Fashion changes constantly. Fashion allows a person to express themselves. Fashion is an art form. These are all qualities that can also be applied to voice over work. What can UK voice artists learn from examining voiceover work as a type of fashion?
In the heat of fashion weeks around the globe, we take a minute to step back and think of “The Voiceover Fashion Statement,” that begs the question: Is the voice over industry similar to the fashion industry? What can we learn by looking at the voice over industry through the lens of fashion?
Language Identifies Us
Much like the clothes we wear, the way we speak identifies us to the world. Sub-cultures and generations each have their own unique colloquialisms which let a listener know where this person fits into the world. Of course, the image is not a complete picture of who the speaker is. But, much like a punk rocker is identified by their black leather jacket and studded belt, a person’s age and background are often revealed in their manner of speech.
There is another way to compare fashion to voice over work. Just like you’d choose different outfits for a job interview or a first date, the vocal tone a voice artist uses should depend on their client’s target audience. There is practically an entire genre of comedy devoted to people reading things in the wrong tone of voice. For example, watch the clip below; there’s something hilariously wrong about the way Liam Neeson says the word “swag.”
But, unless the client is looking for that sort of ironic comedy, it is important for voice actors to “dress up” their words with the right tone. Advertisers want their products targeted to a certain audience. The job of a voice actor is to speak in way that conveys confidence and trustworthiness to that particular demographic. That means choosing the right clothes for the right occasion.
Updating Your Wardrobe
How can you update your wardrobe, so to speak, in order to broaden your reach? Many professional voice actors keep up to date by taking courses, classes, and workshops. Other ways to hone your craft include:
- Listening to podcasts
- Paying attention to voice over in television ads
- Listening to the radio
- Studying other voice artists
If you are new to the voiceover industry, check out the demos of our regional voice actors for inspiration, or sign up for The Matinee Voice Over Workshop. The more people you hear speaking about a variety of topics, the bigger your vocal “wardrobe” will be.