Responding to a question from Joel B of Long Island, NY: I am an actor who has been told he has a great voice how can I get into the voice-over market?
Bob greeted Valerie Smaldone, an expert in the voice-over world. Upon asking her for what advice she would give Joel and anyone who wishes to get into the voice-over market, Valarie replied….
If Joel is being told he had a really good voice, that a great start, but it’s only the beginning. What do you do with great voice? There is an art and craft to voice-overs as there is with any other performance art. In Valerie’s class she teaches actors how to take a piece of copy (the script for the voice-over), interpret it, express in their own special way. This should be common practice for any actor. Think about the audience who are you speaking to. A piece of copy is its own small play or film with content, a purpose, a call to action with a beginning, middle and end. The actor must be able to break down the copy to communicate it properly.
Bob emphases how an actor must have a great reel to even enter the competitive voice-over market. This means getting specific training and hiring a professional to help you create a reel.
Valerie stated that she has been coaching, teaching and directing voice-overs for about 12 years. “It is extremely gratifying to see people come to light under my direction” stated and then Valerie addressed the question by saying “you wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, so before an actor can do a reel, they need to have basic classes, rehearsal, before going into studio to create a reel.
If you want to acquire representation or work, you need to represent yourself properly and a demo is that tool.
1) Start by taking a class or work with a coach to learn your craft. Voice-over work is different than theatre, TV or film.
2) There are courses mostly virtual. If you are ready to start Valerie has a workshop coming up on November 14th -15th.
3) There are numerous types of voice-overs i.e. commercial, promos, narration, audio books, animation, voice response, ect. Target what area or area’s you want to audition for in your reel.
4) Accents play a significant part of your reel. Think globally.
5) If you speak more than one language, incorporate that skill for more marketability.
6) The internet has been incredible for the voice-over market, so take advantage of this technology.
7) Find out what area of voice-over work you excel at. Are you good at little kid voices? That is a skill. You need to identify what makes you unique.
Valerie has had an outstanding career as the voice on 106.7 Lite FM Radio. She is grateful that Bob ask her to be voice of the Drama Desk Awards when he was the Exec Producer as well as having her in this column.
A gentle reminder about donating to The Actors Fund Covid 19, as we all are in need and only if you can afford it.
Have a question for Bob? E-mail him at AskBobBlume@gmail.com .
Valerie’s website is http://www.valeriesmaldone.com
Bob Blume’s company site is www.StepForwardEntertainment.com
To Donate to The Actors Fund: www.actorsfund.org/stepforward
To Send in a question: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see ALL of the prior columns: ASK BOB BLUME columns