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Opuzz Voice : Featured Article



Ramblings regarding the Voice Over Industry

by Bobbin Beam, Voice Actress
www.opuzzvoice.com/Bobbin_Beam.asp



Where To Begin?

I am always asked how someone can break into the voice-over business, because they think it would be fun, and because somebody told him or her he/she has a good voice. There are already dozens of excellent articles and books on this topic, many can be found online, written by working voice talents and producers The first thing I respond with is "Yes it's fun, but it's hard work. " And no, it's not drudgery, or the way to get rich fast. One must be absolutely dedicated to the craft and must have the gut for rejection. Next I say required reading is James Alburger's "The Art of Voice Acting" before you do anything else. Then take all the v/o and/or acting classes you can from credible resources. That still doesn't guarantee success. And remember, it's not about your voice… but how you use your voice!

As a voice artist, your job is to take words from a page and give them life. Understand the copy, knowing your audience, giving the script life, changing up rhythm and pace. Make the copy exciting, use your vocal range and change it up! This brings us back to the need for... acting skills!

There are plenty of credible coaches, but check credentials. There are a few unscrupulous individuals out there whose best skill is separating you from your money. Never take a "class" from a talent agent who promises to represent you. And practice, practice, practice as much as possible, daily. Read out loud. Record yourself and listen back. Be your own worst critic and your biggest fan!

ON IVR (Interactive Voice Recording) WORK

IVR's are probably not going away for a while. So let's work positively with them!

A factor I feel should be discussed is the tone of the voice used for IVR recordings. Be a human! Don't sound like an announcer on steroids or a robotic automation. (I'm sure we've all heard both types on IVRs) First impressions count. Many times the IVR/auto attendant is the first encounter a customer has with the company and the voice used represents the image, or "face" of the business. Add some personality, but do your homework about the clientele and the demographics you are addressing, so meandering through the inevitable array of options is a more satisfying experience for the user.

FEES

The quality of some jobs lately on the internet has plummeted, jobs to which I will not respond, especially those that ask talent to provide rates without a budget posted, or those which need translation, writing, sound effects, music…. PLUS the v/o???? ---all for the paltry sum of $50.00. It's degrading, even for a newcomer, and ridiculous, to be sure. Remember, nobody can abuse you unless you allow him or her to do so. I wish more of us talents had self confidence & pride in our value, not only as performers, but our investment in our education in the craft, skills experience, business, marketing, demos, studio equipment, etc.acher, a bored receptionist. The list of descriptions is endless.

ON SCRIPT REVISION CHARGES

Client requested script revisions after initial recording & file delivery are subject to additional fee, with a 100.00 minimum.

To not charge is an invitation to allow any given client who may under prepared to make corrections and/or changes on the fly or make it up as they go.

A client's poor planning is not my problem. That being said, there are always exceptions for good, loyal customers under certain circumstances. I include my policy in my quote, so there is no confusion by either side. Of course, if a remake is needed because of my mistake, I re-record at no charge.



Bobbin Beam is a steadily working voice over talent based in San Diego CA and has been a voice actor for 30+ years. Bobbin records in her own professional in-home studio for clients all over the world. Her voice demos can be heard at:

Copyright 2006 by Bobbin Beam

Bobbin's voice demos can be heard at: www.opuzzvoice.com/Bobbin_Beam.asp



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