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The Truth About Voice Over in the USA as a Non-Native English Speaker

Is English your second language? Do you have a trace of an accent from your native language? Can I help you? Well, maybe. Watch to find out.

The Truth About Voice Over in the USA as a Non-Native English Speaker - 4:40

Hola! Bonjour! Konnichi wa! Ciao! Hi! Sup! Hey guys, welcome to another edition of the Gift of Gab. Today I would like to say hello to all of my non-native US speaking friends and bilingual voiceover actors out there. Now, I get sought out by a lot of voice actors from a lot of different walks of life, and a lot of different areas of the voiceover industry. One thing I always find fascinating is when people who are not native US speakers come to me and ask me to help them with training or coaching or demo creation. Here’s the thing: while that’s really cool and I appreciate it... I can’t help.

See the problem is this: whenever someone is native to another country, the language that you grew up speaker is going to be, most likely, the primary language in which you perform for voiceover, especially if you still have any trace of an accent. If you’re at the point where you can be completely neutral, speaking in English and in your other language, then great - you’re fine. But if you still have those origins, your number one place for being hired in voiceover is going to be in your native language. So therefore, what you need to seek out is a coach in that native language.

The biggest reason why is what we call localization in the advertising world. Localization is the process of bringing a product in one market place to another marketplace that is potentially very, very different culturally, ethnically, geographically, etc. And so your voiceover becomes a similar type of product in that situation. So, for instance, my mom who was born and raised in Sicily and who is an Italian speaker by birth, if she was going to create a voiceover demo, it would be in Italian - not in English - because Italian is her first language. And while, yes, she may occasionally have opportunities to book voiceover in English with an Italian accent, the majority of her work is probably going to come from her Italian roots and companies that have to reach or speak to you in an Italian audience. So the reason she would seek out an Italian speaking coach is pretty straightforward - that person is going to know and understand so much better than somebody like myself what is happening in the Italian marketplace, and how clients are buying, and what the trends are. So this is really important especially for some folks in South America and Spanish-speaking countries where there’s so much demand for what you do vocally, but there are some very different presentations, rules, demo production processes, auditioning techniques, that are specific to the Spanish marketplace.

So that becomes your goal: find a coach who’s in your native language. If you need help with this, it’s pretty easy. You can reach out to coaches like myself and other coaches through Facebook and social media, and ask us if we have a recommendation for you. So thanks for watching guys! I hope this video was helpful, and I hope that it sets you on the right path for finding the assistance that you need in your voiceover career.

Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Voiceover Demo, Voiceover Coaching Advice, What Not To Do, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, Virtual Voiceover Exchange, How to Be a Better Voice Actor, Ask Gabby Anything, Localization, international voiceover, voiceover coaching, marketplace, Spanish, Italian, global voice, Spanish-speaking, bilingual

1 Comment

Diana Levine
Diana Levine
Oct 15, 2020

Thank you for sharing! absolutely im aware that even though i was born in America yet grew up in Peru (long story) I love how you explain things then, i will apply important advise to the spanish market. There are universal tips that i can follow. plus you are so amusing, smart easy to understand, Best coaches are. Regards.

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