Make a voicereel / voiceover demo to send to voice-over agents showing your range, but ensuring the recorded content plays to your strengths. This ideally should be professionally produced in order for us to sit up and listen - homemade recordings are of no use to us whatsoever.
Consider voluntary work for people like the RNIB. It’s a great way to gain experience, make contacts and get a foot in the door! You could also try Hospital Radio or reading to children in schools.
The Actors Centre in London offers some really interesting session on how to get the best from your voice. Our very own voiceover expert Marina Caldarone runs some of these courses.
Voice-overs tend to be largely recorded in your natural voice. If you listen to any television & radio commercials you’ll probably hear the voiceover speaking in their natural accent. If producers want someone with a certain accent they will hire someone who speaks that way naturally, ie. if they want a Welsh accent they will hire a Welsh voiceover artist!
However, if you are exceptionally good at accents and characters, then voice-overs are used in animations and cartoons, but it is essential that you are able to sustain the character or accent for several hours without damaging your voice!
No! But we recommend going to Crying Out Loud Productions - they have been creating voicereels for 15 years and remain at the very top of their game.
On your demo, agents generally require a selection of different reads - commercials, documentary, narrative and sometimes drama.
Commercials - you should record 3 or more of these and they should show your dynamic range and flexibility as a voiceover. Make sure you've done your research and that the content recorded is relevant to current trends in voiceovers.
Documentary & Narrative - these are incredibly useful as generally they are your natural speaking voice. As an agency we find clients request these more and more as they want to hear the real you and not the 'commercial' you.
Promos, IVR & Corporate - again, because these tend to be recorded in your natural accent/style they are very useful. Countless companies create countless online promos, TV promos etc for their brands - don't miss out on this sector of work - it can be very challenging especially when you get one of those fabulous medical manuals!
Drama - this is only useful if you are looking into working for BBC radio drama - a voiceover agent would not traditionally handle this work, it would be your acting agent.
Feel free to include anything else you think an agent would like to hear, such as impressions, accents or singing – but only if they are strong enough.
Agents are looking for variety and range. You must prove that your voice is versatile and adaptable.
Do away with burning hundreds of copies of your CD and do your homework. Read the section REPRESENTATION for further information. Please note that this is a very competitive industry and only the very best actually earn a living from voiceovers alone - treat it as a supplementary income.
Our books are never closed. Please see the REPRESENTATION section on how to submit your voice to us.
If you are offered work by a company and you don't have an agent, please do the right thing, for yourself and the industry! Make sure you’re being paid the correct fee for the job.
Please don’t let people take advantage of your talent and hard work. Most voiceover jobs should demand a minimum fee of £200+ for the recording session alone (1 hour). This is known as the BSF (Basic Studio Fee).
Buyouts should be paid on top of this - these vary enormously, and it is the job of the agent to negotiate this fee.