If you’ve even set a digital toe on the latest voice over artists websites that google will throw up at you if you search for voice talent, you’ll know that the field is huge. It can seem like an impossible task to shrink that complexity down to the person you actually need. How on earth will you ever get it right? From big agencies with huge books to the world of freelance, it seems impossible.
By using these tips, you will, however, succeed!
Tip one: The Person.
Who do you want for this project? Very few roles will actually need you to pick a race- doing so will likely speak more to your prejudices then the script. However, having an idea about whether the character needs to be male or female may help you sort. If an accent is required, that’s another sorting category. Whatever the ideas in your head for working towards the conclusion of the project, let them guide you and help you put together your criteria for the voice.
Tip two: The script.
Audition using the actual script. Especially if there’s foreign words or jargon. That way, you’ll know who has a handle for your actual project, and who can just do their demo stuff well. If you want to be kind, give them the pronunciations [you should certainly always do this once you've hired and ae working on the actual project] but, for a short audition, seeing who looked up or enquired about the pronunciation can be a valuable indicator of who prepares and who doesn’t. You’ll get a good sense of what your project will sound like, and be able to weed through some of the competitors.
Tip three: The place.
Make your life sane again. Pick one agency, or one freelance portal, and stick with it. Remember the old adage about the grass being greener? Don’t drive yourself insane trying to find that proverbial perfect lawn. Whichever you choose, stick with it and find the right person. You’ll still get a host of great people to choose from- without driving yourself to the brink while doing so. Yes, there’s a ton of voice artists out there, but chances are nothing about your project needs you to listen to every single one of them before you pick. Getting a good selection will be more than enough for all but the most finicky project.
Tip four: Enough is eventually enough.
Do you have an instinctive reaction to a voice? It’s usually a good idea to go with it. Don’t be tempted to look and look and look….if a voice strikes you as ‘the one’, leave it there and go with them. Even before then, look for a top 3 or at most a top 5. Don’t let your potential lists overwhelm you. If you’re getting ear fatigue, bring in a colleague to listen to the top picks and let them guide you to your final choice of artist.
Getting the right voice for your project may sound like a mission, but it’s easy with a little discipline and common sense.