I’ve been working as a voiceover artist for many years now. I’ve seen a lot of the changes over the years with new technology, P2P sites, the rise in training, coaches etc. Voiceovers used to be an unknown job. It was the job that resting actors did and they didn’t talk about it. There was only a handful of voiceover artists who were booking all the work. Back then all work came via your voiceover agent. Fast forward a few years and there are more voiceover artists now than there have ever been. The internet has had a big role to play in this and home studio equipment being more accessible now that it’s ever been. But being a voiceover artist is not an easy career choice and it takes a lot of hard work, talent, persistence and dedication.
As voice actors/artists we’ve been able to work from home, in isolation and at a distance, since it became technically possible some 30 years ago and today more people are voicing projects, podcasts and broadcasting from home, in these unprecedented times, than ever before because the technology has never been so affordable; but are you really properly equipped to meet the demand for your vocal talent?
So, the world is in crisis right now. The coronavirus is affecting everyone, every walk of life, every continent and every industry. There is a lot of fear right now and here at The VoiceOver Network we want to help our wonderful voiceover community. In times of crisis like what we are currently experiencing coming together as a voiceover community is incredibly important.
"Talent who are thoughtful about their reads and reflect that in their audition tend to book more on average. They are great storytellers who keep true to the uniqueness of their natural voice without letting their delivery get in the way. The most commonly booked talent are those who deliver the 'message' most effectively. Also, the difference in who books a lot or who is struggling can be simply that the actor's voice and approach doesn't match the current 'flavour of the day'."
"I know all the orcs in Los Angeles,” I casually said to a friend over a recent weekend brunch. She stopped, looked at me and we both erupted in laughter over the fact that not only was my sentence accurate….but in my line of work, it was entirely and fantastically true. I do, indeed, know all the orcs in Los Angeles. And most of the demons. Some of the goblins. And certainly, a large smattering of super heroes and mouthless space aliens, all across the California southland. For I make video games. And I spend more time with ghosts, ghouls and grizzly soldiers than I do my own family. And I know and love each of these characters as if they ARE my own family….for they are real, grounded, and birthed from the life experiences of the actors who voiced them.
Like everything in the perceivable Universe, vocal communication is vibration. If we don’t generate the right frequency within the body, it won’t transmit through the voice and, subsequently, won’t be there to reach the listener.
Okay, so how do we take this grand notion of Universal vibration and apply it to our little ole’ narration reads? I’m glad you asked. Let’s start with decisions made in the head and add some funky dials.
What advice would you give those wanting to work in animation?
Classes, improv, explore and remember all the characters in your own life. Anyone that's deeply ingrained. Accents you do really well, you should really showcase those on your demo and then when you're auditioning, if you don't do them well, make them a hybrid, fun, weird thing. I really encourage people to draw on and keep a note, like an actual note card, of all of the accents you do well or poorly, so that you can draw on those when you get a script.
In 2018, whilst at a VOND event in Central London, I found myself in the midst of a gaggle of voice actors, talking about this incredible voice over conference in America, VO Atlanta. What was this? Why did they all look so hyped? Well I didn’t care what it was, anything that made a group of grownups that excited, had me sold from the start. I wanted to feel like that. I wanted to feel THAT excited about something!
The VoiceOver Network is about bringing the industry together to be Inclusive not Divisive
It is very hard to avoid it these days. Everyone is talking about it, what’s been said now, who said it and why? I’m talking about negative campaigning and fake news. It’s something that years ago we would have been horrified that people would accuse the media of reporting fiction as opposed to fact. But now it’s talked about all the time and no one bats an eye lid. It has become part of everyday.
Twenty years have passed since my first job in the games industry. Back then, development roles were dominated by men. I was the only woman in the audio department and I think there was also a female artist. Nowadays, there is a greater swell of women working in the games (albeit far from a 50/50 split). As such, women now have a greater influence on games development than ever before.
I had the privilege of narrating BBC 2’s documentary series “Mexico: Earth’s Festival of Life” (screened May and then December 2017). “Mexico: Earth’s Festival of Life” is described as “a landmark series revealing Mexico’s astonishing wildlife, landscape and culture in three distinct worlds – great mountain ranges, tropical forests and scorching deserts”.
Needless to say, booking a series of such quality and large exposure doesn’t happen every day (to me at least).
I’m running late, grabbing the last of my things phone, headphones, wallet, bag …..check. KEYS! Out the door. It’s a beautiful sunny day in London as I make my way to the bus stop. I get out my phone, plug my headphones in and go to my Audible app. I’m midway through a brilliant Audiobook and I can’t wait to get back into it. The narrator’s voice comes into my ears and starts telling me the story. I’m on my way into town for an audition and I am loving every minute of the journey as I am engrossed in a wonderful audiobook.
We live in an amazing time. Technology is moving so fast and we are very lucky to be in the age of the Audiobook BOOM. The Audiobook industry is growing at an incredibly fast rate and is currently worth $3.5 billion Dollars (according to goodreader.com). There are more audiobooks being recorded now than ever before and more and more audiobook narrators are needed to record them.
By Toni Frutin
I took Dave course last February having had no previous experience of the video game industry. I wanted to add another string to my bow, and this course certainly gave me that. I'm now booking paid jobs and working in a world that this time last year I knew nothing about. There really is nobody better to coach acting in video games, than the legendary Dave Fennoy. He is such a talented actor, a fascinating guy who knows the industry inside out.
One morning in October, as the leaves were falling off the trees, I checked my phone. Messages were pouring in. What on earth was going on? “Well done” and “Amazing news” were just some of the comments. What had happened? I had been nominated for a Society of Voice Arts and Science award. I sat there stunned. What an honour to be recognised by the great and the good in the voice world. When I read the nominees list, I saw some fellow Brit VOs nominated, others said they were coming along. We fast became a force to contend with: we talked about what to do, who to meet, where to stay and - of course - what to wear. LA was calling….
“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”
I know that the quote above is everywhere on every Facebook page and brought out by life coaches daily. I have recently been having to ask myself this very question.
It was a Sunday. 5:30pm. Neighbourhood bar. The joint was packed. There was a jovial buzz in the air not least from those of us recounting a fulfilling, challenging and eye opening weekend’s worth of work. Was it really over? How was everyone feeling? Does anyone want to split a bottle of wine?
I was initially very reluctant to join social media, it took me years to even open a Facebook account. As I grew more familiar with it, I realised my business could really benefit from social media if I understood it, but at the time it felt so unlikely I would ever get my head around the ins and outs of each of the different platforms, so why bother trying?
On 16th April it’s World Voice Day (WVD), a worldwide annual event that is devoted to the celebration of the phenomenon of voice.
Our voices are our most powerful tools. We can use our voices not just to communicate but to educate, inspire, inform as well as sell products.
The workshop is over, notes are being packed away and talks of who is going in the same direction as each other are being had as the journeys back home begin. The room looks and feels like the place we have shared and made our working ‘home’ for the last seven hours or so: yoga mats, water bottles, bags, clothing, personal notebooks and handouts are being carefully collected and packed away.