Make the Season Bright: Tips for Finding and Keeping Christmas Voice Over Work

The Holiday season is expensive, stressful, and a terrible time to be searching in vain for a project or job. Yet, it is a great season to be a voice-over artist because there are many organizations hiring voice actors for various projects. However, some voice actors who are not religious may be avoiding a potentially lucrative opportunity in providing Christmas voice over work for churches.

While there are certainly secular opportunities for voice over work during the Christmas season, including advertisements, radio work, animation, and others, it is a good idea not to discount the possibility of doing religious voice-over work. Christian voice-over work is surprisingly diverse and busy as a niche of the voice over industry, as many churches continue to embrace social media and video sharing sites like YouTube – not to mention producing their own internal video projects for various programs.

Doing Religious Voice Over Work Doesn’t Mean Pigeonholing Yourself

One reason some people may not wish to pursue Christian voice over work is a desire not to become pigeonholed into that type of work. If this is a concern, then consider making a special second version of your voice acting resume – a secular one, and a religious one. Professionals in many fields have separate versions of their resumes for different areas of specialization, and perhaps you already have two or more variations on your resume for similar purposes.

Doing Christmas Voice Over Work as a Non-Religious Person

If you are religious yourself, then you may not have a problem doing religious voice-over work. However, if you are not, you may be afraid of things getting a little awkward in conversations with your client. Most organizations will not inquire directly as to your personal beliefs, as long as you approach them and the project with the same reverence and respect that they hold for it. In the case that you are asked your beliefs, of course, how you respond is up to you – diplomatic responses like “I love the diverse forms of religious expression” can often slip by. Relying on common experiences is another good approach, for instance, “I was raised in a Methodist Church like this one, I loved my time there.” Another approach is to merely utilize the “actor” facet of the voice acting skill set – but we’ll say no more about that. Finally, open honesty about lack of belief is a valid approach, but it may make things more awkward. At the end of the day, how you approach the project is up to you.

Once working on a religious voice over project, if you are not religious yourself, first and foremost remember to be respectful. Your employers feel very strongly about the spiritual validity of the materials they are entrusting you to lend your voice to, and they expect their talent to approach the project with that same sense of reverence. While in the presence of your employers, conduct yourself in a manner that is respectful to their customs and tenets. If you’re in a studio recording a narration for the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke, for example, cursing between takes because you’re struggling with the King James English, even under your breath, is not advised.

When recording the material, remember that as a voice actor, you are taking on the voice of a believer, speaking the words of believers, intended for the ears of believers. Even if you are not, you should convey the spirit of the material with the reverence and conviction of a believer. Once again, remember that voice acting is acting, right?

Finally, if you have a positive experience and would be willing to do more religious voice-over work, be sure to personally express gratitude to those who hired you for the opportunity. This personal touch resonates with anyone, religious or not. Many religious organization who hire a voice over artist will have more opportunities for Christmas voice over work in the future, and making a good impression throughout the project, including at its conclusion, could lead to many additional opportunities for you, and not only during the Christmas season.

 

Have the Voice of a Jolly Old Elf? How to Find Santa Voice Over Work this Christmas

Ho, ho, ho! It’s special holiday time again! If you have a booming radio voice, a great “movie trailer guy” voice, or the classic “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday” Monster Truck pipes, just a small adjustment and a little bit of Christmas spirit could turn you from a high-impact narrator to a Jolly Old Elf. Many companies and organizations hire voice actors at this time of year to perform the voice of Santa Claus. If you’ve never considered looking for Santa voiceover work, perhaps this could be the year you dash away with an exciting new line item on your resume.

Who Hires Santa Claus Voice Overs?

There are many opportunities for Santa Claus voice-over work throughout the holiday season. Many businesses, including retailers, car dealerships, and shopping malls host Christmas events, and they’d like for their advertisements to be narrated by none other than the man in red himself. In addition, YouTube series, animators, and broadcasters are almost always seeking a Santa for some project or other during the season. Of course, his schedule is always jam-packed at this time of year, but voice actors like you could be Santa’s little helper this year.

Why Pursue Santa Claus Voice Acting?

Holidays are stressful and expensive. Just as there are actors who fit the ‘look’ for old Saint Nick and make a tidy living every winter playing Santa Claus in malls, parades, and special appearances year after year, getting a solid gig as a Santa Claus voice actor could mean reliable employment every holiday season – and in a gig-based profession like voice over work, that’s peace of mind we can all use during the holidays.

What Are Some Other Christmas Voice Acting Opportunities?

While Santa Claus voice over work is definitely a niche that only some of us will fit into (sorry, voice actresses out there) there are certainly other ways you can find a spot in holiday-related voice acting opportunities. After all, what is Santa without elves, reindeer (who of course can and do talk), and good old Mrs. Claus? In addition, plenty of Holiday advertisements are in need of narration both of a whimsical and serious variety, and for those who would enjoy the work, larger churches can often seek out voice actors for their own video projects – especially at Christmas.

Whatever your voice acting style or niche, we hope you find the projects you’re looking for to make your Holiday season bright.

Is Thanksgiving Dinner Bad for Your Vocal Health?

Thanksgiving is upon us, and you know what that means – awkward conversations with relatives, yelling at football games all weekend on the TV screen, complaints about stores opening earlier and earlier in preparation for Black Friday, secret wishes on your Black Friday shopping list, and of course, food. Turkey, stuffing, green beans, potatoes… all right, we’re making ourselves hungry at this point. As a voice actor, your vocal health is very important – especially with the holiday season and all the delicious food temptations that you will have a hard time saying no to, without considering the effects they might have on your body. So, is Thanksgiving dinner bad for your voice? Should you skip the yams this year in favor of vocal rest?

Well, for all you voice over artists out there, there’s good news and bad news – the good news is that Thanksgiving dinner can be healthy for your body and for your voice, as long as you stick to a properly balanced meal, and most importantly, a good well-deserved rest. The bad news is it’s really easy to make it not healthy.

A Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner Should Include a Healthy Thanksgiving Nap – and It’s Good for the Voice, Too.

So, how do you make sure you’re getting a vocally healthy Thanksgiving dinner?  Well, believe it or not, that after-dinner nap most of us want after the meal is the first step.

As we all know, getting a good night’s sleep is very important to keeping in good vocal health. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night will help preserve the power, clarity, and strength of your voice – not to mention always helping the rest of your body feel good. If your body is tired, weak, sleepy, and achy, your voice isn’t going to be much better. If you’re groggy and sleepy while reading that script, it’s pretty likely you won’t deliver the best performance you can.

A common belief around Thanksgiving dinner is that the tryptophan in turkey makes us sleepy – however, this is only partially true. The combination of all that food, together with an overfull plate, all contribute more to that sense of lethargy than the turkey alone does. By consuming foods with tryptophan along with carbs, we enable our bodies to better absorb that tryptophan, and that’s very relaxing. High-carb foods like all those cobblers, stuffing, and dinner rolls cause a release of insulin, which in turn clears out amino acids which normally would prevent absorption of tryptophan, and the combination of those elements with a healthy serving of turkey leads to the familiar post-Thanksgiving feast naptime that we’re all so familiar with.

No matter what you eat, you should eat at least 3 hours before you go to bed (and don’t eat anything after that). If your body is working on digesting food while you sleep, it can make your sleep restless, or worse, result in an upset tummy or acid reflux – bad news for vocal cords!

The Best Balance of Foods for Thanksgiving Dinner

For best vocal health and a restful night’s sleep, see that you get a good balance of the following food on your Thanksgiving plate:

  • Proteins like turkey, pork, chicken, beef, eggs, and seafood.
  • Soy products including tofu, soymilk, or soybeans
  • Legumes like beans and lentils
  • Whole grains including oats and brown rice
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fresh fruit
  • Veggies
  • Cocoa – especially hot cocoa. You’re welcome!

Happy Thanksgiving to all the great voice actors and voice over artists out there!

 

Instagram – Is It Good for Voiceover Marketing

Instagram has grown significantly with users over the past year. People join the social network to share photos of themselves, their family, and their life. Businesses piggybacked on this and started to post images about their business and anything else their consumers would be interested in to gather a following. While Instagram has helped many businesses grow, it’s not for every business. Find out if it’s good for voiceover marketing here.

Why Instagram Is Good for Voiceover Marketing

Instagram is good for voiceover marketing for various reasons. Voiceover artists are able to establish a presence among the many professionals who use their services. By posting about what they are doing as part of their work each day, they show their commitment to their clients and career.

Voiceover artists are also able to post short videos to show people what their studio looks like, and this makes them look good. It shows they are professional and care about the quality of their work.

Some voiceover artists will record themselves working and post those short videos. This is just another way to show prospective clients they are serious about their work.

Another way voiceover artists use Instagram is by creating images with tips on them that are related to voiceover benefits. This provides informative content and sparks the interest of professionals seeking help with their marketing. Canva or PicMonkey are two good sites to use to create attractive images that can be shared on Instagram.

It’s possible to learn a great deal from other voiceover artists on Instagram. All you have to do is follow them, and notice what they are posting on the site.

How Instagram Is Ineffective for Voiceover Marketing

Instagram can be hard for business to business marketing. Many professionals do not search or expect to find voiceover artists on Instagram, so they don’t search for them. This can make boosting your visibility on Instagram difficult.

In addition, many professionals have a marketing agency or person manage their Instagram accounts. These people are trying to gather a following of consumers to purchase from the business rather than finding people to outsource to. This means that even if a marketing agency or person sees a voiceover artists’ posts, it may not mean much to them, so they just pass over them.

It can be time consuming, and as you know, time can be hard to come by when working on projects is what brings the money in. The flipside is that marketing helps keep clients coming in, so there needs to be a balance of marketing and working on projects.

You Can Make It Work

Even though voiceover marketing on Instagram isn’t the best tool, you can make it work. If you follow businesses and publish really good content, you may spark the interest of professionals. All you need is a spark to get people to start following you and paying attention to what you’re doing and can provide to them.

Voice Over for Advertising Videos: Tips to Remember

We all know that bad audio can ruin a great video, and a well-produced animation with bad narration will lose viewers fast. That’s why many advertising agencies hire professional voice artists to provide voice over for advertising videos. If you’re looking for plenty of opportunities for voice-over work, look into providing voice work for video ads. Here are some tips on how to ensure you’re perfectly prepared to do video advertising voice over work.

  1. Find Your New ‘Ad’ Voice. If you watch many advertising videos, you’ve probably noticed that the typical “Mr. Announcer” voice is becoming less and less common. The big, booming voice with perfect enunciation and condescending tone is falling out of fashion – so if that’s your ad voice style, it’s time to change styles. Today’s average advertising video voice over is conversational and casual – and Mr. Announcer is Ms. Announcer as often as not. These kinds of opportunities are great for first-time voice artists since they don’t require a super-charged voice.
  2. Be Just Bigger than Life. Your normal speaking voice is fine in person, but plain old conversation loses something in voice-overs for ad videos. In order to compensate for this, liven your voice up a little bit. A great ad voice over is a balance between natural speech and a crisp, engaging announcer tone. Make a few test recordings, make notes, and adjust your style until you get something that really stands out. If it seems just a little bigger than life, you’re on the right track.
  3. Know Your Material. If you’re selected as a voice actor for a video ad, read the material several times. Check out the company’s website. Read their social media. Get a feel for what their brand’s voice is, and let that play into your delivery. Reading a script for a 30-second spot is easy, but a longer training video, full of technical terms, takes a little more prep time. The more time you spend in preparation, the better your result will be. When you rehearse, do it out loud, and record it if you’re able. A script will always sound different in your head, and reading aloud will help you identify spots where your tongue trips over the words that may not be clear when you’re reading silently.

Before long, you should find some great gigs providing voice over for advertising videos – best of luck to you, and happy voice acting!

The Fundamentals of Recording a Voice Acting Demo

If you are an aspiring voice actor, the very first thing you need to put out there is your voice acting demo. In effect, your demo reel serves as your resume and calling card rolled into one. This means a demo can set you off on the right track or veer you away from potential success.

Listed below are some of the fundamentals of voice demo recording, so you’ll know what to remember the minute you decide to seriously start on your voiceover career. 

  1. Do your research and study in advance.

This research will involve listening to samples, choosing the genre you may want to focus on, and even preparing your pocket for the costs involved in recording a voice acting demo. You may want to train with professionals first before you actually start recording. And if you don’t have the tools at home, it may be best to consider getting professional recording services.

  1. Determine how long your voiceover demo will be.

Potential clients and companies may not always have long attention spans to listen fully to a very long demo, but you still need your recording to be long enough for ample appreciation and evaluation. According to industry experts, the ideal length of a commercial demo is between 60 and 90 seconds. A narration demo can run for as long as 5 minutes.

  1. Specialize on a genre per demo.

To save on time and expenses, you may be tempted to do a montage voice acting demo. This squeezes in a collation of various reads in one demo recording. Although this can be one way to show voice versatility, it can also deter a prospective client from focusing on the quality of your reads or the genre you are best at. It is recommended that you record short demos with specialized genres, unless a client requests that you do a montage instead.

  1. Prepare a good voiceover script.

Any recording will require a good narrative, and this is where the importance of a well-prepared script comes in. You wouldn’t want your listeners and would-be clients to be distracted from the real quality of your voiceover abilities by just a mediocre script. Take time in writing a script, one that highlights what you can do instead of what you cannot.

Like any job or career, successful voice acting does not thrive on shortcuts. And your voiceover career will begin with your voice acting demo. This is how clients will mark your first impression with them. By keeping in mind these essentials, there’s no reason why your first demo should not take you to the top of the voiceover career ladder, soon!

4 Common Social Media Voiceover Mistakes You Should Ditch

In the age of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, it’s safe to say that no voice actor is without any social media account. But while social media is already an ubiquitous thing, it is by no means a magic pill. Too often, any voice artist can fall prey to social media voiceover mistakes and run the risk of hurting their voiceover careers.

Here are four of the most common pitfalls:

  1. Networking only with other voice actors.

Without a doubt, social media is a great way for you to meet, follow, and interact with personalities in the voiceover industry. But more than just networking with voiceover artists, you should also network with companies, academic institutions, audiobook producers, and the likes. Not only will you be learning the tools of the trade along the way, you will also be opening yourself up to a myriad of opportunities across industries. 

  1. In-your-face social media promotion.

Of course, social media makes it possible for anyone to tag people or add them as contacts in a jiffy. Everything, after all, is just a mere click away. If, as a voice actor, you are in the habit of indiscriminately tagging people just because you want to promote your work, then you could be facing a huge marketing pitfall. Spamming, no matter how subtly done subtly, is still spamming. It is a social media voiceover mistake you should avoid altogether.

  1. Recycling content.

Posting the same content or simply rehashing them with several hackneyed phrases spell one thing very clearly: laziness. If prospective clients have this impression of you, then why would they hire you for their project? Posting relevant, and well-written content means you are serious about your work.

  1. Assuming social media for voiceover success is an overnight thing.

Finally, voice actors should understand that, like the stock market, social media marketing is a long-term investment. A few days or weeks of effort will not guarantee optimum results. Like any worthwhile thing, consistency and constancy is key.

While social media has brought voice artists and clients efficiently together, it can also spell disaster to many voice actors within a highly-saturated market. Any voice actor should strive to avoid these social media voiceover mistakes and remember that social media, when done right, could spell more benefits than disadvantages specifically for the  long term.

How to Find Voice Over Work for Children’s Shows

Many of us grow up watching children’s television and cartoons. As we grow into adulthood, many continue to enjoy the fantasy and artistry that only animation can provide, and for the voice actor, that leads many of us to pursue a career in voice acting for children’s shows, cartoons, anime, and animation. Animation has broadened into a category that encompasses entertainment for all ages, so voice over work for children’s shows can easily branch out into voice work for a broad array of animated properties.

Whether you dream of voicing one of the Ponies of Equestria, one of the pets in the Littlest Pet Shop, or have your sights set on voicing one of Rick and Morty’s villains, in this article, we will give you the ins and outs of landing a job doing voice work for children’s shows and animation.

Preparation for Success as a Children’s Show Voice Actor

Preparing for a career as a voice actor in animation, cartoons, or a children’s show involves a lot more than being able to do a great ‘voice’ for your favorite character. Voice acting is demanding work, and you need to be prepared for success.

Most of the voice actors in cartoons and animation today started as a voice actor for advertisements and other types of media, and many are stage, screen, or film actors as well. While it isn’t necessary, the acting training will better prepare you to be a great voice actor. No matter where they came from in the realms of theater, voice acting, and film, all of the great voice actors for children’s shows and animation started with a few things in common: acting experience, a great vocal range, and the ability to get into character and stay in character. After all, voice acting is, first and foremost, acting.

Voice Acting Training Courses

There are many voice-over training classes out there which can certainly give you a leg up on the competition in many ways, but the majority of today’s voice actors come from the theatrical world and have had formal acting training. It is these acting skills, in addition to vocal talent, that make them desirable, memorable, and successful voice actors. For this reason, we recommend you start by trying your hand in theatrical productions, at your local school or community theater. If you can, sign up for acting classes. These will hone your skills as an actor and enable you to fully embody your character – including the voice. You may even make some connections leading to an audition.

Another option, especially for those who are looking for more silly or whimsical voice acting opportunities in children’s shows is stand-up comedy. This is an avenue by which many actors establish themselves as formidable comedic actors, and many go on to do voice work for children’s shows, cartoons and other types of animation.

 

Choosing an Investment-Worthy Microphone for Voiceover Work

Voiceover work demands seamless, exceptional voice recordings every single time. It is for this reason that choosing an excellent microphone should be one of the non-negotiables in audio narration. But among all the brands and models available, how do you really choose the right microphone for voiceover work? Outlined below are some essential considerations.

Warm sound or clear and natural? 

Different types of microphones produce different sound qualities. Furthermore, different qualities of sound are required for various kinds of recordings. Warm recordings are typically achieved by a dynamic microphone, while natural-sounding results are the turf of condenser microphones.  Audio-book narrations and radio or online podcasts usually require warmer tones while e-learning materials such as training videos call for a more natural, clear-sounding quality. To purchase the most ideal mic for you, you have to identify the kind of sound quality required for your voiceover projects.

Home studio or professional studio? 

If you’re recording in a home studio, a good mic choice in terms of pattern is a cardioid microphone. Since this type of microphone rejects noise in less-than-ideal settings, it is a good choice for home or non-studio environments. On the other hand, omnidirectional microphones are better suited for studio environments since these are designed for over-all, expansive sound capturing.

Microphone for voiceover work: does expensive mean best? 

Both yes and no. Yes, because many high-priced models are designed for exceptional results and often come with extra, useful features. However, expensive doesn’t always mean it’s appropriate for you and the voiceover work you do. More than the price tag, the primary considerations should be which sound quality you need to produce and where you will be performing the narration or recording.

Shop around before buying 

Before forking out a significant amount on your next microphone-buying trip, make sure you have looked at several brands and models first. By looking around, it means you have to talk to sales people, try the microphones out yourself in stores, and do some research well in advance. Since it is good advice to purchase the best microphone you can afford, you have to ensure that the model is one that works best with your voice. Also, the features — whether in terms of portability or noise canceling — should be those which you can use for your voice acting or narration projects.

A microphone for voiceover work is one of the most important purchases you will make throughout your career, so make sure you invest in the best you can.

 

Ways to Use Social Media for Voice Acting

Without a doubt, social media platforms are among the most popular and effective ways by which people on the Internet find information, discover new products and services, and connect with one another. Social media for voice acting or any other business has transformed the way people search for and utilize a variety of products and services online.

If you are a voiceover artist, working on your social media presence can help you in many ways. Highlighted below are some suggestions on how to make the most out of a social networking service as a voice actor.

  1. Expand your network through social media platforms.

As social media is created for people to connect with others online, it has also proven as a good way for businesses and skilled professionals to expand their networks. Thanks to Facebook, you can create a separate page as a voiceover professional where interested people can ‘follow’ you and possibly transact with you. With LinkedIn, you can edit your online resume and connect with people in the same industry you belong to. And just like Facebook, Twitter allows you to ‘follow’ certain personalities in the voice acting field, and they may choose to follow you back too.

  1. Establish your genre and your brand via YouTube.

Social media for voice acting is also about cementing your brand and increasing visibility. One way to do this is through YouTube, where you can create a demo channel. To improve online presence you may also link your channel to your existing website or your account in other social networking websites. YouTube is a great platform for attracting prospective clients and for having your voiceover work known on a global scale.

  1. Stay updated through social media for voice acting.

Because expanding your network also means getting access to real-time updates and recent information, it will be easier for you to keep abreast of anything related to the voiceover industry. Whether it’s the latest recording equipment or available voice training and improvisation classes in your city or neighboring areas, these postings can be head through social sites all over the Web.

While there are some cons in using social networking sites, such as time consumption and its inability to compensate for bad marketing, its advantages are nonetheless worthy of note. Social media for voice acting can work, but only if you are also willing to put in some work yourself. At the end of the day, it’s going to be whether your clients — online or offline — get what they need out of the voiceover work that you do.