Could this be a career for you ?
Have you got what it takes to make it in voice-overs?
What is a voice-over to start with?
It is the art of using the voice to sell, inform or entertain on radio and TV commercials, non-broadcast narrations for corporate audio or phone lines, and animation or cartoons.
BUT it takes much more than a great sounding voice to be successful in voice-overs. While clear speech is essential, you also need:
The ability to take someone else's words (the script) and make them sound believable and sincere, as if they were your own words. This has more to do with acting ability and timing than voice quality (you don't need a big deep voice or sound like a 60's laundry detergent ad type of voice). With proper training this skill can be learned. A strong desire to do this and the ability to be persistant.
How much money can I make in this business?
A lot. Top voice over talent make six and even seven figure incomes (in the U.S. especially but a V/O career in Aotearoa can be good too). If you are lucky enough to book a long running national commercial you can make well over $10,000 in residual payments for just one spot.
Can I do this if I have a day job?
Absolutely! In fact, it will probably take a few years before your voice over career is established enough to be your sole means of support. In the meantime, you'll need to invest some of the money you make at your day job in things like classes, demo tape production and duplication, and marketing expenses to get your voice over career off the ground. Don't let the money factor turn you off, look at the homeless guy on the side of the road who became world famous cause he had a golden voice.
I think more Maori voices on radio and screen brings a different feel, style and tone to the same voices your hear all the time (and be able to pronounce Maori names properly) so if you think you've got what it takes to break it in voice over Kia Ora FM is always looking for different voices for the various jobs we do.
How do I get started?
First, find a competent coach to train you in voice over technique (which is really voice acting) and help you with your demo tape. Then, record your tape in a professional studio. Duplicate and distribute the tape to casting directors, agents and production companies. Then follow up consistently on every tape you send. Keep practicing and working to master your craft.