Voice Over Agencies
A voice over is a term used for a production technique where a voice is spoken over imagery or a scene that is not part of the narrative. It is commonly utilised in television production, filmmaking or theatre to inform the audience about the sequence of events played out on screen or stage. The voice can be performed by a specialist actor or by an individual who appears previously in the production. The commentary is pre recorded and inserted over the top of a scene in a documentary or news report. Animated films or television programmes also use voice actors to give the character life and expression. Of course, like every other creative talent voice actors need professional agencies to succeed.
A voice over agency demands a high calibre of talent to present to clients who are interested in hiring. Unfortunately, agencies only except those who have valuable experience and a professional demo/showreel to analyse. Voluntary work is perfect for building experience and training your voice to embody different personalities and emotions. Work placements will allow for you to make contacts and get noticed from industry insiders, which should be nourished. Schools, libraries and local radio stations may offer unpaid work to practice your profession. Some colleges and universities offer a course to gain a qualification and experience however, it will not automatically earn you a place at an agency. If you decide to study for a voice over career ensure your course provides a high standard of training and a showreel for the price that you pay; experience that you can document on your CV to impress agents.
Acting training is not essential however, attending a few classes can allow for you to learn tips on how to convey emotions through styles of voices and imagining the situation you are trying to depict. A class can also train you on how to use your voice to its full potential however, do not attend theatre acting courses as the need to project will hinder your success as a voice over actor. Agents are mostly interested in your natural accent first however, if you have a considerably great technique to speak in various accents it is worthwhile mentioning. Producers usually ask for a specific accent and will hire the person with a clear and concise version of it.
Agents require a selection of commercial reads, a documentary piece, telephone messaging and podcasts on your showreel. Feel free to add any other qualities your voice has such as singing, impressions and accents if they are to a high standard. Do not add any material that is not professional and impressive as an agent may be put off by amateur additions that do not show the full extent of your talent. Possess confidence in your voice as self belief and ambition will gain respect from an agent. Insecurities and nerves will show as these negative feelings can lead to a shaky, unnatural sound.
Armed with a vast amount of experience in the field, a high quality showreel and a confident attitude you are ready to present yourself to an agency. Research genuine organisations by learning about their client list and connections to date. Their eagerness to make strong links in the industry will reflect positively on your career. Physical attributes are not taken into consideration as your voice is your sole tool in this specialist industry. The projection, tone, pronunciation and accent are significant to an agency, which will be analysed in your showreel. A casual yet smart presentation is important when meeting an agency for the first time to give a lasting impression.
When an agency shows belief in your ability their determination and persistence to find work is a huge compliment. Their dedication to your career is rewarding and reflects directly on the amount of work you receive. The devoted hard work you have put in before signing to an agency through gaining voluntary experience to present a flawless showreel is certainly worthwhile. The pride in your capabilities will be overwhelming bringing more confidence to your voice overs as you develop and grow.