Part 1A: 12 Voice-Over Styles
We have all done it, read our favorite books out loud to family, friends, children... but it turns out you can get paid to do that. This type of voice over work is reading.. or narrating a book. This is a very common job for voice actors, and a great one if you really enjoy reading books! So get your actor brain working and start auditioning to voice books right now.. to start figure out how to rate your time. If you don't agree on a royalty share, a good starting rate is $50 per FINISHED hour. Keeping in mind that a finished hour typically is 2-3 worked hours of recording and editing. ALSO keeping in mind that this is a rate for the "inexperienced"... don't stay at that rate forever. Head over to www.acx.com now or click here. Create an account and start booking... literally. .. For an example of an audio book sample check out my demo page. Or scroll to the bottom. For better samples of pricing check out the Global Voice Academy rates guide here.
Character and animation work is a blast, and one of my preferred styles of VO work. This is the time for all those silly voices you've been working on and using since you were a child to be released themselves from within. Often times character/animation VO actors work as narrators for kids shows, books, and video games as well. Don't be shy in really nailing that impression of the famous character's... remember even a bad impression of an existing character is a good new character... For an example of an animation demo and several others check out my demo page or scroll to the bottom.
This type of voice over work is in the business/corporate world. These VO actors are who you hear in the training videos, promotions for the company, or often HR videos. These jobs can also come in the form of a public representation of the company for big events, conventions and trade shows. This video is a mash-up of several Business/corporate work I have done to get an idea of what I'm talking about.
Best Buy! Pampers Diapers! New Diet Cherry 7-Up! You have heard those cheesy, yet effective commercials that make you excited just from some person talking for 15 seconds. This is a staple for any VO actor. Start with this if you decide to make a demo as this work will flow in quite frequently. You also really want to be involved here because it is the most lucrative... For an example of a commercial demo and several others check out my demo page or scroll to the bottom.
"Greetings Traveler!" This is yet another favorite, and another preferred line of VO work for myself. Ever want to make those magical characters in games come to life? What about the soldiers in your favorite war game... or the mumbling's of your Sim's family. This area of VO is only growing more and more over the years ahead I believe it will become very prominent. For an example of a video game demo and several others check out my demo page or scroll to the bottom.
This is fairly similar to the audio book world as it has to do with narrating a story. Many VO artists work in this area with great success. They could work in a biography film telling the story of a group of people, a scientific film about plants... or a cute film about animals; the life stories of the pioneers of the past, politicians of today, and the celebrities of tomorrow.... the possibilities are endless.
In a world...... This summer.... coming soon. This is the typical VO voice. The one you do whenever you want to imitate the voice. The voice I'm referring to is the original Mr. Don Lafontaine. This is a popular area in VO, however typically a pretty unique and full voice is requested.... but if you love it.. don't let that stop you.
Similar to the world of business/corporate VO work... this would be applied to an educational institution. Still similar as you would be doing training and education videos but these would be used in schools, universities, online schools and many other educational resources.
Podcasting is the closest you can get to be a fly on the wall of a really interesting conversation. You can listen to podcasts and find out information you never would otherwise hear.... and the best part is they are mostly free! Information is out there, you just have to search. For Voice Acting check out Rob Paulsen's "Talkin Toons"... it is incredible.
Another form of VO work would be floating through the air to your car radio. Many DJ's on radio shows do the majority of the VO work for the station because typically they really know how communicate, and have a great voice. If you're interested in going this direction with VO I would suggest looking at your local stations and seeing if they take submissions for talent, although this job would include many more tasks/talents than just using your voice.
"Welcome to business XYZ, to reach accounting press 1, to reach the mailbox press 2, otherwise stay on the line". Sometimes it's easy to forget that someone had to record those messages you hear. Most the time when people call these lines they are frustrated, confused, concerned or angry... so you want to have a soothing friendly voice. Also you need to be very clear and helpful.
Another favorite of mine. Many films these days are animated.. the technology is getting better/more realistic which means more animated movies will be produced. The work in this industry can range from having a lead role with many lines... to doing a simple ADR (Automatic Dialog Replacement) session where you are talking in the background. An amazing area of VO I highly recommend exploring and learning about.
These are 12 common types of VO styles. Some of them overlap as you saw so I recommend taking a look at these and deciding what it is you are interested in before you get started in VO. You should be researching the style you love most and emulating what it is you love the most... until your the one doing it. If you have any questions about my work in these types of VO please feel free to contact me.
Head On over to Part 2!
My name is Andrew, I am an Actor | Voice Actor | Singer based out of Burbank, CA. To contact me click here. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org