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Opuzz Voice : Featured Article



"...But everyone tells me I ought to be 
doing commercials!"

by Johnny George

www.opuzzvoice.com/Johnny_George.asp




It’s not as easy as one may think. Just because you have an interest in doing voice work, remember, everyone has a voice, but only a limited few have the ability to make it work better than most everyone else and make any money with it.  Voicing commercials is a skill.  I've been doing voiceovers for over 30+ years.  And I would have to admit I didn't start making any serious money until after I had been doing it for about 15 years. As an example, of the 40,000 registered AFTRA/SAG union members in Los Angeles alone, about 400 of them make a living out of doing voiceovers.  That’s 1%.  Now multiply that by every city in the country.  Are you sure you want a piece of this competitive pie? If you do, be prepared to invest a lot of time & money into it.  Because success will not come quickly or easily.  It’s a hard road, so be sure you want this badly enough before you proceed.  It’s not all glamour and luxurious as you may have thought.

Today, one would have to start locally and develop their talent/skill and reputation before expanding. Putting together a demo that can demonstrate what you CAN do and not necessarily what you HAVE done is the key. One minute up to two minutes at the very most total.

What are your strengths? Networking.....developing connections...etc..... Build a relationship through your radio station with local media, production houses and advertising agencies is very helpful. Right place - right time is the key. Besides the obvious - You must have TALENT. Not just the ability to speak on the air.  Don't be misled by well meaning friends that say, "Oh you have such a wonderful voice - you should do commercials!" It's not that easy. In fact, I guess you could say I'm an overnight success!  It only took me 30 years!  Remember, this is a developed SKILL we’re discussing here.  I know many people that have wonderful speaking voices that have no idea how to use them when it comes to voicing a radio or TV voiceover.

Do you have an original delivery, sound, twist, quirk, etc.? Why would someone what YOU over someone else? These are the questions that will assist you in "finding yourself".... I wish you all the luck and success - we all need it.

Workshops are a worthwhile way to find out if you are cut out to do voiceovers.  Do a simple search in one of the bigger search engines on the Internet.  Yahoo, Google, Ask Jeeves, Excite, etc..  Use the keywords “voice” + “workshop”.  Then look for one that is right for you and your interests.  Find one that is being taught near your city and go find out first hand.

By the way, concerning "agents"...
I wouldn't worry about getting an agent until you ARE making some money and you are building experience with your local production studios, radio stations, etc. Experience is still the best calling card. And you want to start a positive "buzz" on your ability. So move slowly and deliberately. You don't have a second chance to make a first and lasting impression.

When and if you feel you're ready - send me your demo if you'd like a "second opinion". I am a voiceover talent who is looking for clients too. However, sometimes I need additional talent, as requested by a client, and I look to those whom I network with over the Internet when the need arises. At this time, we are covered by almost every area of requested talent. However, if you feel you have a unique voice signature - please feel free to forward your demo and rate sheet to me. MP3 sound files over the net are preferred. All demo's and personal information will be kept on file for at least a period of one (1) year.

In closing, may I say the competition is getting heavier each and every day. I probably get a request for info on how to get started 5-10 times each week. You can imagine what that must translate to worldwide. But if you are really good, you might have a chance. But honestly, you are looking at a very long road of good hard work and dedication. Are you ready to jump in?

Good luck to you!

 

By Johnny George
www.opuzzvoice.com/Johnny_George.asp

 
Johnny G
eorge is a 30+ year voiceover veteran from the Midwest. Heard from the USA to New Zealand, Guam, the U.K. and Canada. A Creative Services Director for one of the major broadcasting companies in America, George’s signature voiceover style has won numerous awards for his commercials and productions.


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