Building and sustaining a career within the voice industry
The world of voice over is an extremely competitive industry and to build and sustain a career requires a lot of time and commitment. Whether you are a novice or a veteran, this article will provide the tips you need. Keep in mind that simply reading these pointers is useless if you don’t apply them to your career. Also remember it is important to make time for your family and friends too. Without a personal life you are less likely to succeed.
If you want to become a writer you must read regularly. The same rule applies to being a regular speaker. It is crucial to build your reading skills so take time out of your day to read out loud for two to three hours. If you are not used to doing this you will require more re-takes which will cost your client time and money.
Find your niche
Due to the popularity of the Internet there is more competition than ever in the voice acting profession. Voice talents can now work from their own home studios. While this is good news, (you don't have to head to L.A to be the next big thing) it does mean that being jack-of-all-trades simply won't cut it, clients will be looking for the best man for the job. Therefore it is important to find your niche. The majority of successful voice actors have a niche whether it is impersonating child-like voices for anime or being able to voice villainous monsters. Find that niche and hone it.
It is important to find your niche but if you haven't quite found it then experiment. Audiobooks have become a prominent part of voice-over work. If your strength is in producing a slightly flat, storytelling tone then this could be the area for you. Even if you decide voicing Audiobooks is not what you want to do, you will have gained excellent experience in reading scripts and that can only serve to help you in the studio.
If you want to be successful you have to view voice acting as a serious profession. Of course, it is vital that you love what you do but don't forget that a career in voice work requires a lot of training, expense, energy and dedication. Part of being a professional is opening your mind to new ideas. You might be set on a particular voice but if your client wants it changed you must be ready to adapt your voice to meet their needs.
Don't produce your demo until you are fully confident in your abilities. Your demo will cost money and if you rush into it you may come to the daunting conclusion that you need to redo it. Ensure that you have received sufficient training first. Whether you are new to the industry or an oldie- you must find time to train and improve.
Avoid being self-conscious
In order to achieve a successful performance you must approach the mic with confidence when entering the voice over recording studio. Don't become under-confident because you are playing a character. Put your focus into the performance itself. Memorizing the first line of a script is an excellent way of ensuring that you can instantly take control of the flow of your character's conversation. Remember this before stepping up to the mic.
Connect with your audience
If you get voice-over work that involves advertising a product, remember that the idea is to build an emotional connection with your audience and not to outright sell the product. If the audience becomes aware that you are trying too hard to make them spend money then the game is over.
Hank Azaria's Moe sounds great, when Hank Azaria performs him. You don't become successful by being a tribute act. Alfred Hitchcock is considered an auteur because every film he directed had that unique Hitchcock stamp to it. You need to achieve this with your voice. This certainly does not mean keeping the same voice for everything you do, but it does mean finding your niche and adapting it.