Tips for voiceover artist (actor) coming to Hollywood.
The possibilities that arise from being a voiceover artist is endless; Video games developers need voiceover artists to give their characters more humane presentation, Authors need voiceover artists to record audiobooks for their novels and books, car manufacturers, Movie (cartoon) producers, radio stations, etc. all need them to add their voice to their productions at some point. Anyone can be a voiceover artist. There is absolutely nothing stopping anyone from being a voiceover artist except your voice and how fluent you are; language constraints might arise at times. YouTube video bloggers practice voiceover acting most times as they release videos that do not give the audience any clue who owns the voice they are listening to.
Average voiceover actors get paid around $50-100 for about 20 seconds recording, that’s is huge compared to what an average freelance writer gets when writing an article that takes them more than 20 minutes! It is not surprising then to see why there are many voiceover artists. This article will walk you through how to kick-start your Voiceover career and make it big in Hollywood.
Anybody can sit behind an audio recorder and say a few lines. The difference between them and voiceover artists is the level of training. Voiceover artists are involved in a large number of scenarios – from commercials to jingles to movie making, etc. All these actions require a particular amount of training to prepare you for any case you found yourself with. The best way to make it big in Hollywood is by shadowing someone with enough experience. Having a good tutor/coach to help you develop your skills will propel your voiceover career and help you stand out.
Your coach will be able to point out the differences between different scripts and the kind of format you are to follow. As much as voiceover is all about your imaginations, receiving good training will prepare you for the hustle and bustle of Hollywood voiceover acting.
Pick a Niche.
Voiceover acting has many branches. They include but not limited to:
Movies voiceover acting – genres that fall into this category include dubbing roles for movies that were made in another language (translating) and cartoon voice-overs. This is perhaps the toughest branch as it involves you to portray the character’s emotion without the use of body language.
Advert voiceovers – this is the easiest of them all. It involves doing voiceovers for commercials or jingles.
Educational voiceovers – Authors (especially novel writers) employ voiceover artists to make audiobooks for their books; this is due to the fact that many people prefer to have the book being read to them to reading them.
So pick a niche for your voiceover career and stick to it.
Build your portfolio.
Undergoing training or not, a voiceover artist who wants to be successful has to create a portfolio. There two ways to do this;
Demo recordings: You can start by listening to jingles, promos, etc. and making new versions of it – recreate them! You should however not claim ownership of the content and should clearly state in the recording that it is just a remake.
Admittedly it’s going to be a bit difficult but you have to try to make your own personal recordings, what you feel like there should be a jingle or advert for, express your creativity in those recordings.
Get jobs: The amazing part about being a voiceover artist is that there is no shortage of work. In my opinion, there is nothing better than being asked how many years’ experience you have in voiceover acting and actually having an answer that is impressive. One way of honing your skill is to get jobs. There are various freelance organizations that allow you to create a profile and start making voiceovers for people. The money you make from this would probably be small but the benefits of what you stand to gain should be your motivation.
Your portfolio is the magnet you are going to use to attract agents that are recruiting and clients in need of a voiceover act. Your portfolio will also show your creativity and show potential clients you are worth the investment.
Ace your auditions.
In the case of voiceover acting, auditions refer to recordings you send to win over a client and get a job. As easy as this sounds. Many voiceover artists fail at this stage and the end result is their recording not making it to the client who would appoint them. I would like to state my reasons for saying this. The recording you sent which is going to be used for your audition does not go straight to the client’s table, instead, it is going to be reviewed by the scriptwriter whom the client gave the job of writing the script. There are some things you should note here;
Once he listens to your recording and finds out you missed the theme of the script, you are out
Tip: Make you study the script and fully digest what the script is asking for before doing the recording
Should you pass the first stage i.e. you fully interpreted the script, the next thing he will scrutinize your voiceover recording for is how audible and grammatically correct you are.
Tip: Ensure you pronounce the crucial points in the script well; failure to do this is tantamount to being rejected. Do your best! It’s that simple.
Once you pass these tests, the next thing is for the client to decide who he wants to sign. Even if you miss out on the gig, there is always a chance that the next time the client needs something done, he would contact you.
Market and Network yourself.
No matter how skilled you are, without a proper network or marketing, you won’t get job offers. Try and look up professional voiceover artists in Hollywood and ask for mentorship or advice. Build connections in the industry. Portray yourself in a good light by making your voiceovers as professional as you can get it to be.
Voiceover acting is a very lucrative career when done right. Follow these guidelines and you would find yourself recognition in the Industry – just what you need to be Hollywood level.