As a freelance voice artist, one of the hardest roles of the job can be finding the work and being selected as the chosen voice for a particular role; be that to provide the voice-over for a TV advert, for an e-learning platform or even as the voice for a character in a show. There’s stiff competition out there, and it’s generally the case that clients are looking for something specific. Whilst they’ll often not know who they want to use to voice their project, they’ll often have a good idea as to what they want in terms of a particular style of voice. Whether that means male or female, with a particular regional accent or even a specific vocal tone, will be different from project to project, however what’s important to understand is that there are ways in which the chances of winning work can be increased and, whilst this can require hard work at times, it’ll pay off and be well worth it.
We wanted to share our own top tips on how to win work as a freelance voice artist, bringing you what we believe to be the top three things you need to consider:
Invest In A Professional Show-Reel
A professional show-reel is an absolute must-have for voice artists, and this is something which should be invested in as soon as you’re ready to start pitching for work. Here at Matinée Multilingual, when we carry out an audition with potential voice artists, we’ll always give an honest opinion as to whether they’re ready to start working straight away or whether more training is needed to get up to the required standard. From there, we’ll happily recommend qualified voice coaches to help improve technique and, when we’re happy that an artist is ready to start recording, work with them to create a professional show-reel which demonstrates their abilities to the standard which top decision makers are after.
Without a professional show-reel, you’ll undoubtedly be missing out on opportunities which you may have otherwise landed, due to first impressions. Nothing shows your dedication and ability more than a professionally produced show-reel whilst, on the other hand, nothing puts decision makers off more than a badly produced one, which doesn’t do your voice any justice at all.
Whether you’re at the start of your career or have been acting as a voice artist for years, a professional show-reel is essential to your success, and similarly, something you need to keep updated. It’s your CV and using one which is outdated (or below the expected standard) won’t do you any favours.
Consider Professional Vocal Coaching
Many voice actors start their career on the stage, usually moving into voice work as an additional area of employment. Whether you’ve come through stage school, amateur dramatics or have never been on stage in your life, one thing which is important is that you consider professional vocal coaching.
If you want to be a successful voice artist, you need to be flexible and your voice needs to be adaptable and, as such, working with a professional coach to improve your technique, tone and vocal abilities can go a long way to helping you win the very best work. Alongside a great show-reel, professional tuition should be seen as a worthwhile investment and one which will undoubtedly see you put in a position where you’re able to win more work.
No voice artist, however good they are or however long they’ve been in the industry, is perfect, and there’s always something which they can improve on. Professional vocalists in the music industry work with vocal coaches on a regular basis and, transferring this over to the world of voice-overs, it’s just as important. The right coach will push you in the right direction and work to constantly improve your voice in a number of different ways.
Practice Makes Perfect
Perhaps an extension on the above, but a worthy point in its own right, is the importance of understanding that practice makes perfect. Even the most established voice artists need to practice and, regardless of where you are in your career, it’s important that you don’t let your technique slip either.
A voice artist needs to be flexible if they want to win the best work, with a great example being that, in many cases, females are sought to play the roles of young boys. Whilst certainly it is within the tonality of a woman’s voice, there’s still a technique to learn to project your voice in the right way and, as with all things, it’s something which really does get easier with practice.
Whether you’re at the start of your career or have been working as a voice artist for years, the same tips apply when it comes to winning work and, to summarise in just a few words, it’s important for you to understand just how important a professional show-reel is, as is working with a professional vocal coach and practising on a regular basis. Whilst these in themselves won’t generate you more requests for work, they’re a surefire way to increase your chances of winning this jobs you do pitch for!