voiceover job types
why are there so many?
Voiceover can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
Did you know you can put 20 voiceover actors in a room and it’s likely they will all describe their profession differently? The reason for this is twofold. One, we don’t all run our individual businesses the same.
And two, the industries we serve can vary – greatly.
Voiceover is no longer a single industry. It hasn’t been for many, many years. We are a collective of service providers that cater to various individual industries. Confused yet? Ok, let me explain. Most voiceover actors have a specialty, a genre they serve, or a particular skill set that meets the needs of a handful of end clients. We literally don’t all do the same thing.
Not all voiceover actors excel in all areas and we are not all capable of every type of performance. When you meet and talk to voiceover actors it is important that you ask what types of voiceovers they supply and the genres they work in most often.
Things all voice actors share in common:
We are independent business owners or soloprenuers.
All voiceover actors talk into a microphone for a living.
We own, maintain and operate our own (mini) recording facility, usually from homes.
All voice actors are excellent readers with above-average vocabularies who are capable of reading and speaking simultaneously with only a minimal amount of errors.
We are paid as freelance vendors by the companies who hire us.
This is not a complete list - just the more common
areas of the voiceover industry you might work in.
I'll use myself as an example; I am largely a commercial voiceover actress and I focus my booking efforts in this area more so than any other – so you could say that I ‘major’ in commercials.
I ‘minor’ in Radio Imaging and TV Promo and, I devote a portion of my time and effort toward booking those types of jobs too.
Does this mean that I don’t participate in any of the other voiceover job type? No. I’ve done almost all of them at one time or another, but I don’t put a significant effort into pursuing those other areas. I focus on my strengths and the type of work that suits my business model best.
Here’s another way to view the maze of various voiceover jobs. Teachers share a professional job definition, but there are vast differences in the individual skills and expertise of elementary school teachers and collegiate physics professions.
High School art teachers and corporate trainers are also both types of teachers. You encounter hundreds of teachers in your life but not all of them are math teachers. A teacher’s career and experience can vary greatly. The same is true for voice actors.