Getting Started as a Voice Actor

4th January 2019

Are you looking to getting started as a voice actor and looking to be in the voice over industry? Voice over work can be rewarding, but how to get started.

A voice over actor working in the studio As you may or may not know Actors Spotlight is now accepting voice over credits.  That’s also great if you are already a Voice actor with or without a voice over agent. You don’t have to learn the script, (but preparation is key) and there is a ton of amazing work out there – from radio and television commercials, audiobooks and video games. But beyond recording a voice demo and emailing and calling a list of agents, where do you begin?

Like your actors headshots, your voice over demo is your calling card as a VO talent. So,  get organised and ready. It’s a very tough business to get into.

Record a Demo Voice Reel

Don’t record your own VO demo showreel on your iphone. Like a headshot, your demos are a calling card for yourself as a professional.  But for the actual professional, talk to as many people as you can about who they recommend – listen to demos on voice agency websites, and work out what works and what doesn’t – and only then book a session. it’s important to do some training first – the person recording your demo will give you direction on the day, but they won’t have the time to teach you the fundamentals.

Extra voice over training

There are some great Voice Over organisations that offer help and advise as webinars and workshops for actors at all levels of experience. These are vital places to learn about the industry, meet and talk with like-minded people, enter into conversations on everything from rates to performance techniques to equipment and so much more. For example check out my buddies @ Gravy for the Brain and see. They offer on line courses.

Voice actor and voice over agents

When looking to apply for a voice over agent the best approach would be to make sure that you have the demo reel professioanlly done. Make sure the submission is followed to the letter to avoid being deleted. Make sure you check out the agencies submission policy in full.

For example Simon Cryer at DGV Voice Agency suggest the steps are followed as below re Voice Actor Submissions:

STEP 1 – YOUR DEMO

Do you have a professionally produced demo? If not, please don’t call us, do your research, have a demo made and then follow the steps below.

STEP 2 – LISTEN

Listen to the voices on our books already. If we already have one or two voices similar to yours then the likelihood of us representing you is pretty low. However, if you think that we have a gap in our roster that you could fill then you can submit your voice to us.

STEP 3 – SUBMIT

To submit your voice to us you must follow the procedure below in full. We do not accept representation requests via email – they will be automatically deleted.

STEP 4 – PATIENCE

Be patient – we will not rush into making decisions about adding voices until we are 100% positive that they are right for our clients or potential clients. If we don’t offer you representation it is most likely because we feel that you’re not right for the kind of clients we work with.

Once a decision has been made we will not enter into any discussion about why we made that choice, again, we simply do not have the time. The voiceover world is highly competitive and thus we have to ensure the voiceover artists we represent are right for the current trends in advertising and other sectors.

Looking for voice acting work and VO work

Despite the fact that some people moan about Pay-to-Play (P2P) sites, such as voices.com and voice123.com, they have and do provide a lot of work to a lot of voiceover actors. The pay to play sites enable casting directors to get people from anywhere in the world – not bad! The are relatively easy to use and offer a simple but effective service. And they often offer free introductory opportunities, but are most effective when you register for a yearly subscription (usually for about $395).

What next?

Make sure above all you know what your casting voice type is. Not easy. But have a look at some of the leading Voice Over Agency sites such as SMVoices, Damn Good Voices and many more to give you an idea of what the submission criterea is.

You need to show a decent range on your reel, but you shouldn’t try to do everything. Your reel should represent a consistent “you” or basically your own voice in different situations. It’s important to sound genuine, as that is very desirable in a voice over artist. Try and steer clear of showing off all your accents and characters on your first reel – establish your own voice first.

Headshots

If you need a new set of actors headshots for a voiceover agent please check out my headshot tips page for more information.

The Actors Centre in London offers great help for actors. Why join?Well check out more on why here!

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