When people ask me for advice on how to get into voice overs, they often want a simple two sentence answer. Of course even two pages is not enough. Whole books have been written on the subject and, whilst many of them are extremely useful, you are still left with the feeling you need to know more.
One of the features of the industry is that it is in a constant state of flux – genres come in and out of fashion. Take audioboooks; these were once the preserve of leading actors and personalities such as Martin Jarvis, Miriam Margolyes and Stephen Fry. But now there are so many books published every year (in excess of 100,000 in English alone) that demand for narrators has skyrocketed. You could make a similar case for videogames and explainer videos which only existed (if at all) on a small scale a few years ago.
If you bought a ‘how to’ book back in 2005, chances are you would need to buy yourself a new, revised copy… if there is one.
Crystallising everything I know about voice overs into some bite-sized chunks of knowledge would be impossible; in fact even though I have produced a number of blogs and videos on the subject, I feel I am only just starting to scratch the surface. So when the nice folks at VoicesUK asked me to write a Beginners’ Top Ten Tips, I knew it was going to be a tough call. Perhaps 100 maybe? How about a 13 part series?
So please take my list as a basic introduction. Some of you will be thinking ‘tell us something we don’t already know’, whilst others may think this is all there is to know. It isn’t. There is so much more. Notwithstanding, and after a cup of strong Earl Grey and a jam tart (well two actually), I have produced the following pointers. Let us scratch that surface together.
In no particular order:
Unlike the original Ten Commandments, mine are not set in stone, but I hope they give you some useful ideas. Other voice over professionals may make different suggestions, so (as I mention in point 4) learn from the industry’s key players as well.
Be inspired and go for it – your career as a British voiceover artist is just around the corner!
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