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Going From Radio to Voiceover

From jocks and programmers to production directors and sales managers, some days it seems like everyone in radio is trying to launch a voiceover career.  All it takes is one great vocal compliment from a client and a side business is born. 


Hey, I get it. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and in many ways, it's how my own career in voiceover got started. In the beginning it seems easy. Your station provides you access to clients that are willing to pay to use your voice elsewhere in the market and you’re radio ties have also helped you build relationships with the local advertising agencies and production houses. You likely have access to a decent amount of paid work in the local market.  Like any good performance junkie you are hooked and you want more.  So what comes next?

Most radio personnel who have an eye and ear for voiceover want to know how to:

  1. Make voiceover a full time venture, or make it a more substantial side income.

  2. Increase the number of voiceover auditions & booking opportunities you receive.

  3. Get your voice in a market other than your own.

The answers lie in some very specific gaps in your radio education.  OK, gaps is an understatement, chasm or gorge might be more accurate.  You see, radio teaches some amazing performance skills, like how to relate to an audience, how to make repetitive information sound exciting, and how to share the spotlight with other performers.

However, radio typically does not teach the performance basics for voiceovers – which includes: acting, improvisation and copy interpretation. These skills are essential to making MORE out of your voiceover goals. These skills are also the foundation for the difference between landing a voiceover gig with a local Ford car dealership and landing a commercial voiceover job for a regional or national ad with Ford Motor Company.  These skills also greatly impact the amount of money you earn in voiceovers.

If you want a comparative example, look no further than the next stop set on your station. Most commercial breaks are made up of a variety of local and national spots.  Do a side by side comparison the voiceovers. What are the obvious and subtle differences between the national ads and the station produced ads? Do you notice a difference in the talent’s performance?

When you really start to listen you will realize that most radio performers are lacking some of the finer skills that account for great voiceover. Radio is a wonderful breeding ground for the voiceover industry and many of the most famous voiceover talent today including Randy Thomas and Joe Cipriano began their careers in radio. It was a willingness to learn and to expand their performance knowledge that catapulted Randy and Joe to the top.

Are you ready to take that next step?  Coaching is critical. Taking acting & improv classes, as well as working with quality voiceover coaches, can help you to fine tune both your performance and presentation skills.  Give yourself 6-12 months to meet realistic goals, as both time and patience will be very important to this journey.  See yourself as a student for a while and put your radio ego aside. There are always new things to learn and in this case “new things” might very well shape & mold the rest of your professional career.

I offer classes for radio performers looking to make the big-leap to voice acting. Check them out.

Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Success, Entrepreneur, Marketing Strategies, Income, Home Studio, Recording, Microphone, Professional, Coaching, Voiceover Coaching, VO Coaching, Voiceover Coaches, Working Actors, Business Cards, Business, Los Angeles, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, VO Demo, Voiceover Demo, Demo Producer, Radio, Radio DJ, Studio, On Air, Talent, Joe Cipriano, Randy Thomas

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