What do Tom Hanks, Tina Fey, Morgan Freeman and many other well-known performers have in common? They’re voice actors.
People choose to become voice over artists for a wide variety of reasons. Some are experienced actors, singers or radio DJs who find the profession a natural fit, while others lack significant performance experience but are drawn to it by the promise of flexible and portable freelance work. Some are semi-professionals, picking up gigs as a sideline, while others are successful top professionals who earn the majority of their income from voice work.
While some voice over artists excel as all-rounders, known for the wide range of characters and genres they can perform, most tend to specialize. They develop a niche in the industry and become known for it, which gives them more opportunities to land high-profile gigs.
When they’re not in front of the microphone, most voice over artists spend their time preparing for jobs, networking with producers and clients, or tackling the myriad tasks that come with running a freelance business. They’re often required to be available at short notice and can be called on to record at any time of day or night – whether it’s an urgent commercial or a long-form narration for a training module.
The world of voice over artists is rapidly evolving. Advances in technology mean that it’s no longer necessary for performers to be located in specific cities or travel to expensive studio sessions – a professional can now audition and complete projects from anywhere in the world, provided they have a good internet connection.