Whether you’re looking to add a professional touch to your business videos or you want to animate your logo with an exciting, playful voice, voice over artists are the people who can make it happen. Unlike on-camera actors, who rely on facial expressions and movements to convey emotions and character, voice over artists are trained professionals who use their voices to convey a wide range of information and ideas. They work in a variety of industries, including infomercials, commercials, and video games, to record the off-camera narration or dialogue that accompanies many video productions.
Voice over artists come from a diverse set of backgrounds, ranging from experienced actors and singers to radio DJs and podcasters. Some are semi-professionals who pick up gigs to supplement their income, while others pursue a full career in the field and do voice work for a living. Regardless of their background, all voice over artists must have a high-quality, professional-sounding voice that’s easy to understand and resonate with audiences.
They also need to have a good sense of intonation, which is important for interpreting and adapting speech recordings to fit different audio formats. For example, a telephone message and an interview are both speeches, but the intonation in each differs dramatically. A skilled voice over artist can adjust their intonation to match the mood of each recording and create a sense of connection with listeners.
Because of the sheer number of different projects they work on, voice over artists need to be incredibly flexible and willing to adapt to new situations quickly. For example, if an ad agency or movie producer suddenly requests a voice over in a different genre than usual, the voice over artist needs to be ready to rework their previous performance or develop a completely new style.
To be successful, voice over artists must also have a strong work ethic and a lot of persistence. At the start of their careers, it can be hard to find enough gigs to sustain a consistent income. But, by partnering with an agent or a talent agency, building a website with their resume and samples of past work, and networking with major agencies and sources of repeat work, they can build up a steady flow of jobs and eventually become self-employed.
Depending on the type of video, voice over artists may also be required to record a variety of accents and other linguistic variations. This is especially true for video games and commercials, where a variety of languages are often used to appeal to a broad audience. In these cases, it is helpful for voice over artists to be fluent in multiple languages so they can deliver a recording that’s palatable and compelling for viewers around the world.
Voice over artists are a unique group of creatives, and their job can be highly rewarding when they’re able to strike the right balance between flexibility and a well-established career. While some may mourn the loss of the tight-knit community and energetic studio sessions that once defined the industry, the rise of online video platforms means that it’s never been a better time to be a voice over artist.