Are you thinking of starting a new career in voice over but don’t know where to start?
Here are 6 things you can do now to prepare yourself and get you started in your new career.
Shop for the basic tools you would need to start recording your voice. It does not have to burn your pockets – as long as you have a microphone, mic stand, headphone and a recording software, you are good to go. Well of course you would also need a decent laptop or PC to install your recording software and save your materials.
You can always start with the low-end priced microphones, but if you have money to spare, invest in a good quality microphone, because you may have a fantastic voice but if don’t have the equipment to match it, you won’t be getting the quality recording result that people would want to listen to. Make sure that you try out different mics yourself and not just base your decision on recommendations.
In terms of software, you can use the free version of Audacity or other open source sound recording/editing software so that you won’t need to shell out more money. But as you get more adept with the work, and have more money to spend, you can always upgrade your microphone and software, add more tools like pop filter, screen, room treatment and even a portable studio.
Do Vocal and Reading Exercises
You can’t just jump in, practice and record on hours, otherwise you run the risk of destroying your voice even before you get you career started. Prepare your voice to the rigor of voice over work. Plan out and start a daily routine to do vocal and breathing exercises – like lip trills, tongue trills, scales, pushing out, abdominal breathing, etc. Do reading exercises to improve your articulation and inflection by reading out loud, pronouncing difficult words, tongue twisters, etc. Do this daily to both build and strengthen your vocal cords, and also strengthen your language and reading skills.
Observe and Mimic
A lot of voice over artists discovered their knack in voice over through mimicking other talents. Through observing and mimicking you get to learn different styles and approaches in voice over. Observe and listen to how other talents deliver different types of work – in television commercials, radio spots, audiobooks, animation, video games, etc.
By mimicking, you will also learn what style and range, and type of work sits well with your voice. It can help you develop your own style and create your own voice characters. This will also eventually help you determine what niche you can focus on in the future.
Listen to Your Voice
Don’t forget to record yourself when you mimic or practice. Recording and listening to the playback can help you understand your voice. It help you know your strength to improve and the opportunities that you need to work on. Be honest with yourself and fix the things that you are having trouble with.
Though it may be a good idea to let your family and friends listen to your recorded voice, best to hold that off till you know someone who is an expert or a professional in the field. Critiquing is an import aspect of learning, so best get it from people who know what they are saying and who can give you a better perspective of your skills.
Search for Resources
Do your homework. Read all you can about the voice over industry. Search for online resources like voice over news sites, and join Google + and LinkedIn communities. Search for articles, news and recent books about the industry for information and guidance.
Look for established voice over actors and check out their websites to listen to their demos, and more often they are also have contents to share about the industry. You can also visit professional voice over casting sites to listen to experienced voice over talents and see how they present themselves through their profile.
Every information you get about the voice over industry would help you in how you can shape and build your career.
Take Care of Your Voice
Last, but the most important one on the list – take care of your voice. This actually goes without saying considering your voice is your commodity, your most important tool in entering the industry.
When you decided that you want to be a voice over actor, you have also decided that you would truly take care of your voice. Any habits that my possibly harm the quality of your voice should be stopped! No more smoking, excessive drinking and unhealthy lifestyle. What you need to start creating are habits that can help strengthen you voice, your body and mind.
What can aspiring talents do right now to help start their career in voice over industry? What tips can you share?