The Many Genres of Voiceover

The other day, I was talking with someone who was very excited and full of enthusiasm about attending her first voiceover class. She said, Maybe I could become the voice  on a national tv commercial. Of course, that’s what we all dream of. Right? Maybe not all of us, but some of us. I answered her and said, “Well, you could, or you could become the queen of animation and cartoons which is a separate entity within itself, or how about the Go To person for on hold messaging and telephony. Or maybe the queen of corporate narration or the main voice for the Smithsonian museum.”

The possibilities are endless when you begin to discover the many  genres of voiceover.

So now the questions become, What is your niche? What is my niche? Should I do it all or should I concentrate on one area.

After talking with some wonderful coaches who have many different styles of coaching, I have come to these conclusions:

1.  First and foremost, listen to every type of work you can get your hands on whether it be a tv or radio commercial, a narration, the Travel channel or an on hold message for a phone system.

2.  See what draws you in and how you emotionally connect with a particular piece of copy. If your heart is in the spot, you will not be so concerned about sounding like someone else or that voiceover celebrity who is your hero. You will just be you, and you are unique.

3.  Ask a coach who you have established a relationship with, What niche do you see me in.

4. It doesn’t mean that you will be recording one type of voice only, but it means discovering your strongest areas when it’s time to record your demo and getting that demo out and marketing it.

As for me, it took a long time for me to discover how much I enjoy recording health care spots, and as for you, when you find your niche, you will know. Remember, with the many genres of voiceover including the audio book field, the possibilities are endless!

So you want to be a voiceover artist?

About once every couple of months, I have someone who either calls or emails me, asking me, What do I have to do to get in to voice work? The conversation usually goes something like this:

They say:  I’ve had several people tell me that I have a great sounding voice, and that it would be a fun business to get in to. So what do I have to do?

 I myself, have been in voice work for over 10 years, and it’s been quite a journey. I love talking shop and helping people in any way that I can. So the first thing I’d like to say to those of you who have asked this question is this:

Getting in to voice work takes “More Than Just A Voice”, which is actually the title of a book that just came out which was written by Dave Courvoiseier, long-time voice talent and TV News Anchorman, out of Las Vegas. It takes training and coaching, but not just training and coaching as you are first learning the art of doing voice work, but continual coaching throughout your career.

 It takes having a demo produced in a professional recording studio. People have said to me, But couldn’t I just produce my own demo? What is critically important to remember here is that your demo is your calling card, you resume that will go out to producers, agents, and casting directors. So it really needs to be professionally done.

When you get in to voice work, you are starting your own small business. Ninety percent of your work will be marketing your business, and 10% will be recording projects from your home studio or studios in your home area. I could go on and on and on.

When I took my first voiceover class, the bug bit me, and I realized that I have a passion for this work. If it’s a dream that you have, if it’s a passion that you have, I say, Go for it, and see what happens, you’ve got nothing to lose and so much to gain. But like anything else in life, it takes time and work.

Pick up a copy of Dave’s book, “More Than Just A Voice,   The REAL Secret to Voiceover Success”, available on Kindle and paperback by ordering through Amazon.    He has a lot to say about this business.

Whatever your dream turns out to be, don’t give up on it, and good luck!