Pop. Tickle. Smile! These were the first three words that I learnt at my first voice over workshop. Looks (and sounds like) mum was right. She’s very much from the school of “If you just smile then you can change the world” philosophy.
It seems the same principle applies for certain VO gigs. I had worked in marketing and PR for over 15 years (doing 100s of corporate narrations) and everyone said I had “that sort of voice”. Finally after recording another round of tracks for various videos, the microphone light (bulb) went on. But where to even start? I did what any person would do, type VOICE OVER into Google. Whoa, 2billion entries! Enough to send you to a dark room with a wet flannel over your face. Somehow, after wading through a few (100) news articles – I found The Showreel. I went along to a workshop hosted by the brilliant JP. So with a snap, crackle and pop – or rather no pops, plenty of smiles and lots of tickling (vocally I mean) – one demo! Hmm what now? Again back to google, back to asking some friends, asking producers I’d worked with.
Challenges I’ve faced on the vocal side include getting to grips with timing, avoiding popping, living each character and breathing exercises. On the business front everything from setting up websites, learning how much social media can be turned to your advantage, ordering business cards and remembering about invoices and accounting.
I realised that it can take a while to kick things off, if only there were some place, some website, some way that I could meet others, find out new things about the voice over world, catch up on gossip. What’s that you say? There is! Well why didn’t you say so before? Cue The VoiceOver Network. As if I could hear a chorus of angels singing Hallelujah, twitter guided me to their website. My first event was in March at the VOND animation event. I felt like the new girl in school rocking up to the 5th floor party but the amazing Rachael Naylor welcomed me and it opened my eyes, helped my confidence and made me love voiceover work even more!
Using contacts, cold calling, checking in with current clients means it can be a long hard slog to get work. But The VoiceOver Network has been a real tower of strength. Running networking events, helping out with basic questions and making new friends has really helped my business. The best news is that I have been signed up to a voice agency!
Voice work is a long road but so much fun along the way. From serious corporate clients reads to sexy senoritas all from a voice booth allows me to be anyone and that freedom, that liberty to be anything, that’s why I love waking up every morning. It’s me – but better!
By Lorraine Ansell
Lorraine Ansell is a bilingual voice over artist showcasing British RP and Spanish (Latin American) voices in warm, natural and commercial tones. With over 15 years’ experience especially in corporate narration Lorraine has worked with clients spanning many industries from fashion/beauty to human rights. She focuses on bringing scripts to life to engage the target audience, delivering a professional sound.