November 7th, 2010
Even though Halloween has passed and all the stores are already running in full Christmas mode, I decided that I'd like to give you just one last scare — and it's a biggie. This scare is for all of the people who are interested in becoming voice over actors. It's especially for those who think that being a voice over actor is "easy money" or a "walk in the park"; for those who think that simply having a great voice and a killer demo is going to land you gig after gig after gig.
Are you ready for your scare? Here it is...
You have to audition constantly
Yep. That's right: constant, daily auditions. Not just one a day, nor even two a day. But voice over auditions sometimes reaching into dozens a day. And guess what aspiring voice actors? You may not get a paying job for days or even weeks. Some novice (but trained) voice actors might only land a job every few months. Ouch!
Are you scared yet? You should be. Because even though some of the online voice talent websites make it sound like landing a job is quick and easy, the reality is: it's not. You will be auditioning daily with the high chance of not landing a paying gig. That is the reality of the business, not only when you are first starting out, but also when you become a more experienced and recognized voice talent.
A few months ago I wrote a post called Wanna become a voice-over actor? In that post I challenged aspiring voice actors to practice reading for at least 30 minutes a day — longer if possible.
In this post, I now throw down a new challenge for you: practice auditioning every day. Not just one audition a day, nor even two. But try cranking out about half-a-dozen quality auditions every day to start.
Here's what to do
Begin by grabbing any script. You can use free voice over scripts found on the Internet, scripts on the voice over audition websites, or simply use the copy found in newspaper and magazine ads.
The next step is to record yourself performing the script. Make sure you are getting the best possible sound. If you have to lay out some blankets or put together a sound booth, then do it. Go through the motions of what a real voice over actor must do every day. Don't leave out anything.
After recording the script, edit it. Remove any mouth noises like clicks, pops, and lip smacks. Get rid of any annoying breath sounds. Make sure that the final recording is as close to perfect as you can get it. (This is great practice for learning how to use recording software.)
With that first audition done, now do it all again with totally different scripts. Like I said, about six auditions a day to help you get a basic feel for the job.
If you grabbed your scripts from a voice over audition website, then please DON'T submit them unless you have already received quality training and have a professional demo. The last thing you want to do is to make a bad name for yourself before you even had a chance to make a good name. Submit auditions ONLY when a professional voice acting coach says you are ready.
Did you pass the test?
How did you fair on the test? Could you do it for one day? How about a week? How about a whole month? Could you imagine yourself doing this every single day as your career?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you've got what it takes to not only become successful as a voice over artist one day, but also to love doing it as well!