Here at The Voice Market, we receive quite a few emails a week from across the globe from voice talent looking for representation with us. Some are experienced voice actors with decades of work behind the mic (and it shows). Others are at the beginning of the journey and reaching out for pointers and suggestions how to better their chances. To assist newer voice over artists I’ve interviewed some of our existing voices for some insight into how they got where they are.
This interview is with Andy… down on the site as 35+ (don’t tell anyone – he’s a tad older shhh!)…. Hard Sell, Energy Read. I worked with Andy about ten years ago at a radio station where he was an Imaging Producer and Voice Actor on the side. He was one of the first male voices I approached when I set up the site in 2011.
We had a good chat… and below is some gold for budding voice talent looking to get a foot in the door.
Carl (June 2014)
“Andy” from The Voice Market
Me: So hi Andy, just curious how long you have been a professional voice over for?
Andy: Give or take, it’s been around 20 years now.
Me: You get a fair amount of work voicing Hard Sell spots around the country, would that be your preferred style? And what would you say are your voice strengths?
Andy: I have a fairly broad range, my strengths would be my versatility and ability to mimic something I hear. Hard sell is something that comes naturally to me… too much loud music and bands in my back catalogue.
Me: So how did you become a voice talent in the first place?
Andy: It was a natural progression from working in Radio as a producer really.
Me: So that would have helped you get a foot in the voice over world?
Andy: Yeah, I’ve worked in the radio and recording industry for nearly 30 years, I have been lucky to have worked with and learned from some great people in my time. As a commercial producer myself, I know what to do to get the best performance from myself and the artists I work with. So that definitely helped
Me: So in your experience, what three things do you feel a voice talent must possess to be successful in this profession?
Andy: So many things need to come together at once. One of the most important would be the ability to take direction. You obviously need good diction and tone with your voice. And I’d say “believability” in your read would be vital, people need to buy into what your saying without doubting you.
Me: What do you like most and least about doing voice overs?
Andy: I love hearing a well produced, well written, powerful spot that is really effective for the client. I don’t like overwritten, cliché filled or generally poorly written copy that you just know won’t work.
Me: So what advice would you give anyone hoping to get into voice over acting?
Andy: As with any talent you want to master, practice, practice, practice! Use your smartphone and record yourself reading magazine copy out loud, that is good for getting a feel for how you sound… and if you have young kids, the nightly bedtime story is a good time to work on your dramatic skills! You have to have the miles under your belt to build that believability.
Me: So, say you have the basics under control and are ready to start finding professional voice over work, how can you find on going work in Australia (or internationally).
Andy: My first tip would be to make sure you get together a good quality demo, keep it short, no longer than 2 minutes…and start emailing! There are many voice over agencies these days, web based, live in the flesh and the like. Let them know you exist. But you better make sure you are ready to go. There are so many “wannabees” out there who have been told they have a great voice, who would just not cut it in the professional voice over world. You can always call up local radio stations and talk to their creative department. If you do manage to get some voice work, be as professional as possible, be nice and realize you’re not the biggest thing in the room…. humility goes a long way. Also if you are recording at home, not in a studio, invest in a good quality microphone and make your recordings as clean as possible, get your recordings done as quickly as you can and if you are going to be delayed, always let them know.
Me: Thanks for your insights Andy, appreciated muchly indeed. So can you suggest any resources people can follow up to improve their voice abilities?
Andy: Check out “voice agencies” on the web and listen to the demos of the pros. See how you compare. Look for training options, courses, volunteer at radio stations. It’s a lot of hard work getting noticed, but a lot of fun too. So if you ever get the chance to stand behind a mic… enjoy it and be thankful.
Me: Thanks Andy.