To begin with, it’s easier to simply ask the question “What is a Voice Over?”, and then consider the question of who actually provides voice over services. A ‘Voice Over’ can be defined as:
“Anytime a voice is heard without seeing a person talking on TV, film, animation, games, and other media and corporate platforms”.
A ‘Voice Over Artist’ – sometimes referred to as a ‘Voice Artist’, ‘Voiceover actress or actor’, ‘Voice talent’ or even ‘Voice artiste’, provides voices for animated characters (including those in feature films, television series, animated shorts, and video games) and radio and audio dramas and comedy, and does voice-overs in radio and television commercials, promos, audio dramas, dubbed foreign language films, training and presentation guides, websites, iPhone apps, train announcement services, inStore, Satellite Navigation systems, the list places that use voice over artists is virtually endless…
A true voice over artist is a trained one, and like me – as a British female voice over artist – their voice is their business.
What is a Voice Actor?
Although often used interchangeably with the term ‘Voice Over’, a true voice actor is someone who creates characters with their voices, which is very different from people who do just impressions or impersonations of another person’s voice..
To really claim you are a voice actor you need to have trained as an actor to get the required skills to really become a character, to bring the words in the script to life, and make the listener visualize that character fully. You can always tell when someone is just ‘doing a character voice’, as often there is no life in that character at all.
If you ever want to employ character voices I really suggest going with actors who are experienced in this field, and who have had all the necessary training and experience as both an actor and a voice artist
Finding a professional British female voice over artist
Check whether they are an Equity member and part of SaVoa & World Voices.
Professional voice over artists will have a strong background of work in either a specific area or in many different areas. They have done training and specific courses to gain the skills they need. Most professional voice artists are actors or presenters who have had drama training.
Not only am I a female voice over artist, but as a trained actress I have a wealth of experience behind me, and I also have professional editing skills which a lot of people who do voiceover work don’t have.
Here are some basic tips for finding the right voice over artist for your project:
Firstly, get them to record a sample for you.
Then, ask questions like:
- What kind of voice would I expect to hear in selling this project?
- How quickly can they get it done?
- Are they professional and reliable?
- Do they have a good studio set up, if not, are they able to travel to a recording studio chosen by you?
In addition, check who their previous clients have been – this gives a lot away. Can they provide testimonials or references?