There are a lot of moving parts, all running at different speeds, needed to put together a voiceover career. It’s not just “step into the a booth, talk, collect a check.” Here, we will break down what a VO career is into digestible parts.
Performance: Not HOW you sound, but what are you DOING with your sound? Do you understand what various genres of VO require? Can you narrate an audiobook, give that conversational read to a commercial, and lead learners through complex language in e-learning? Well, maybe you can’t do all that. That’s fine. Focus on where you excel, but keep learning about the rest. It’s about acting and acting muscle memory. Practice, practice, repeat.
Tech: Do you know what’s wrong with the question, “Which mic will make me sound the best?” (The answer: the mic that makes you sound like you!) Do you have a quiet place to record where sound doesn’t bounce around, or the neighbor’s refrigerator rumble isn’t picked up in your mic? Speaking of mics again, there are a whole range of great mics between $100 and $400 that will make you sound like you and yet aren’t so sensitive you can hear the crickets scratching themselves in the backyard. How about editing, proofing, processing…do you know how to do that? What DAWS will you use? (What’s a DAWS?)
Business: What about a business license, state registration, accounting software, invoicing, marketing, a logo, business cards, a website, thank-you notes, and taxes (federal and state)?
Yep, there’s a bunch to do, but the good news is, you don’t have to do everything at once! Focus on performance first. Then months later, when you’re ready to make your first demo, start thinking about the tech stuff, and gradually, the business side of things.
The secret: make lists. As issues come up in class, write them down, but don’t stress about them. Just know that eventually, when the time is right, you’ll come back to your list and start checking things off.
Stay calm. Stay open to learning. And voice on!