Voiceover, voice actor, voice artist, so many names and iterations of people using their voice as an instrument aside from singing. Whether that be narrating a TV program, a commercial on the TV, Radio, Cinema or nowadays online. Voice overs are heard everywhere, daily, in many interactive places. They remind us of a human connection we have with something which would otherwise be inanimate. Sometimes commercials, or product demos are created in other ways, representing desire without the human emotion that comes from a voice over, but when a voice gets involved, things come to life. Lifting words from a page, making them sound like they are being spoken in the moment, that’s the talent of being a great voice over. Check out my best voice actor post for more on that.
Voice overs most often are recorded, but in some instances live, and associated usually with Film, TV and Radio, however with new technologies we interact with more voice over talent than ever. Personal assistants such as Siri and Google, talk to us, voiced by incredible talents such as Jon Briggs or check outs in super markets, post office counters, big wagons which are reversing, on hold announcements, all sorts of places we hear a voice, recorded from a booth somewhere across the planet, on a microphone which is picking up the vibrations of their vocal cords, informing us of something.
It’s probably worth mentioning at this point that voice actors are probably still voice overs, and this could just be a terminology thing which many people use differently, however for me, the term voice actor refers to someone who is acting in a dramatic sense. That might be video games, TV shows where the character is animated or otherwise unable to talk, dubbing a foreign production from another language, animated cartoons, radio dramas, and to an extent a lot of audio books.
I remember growing up, hearing the people on the TV between programs, “coming up next…” and I was always amazed at their sound, the professionalism, the silky tones, the connection to guidance through the on air programming, continuity announcers as they are so called are like having a friend, or a trusted person, guide you through the day, keeping you informed, watching along with you. I was obsessed with hosting my own TV show, and in fact in my mind I created a fictitious TV show “Danz Show”, it had a theme tune and everything. I would interview people, introduce other TV shows in a Saturday morning TV Style, and it was all anchored and inspired by these faceless talents between the programs.
Voiceovers impact on your daily lives may go unnoticed, certainly under appreciated, think of it this way, when you use a self serve, if it beeped and had bland instructions telling you what to do, how different would it make you feel? Sure we all get annoyed with the “an unexpected item is in the bagging area” but without that, things would feel so disconnected, without personality and the humour we get from it.
Voiceovers are about creating something none physically visual, but making it visual in your minds eye, something which is much more powerful than the ease of visuality. Theatre of the mind as I used to refer to it when I was talking to careers advisors as a young spunky 16 year old. The fact of the matter at the time was that nobody really understood what I meant, but nowadays the voiceover community has opened up into the world, more people than ever have access to the ability to make a career of it, sure that comes with it’s negative impacts on the industry such as diving rates and painful consequences for existing successful talent when someone new comes on the scene and mops up your work. But it also brings to highlight for me in particular, the appreciation, admiration, and respect I have for this industry, and why I love what I do so much.
To chat more about voiceover, contact me today and let’s work together on your next project!