10 Things I’ve Learned From Voiceover

voice actor voiceover voiceover artist Mar 02, 2022
Katherine Beck, The All American Actor’s Podcast

Episode 37: 10 Things I’ve Learned From Voiceover

I’ve been a Voice Actor for the past 20 years and in that time I’ve learned a thing or two.

Join me as I share with you the 10 things I’ve learned from voiceover

Whether you’re a Voice Actor or not you will learn how to enhance your voice and your career for all facets of the industry from voiceover, on screen or on stage.

By the time you finish listening, you’ll know:

  • 10 things you can be doing to enhance your voiceover career
  • Simple and effective ways to enhance your voice over
  • Tips on how to get noticed in the voiceover biz

    If this episode inspires you then I'd love to hear from you! Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, post it to your Instagram stories and tag me@katherine_beck_ !

    Then follow me on Instagram to go 'behind the scenes' with me and my own journey as an American accent coach and Voiceover Actor.


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    You're listening to the All American actors podcast, Episode 37. In today's episode, we're talking about the top 10 things I've learned about being a voiceover actor for the past 20 years, and how these lessons I've learned along the way can greatly impact your voice and your vocal performance that's coming up next. Ready to go behind the scenes and learn what it really takes to build a sustainable career as a working actor in the US film and TV industry. Join me Catherine back, you're all American accent coach, as I give you the insight and inspiration to take action on your career, learn my best tips and tricks to performing with an American accent and hear from working actors and other industry professionals. To give you a comprehensive overview of this biz we call show biz. This is the all American actors podcast. We will be jumping into today's episode in just a moment. But first, I want to give a big shout out to lesses more who sent me this five star review and says Katherine has a great voice. And I enjoy listening to her podcasts. First, she gives you some really great information. And she's super easy to understand and follow. I'll be recommending this podcast. Wow, thank you so much. And that really is my aim, you know, to give you the motivation, and an easy to fall away to learn and take action and inspire you to use your voice and feel confident with what you have to say. So thank you so much. And I know I've said this before, but when we get those five star reviews, it really does help us get ranked and recognized by Apple, which means we can get seen and heard by many more actors all across the world. So if you are loving this podcast, do me a quick favor, just take 30 seconds of your time, make sure you subscribe and leave us a five star review. And you might get mentioned on the show, which is really fun. So if you're loving this episode, go ahead and leave us a review. Alright, so let's jump into today's episode. And in the past couple of weeks, I brought you a couple of voiceover actors to the podcast to give you their perspective on the voiceover bits. And so today I thought, why don't I share with you my perspective into the voiceover industry what it's like to be a voiceover actor for the past 20 years, what I've learned from starting my career in the US and then moving over here to Australia, I guess I have learned a thing or two. So in this episode, I'm going to share with you my top 10 things I've learned from being a voice over actor. So whether or not you're an actor, there's things that I've learned along the way that I'd love to share with you, which I know are bound to inspire you and shaped the way you speak in some way. So let's start with number 10. Number 10 is do not make a demo too soon. Now, when I started out my voiceover career in Chicago, I did not know what I was doing. So I didn't know any better as most actors are in the same position as me. And we tend to jump into voiceovers thinking, well, I want to make some money with my voice. That sounds easy. It sounds fun. So I got to make a demo. First thing I did was I sought the help of a voiceover coach who taught me the ins and outs of voiceover how to break down commercial copy and bring it to life with my voice. And he helped me pick out scripts and record them and put together my first demo. In a very short period of time, I would say probably in about three, four months, I had my first demo. And once it was done, I thought well, all you need to do is send it to an agent and you'll get signed and you'll start working in the voiceover industry, right? Wrong. It was not so easy. And I realized that you know, it's a lot harder to get that first agent and a really good first agent. So when I first got signed, it was with a lower level agency, which meant the auditions were few and far between and I actually never booked a voiceover job with them. When I first started out at that first agency that I signed with for voiceover and looking back at things I realized it started with my demo. It was okay but okay isn't going to book you the job. Okay, isn't going to get you those auditions, okay isn't going to get you the best agents. So what did I do? Well, I went back to class and I continued to train and learn and grow. As I recorded and practiced in front of the microphone, I finally felt like I was ready to record a new demo. And this time, it was way better. It was a way better representation of me of what I could give to the voiceover market. And I really had a better idea of my voiceover brand. Which leads me to number nine, which is know via voice over brand Know what you can sell what you can voice, you know, the ability to tune in with your voice and match it to who you are there to serve, who you're there to help, how you really stand out in the market and the roles that you are suitable to book that can really help you navigate your way through the voiceover industry and really show agents. You know, if you're looking for a voiceover agent, what you have to offer, why your voice is unique and different and bookable amongst so many other voiceover artists that have similar voices to you. Sure, you know, it's great to have versatility in your voice, right? It's great to be able to be able to voice lots of different things, lots of different characters, but it is super helpful to know what kind of products your voice can sell, who you relate to, in front of the microphone. What sort of audience does your voice lend itself to? Are you a promo voice? And if so, what types of promos? Could you voice? Can you do character voices, and if so what kind of characters, I can do character voices, but I can't do all character voices, I know my limitations. So I work within those limitations, it doesn't mean that I won't stretch myself and try new things. But it's important to know your brand, what you can sell what you can voice. So the sooner you can identify your voice over brand, the better. Number eight is to be early to be on time is to be late. So whether you are going for an audition or a voiceover job, in person, or even from your home studio, always give yourself that extra bit of time, so you don't feel rushed. When you get in front of the microphone. A voiceover teacher once told me, if you are on time, you're late, and I totally get it. You need to give yourself that extra bit of time to prepare Before you begin, and to be respectful to the other person's time as well. courtesy and respect goes such a long way in this industry. So give yourself just those extra few minutes to ensure that you're not late. And those extra few minutes are really going to help you feel calm and at ease. Before voicing your voiceover. It's going to give you that opportunity to prepare both mentally and physically, you know doing a vocal warmup before you start, which leads me to number seven, do your vocal warm up whether it's before a job or an audition, even just a quick three to five minute warm up can get you loose, warmed up, energized and ready to go. Think about it. Does an athlete warm up before a big race before a competition? Yes, so why shouldn't you so even just those few extra minutes is going to help you in the long run in front of the microphone. And for your performance. My favorite go to exercises are for the lips for the tongue, the lower jaw and the soft palate, the articulators you know, we got to get those warmed up and ready to go. And I also like to do if I have time, a little bit of resonance work range projection, add in a tongue twister. Again, it doesn't need to be extensive to be impactful. But you need to make sure you aren't just going through the motions that you're really thoughtful with your vocal warmup before you begin. So do your vocal warm ups with intention and purpose to get the biggest benefit. Number six is cold read often, the benefits of cold reading give you the ability to pick up anything from the page and make it come to life to connect to the words and new word combinations, sentence combinations and really make them come to life. It's hard to read something new that we haven't read before and make it sound like it's not being read off the page. But it's a skill. And it's a skill that can be learned. And we learn that through practice. So the more that you practice called reading, the easier it becomes, my recommendation for you is five to 10 minutes a day, this will have a great impact. So make sure you do yourself a favor, pick up a magazine a book, read something online and just read it out loud for five minutes a day. Number five, never stop learning. The moment we think I got this, I know what I'm doing. That is the moment that we lose our edge. There was always something we can learn and refine in our skills and I love learning something new from others. Yes, I know how to break down a script and voice it but I am very much open to learning from a new teacher who has a different outlook on things and every time you're in front of the microphone well that is an opportunity to perform to express to share something with your voice. So for me, I am all about learning something new or learning the same thing, but from a different perspective. Now on to number four, visually see the world around you, when I am clear in my head of who I am speaking to, and where we are, when I can see that picture inside of my head visually, well, then you know what happens, you can hear it through the microphone. But when we generalize our audience who we're speaking to, we haven't positioned ourselves somewhere in some place some environment, the voice starts to sound a little bit more clinical read, like we're reading the words off the page, there's no substance or life. So for me, when I can paint that visual image inside my head, it helps me bring my voice to life. And that brings me to number three, which is physically embodied the voice, when we bring the body into the voice, we are connecting our voice to our message and setting it out to our audience. But if we don't allow our body to be part of the equation, well, how can you really fully connect to the voice to the voiceover to the words on the page, our voice is part of our body. So when you can physically connect to what you're saying, the words on the page will be so much easier to be understood, you'll be connecting to your audience. And that's really what we want, right? So you want to make sure that you don't have that disconnect between your body and your voice, and the person that you're speaking to. We want all of this to flow naturally easily. And think about it. If you're tense or you're nervous, and your body tenses up, we start to constrict the air flow, right. All of this can be heard through the microphone. So the sooner we can start to ease the body, relax, calm, those nerves Connect physically to our body and our voice, the easier the whole process becomes. And the more natural it flows out of us through the microphone and to your audience. Alright, and now down to number two, which is have fun, allow yourself to play to make big choices, big bold choices to fail miserably to play like you're five years old. You know, this is where the magic really is, when we are Uncensored, when we don't hold back when we follow our instincts and make big choices and really own them. And when we strive for perfection, or try to guess what the other person is looking for. We do ourselves a disservice. Really, you know, the moment where I have been the most free and open are the moments that I usually booked the role. And I can usually sense that to you know, I'm not surprised when I hear I've booked the job. But it's those moments that I'm sure you felt that too. It's those moments where we put in that extra little bit of effort or energy into those auditions because we wanted so bad. And that's usually when it backfires. It may not be too obvious to us, you know, but it's there it is there. And so we want to be mindful of that those you know, those moments where we put in just that extra little bit of effort and energy. If you're doing an audition, allow yourself another take to really let go, be free, be open to whatever wants to come out, follow your instincts and allow each audition to be an opportunity to really play run wild with your imagination. I mean, after all, isn't that way more fun than taking everything so seriously, and trying so hard. So have fun. All right. And finally, number one, my number one thing that I've learned in being a voiceover actor over the past 20 years that I want to share with you is this love the sound of your own voice. I remember when I first started taking voiceover classes, I hated the sound of my voice. I couldn't stand listening to it. But really one of the keys to you know learning and growing is by listening to yourself, recording yourself and playing back you know, to see where you are so that you can start to refine your skills to learn to grow. Yes, you've got to start listening and learning to love the sound of your voice. We have to love who we are right and that includes all parts of us. But for this the voice we need to learn to love our voice so I know how to craft my voice. And for me what that taught me in listening, playing back and analyzing my voice Well, I also learned how to craft my voice to use my voice like a musical instrument to shape the sounds with my articulators to create a character voice. My body and the more I would play back and listen, the more I grew as a voice actor. So now Yes, I do. I love my voice. I love its quirks, I love its imperfections. I love that it's not perfect, because it's me, it's who I am. It's a reflection of who I am inside. My voice is unique. It's mine. It's one of a kind. And I love it. And I love sharing it with the world. And that's what I hope for you that you find that love your voice, the uniqueness, the quirks, the imperfections, and that you remember that what you have to say is important. So love your voice and love sharing it with the world. So there you have it. Those are my top 10 things I have learned about voiceover and wanted to share with you. I hope you've gotten something out of today's podcast, whether you're a voiceover actor, an on screen actor on stage, not even an actor, you know, a presenter, just an average person that uses their voice. I want to invite you to take something one thing I've shared with you today and bring it into your process of how you use your voice. You know, so whether it's for voiceover, a self tape, audition, a stage performance, whatever it may be, let me know too. I would love to hear from you. Drop me a DM on Instagram. My handle is at Katherine_Beck_ send me a message and let me know one way one tip one thing you learned today and use for your voice. And don't forget to let me know if you love this episode by taking a screenshot of the show. Share it with me on Instagram stories. I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode. So thanks again for listening to today's episode. And remember, if you're an actor out there and you're thinking I want to get started on my American accent Well, I've got a great guide for you. If you have not yet downloaded my free American accent guide it is yours just head over to Katherine beck.com slash accent. And coming up next week on the show. I'm going to be talking about your personal brand as an actor why that's important and why you should start thinking about the business side of acting. Now make sure to share the show with all your actor friends, let them know what's coming up next week and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become an all American Actor so you can be the working actor you dream to be until then go practice your American accent and I'll see you back here next time.