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How to get started and succeed in voice-over work ?

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You are interested in the profession of voice actor and the audiovisual production industry, but you are an amateur or a beginner and do not know where to start.

Motivated to learn more and more, you dream of being a cartoon voice, of doing radio commercials, TV spots, documentaries... Your friends and family often tell you that you have a beautiful tone, a beautiful voice. It's probably true, but all these nice words will not be enough if you want to succeed in this job.

You need to know the ins and outs before you start.


It's not easy every day, far from it, you will have periods of doubt and loss of energy, but if you hang in there, work hard and BELIEVE in yourself, there is no reason not to be successful.




7 critical steps to success in Voice-Over


1. Find information about the Voice-Off profession



photo dun homme qui cherche avec une longue vue


30 years ago, it was a rather closed environment and therefore much less competitive.


For voice dubbing, Paris was the center of everything, and few voice actors did not live in the capital.



Moreover, this profession was not very well known and the professionals were reluctant to give advice on the path of a voice artist.



It must be said that there was not really a specific curriculum, most of them came from the theater world or were already known as artists and then went directly through the production studios without having to do castings.


At the same time, who wouldn't have done the same thing in their place? An unknown audiovisual profession, little competition and very well paid, nothing more normal than that they want to keep their share of the cake.


Today things have changed, the internet has come along,

thank you Tim Berners-Lee


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You can sell your voice from your home and anywhere in the world.

Internet is "THE" tool to use absolutely to find all the information you need.

Google will become your best friend, don't be afraid to look for information. Ask yourself these questions and above all, find the answers:


  • What is a voiceover talent ?

  • Are there any books, blogs, podcasts, Facebook groups, webinars that talk about it?

  • Who are the most famous dubbing actors ?

  • How do I know if I have the potential to do voiceover recordings ?

  • What is the difference between a voice-over talent and a voice actor ?

  • Are there any schools or training centers ?


Refine this first step and write down everything you learn, much like…


dessin-sherlock-holmes-questions-quand-comment-pourquoi


2. Refine this first step and write down everything you learn, much like



photo-tirelire-argent

You have to be ready to invest some money. There is no secret, to be good in TV commercials, radio spots, institutional films, trailers, documentaries...You have to train and put a little money in your pocket.


Two types of training exist :


1. Online voice coaching


Count between 200 and 1000 euros according to the starting level. For beginners it is a very good way to know if you want to go further in the training or not, without having to spend too much.

The price is higher when you want to go to the professional level but remains reasonable.


Benefits:

  • You can train from home whenever you want

  • Some online courses provide lifetime access to their platform

Disadvantages ;

  • The student trains alone and can quickly lose motivation.

  • No setting in situation as in school (to become familiar with the microphone, the studio, to learn the sound techniques).


Distance learning is a very good alternative to apprenticeship, but plan to go through a school if you have the financial means. Nothing beats the direct contact between a coach and his student.

Here are some addresses:


Avenue de la voix (online and/or face-to-face)

Super prof (online and/or face-to-face)

Coaching voix off online



2. School training


Count around 3000 euros for 15 days. Some schools are accessible via the CPF, l’AFDAS…


Benefits :

  • In direct contact with the coach, it is more reassuring

  • Setting in situation as during a studio recording session

  • Different types of speakers (in general) sound engineer, phoniatrist, speech therapist...

  • Learning the basics of post production, voice recording, interface setting, use of audio software like audacity, protools...

Disadvantages :

  • Training time a little short to see a maximum of specialties.


Some addresses :


Vox populi (Lyon region)

Les escales buissonnières (Lyon)

Les coachs associés (Paris)

Rhinocéros (Paris)

La voix pub (Paris) advertising speciality


If you haven't already, take acting classes, even in the small local association, whether it's acting classes, improvisational theater, the main thing is to gain experience in acting. Keep training throughout your career.




3. Practice vocal mimicry every day


photo-femme-écoute-parle

What does it involve ?


This notion of mimicry is anchored since our earliest childhood.

You certainly have memories that bring you back to the time when you would repeat everything you heard, until mom and dad would take you back and forbid you to reproduce what was coming out of the adults' mouths.


If you want to excel in this business, practice exactly what you hear from other voice-overs. Listen to TV commercials, radio spots, cartoons...and repeat like a parrot.


Once you have learned the musicality of one or more specialties such as documentary, corporate, advertising, you will only have to add your own vocal signature and YOUR emotions.



4. Install your home studio


homme-avec-micro-casque -home-studio

Don't spend too much money on sound recording equipment if you are only in the training phase.


Here is what you need to properly equip your home recording studio :




  • A cheap usb microphone (about 50 euros) with all its equipment to train, no need to invest in a Neumann.


photo-micro-usb
micro usb

  • An acoustic panel (40 euros)

acoustic panel
acoustic panel

  • anti pop filter


anti pop filter
anti pop filter

  • A free audio software rather easy to learn " Audacity ". Multiple tutorials exist on youtube


  • You probably already have a computer? This will do very well.


For experienced voice-over artists, pro equipment is a must.



5. Register on voice-over casting sites


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There are a large number of platforms specialized in casting, the goal being to expose the showcase of each voice on their website, to increase the rate of visits from potential customers.


Some of them only offer their services on the condition that you subscribe to a paid subscription.


Be careful to choose serious platforms that respect the basic rates of voice over services, low cost platforms are growing like crazy, we will have the opportunity to discuss this subject soon.


Don't limit yourself to French sites, there are plenty of them abroad, in Spain, England, the United States, Australia... Everywhere in the world French voices are sought.


Approach only if you are a confirmed professional



6. Learn how to sell yourself



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I started without really thinking about marketing. I learned on the job, I'm not a little proud of it but I lost a lot of time and time is money.

To be successful, we train every day and to be known and recognized, we must be visible.


Voiceover is 80% marketing and 20% voice, yes it is! 80 and 20. In short, you will spend more time looking for the client than recording your audio.


The best thing is to anticipate and learn what all the levers of voiceover marketing are. Remember... Sherlock Holmes. Learn everything first and then implement, you'll come away enriched with knowledge.


The most popular voices of the moment also use the internet to sell themselves, so why not you ?


Of course, if you have the means or if you don't feel like setting up everything alone, call on a professional, but remain vigilant and make sure of his or her know-how.

To know how to sell yourself is to learn:


  • To make a demo tape that showcases his professionalism

  • Canvassing companies

  • What kind of companies are always looking for voice over talent (communication agency, voice casting, marketing, French and foreign voice over platforms...)

  • Find clients "without having to canvass

  • To Prospect in the Stranger

  • To find out about new business start-ups

  • How to be visible on the web

  • How do competitors sell themselves

  • To broadcast its advertising (Google Ads, natural referencing...)

  • How to contact casting directors

The list is long, isn't it?

Cheer up, you're not doing all this for nothing.



7. Manage your own business



photo-homme-réfléchi

You understand that becoming a voice-over artist means accepting to be your own boss.

No guarantee of money coming in at the end of the month if the clients don't arrive.


Are you willing to take the risk? Maybe you have a family to feed?


Take stock of the qualities you have (or don't have) to work alone. If you think you have what it takes to get started, then :


  • Take the time to choose your legal status (intermittent, freelance)

  • No more procrastination, never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

  • Create a schedule for your weekly program, get up at a set time each morning.

  • Have a healthy lifestyle and take care of your voice

  • You are now multi-hatted, absolutely everything rests on you and you alone, You are now multi-hatted, absolutely everything rests on you and you alone,


You now have all the tools you need to start your own voice-over career. You are just at the beginning of your adventure and what a great adventure it is!



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