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A great way to supplement your income between acting gigs is by doing some voice-over work. It's so great, in fact, that it's extremely competitive and tough to break into. But if you'd like to try it, here are some steps to follow:
Take a voice acting class. Voice acting takes special skills, and you'll have to learn specific techniques.
Voice acting is real acting. Whether you're doing a voice-over for a commercial or bringing an animated character to life, your skills as an actor will be challenged. There's more to this field than simply making funny voices.
Put together your demo tape. Ask a voice acting coach to help you. Keep your demo tape short — one and a half to two minutes maximum. Record a few commercial segments. Is your voice deep and rich? Try an ad for ice cream. Can you play it sexy? Try a perfume spot. Does your voice ring with authority? Do a medical ad. Then do a line or two of a couple of different character voices.
Don't repeat a voice on your tape and make clear distinctions between each character and scene. Casting directors want to see how well you can vary your own voice, so give them plenty of contrast.
Voice actors need agents, too. Casting directors won't consider you if you don't have representation.
Voice actors must audition. If a casting director likes your tape, you'll be called in for a voice acting audition. Be prepared to be rejected a lot. But if you keep working on your skills and you audition persistently, your chances of landing lucrative voice acting jobs increase exponentially.
If you're putting together a voice tape (and by tape, I mean CD, and by CD I often mean mp3) for radio stations in particular, don't overdose on the characters.
Bread and butter reads are straight voice, and (talking from 20 years experience as a capital city Creative Director) stations place greater importance on flexibility in straight reads, rather than 32 character voices that they might need once a year.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|