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Announcing vs. Voice Acting

Posted in For Beginners by Administrator on the February 2nd, 2009

By Jim Conlan
Copyright Jim Conlan, Voice Overs 2009
To return to my website, just hit the “back” button on your toolbar.

Just as there are lots of ways to be employed as a voice-over talent, there are lots of ways to think of yourself as a voice-over talent. The most basic distinction is whether you call yourself an announcer or a voice actor.

In announcing there is usually one voice, and that voice is coming from a person who isn’t pretending to be someone else. He or she is simply delivering a message on behalf of a client.

In voice acting there may be one, two, or many voices. They are participating in a drama… so they’re pretending to be someone else.

In either case the purpose of doing it is to communicate information to someone so they will remember it and act on it.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF VOICE ACTING

There are many, many different kinds of voice actors, just as there are many different kinds of visual actors. Some voice actors specialize in comedy… even sub-specialties like character voices, unusual-sounding voices, or just great comic timing. Others specialize in being the “straight-man” or woman in a comedy team. Still others are better at serious scripts. There are monolog specialists and dialog specialists.

There are also some talented people who can do great announcing and great voice acting. In general, though, voice actors don’t work in all the categories I mentioned before. Their chief value is in broadcast advertising, TV and film work, and cartoon/anime projects.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF ANNOUNCING

There are as many kinds of announcing as there are announcers. Announcers find work in all of the categories I mentioned before.

Although we may think of announcers as pretty much sounding alike, there’s actually a great variety of styles, from extremely formal to exceptionally casual. Some announcers are chosen for a very specific style of speaking. Others adapt their style to the copy at hand.

Houston residents can find out more about the voice-over profession by attending one of my Introductions to Announcing and Voice Acting, through Leisure Learning Unlimited. More information is available at www.llu.com.

What makes a voice-over a voice-over?

Posted in For Beginners by Administrator on the February 2nd, 2009

By Jim Conlan
Copyright Jim Conlan, Voice Overs 2009
To return to my website, just hit the “back” button on your toolbar.

Voiceovers are an essential part of a great many forms of communication. Although there are lots of differences among various types of voice talent, they all share one goal: to communicate clearly and memorably.

They also share one challenge: to communicate without being seen – they are simply a “voice,” unsupported by facial or body gestures. This means that you’ll have to re-route all your physical communication cues into your voice. It can be a challenge… but if you listen to any good voice-over talent, you’ll be amazed at how much expression can be communicated this way.

Voice artists are hired for many reasons:

broadcast advertising – radio and TV
TV and film narration
cartoon and anime
video games
corporate communication – internal and external
institutional and non-profit communication
online audiovisual applications
“books on tape” – audiobooks
CD Rom and DVD Rom projects

There’s one other aspect of voice overs worth mentioning. Since you exist only as a “voice,” you may experience an amazing surge of freedom – of being able to really let go, because nobody is watching! As a fairly shy person, I have found that doing voice overs gives me the liberty to try new approaches, to experiment with vocal techniques and deliveries, even to occasionally pretend to be “somebody else.” Not only does this freedom keep you growing as a talent… it keeps you from ever, ever getting stale.

Houston residents can find out more about the voice-over profession by attending one of my Introductions to Announcing and Voice Acting, through Leisure Learning Unlimited. More information is available at www.llu.com.

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