I am regularly asked by up and coming talent, inquisitive types and people in general to explain the workings of the voice over industry and how to get into the business of supplying voice overs.
Phew!.. Where do I start? The problem is these questions usually come by telephone on the busiest of days.
We all had to start somewhere so I like to give people time and explain as much as I can without revealing my personal tricks of the trade.
Its a funny old business and I never really planned to get into it at all. Its a typical catch 22..you can't get work if you aren't experienced and you can't get experience if you have no work coming in.
There are some very good voices who get very little work and there are some extremely average voices who do very well.
I was a radio broadcaster in Ireland and the UK for many years before I drifted into voicework, mainly because I became completely bored with radio presenting and the way it was shaping up mainly due to format and regulatory restrictions, market pressures and legislative snakes and ladders.
I guess what I'm saying is the fun had gone out of it. I was lucky enough to have been doing some voice overs over the years while presenting my radio show and I had made a lot of contacts so that gave me an in-road so to speak. I met with alot of rejection and it's something you have to get used to and accept as part of the business. You are a voice for hire...that's all so don't be expecting any third party to pave the way or hold your hand.
Today I have a huge list of very professional and courteous direct clients with whom I have a great working relationship. It's been a long hard slog but worth it and everyday brings a new adventure.
Finally... If you think it's as easy as sending out a few CD's or mp3s and waiting by the phone....wrong! If you think it's as easy as plugging a microphone into a pc and recording to Adobe Audition....wrong!
If you think it's as easy as throwing a few cushions in the corner of a quiet room and buying a basic microphone.....wrong. I've even had newcomers to the business copy content directly from my website to theirs in the hope it would divert some work their way.
While I can understand the hunger to get into what is still a reasonably niche industry this is just downright lazy and just gets you a bad name. If you can't find the creativity to word an individual web page then how are you ever going to become an individual and respected voice over.
So anyone looking for advice should probably heed the words from that famous TV commercial ..Br>
A New York street scene with a road worker in a high vis jacket stops his jack hammer to talk to an eldery woman who asks "Excuse me young man how do I get to Radio City Music Hall".
He quickly answers before returning to dig the street, "You gotta Practice lady.. Practice".
Best of luck.