Wanna be a voice over?

You’ve heard ads and narrations on TV or the radio and thought “that’s a bit of me”, or maybe friends and family have told you that you your voice is a perfect instrument, perhaps you just think “I want to try that”.

The good news is YOU CAN.

However, it is not that easy. Some people don’t have what it takes and many of those that do have that ‘special something’ don’t do anything about it.

At Piranha Talent, we represent some of NZ’s best voice talent, and that talent comes in all sounds. All these people have their own style or special something that helps make them stand out, from the giant voices of movie trailers, to subtle differences in accents that set them aside. You need to discover yours.

People need to discover what you sound like, and exactly what you can do.

I’ve been talking all my life. Do I need training?

There is more to it than just talking. You will need to be able to rely on many techniques, such as - inflection, projection, where to breath, natural pacing, correct pronunciation. There are people that can help you through this, or you can go online.

Also, you may want to go to the library and get out “The Right to Speak - Working with the Voice” by Patsy Roddenberg OBE. She is the Head of Voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, the Director of Voice at Michael Howard Studios in New York City, and has taught everyone from actors, singers and voice-overs to lawyers teachers and students. Patsy teaches the art of voicing and the techniques mentioned above. It’s a wonderful tool, and has given many people total confidence in whatever they say - she helps give people “the right to speak”.

You could also check out the many links on line that cover how to be a voice actor.

I’ve never done any acting or voicing of any kind how do I find my style?

A friendly coach might be the way to go. Auckland based Mike Drew is an actor and highly experienced voice performer. He has his own studio and will work with you one on one to find your voice. Book a time on (021) 356 178. He is wonderful to deal with, and you may even be able to record a voice demo with him, if you’re feeling confident. If not, you can book a studio later to record. We’ll get to that shortly.

What should I record myself saying, then?

The majority of voice overs are for advertising, both in TV and radio. Record some commercial breaks, in TV prime time (5:30-8:30PM) as this is where you’ll see the big company ads. Have a go at voicing them yourself. If you think you suit any of them, transcribe that script and keep practicing. Listen for techniques that maybe good for you. If you’ve had acting experience, use it. Really get into the script, and approach it with different styles. The best thing you can be is comfortable, you will then sound natural.

OK, I’ve had some training, I’ve got my scripts. Where do I record?

When you are confident with your scripts, and you are completely ready to go, it’s time to book a studio. There are numerous production studios around your city, so book an hour to 1.5 hours with one of them. This will include the actual voice recording and also the producing and compiling. It can take time, so make sure you are prepared to get straight into the voice booth. After a day or 2, you will receive your material in a digital audio format. Remember, keep a copy for yourself. If you’re stuck for producer ideas and you’re in Auckland, why not give one of these studios a call:

Images & Sound - (09) 309 8026 - 113 Grafton Road, Newton
Nigel Foster - Sale Street Studio - (09) 309 0040 - 4/27 Sale Street, behind Victoria Park
Steven McGough - Stebbing Recording - (09) 376 2426 - 108 Jervois Road, Herne Bay*
Phil Yule - The Voice Box - (021) 681 344 - 6 Arthur Street, Freemans Bay*

*Will provide scripts if you don’t have any.

Then what?

Once you have your demo recorded, send them, or email an MP3 to us. Don’t waste time worrying at this point - advertisers and TV producers can call at any time. If your voice is the one they want/need, and you are still keeping the demos to yourself, there is no way for them to know. Remember, you won’t be right for every voice over job, but at least give yourself a chance.
Send us your demo.

We make sure the right people hear our voices, if the right job comes along, you’ll be in the running.