Notes to Newbies: Getting Started in Voiceovers
from Rick Adamson

While I've made a living from 'talking' for the past twenty years, it took nearly fifteen years before that to build up my skill set, network, and business acumen. So here, for what they're worth, in order of what pops into my head, are the Top Ten Tips from Rick……

1. It isn’t enough to simply have "a nice voice," a "radio voice," “a uniquely memorable voice,” etc. Thank the people complimenting you and then realize that professional voice work is a real craft, and frequently, a fine art. You learn the art of subtle changes in your performance with study and experience.

2. Keep studying. Read aloud, preferably into a recorder, as often as you can. And read everything from news stories, to ads from magazines, to fiction, to medical copy, to children's books and comic books. While we all want to feel that we are adept at any voiceover challenge, you never know where your niche may be. Seek out coaches. Absolutely record your entire lesson: what they say and what you say. Afterward, work with the recording as you work with your reads.

3. Keep listening -- to the radio, to award-winning audiobooks, to TV spots, to radio hosts' style that you admire or think you could emulate. And once you get some auditions and jobs, keep listening! It's very frustrating for a casting director or project director to direct, only to get the impression that you were either too arrogant, dense, deaf or nervous to absorb and implement their direction. So take deep breaths and… keep listening.

4. Know that, while we must follow our dreams, this is a highly competitive business. Technology has empowered even more people to dream of working in their pajamas and collecting checks. Some are amazingly gifted; many are not. If you can pursue this dream with real focus - while still maintaining another career to pay the bills - that is a good thing. But you must be incredibly disciplined about the business of marketing yourself and improving your talents.

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Last Updated: 07.2012
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