Voice Overs 
Use Your Voice To Earn Extra Cash

Voice overs - There are many different products that may require a voice to be recorded to promote it or to deliver it.

For instance TV commercials, audible books and shopping mall or railways announcements are just a few examples where a voice over is required.

It may sound like easy work but it is quite difficult to get into and will require lots of hard work to promote yourself and your voice.

You may find that you get turned down quite a lot at the beginning but it is one of those jobs where the more people get to see or hear your name, the better the chance of picking up some work.

To start off with you will be required to visit a studio to record the work but as your reputation grows and the more work that comes your way, it may be beneficial to set up your own home studio so that you are able to record at home.

This can be an advantage as some voice overs work requires a quick turnaround and if you are able to record straight away, the more work will come your way in the future.

What Is It?

To get started you will have to record your own "show reel". This is a CD highlighting all your skills of a voice over. The more varied and imaginative your show reel is the better.

Use different accents, read different types of commentary, record some pretend advertisements and use sound affects etc. Standing out from the crowd is what you are aiming for.

It may be that you have a certain type of voice that would suit a particular area of work, so make the most of this and highlight it on your CD.

There are many production companies that are experienced in producing show reels and will be able to give you advice as to how and what to record. This will mean some cost to you, but remember the show reel is your calling card and will be your only way to secure work.

Once you have your show reel you will have to send it to as many voice over agencies as possible as well as direct to TV and radio companies. Securing an agency will provide you with the best chance of securing work as they often deal with a very wide base of customers dealing in all sorts of work.

Do I need any qualifications or training?

It is not essential to have any training but to give your self the best chance, taking some acting classes or voice training could be an advantage. Many people who do this sort of work have acting or broadcasting experience but if you are a natural or have a very distinctive voice, there is no reason why you would not secure work.

Are there any costs involved?

The biggest cost is the producing of your show reel. This will cost you several hundred pounds as well as the cost of pressing the Cd's. After that your biggest cost will be postage and stationary to promote your Cd.

You may also have to pay for your own travel costs if you have to visit a particular studio, but this will be written into any contract.

Pros/cons

On the plus side this is fun work and you may even get to rub shoulders with celebrities.

On the negative side, this is a very competitive area of work and many people who try to get in on the voice overs work, never get anywhere. It is definitely not for the faint hearted and the more outgoing and determined you are the better.

Company's cut back on advertising when the economy is bad and so many find that work dries up. It is therefore an unreliable area of work subject to economic pressures, outside of your control.

Useful contacts

The Spotlight Magazine UK

Writers and Artists Year Books

The Stage newspaper

www.jinglebiz.com - courses in voice over work

www.theshowreel.com

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