It’s not easy getting your voice to appear on the big screen in the new adverts.
A new poll by ABC News and the Washington Post suggests that voiceover talent is among the hardest to find.
“There is a need for voiceover performers, especially in Hollywood, to make a living, especially because there is a shortage of voiceover artists in America,” the poll found.
The survey of 2,000 voice actors, writers, directors and producers, released Friday, also found that the majority of voice actors say they work as a freelance voiceover artist.
The majority said they work for free or for free under a contract, with one voice actor saying she works as an actor under the name Beryl Anderson.
The poll found that a majority of actors, directors, writers and producers said they would be willing to work for as little as $100 per day.
But even that is challenging, with voiceover actors earning anywhere from $60,000 to $180,000 annually.
“If I were to pay someone like $100 to do voiceover, I don’t know how I would survive,” said Michael Chilcott, a New York-based voice actor who has worked for Disney, NBC, Paramount, ABC, CBS and others.
“I can’t just give that up.”
To get a voice on the commercial screen, you have to find your niche, said Kevin Murphy, the president of voice-over agency Moxie and author of “The Voiceover Career Guide.”
To find a niche in the voice-overs business, Murphy said, it’s best to be familiar with the business.
“You need to know what your audience wants, what they like to hear, and what they’re interested in,” he said.
If you’re a professional voiceover actor, Murphy explained, you’ll be familiarized with the process of casting and developing a script.
The voiceover industry has a unique voice-for-hire system, which allows the company to match voice actors with clients and clients with actors who have the talent to bring that voice to life.
“That is the foundation of what we do,” Murphy said.
“It’s not a matter of if you’re going to do it, it is a matter how well you can do it.”
To do your job well, Murphy recommends finding a niche that suits your style.
“What you are looking for is a voice that you’re comfortable with and you are comfortable with as a performer, not a voice with a very specific type of voice,” Murphy explained.
“That is something that is hard to find.”
As you do your research, you should be looking for roles that are a mix of voice and acting, Murphy added.
“I’m a big believer in finding a voice and the right role for you,” Murphy noted.
“There are tons of roles for people who are just great voice actors and want to do them.
They don’t need to be great actors.
The only thing that really matters is how you do the job.”
When you find the right voice for you, Murphy suggested, you can look to find jobs in film, television and broadcast, where you can also get paid.
If it’s a shortlist, you might want to check out other agencies, such as Voice over Talent, to find a voiceover job that suits you.
“When you’re looking at other agencies like Voice over talent, you’re not necessarily going to find one that matches your style, your skill set or what you need to do the role,” Murphy continued.
“You might be looking at a job where the client is looking for someone who has the experience and ability to do a really good job.”
Follow Mike Pearl on Twitter at @MikePearl.