By October 2, 2017 Read More →

Voice Over

I’ve been working on starting a career in voice over for several years now. At the beginning of the journey my coaches told me it will take 3 to 4 years depending on how hard you work at it. It took about 4 years for me. I’ve taken many classes for voice over and have worked with many coaches. The distilled version is you have to be an actor and you have to know how to use your voice. Signing has helped me tremendously.


Voice over is multifaceted you have to be an expect at many things. Besides being able to act and use your voice dynamically and naturally to communicate. You also need to be an audio engineer. It would be nice if we could afford to hire a professional engineer to work the technology for our auditions and work but. If we hired someone to engineer we’d never make any money., no matter how good you were.


The technology of VO is not that hard. A decent little interface an iPad, Mac or Tablet. I’m now an Adobe snob, Adobe Audition is amazingly powerful and is a good tool for VO. A good microphone they are shockingly inexpensive. A good internet connection is mandatory as well. Get training no matter what you think you know you don’t know enough.


As a voice over actor you also need to be capable of doing some marketing and have some decent interpersonal skills. It doesn’t matter how good you can perform if you’re a donkey no one will work with you. You need to be out there working off your own web site and working the VO websites as well, and you need to work with agents and customers. There is no quicker way in VO to destroy your career than being unprofessional, or impolite or late.


Professionalism is key for success in VO. You have to show up on time prepared to go, follow up and take direction, and do these things until the customer is happy. I’ve had a couple of engagements where I was the one showing the customer what they didn’t want. That will happen, say thank you and perhaps they will find something for you in the future.


Finally you have to be a good administrator and run your business. Get invoices out to customers, manage subscriptions, taxes and other professional fees.


Accommodating my disability has been the hardest thing with voice over. Oddly enough reading is critical to a VO career, reading and me at the best of times are not fast friends. I need magnification and monitor proximity to enable reading. Sounds easy, not so much especially since I have to travel for work. In my home studio I rely on two 55” monitors, one monitor is for management of the audio interface and Adobe audition. The other monitor is in my studio and displays the enlarged script. Works very very well. Microphone placement isn’t that hard.


Travelling has been much harder. How do you get a small tablet screen in your face for managing adobe and enlarging a scripts. That’s been very very hard. Plus position the microphone in such a way as to get a good performance. It’s not been easy. I’m a fan of Triad Orbit stands. After three years and many variations I’ve come up with a stand combination that gets the tablet in my face and the microphone positioned properly. For me it’s been trial and error and expensive. Monitors and stands have cost several times over what my VO rig cost.


I was at my whit’s end with VO, I’d done all this work and spent a TON of money on classes and gear. I’ve finally found some solutions for accommodating my disability, but no gigs. I was contacted by my agent to audition for a customer. It was the absolute worst conditions. I’d stopped carrying a mic stand on work travel, they are too heavy and airport security doesn’t like them. I had a microphone that was dying a painful death. My tablet wasn’t working very well and my neighbors in the hotel were having sex. I did several takes in-between my neighbors humping sessions, did my edits and sent in the audition. Thinking I’ll never do this again I’ve had enough with VO. I got the job.


They say that the things worth having a worth the fights, sometimes the disability makes me think about throwing in the towel. I don’t know where my VO career will go if anywhere but after all this time and money. I can now give VO an honest try having removed the barriers of my disability, and see just how good I can be. The playing field will never be level but at least now I can remove the excuse of my disability and compete on my own merits. Stay tuned.

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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