In the first edition of Voiceover Talk, renown voiceover coach Linda Bearman shares how you can get started in the field of voiceover.
I live in a small town and have heard that I can get into doing voiceover where I live. Is that true? – Anna M.
Yes, it is true. Due to modern technology, a VO talent with a home studio is able to work for any producer anywhere in the world from any location. Voiceover is a global industry.
Everyone tells me I should be on the radio or do voiceover because I have a “great” sounding voice. How do I begin? – Ian K.
First of all, let me explain that the sound of your voice IS special. No two voices sound alike. That is why the term VOICEPRINT is used. Our voice is as unique as our fingerprint. Now that being said, you might possess a sound that has some standout characteristics and yes, sometimes that can give you an added advantage in turning some ‘ears’. The sound of your voice is usually 10% of what makes up this craft. More importantly, it is what you are able to do with that voice. And keep in mind that there are many different voiceover categories requiring different styles and use of the voice.
As with any craft, one must study and train. Developing your voiceover skills & techniques is paramount to success. If you do not live near a metropolitan area that offers classes (typically connected to a university or an acting school), search online for classes and coaches. It is prudent to cross reference, get feedback and investigate the credibility of any coach or program. This is a buyer beware industry and sadly there are individuals teaching who lack education, credibility and or integrity.
You can always begin your investigation by purchasing one of the many good books written on the subject.
Should I read a TV commercial differently than a radio commercial? – Summer R.
Yes. That is a good question. In a radio spot the voice is the star of the spot and in a TV spot, the picture is the star of the spot. Therefore the voice in a TV spot is typically enhancing the picture. The voice is usually less energetic than the delivery you hear on the radio. It is often acceptable to throw some ad-libs in a fun radio spot read. Quite the contrary in a TV spot read. It is expected that you deliver the copy as exactly written.
Should I memorize the commercial script before recording it? – David L.
Absolutely not. A VO actor is never expected to memorize copy. Often times there are many changes made during a recording session by a producer, the advertising agency’s legal department, the “committee” of directors or your own need to make notes on the sides of your copy.
Linda Bearman possesses a rich background in the Performing Arts beginning in Italy at a young age. Her acting studies and performances took her aboard and across the US. Some of Linda’s highlights include work with members of the National Theatre of Great Britain, members of the Actors Studio, NYC and Arena Stage, Washington D.C. Linda obtained her degree in Acting. Interest in Theatre Management gained her work in Regional Theatre, followed by many behind the scene jobs in Film and Television, in NM, CA and UT all the while teaching acting or directing for various arts organizations. While in Los Angeles, Linda worked for a prestigious commercial talent agency and learned the art of Voiceover. She represented actors new and not so new to the industry, in addition to Hollywood celebrities. Upon her move to Utah, Linda discovered the need for professional talent representation and co-founded a full-service agency that she operated for a decade prior to selling and relocating to Las Vegas, NV. Being so close to Los Angeles allows Linda frequent visits and interaction with agents, teachers, producers, studios and former colleagues. Linda is a private coach whose emphasis is placed on developing competitive VO/acting skills, designing and producing cutting edge demos, marketing/branding professional promotional tools and provides genuine mentorship focused on helping talent realize their dreams, beyond their expectations, whether living in a major market or a small town.
Private session inquiries can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Last modified: June 25, 2018