Such A Voice Coach/Producer Steven Wahlberg books a narration job for this years golf course for the US Open!
By: Steven Wahlberg
I received an audition request from Voice123.com for a project that required a narrator to voice copy that would be running underneath a video of aerial shots of a golf course where the US Open is being played this year. After receiving some positive feedback on my audition, I was informed that the client had selected someone else for the job but that they liked my voice enough to consider me for future projects. I’ve only heard that about a gazillion times before so I really didn’t think any more about it. Well, about a month later I received an e-mail from the agency that produced the previous golf video asking if I would be interested in reading a few scripts that outlined the rules of golf for a DVD. I agreed and was fortunate to be hired on the spot. This was the outcome!
Part of marketing yourself is creating your very own brand as a Voice-Over Artist. You see hundreds of brands daily – in the supermarket, on commercials and businesses you pass on the street. Each one is carefully designed to reflect what they are selling, and to attract potential clients all within a few words, colors and designs. So how can you emulate this in order to “sell” your voice? Here are some resources and processes you will find helpful when you tackle this task!
Once you have figured out your niche, write a list of words that describe that niche. Ask your VO coach, friends and family, “How do you hear me?” Then ask, “How do I hear myself?
You will then want to create a logo with these images. Your logo should be unique, distinctive and memorable. Ideally, it will stand out above others and perfectly match your voice! If you are not able to actually create it yourself you may find it helpful to work with a graphic designer to create the logo you envision.
There are many resources out there to help you along your “branding journey.” Here are some articles we have found to be very helpful:
We also found a video that discusses branding specific to Voice-Overs, published by voices.com:
For your listening pleasure, you will also find useful advice on this podcast:
Enjoy the creative process and the confidence you will have once you know you are powerfully representing your voice as a business!
I am a classical singer by training. It is common for bulletin boards in the hallways and corridors of conservatories and schools of music to be papered with recital posters, concert listings, and calls for auditions. So, it’s not unusual to find instrument and score-laden students poring over them interestedly. One day, as I was doing just that, I noticed a rather boring-looking flyer on pink paper calling generically for “3 men and 3 women.” A telephone number was listed at the bottom of the sheet. Perhaps someone is trying to assemble an a cappella or early music ensemble, I thought. I called to discover, in fact, it was a company holding auditions for a radio commercial. Having never done voice over jobs before, I thought, What the heck!, and decided to audition.
The copy was sent in advance so I had time to prepare, and I showed up to the studio at the time and date requested. I landed the job after that lone audition and it turned out to be more than the typical, first-time voice over gig. I was selected to be the first and only National Female Voice for what was then dot-com-phenom CollegeStudent.com. (CollegeStudent.com has since merged with Student Advantage.) Such serendipity led to the recording of multiple national spots over a two-year period for this “local, online campus community,” which was not only wonderful in-studio experience, but also contributed to the beginnings of a high-quality demo reel. (As an aside: the first spot we recorded was deemed so risqué that 50% of the markets in the nation wouldn’t play it!)
With this experience under my belt, I used my demo reel to market myself to voice over agents, acquiring my first representation with db Talent. I also contacted recording studios to find out if they maintain their own talent libraries and requested to be placed on file with those that do. Given the types of jobs I began working early on, it became clear to me that my industry niche was quirky, college-cool, but my singing background enabled me to expand that to include foreign languages and accents. Since that initial, unexpected audition, I’ve had the good fortune to record for a variety of corporations, including Time Warner Cable, Reebok, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Gozaic and Adobe, working on varied projects like telephony systems, industrial videos, television commercial demos and, of course, radio spots.
I look back on my entrée into a voice over career in astonishment. Voice over work had certainly never been part of my grand life plan and, truthfully, I had not heard of it when I made that fateful telephone call. However, I cannot deny I am pleased to have been one of those bulletin board-reading students because being so truly changed my life.
Alecia Batson is a professional actress, singer and voice over talent working in Boston, Austin and New York. Visit her web site at www.AleciaBatson.com.
How did YOU land your first voice over gig? Share your story and any advice with us…