Voice actors are heard narrating film trailers, commercials and audio books; they play characters in animated movies; perform foreign language dubbing on the television, radio and web; and read out telephone prompts. They can also narrate corporate presentations, explainer videos and medical or business audio documents. The career includes professional actors with years of stage or screen acting experience as well as semi-professionals who use the work to supplement their income.
Developing the ability to imitate different voices is one of the most important skills that voice actors must possess. In addition, they must be able to improvise and create dialogue on the fly, based on what is written in the script. These skills are needed to provide the proper tone for each project and to make the character sound realistic and believable to the audience.
In order to become a voice actor, many individuals take acting courses to improve their vocalization and characterization. They may even enroll in specialized training for voiceovers that focus on vocal techniques such as accent reduction, voice projection and articulation. Some voice actors also have a background in music or other performing arts, such as singing, podcasting or radio. This background gives them a broader perspective when it comes to portraying their characters and creating appropriate emotions.
It’s no surprise that the most successful voice artists are versatile performers. After all, if they are going to be the voice of a talking bunny for a children’s audio book and narrate the side effects of an allergy medication in a television commercial, they must be able to deliver both without losing listeners’ attention.
A wide range of industries seek the services of voiceover artists, from corporations and web developers to radio stations and toy manufacturers. Many companies and organizations hire a freelance voice actor to work with them on a regular basis, while others need a one-time job or a short-term project completed. The profession’s growth is due in part to the demand for audio content on the Internet, where many new products and services are being introduced.
As such, the industry is made up of a mix of semi-professionals who take on occasional jobs as supplementary income and highly-successful, top-flight professionals who make their living exclusively through voiceover work. In the latter case, they often have a full portfolio of demo reels to showcase their work.
Choosing the right freelancer for your voiceover project can be a time-consuming process. There are a number of online freelance marketplaces where you can post your project and receive custom responses from qualified, pre-vetted voice actors. These sites are designed to streamline the hiring process, with many offering same-day or next-day turnaround times.
To find the best freelancer for your project, focus on those with a high volume of positive reviews and Fiverr’s Pro badge, which certifies that a freelancer has expertise in a specific field. You can also narrow your search by searching for keywords that help you narrow down the options, such as “explainer video” or “female.” Once you have found the perfect freelancer, communicate with them to agree on a quote and schedule a recording session.