If you have an interesting voice, consider putting it to good use by becoming a voiceover artist. This oral actor must be able to convey emotions through his or her voice. There is always a strong demand for talented voiceover artists, which means that if you are good, you can make significant money and have a lot of fun in the process. Specialty voices are always popular. For instance, to sell dog food, a sponsor may need an actor who can sound like what you’d imagine a dog would sound like if they could speak. Selling vodka from Moscow? A Russian voice over artist will speak clear English even though it is heavily accented. You can imagine all sorts of scenarios that require specialty voices.
Here are some steps you can take to gain entry into this interesting profession:
- Practice reading aloud. Read articles that require some kind of voice manipulation. For instance, you can adopt both a narrator’s voice and an “elephant’s voice” by reading “Horton Hears a Who!”, by Dr. Seuss. You can read books with many characters, and supply each character with its own unique voice. This is great practice and great fun. A novel like “War and Peace” can be the kind of challenge you’ll really appreciate. As you get proficient, start volunteering at children’s hospitals and senior citizen centers – you’ll never find more grateful listeners, or more helpful.
- Invest in a recording setup and practice into a microphone. You should spend at least two hours a day recording and listening to yourself as you voice many different characters. Have your friends and family listen and comment on your work. If, after a while, people start begging off, you’ll have some indication that you have limited talent in this area and should perhaps pursue other career goals.
- Record the dialects of other people and practice mimicking. Play your attempts juxtaposed against their real dialects and decide who sounds more authentic. After a while, that should be you.
- Make a recording of your best work and distribute copies to TV and radio stations. Attempt to get work reading commercials for local cable shows. Don’t let rejection slow you down, your big break may be just around the corner.
- Look for companies hiring vocal talent. You can find these kinds of companies in trade magazines, either online or in print and available at libraries or via eBay.
- Hire an agent. He will always be your friend as long as you pay him. Also, join the actors union to avoid hassles.
Good luck on your new career!