So... You want to become a Voiceover?

Another year has rolled in and despite it being a different time from what we're used to, certain things remain the same. Things like; people making decisions to try something new.

So, it's this time of year that I get approached by people who say: "I want to become a voiceover".

The first question I always ask is, "why do you want to do it?".

To this I get a variety of answers: "I think it'll be fun... I need some extra money... I've always wanted to... Why not? It's just talking isn't it?”.

And then I ask another question, "what do you think getting started will entail?" And I'm often met with a blank stare.

To which I say, "it's going to entail a lot more than you think!". It will entail time, effort, training, and investment. When I say time, we could be talking years and years, as it's a continuous learning process. And when I say investment, we could be talking thousands of pounds worth of investment. At this point the smile of the person I'm talking to often starts to wane as the dream of making what they thought might be easy money begins to disappear.

Now let me be clear that I am not trying to put anyone off, as I would never discourage anyone from becoming a voiceover if that's what they really want to do. In fact I encourage people that come to me and ask, but it would be irresponsible on my part if I didn't tell them the truth and point out the sometimes harsh reality of voice acting, being a voiceover artist or any which name you give it.

It is not easy! Let me say that again for the people at the back that missed it. It is not easy! It's going to take a lot of work to get off the ground, build, and then maintain a successful career in.
For starters, you actually need some talent as it's not just reading. It's acting, it's performance, it's communicating, character embodiment and a whole lot more.

You will need to train, this is the bit where you have to put your hand in your pocket for courses, mentoring, coaching etc.

People have to hear you to know if they would like to hire you, so you need good demos and these can cost a pretty penny.

Additionally, a home studio is a must nowadays if you hope to progress, as clients want their audio and they want it now.

And then there's the old hustle and grind to actually get work... "Why do I need to hustle, can't I just get an agent to do all that?". Well good luck with that one as the days of getting on the books of an agent and just sitting back and watching the jobs roll in are over. Agents are absolutely inundated with people trying to get on their books, and even if you get on the books of an agent there is no guarantee you will get regular work. In fact, I've even heard of some agents who expect you to bring in a certain amount of work to them!

So nowadays your best agent is YOU. You've got to hustle!

And there you have it, your 'Getting into voiceover 101'. Welcome to the adventure house!