Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Want To Book More Voice Over Work? Go Get It!

By Scott Lumley

March 16, 2010

Comments (8)

Man climbing a rock faceIs voice over work not finding you?

What if you were to find it?

In today's VOX Daily, Scott Lumley, one of the team members here at Voices.com, talks about how you can use your gifts as a professional voice over artist to source your own work, gain business, and create a legacy in the process.

Are You Nurturing The Artist Within?

I'd like to ask you a question.

What is the most important word in the title 'Voice-Over Artist?'

I'll give you two hints. It's not 'Voice' or 'Over.' Artist is the most important word in that title.

Artists create imagery, sounds, music, written works and recordings for people to listen to and enjoy every day, and they don't wait for a job to do this. They simply select the material they wish to work with and then they develop it into their own vision. There isn't always a payoff in being an artist, but there is always potential reward.

By now, some of you are wondering what I could possibly be talking about. How can you possibly work as a voice over artist with no material? You can't work in a void, a voice without words is the equivalent of one hand clapping.

Well, that's both right and wrong. You do want to have some sort of script to work from as a voice over artist, but if you wait for someone to bring it to you, you might be waiting a long time.

The Solution? Create Your Own Work.

Find a public domain or creative commons book that you want to record... and then record it. There are thousands of public domain books out there that can be recorded and rebroadcast at will. Think of the list of books that you could record. Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. The Sherlock Holmes novels. The entirety of Shakespeare's work. Bram Stoker's Dracula. Mark Twain. Charles Dickens. The list goes on and on.

To see more examples, click on the links below:

Project Gutenberg
LibriVox.org

It can take some time and effort to record your own Audiobook, but when that step is complete you'll have a finished work for your own portfolio that few people will be able to match. You will have gained important experience that you may never have gained if you waited for someone to award you an audiobook job. You'll have a legacy that your children and grandchildren can listen to. And, if you do a good enough job, you can even submit your new recording to iTunes or the Voices.com store for sale.

It isn't limited to just audiobooks. If you have children or grandchildren, do some audio recordings of their favourite bedtime stories. (For personal use only of course...) If you have writing ability, write your own essays and scripts and record those for broadcast or sale online.

You can even sit down with a friend that has a shared interest and do your own podcasts. Talk about anything you like, edit the recording down to the finer points and save it. Once you have a series of podcasts done that you're proud of, submit them to the iTunes Podcast Directory or upload them to YouTube.com or another distribution channel and see how many people start listening to you just because you have something to say.

Being An Artist

Being a voice over artist isn't always about working jobs. You should be doing it because you love it. You love to talk, you enjoy refining your craft and recording skills, you want to get better as an artist and a professional.

Don't wait for these things to come to you.

Get started on your own portfolio and concentrate on making it bigger and better. Get your voice out there and start building your own brand!

Good things may come to those who wait, but I can assure you that you'll be far more successful if you go get it.

So, go get it!

Kind regards,

Scott Lumley
Customer Care Specialist
Voices.com

©iStockphoto.com/Vernon Wiley

Related Topics: artist, audiobooks, child, experience, legacy, podcasting, portfolio, YouTube


Comments


    This is an awesome article and totally on the ball! Another great way to get your name out there and even practice is look out people who are doing audio books/podcast novels. They are always looking for some great talent! Most podcasters can't afford to pay for those types of things but it definitely establishes you as someone who's out in the voice over field and it can be a ton of fun!

    Posted by:
    • Kimi
    • March 16, 2010 10:19 PM

      Great article and this is exactly what we have been doing the past year: creating audio tours in English for The Netherlands. Being Dutch native voice actors -and recording a lot in English as well- we are now close to launching www.hollandaudiotours.com.

      A couple of those are also on iTunes, AmazonMP3, Napster, Rhapsody and eMusic under artist name International Audio Tours.

      Great tip indeed for those slow days!

      Hans & Christa

      Posted by:

        How does this work if you're a member of a union?
        I'm in ACTRA and I don't think I can just start producing and selling my own stuff.
        That's considered non-union, and I imagine there are rules like this in the U.S.A. as well.
        I don't think I could make my own audio books or podcasts, or answer ads for online work through the various websites that do that sort of thing...
        Do youhave any tips for Union Voice Artists?

        Thank you.

        Posted by:

          There are also groups online that do audio theatre and are always looking for voice artists, writers, directors, etc. - another great way to build up your talent and your resume! Pendant Audio (www.pendantaudio.com); BrokenSea Audio (www.brokensea.com); Darker Projects (www.darkerprojects.com); those are but some of the places online!

          Posted by:

            Hi Jason,

            Thank you for your comment and I hope all is well with you.

            What I'd do is ask ACTRA what their stance is on this. I would imagine that so long as you are billing the union minimum this should not be an issue. For a fact, I know that there are other people who are union out there producing and selling their own work. Some are doing so under the banner of their own production company. Scott Brick is one person who is producing their own projects for sale.

            Best wishes,

            Stephanie

            Posted by:


              Scott,
              This is an excellent article.
              Thank you so much for sharing this information.
              It may seem simple and a little common (or uncommon) sense
              but to someone else its sheer genius. That's how I received it
              from you, Scott. It's absolutely amazing to realise that one has information that can be shared for free which can bring light to someone's situation. Thanks again.

              Posted by:
              • Chester Connell
              • March 20, 2010 3:01 PM

                I have to agree with the audio drama podcasts. Been doing a lot of voiceover performances for Misfits Audio, DarkerProjects.com, SpiritBlade.com etc. It gives me great experience acting in front of a microphone from my at home setup. I've done VO's for 15 years, but always at a studio. A few years back, the main one I worked for left town. What was left locally was few and far between. I realized that would leave me trying to record from home to expand my market, and that was a daunting experience. So a few months back audition for a DarkerProjects podcast and got the part. After that I began doing more of these podcasts, including playing four out of five male characters in an upcoming Misfits production. I have even been offer a role for a show that I did not originally audition for. Do I get paid for these? No, these need to be considered community theatre of the internet. But I'm getting more comfortable recording out of my home and I feel confident that I can now produce a good product for any paying jobs that come along.

                H Keith Lyons
                When Character Counts

                Posted by:
                • H Keith Lyons
                • March 24, 2010 4:16 PM

                  Amazing article! Developing product not only keeps your skills sharp, but your business sense, too. When it's your job to 'project manage', whether you intend on taking your end result to market or not, you learn more about how your clients and prospects think. You're then better able to provide them what they need!

                  Posted by:

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