If you’re interested in becoming a voice over artist, do you know what life is like for those in the industry? Will your days be spent in large studios, surrounded by sound engineers, creative directors and well-known clients? Will you be receiving scripts regularly and be able to pick and choose which ones you’d like to do?
Read along to find out what a typical day might look like for a voice over artist. Along the way, you’ll (hopefully) pick up some valuable tips on what it takes to be successful in the industry.
A typical day for a voice over artist
When most voice over artists these days are ready to start their day and begin work, they don’t drive into a recording studio. The studio is ready and waiting for them in their home.
While some voice over artists are, of course, booked for sessions in large commercial studios, most have their own studio set-up at home. This does have its benefits. For a start, a voice over artist can live virtually anywhere in the world (and can work in their pyjamas if they want!)
Speaking of studios, a typical day of a voice over artist isn’t necessarily spent mostly in one. A voice over artist is essentially a small business owner, and there is work away from the microphone that they need to take care of. Things like emails, accounting and invoicing.
They also need to do quite a bit of marketing and networking. As voice over artists will tell you – one of the keys to being successful is the ability to sell yourself and being prepared to build up connections within the industry.
In a typical day, a voice over artist may also head off to an acting class or join in with a local theatre group. The ability to act is one of the most important skills of voice over artists and many in the industry regularly undertake classes and other activities to improve their acting ability. Reading a script without sounding as though they are reading is crucial!
When it is time to head into their (home) studio, it might not be to record a final TV or radio commercial, a corporate video or eLearning content. Auditioning is a very important part of a voice over artists’ day, so that they have work for the next day and the day after that.
Once the studio time is complete, most voice over artists will also edit their own work. Even short voice overs need more than one take, so having the ability to do basic editing of your voice over – before it’s uploaded to an audio engineer – is invaluable.
When starting out, voice over artists need patience… And another job
One thing that should be pointed out is that the above depicts what could be a relatively typical day of a voice over artist. Of course, all voice over artists are different, so their days will also be very diverse.
What is important to note is that when starting out, you’ll be doing more sitting around waiting than working and you need a lot of patience. In fact, most voice over artists need another job when they’re starting out in the industry, such is the up and down nature of the work for those finding their feet.
However, don’t let that deter you. The voice over industry can provide a great career for those with the right skills (e.g. good reading skills, the ability to read out loud fluently and clearly, and the ability to change your tone, pace and other characteristics to suit). As we’ve said, it’s also vital that you can read a script – without sounding like you’re reading it!
If you’re passionate about being a voice over artist, start, stick at it. Practice makes perfect!