There are thousands roads for those who want to become voice artists…
Being a voiceover talent is not a profession that you can learn at school. Most of times you realize you’re in the club all of a sudden. At least this is what happens in the Italian advertising market for italian voicetalents. Since a few years ago, there were few ways to become an italian voice talent: coming from a radio host experience, or being an actor who “wants to make money” (what a sin!)
Those are two different paths having some common elements, a lot of time spent in front of a mike is the most important. No matter if you studied as an actress (or actor) and are confident on properly playing a script, or if you are a radio host used to improvisation. I personally know great actors and acresses and Dj’s who become voice talent.
Talking abut me… I belong to a middle generation: professionaly born in an italian radio station and improved my technique at a theatre school. Both worlds didcontaminate each other and generate different skills that merge into a unique professionality. What is the real motivation that guides anyone who wants to become an italian voice artist? No guys, money is not the right answer!
Just to stay in this topic, it is not true that all voice talents do earn incredible amount of money in their work. The roarin’ ’90 have passed and great gains melted under the twin towers collapse and the Lehman Brothers bankrupcy.
So let’s go back to the main topic: how do you suddenly find yourself being a voice talent?
Being a voice talent is often the tip of an iceberg: what do you want to be once grown up?
It’s really difficult analyze what drives an actor or a radio host to completely dedicate himself to the art of acting in front of a microphone, experimenting thousands of ways one can use his voice.
There must be a deep need of self assertion, through sensibilities that emerge only using vocal cords. The voice is the mirror of the soul, somehow, the entry door to different personalities, letting you go further “body language” (are we living in an era based on appereance?).
Using your voice you can pretend to be who you like. And often an italian voice over artist is considered as versatile as he (or she) is able to interpret different colors and characters.
I often have the chance to guide as a teacher training courses about how to improve our own voice with professionals and non professional students. The microphone becomes the magic wand that makes you know unrevealed aspects of yourself. It is suprising the audience, but the performer as well, disclosing new ways to use the voice. This casual discovery for the non professionals , is the proving ground for the professional voice talent, always seeking for new ways to use his voice in harmony with the immaterial and always ready to use baggage I call “autobiographical experience”.
And here’s the heart of what I wanted to say with this post. You can become an italian voice over artist, use your beautiful voice at its best, transforming it into a perfect tool. But if you want to make the difference you have to count on your emotions, those subtle nuances that deliver true meanings even if the words are so trivial because they invite to buy something. You can’t invent this kind of sensitivity out of the blue. You must have lived it.
The ADV industry is always seeking for new proposals and tendencies. Are you ready to get involved?
And then there are some creatives who seem to know exactly what kind of voice they want to use. The girl next door, The boy from the ice cream stand, the young lover at the school exit. Those creatives want real voices, from real people, from real life.
Those people are going to be voice talent for one spot, because they would never be anyone but themselves.
being able to survive in this highly competitive market, where reality enters powerfully into fiction, (because we’re all into a reality show), some professional skills of the voice talent come to our aid.
Being a professional voice talent means also…
Being versatile. Being able to credibly interpret different characters and use different voice deliveries is a requirement that let you get more opportunities.
Take care of your voice. Just avoid arriving voiceless at your recording session because you was late last night with your friends (seems obvious but it is not).
Be punctual. Arrive fifteen minutes before is always a value, even if the “artist-who’s-always-late it’s so bohemian…: if you’re not named Lawrence Olivier, at the end account, creative director, producer and customer, really get angry!
A certain ability to use your social media. It’s important to make the professional community aware of what the projects you’re in charge are about!
Finally it’s important to develop a sensitivity that expresses itself in a slang made by both technical and metaphorical words that make you understand what the customer wants from you. The commonplace “let’s make it more blue” did not came out for no reason.The voice talent who was able to record a “more blue” take, surely has got a great return of reputation.