The key to finding voice over jobs lies in how well you market yourself! The key to landing voice over jobs is your level of preparation and execution. The key to preparation and execution lies in teachability. Outstanding actors and actresses are outstanding because they listen to the director! Even coaches get coaching. I do!
Teachability determines success, especially in the voice over business. Successful voice over talents are directable. They are active listeners who crave to learn and improve, willing to implement the direction given, and strong enough to put their personal opinions aside for the sake of learning something new and delivering what the client wants.
Some of the greatest rewards of being teachable include learning to see the script in a different light, correcting bad habits such as rushing the script and redundancy, and maintaining a humility that keeps one approachable and a pleasure with which to work. I’ve learned that no one is ever too good to stop learning and those who think they are too good to learn are not that good!
Do you mimic the commercials you hear on the radio or TV? What a great opportunity to practice and learn from others who have been cast! Additionally, practice reading all kinds of scripts, listen back to the audio, and record again. It’s amazing what one can learn by simply doing that! Also, take an improv class! Aside from being a ton of fun, its great practice for thinking on your feet, releasing inner creativity, and really getting out of the comfort zone. Further, practice reading scripts that aren’t comfortable for you; it will make the easier ones better!
So how vital is having a quality coach and mentor in voice over work? It’s a must! Like learning an instrument, it takes patience, dedication and commitment. The right coach and a teachable attitude is the difference between playing Jingle Bells and Beethoven’s 5th!
Are you teachable?
Great article…I am starting on the marketing myself.
working on my level of preparation and execution.
and definitely looking for coaching….is a little bit hard to find coaching for a Spanish voice over like me….but i think I am getting very close.
have a great day
You inspire me
Practice makes perfect. It’s something my Grandma told me when I was knee-high to a cornflake. It’s true, though. One thing I do that seems to have increased my ability to read copy is to cold read magazines. Wired, WSJ and others are great for introducing me to different writing styles and pumps my vocabulary. Great article!
As a beginner in voice over field what are there quality and requirement that one should consider in order to become a good voice over talent?
Is proofreading an asset in voice over work? I noticed that “improv” was changed to “improve”. I’m guessing that Spell Check doesn’t have a sense of humor.
Thanks for catching that! Just fixed it. Have a great week! :)
Right as ever, Terry! Starting out, I built a library of pro voices I thought I could emulate, all British English. At first, choosing easy script, I got what seemed a credible result. Then came an audition needing three voices. Doh! And one required an accent which if it came out like a cartoon might have been heard as insulting. Next, a corporate read, needed a far harder edge than comes naturally to me. So now, I challenge myself every day to emulate out of the comfort zone. It’s a lot about getting disinhibited, I find. What about you guys? The more we learn, the more we have available to market.
I’ve done hundreds of commercials during my military and civilian commercial broadcasting career. Never had a coach, although many times I wish I did.
Although I feel that what I produced was good – I know that if I had a voice coach it would have been better. We’re never too experienced to have our work critiqued. One of the days I’d like to say I did an agency spot or a VO for a movie trailer. But, I’d be happy to get some local work to keep this retired guy active. I’d love to hear some production work from those getting started. I always learn listening to others. We all have something to share. Thanks to Terry Daniels for his email. Always informative! Happy New Year everybody!
Thanks Terry for all your time, efforts, the emails and streaming screaming video’s for us to learn what we need to to be like one of you.. take care
Thanks Terry for all your efforts, time, the emails and the screaming streaming video lessons.. so usin’s can work and learn on being more like you..
So, the more you practice the better you can become? However, the coaching what else will it get you. Do you have to find the job before or after coaching? I think one would try and try harder to improve if the employment placement came as an option instead of a promise. I think it’s important to make sure real talent is at it’s peak and has reached it’s commercial contractor or advertiser. If none, of this has been implemented than, I understand how good talent can fall by the waist side. Thanks.
“Perfect practice…makes perfect.” When we reach perfection we can quit practicing. I’m not perfect yet, even after 40+ years. I’m still practicing and getting coached…and learning and growing. If you’re not growing, you’re on your way to dead. Terry shares his experience and his heart for others. For those he shares with, we are blessed.
I couldn’t agree with you more. There have been many times I’ve been stuck in my head and couldn’t get out of the rut. Getting a coach or even colleague listen with a fresh set of ears makes a huge difference.
I would like to add getting involved with local theater group, or an Old Time Radio group it’s great fun and one learns so much by doing it.
I’ve done some radio, TV, many Theater parts; have a strong, pleasant senior (baritone) male voice, and I’d appreciate information on breaking in to Voice Over assignments; that is, whom to contact, and how to submit ( sample commercials, CDs, various markets; how the business works — through Agencies, personal contact, etc.)
Where, How to start?
I have always been interested in doing commercials and voice overs of commercials and narrations. To prove how impressionable I am, I till this very day practice the voice of the commercials on television and on the radio.I like to practice them in various ways and I would like to become a voice over artist in the near future!
I just would like to Reinforce the article. I am new to VoiceOver and now sitting in the studio as I type this comment I am waiting for my coach. I thought I knew enough. “Not” I am learning training in th VO business is always needed and ongoing. Having a professional set of ears, is worth the time and money. it will pay off in the long run.
Hello, I have a very unusual talent for my feminine character and nature, my twin brother calls it a phenomenon, and some people are just shocked, amazed or frighten by it….my baritone voice. Nevertheless, strangely at a young age I started noticing when I would speak people would respond to me negatively because they thought I had an attitude or just plain rude and wicked, but that being not the case I went to great lengths to alter my voice to gain friends and family acceptance especially not hearing my dad constantly saying “you better get that base out of your voice before I give you something to have an attitude about (spanking…which I never got.. Changing my voice to Olive oil or ‘Tweedy bird’). Therefore, over the years of forcing myself to sound higher pitched or sweet and innocent (for my dad sake and my behind) I have stressed my voice box and diaphragm to an unhealthy condition trying to sound like something unnatural do my DNA? My doctor told me I need to see a voice pathologist that I may be able to return to my natural voice in order to relieve the stress. Nevertheless, I use it as a talent and humor sometimes now until it returns permit, but it will cost money that I don’t have, so a few people said maybe you can do Voice Over characters for animated characters, video games, movies, or the voice of GOD!! Wow lol, lol, lol. So can you tell me the 3 W’s of steps to take to get started at minimum cost based on a disability fixed income.
Thank you for your time and efforts and all your endeavors to resolve my dilemma.
Totally what I needed to hear today!
I mimic commercials. I have entertained people with my versions of Carol Channing and the late Marlene Dietrich. I sing Carol Channing’s “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” and Marlene Dietrich’ “Falling In Love Again, I like to duplicate other people’s voices as a challenge.