Wednesday 18 March 2020

How do I work as a Voiceover Artist?

Here at the BigFish Media HQ we love anything audio at any time (ok enough alliteration Fishy. Ed.). And so, do our voiceover artists. And we would love to book all of our voices either a lot of work all the time or one off huge well-paid jobs. However, it can take years and years to get picked (oh yes, it’s a little like being picked at sports at school) and you many never score that huge commercial. (In any case the way advertising is going, a global buyout for you to pay off our Aquarium mortgage is unlikely). So how do you as a voiceover actor keep yourself afloat when waiting of juicy voiceover jobs to come in after fishing around for them?

The simple answer is that you get a job. Yes. There is absolutely no shame in doing so. All of us have jobs, all of us have to have jobs (Fishy likes to eat us out of house and home and we have bills, bobs and brendas to pay). Recently there have been some reports about an actor from the well known and long running TV show Eastenders being papped working as a security guard. Well now, there seems to be a rule for big fishes and little ones and so we repeat again that we all have jobs. Some of us even two or three other jobs to keep us going. 

Here is a list of jobs that we Fishes are do either at HQ or freelance;
1.     Sound Engineer
2.     Copywriter
3.     Producer
4.     Director
5.     Social Media curator
6.     Role Player
7.     Sound Designer
8.     Trainer
9.     Coach

The list goes on and on. We are proud of being slashers and having one/two/three jobs or more. Its what we enjoy, what we do and who we are. We actually revel in the constant flux and flow of our lives. Yes we all voice but yes we do so many other things that we would chat your ear off at dinner parties when you ask that “So what do you do?” question.

You may be asking yourself why would you have to work all these jobs – and the answer is that unless you are a well-known personality or celebrity or acclaimed actor then chances are that you won’t be voicing all day and all night all the time. (Though if you do narrate audiobooks then you probably are and we applaud you, as that is a long slog). The reality is also that your voice will voice what it can. So Fishy won’t be able to voice Cat or Dog (well Fishy can try but let’s face it Fishy can’t). And Cat and Dog won’t be able to voice Fishy. It means that your voice won’t be on trend all of the time.

Also working means that you gain insight and experience of real people which is incredibly important as a performer. When you get cast in any role, you can think about experiences that may have been similar and then get into character more easily and get it more.

However, if you happen to book a regular equitably-remunerated voiceover gig then yep give up the day job (well if you want to – I mean it might be quite fun right Fishy?!). Many voiceover artists work real jobs because they need the income, they might need to because of their life situation or they might not need to because of their life situation and voicing is their only income. The point is that we are all different fishes swimming in the sea and we all need to pay the bills and there is nowt wrong with that. It means you are a grown-up who knows that this is what it means to be a working professional voiceover artist.