’re signed up with the online voice over marketplace VOICE123.COM, thankfully you can get much more information than this. By analyzing the the audition specifications, then reviewing your audition outbox and checking your “My Stats” page you can get a roadmap of where you’re going an banish a bit of that “shooting in the dark” feeling.
And this will help you improve and nail more auditions over time. Continue reading
The Race Is On… And the Winner Is…?
If you’re signed up with the online voice over marketplace VOICES.COM, I’m sure you get quite a few auditions each day. I typically get 15 or so a day in the beginning of the week, and a few less later in the week. I also have my preferences set so I get an email announcing each new audition as it’s posted.
But what if I don’t respond immediately to that audition when it comes in?–let’s say I wait an hour (I mean I do have a life!)… Then, OMG, there may be ninety or so responses to the audition. I honestly feel you can be James Earl Jones and if you’re number ninety-one you have little chance of being considered. So what’s a voice talent to do? Here are some of my strategies. Continue reading