Being a great singer doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be a great voice-over (VO) artist, but remember: Working With Your Voice (shameless book plug!) is always a great thing. By utilizing the skills you already possess – and learning new ones – you may find yourself with a second career!
Here are three fabulous reasons to be a VO artist:
Doing VO work can make you a better studio singer.
The converse is true, too. Having a studio singing background offers a more natural segue into VOs. Live singers needn’t freak out – you can do this.
Having a studio singing background offers a more natural segue into VOs.
Start gathering studio experience, ask friends with studios to let you come over, barter singing work for engineering lessons. Spending time on a microphone is crucial to VO success.
Also, get familiar with how your speaking voice sounds. Can you speak VERRRRY clearly? Register lots of emotion? Minimize your accent? Create funny voices? Start listening to VO. Lots of actors do them: Neil Patrick Harris, Alec Baldwin, Claire Danes, Mila Kunis. Why? Because they have the chops.
Getting VO work allows you to generate more income. Duh!
Once you have a rig and microphone – and can use them proficiently – you can go anywhere and still work, as long as it’s quiet. But where to find jobs, you ask? There are lots of VO sites, but Voices.com has some wonderful articles for you.
Keep in mind that you’ll need at least one VO demo reel. VO demos are generally no longer than a minute (unless you’re creating an audio book reel, which should be around five minutes long). In order to show different sides of your personality and cater to clients with short attention spans, it’s good to record several.
Procuring regular VO work can broaden your creative horizons and allow for more personal freedom.
We singers love singing as much as we love breathing. But we also love eating, drinking and buying shoes – and the extra income might help! You may start off doing non-union jobs, get an agent and book an animated TV series. You may discover that you enjoy voice acting and decide to pursue other types of acting work.
Take some time to see who you are as a voice artist: a chameleon with a million different voices? A sexy, sultry siren? An authoritative announcer? An animated audio book reader? Once you decide upon your strengths, explore them! Who knows? Maybe you can make money being creative, choose your own hours and travel while you’re working with your voice… and why not?
Jaime was a Musical Director, coaching voice and performance for Disney and wrote “Working With Your Voice: The Career Guide to Becoming a Professional Singer” (Alfred Publishing). As a session singer, she ‘jingled’ for Coke, Pillsbury, Folgers, Chevrolet, and hundreds more. She’s sung on thousands of live gigs (covers and original music) and toured for years with Leon Russell and Sam Moore. Jaime sang BGVs live and digitally with George Strait, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Webb, Miley & Billy Ray Cyrus, Johnny Mathis, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Willie Nelson and others. She performed off-Broadway in “Search: Paul Clayton”, toured nationally with “Old Jews Telling Jokes” and presently coaches students in voice, performance, beginner guitar/piano, studio singing, songwriting and auditioning in NY, CT, LA, Nashville and virtually. For bookings: www.workingwithyourvoice.com