Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What Makes A Great Voice Actor?

If you're reading this article, it's likely that you have already made the decision to hire a professional voice    over actor or actress for your marketing project-- congratulations! A voice over professional can add a lot to just about any project. After this decision, however, comes perhaps the most difficult yet essential part of the process: interviewing. Those who have not done extensive work involving voice over may be wondering what exactly it is that sets truly great voice actors and actresses apart from the rest of the pack.

These are a few of the characteristics that add up to an outstanding voice over artist:

1.The voice over is believable. You need someone who sounds like a real person, not a narrator or announcer. Talented voice over artists should be adept at practicing their 'non-announcer' reading and voices, so ask them to read a variety of pieces to make sure they don't fall into a pattern of reading like a newscaster.

2.The voice over has the right pitch and tone. Voice over artists are constantly practicing different pitches and tones of their voice so that they can create their own 'music.' This ensures that their voice stands apart from the rest; take the time to listen for distinct characteristics that make them different from other actors and actresses.

3.High-quality demo tapes. The tapes you receive from potential voice actors and actresses will be a great asset to you once your face-to-face interviews are over. Take advantage of the snapshot of an actor or actress's work that these tapes provide, and use this insight in making your final decision.

4.He or she demonstrates the ability to perform in a wide range of vocal styles. During the interviewing process, you will probably ask your potential hires to read from a sample script or scripts of your choosing. Take a advantage of this opportunity and have candidates read in a variety of different styles.

5.He or she exhibits a good vocal flow. In everyday speech, most of us stop and start erratically, and do not have much control over our speed. In the case of a professional voice over artist, this should not be so - a voice actor or actress should be able to speak in a fluid manner.

6.The voice over artist has solid references. Take the time to review references or testimonials to determine if you're working with an amateur or professional. Voice over artists who have a history of quality projects, working with a diverse set of clients, and providing consistency with their work are strong candidates for your project.

7.He or she exhibits enthusiasm and vocal stamina. At times, recording a voice is no picnic; lines will likely need to be repeated over and over to get the exact right take. Be sure to pick a candidate that will maintain a good attitude and a strong voice under these conditions.

If you put forth the time and effort necessary to find a voice over professional with all of these essential traits, you are certain to have a much more pleasant experience completing the project. Finding the perfect candidate may be time-consuming, but it is certainly worth it.