An insight into the world of the working voice over artist!
Ever wondered what we voice over artist peeps actually do? What does it involve? I’ve often been asked this by a whole range of people, including professionals in the corporate and creative worlds, but also friends and other people I meet on a daily basis. I think people think that we just wait for the phone to ring, someone picks us up in a taxi and off we speed to the studio to speak a few words and then whoosh! We’re whisked away again, and get paid a fortune….yeah right…:>) Well, I thought I would give you an insight into one of my weeks recently…
I voiced a complete array of projects:
The Commercial voice over
Provided the voice over for a commercial which needed to be voiced, edited and returned to the client within hours.
Audio book character voice over
I already had an Audio Book project booked in to record that week, a really interesting and fun project, and I always enjoy doing Audio Books . This involved devising 2 female character voices for a fully dialogued audio book, one young girl, and a middle aged Queen with a post-nasal drip – lovely, I get all the glamorous jobs!
E-learning voice over
I then had some short phrases/passages to record for a long term ongoing educational media project.
Internet video voice over
I voiced an online web infomercial , on a client’s product range, involving mapping/editing my voice to their Web Video – not as easy as it sounds! In between projects when I had a moment, I voiced short web videos on a large scale, promoting client properties – exhausting!
Radio Advert voice over
There was one radio advert in my inbox, asking me to be the voice over for a short advert. Now, with radio ads, you need to be on the ball, and be able to turn these around fast.
Corporate / technical voice over
What often happens is that you get last minute requests (Fridays seem to be popular), such as voicing a Corporate DVD / Web Video – a very technical read, full of awkward jargon, names and places, and requiring accurate pronunciation skills, and a reasonable level of intelligence to understand it and assimilate the information as quickly as poss! Technical reads invariably take slightly longer because of this. Sometimes they film the video and then decide they need a voice over – but yesterday – in steps moi!
That lovely, glamorous voice over studio booking!
Wah hey, here we go, that lovely studio booking I mentioned at the start of this post,when you imagine we get booked just like that, whisked off in a taxi, have everyone tell us how wonderful we are, give us coffee and buns, then say just a few words into the microphone and get paid a fortune? Having got the booking we get ourselves to the studio and even get a coffee and biscuits but then it’s a full day of focus and concentration. We do get lunch and plenty of breaks, which is always welcome – and necessary to keep the energy and concentration going!
Voice over enquiries and quotes
In between all of this there is answering enquiries, providing quotes, one being for a TV commercial on Channel 4 (TV Commercials are great jobs to bag!), plus the ongoing self-promotion that we have to do as a one person business: that’s marketing, including your website/blog , and networking activities – both online and face-to-face, getting out there face-to-face meeting people.
Admin admin admin!
Every time you do a job of course, you need to invoice the client and chase payments. For this, you need to have good admin and organisational skills to keep on top of it.
Managing/working the voice over recording facilities!
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I also have my own recording and editing facilities, and there are always new things to learn on the editingfront. Having some teccie/sound production skills is a bonus here!
There, I hope this has given you an insight into a voice over artist’s world. There can be a lot of variety and many interesting voice over projects to become involved with, and it can be a great life.
And one last thing, don’t think that things always run as smoothly as that particular week; sometimes it can be like the Marie-Celeste – is there anybody there??! When the only ringing sound you’ll hear in your ears is definitely not the phone – it’s that old actors adage ‘my agent thinks I’m dead’!