September 28, 2023

We hear them on commercials, in audio books, and in the background of online educational and phone app videos. They are voiceover artists — or actors, as they may also be known. You’ve heard the work of a voiceover artist every time you’ve turned on the radio or TV, driven down the highway, or watched an animated film.

In the past, a successful career as a voiceover artist was typically limited to those who could afford to invest in high-quality home recording equipment and hire a sound engineer to help them master it. However, the advent of digital recording and affordable and easy-to-use microphones has opened the field to a much wider audience. In addition, the demand for voices continues to grow as more consumers turn to audiobooks and online education and use phones with their own voice-activated interfaces.

A career in voice acting can be lucrative and flexible for those with the right mix of skills. The first requirement for aspiring voiceover talents is to build a portfolio of work called a demo reel. The reel features the talent impersonating various characters based on pre-existing scripts, allowing potential clients to get an idea of what the artist can do. Once a demo reel is ready, talent should contact agencies that specialize in voiceover work to submit it.

Depending on the project, voiceover artists can earn anywhere from $20 to $100 per hour of work. In order to continue honing their skills and securing work, talent must have a strong work ethic, as well as be able to meet deadlines and provide high-quality work. Additionally, the voice is a delicate instrument that requires ample rest to remain in good condition. For this reason, talent should not work more than four hours a day.

A strong articulation is an important skill for voiceover artists to have, as it helps them clearly pronounce all the words in a script. This is particularly necessary when working on projects that require them to read from a script while delivering it aloud.

In addition to the ability to speak and pronounce words correctly, voiceover artists must be able to understand what they’re reading and translate it into their own voice. Moreover, they must be able to convey emotion and character through the sound of their voice.

Another important skill is the ability to improvise, as many projects require voiceover artists to adapt to changes in the script or ad campaign. For example, a director may ask for a more serious or fun tone in an ad campaign, or a studio might need the voiceover actor to deliver a line of dialogue that doesn’t match the scene they are shooting.

Lastly, voiceover talent should have the ability to read quickly and accurately. This is particularly crucial when working on projects with a tight deadline, such as commercials and radio spots. In addition, talent must be able to take direction from the studio and follow instructions precisely to ensure that their work meets client expectations.

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