Biggest Mistakes In Voice Over: Part 2

Last post, I discussed the dangers of not practicing aloud EVERY SINGLE DAY.

This week’s biggest mistake to make in VO:


Well, that seems silly, right?  Why would anyone want to get a job in television or radio and not have a working knowledge of what is being broadcast in media these days?  You’d be surprised.

I’ve heard many justifications for why people don’t listen…they can’t afford cable, it’s a waste of their time, it’s intellectually beneath them, that reality stuff is “junk” or “noise,” they can’t stand the commercials…

It is shocking to me that people are vying for all sorts of voice over jobs in film, tv, and radio, and yet they refuse to tune in.  It is of paramount importance that you know what is currently on the air.  I promise you that it will only help you land a job.  The discord at the heart of despising a medium that you want to hire you will only perpetuate you not being hired.

So get over it and turn on the damn TV.  Watch the commercials.  Sit through some reality shows and pay attention to how they’re narrated.  Sit and watch some cartoons with your kid.  Pay attention to the promos, trailers, interstitials, and live event announcers.  Turn on the radio in the car and don’t switch the station when the commercials come on.

Now let’s get verbally active.  While you are listening to the TV or radio, mimic back everything you hear as it’s being said.  Hear the different voice placements and pitch you need to use for mimicking each voice.  A newscaster’s pitch, tone and cadence is certainly much different than the guy doing the Suzuki voice over which then contrasts starkly from an animated character’s comedic delivery and volume.  You must able to determine what’s currently casting/airing in the marketplace and how you’re going to fit into it.  When you get a piece of audition copy, the specs describe the voice that the copywriter hears in her head.  If you are familiar with what’s on TV and the radio, you are very well equipped for making that copy come to life in a way that’s marketable but still has your unique voice stamp on it.

Besides, it’s fun for people to think you are a nut job talking to yourself in the car, so tune in, listen up, and start talking back.  Your game will only improve, I promise.

Anna Vocino