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How to Break into the Voice-Over Business


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Jeffrey LeClair, President of JL Recording Studios in Toronto discusses how to break into the voice over business.

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How to Break into the Voice-Over Business

  1. 1. How to Break Into the Voice-OverBusinessBy Jeffrey LeClairThe beautiful thing about the voice-over businessis that everyone has a unique voice, even if yousound similar to someone else, breaking into thebusiness is a little easier with the market alwayslooking for a fresh voice.
  2. 2. How to Break Into the Voice-OverBusinessVoice acting is the type of business alwaysproviding an avenue to break into it. Youll needto specifically understand which areas of thebusiness you want to work in, which area is tomake the money in, and which area is the bestway to market your voice depending on whichcity or state you live in.
  3. 3. How to Break Into the Voice-OverBusinessI would not suggest jumping in, by rushing out to haveyour demo made. You as a voice-over actor need tobe proactive, youd do well to hire a coach, its evencommon to get coaching over the phone. You need todo whatever possible to work with somebodyknowledgeable about the voice business.
  4. 4. How to Break Into the Voice-OverBusinessIts important to understand the concept ofreading scripts, as well as being competitive inthis business. When you are ready to record avoice-over demo you must be able get that outto casting directors, the agents, the productionhouses, nonunion and union agenciespositioning you in the competitive area of thefield.
  5. 5. How to Break Into the Voice-OverBusinessA voice actor is best to put together an audiodemo when they feel confident enough thatthey are able to go into a booth - withoutstarting off in a booth, being able to create theread in a cold reading process.
  6. 6. How to Break Into the Voice-OverBusinessUnderstanding the elements of the read, if adirector says "warm" "authoritative" youll needto hit that mood, "fun" "easy going", or "off thecuff" youll be able to switch it up. So mostimportantly, what a voice actor has to learn is tobring their unique stamp.
  7. 7. How to Break Into the Voice-OverBusinessYour voice over demo, "commercial" specificallyspeaking, provides the most lucrative avenue ofthe field, a mix between television & radio, withseveral different moods that maybe fit five or sixapproaches. Once the director has "hip" "cool"they dont need "hip" "cool" anymore.
  8. 8. How to Break Into the Voice-OverBusinessNow, maybe they require an element of "warmsophisticated". Working with the right coachand/or the right voice over producer will helpyou choose the appropriate script copy to selectwhat youre going to put on your demo.
  9. 9. How to Break Into the Voice-OverBusinessThe voice over business has changed greatlyover the last ten years now that everybody hastheir own home studio. With so many morepeople in the business theres considerablymore competition for each job than there use tobe. We didnt have the Internet access that wehave today and the agents use to be on thephone.
  10. 10. How to Break Into the Voice-OverBusinessWith the home studio situation there are pros &cons. The pros are that if you have an agent inNew York, however you live in Toronto, youragent can email the scripts for you torecord in a professional recording studio, or ahome studio and you send your MP3 auditionback.
  11. 11. How to Break Into the Voice-OverBusinessThe con of that is, if you do not know how toself direct youre doing yourself a greatdisservice. You want to bring your "A" game tothe table and connect with the right people whoknow how to work in this business and arecapable of guiding you in the right direction,that just arent out there to say, "nice read" or"bad read”.
  12. 12. About Jeffrey LeClairJeffrey LeClair is the founder ofJL Recording Studios. Over the past 19 years,since arriving in Toronto, he has beenimmersed in the recording industry for allaspects of audio production. His professionalaudio producing and engineering skills includerecording, mixing and mastering for commercialvoice overs and all genres of music. You canalso follow his thoughts and musings on Googleby following @Google+.