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how does one become voice-over talent?
Thread poster: Maria Diaz

Maria Diaz
United States
Local time: 11:37
English to Spanish
Mar 18, 2004

I'm a translator looking to "expand my horizons". What skills are needed to become a voice talent for commercials or, are there particular qualifications?

I have very good diction or enunciation and can speak really fast if needed, but probably that's not enough. How can I offer my services? Are translation agencies the contact point?

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Sherey Gould  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:37
German to English
there are agencies to represent voice-over talent Mar 18, 2004

I've atually thought about doing this myself as I started my career life working on-air at radio stations. I haven't pursued it because I live in a fairly remote area now but I imagine if I were to begin pursuing it, it would be by sending a representative audio cassette tape (varied text samples) to agencies (agents representing specifically voice-over talent). Perhaps also sending tapes directly to larger radio or TV stations, although they usually use their own people to voice the commercials, announcements, etc.
Good luck!

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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:37
French to Spanish
+ ...
Nada fcil. Mar 18, 2004

Te contesto en español... no tengo los tamaños para hacerlo en inglés.
Tener buena dicción y leer rápido no es más que el 5 % de lo que necesitas.
Para ser locutor necesitas:
1.- tener "buena" o "bonita" voz, según las necesidades del cliente y del comercial que haya que hacer (existen muchos "registros" de locutores: voz joven, seria, institucional, alegre, de edad madura, etc.)
2.- debes prepararte, es decir, ser prácticamente un actor. Hacer la voz de un comercial o de un documental no se trata de plantarse frente a un micrófono y leer el papelito que te ponen en frente. Para sonar bien, debes "encarnar", por supuesto, el personaje que vas a representar... eso se llama actuación. Hay muchos cursos de actuación y otros tantos especializados en locución: registro de voz, actuación, respiración, ritmo, improvisación, concentración, etc.

En resumen, haces bien en "diversificarte" y sobre todo hacia la locución: es un negocio sumamente lucrativo y, por ende, con mucha competencia, con sus grupitos, sus favoritos, etc. Debes por supuesto ir a las agencias de voces, así se llaman, después de haberte capacitado, y dejar lo que se llama "un demo" con tu voz y tus datos, a ver a qué productor le interesas, y esperar. Es un largo camino, bastante ingrato pero que, si te funciona, te dejará muchas satisfacciones, sobre todo monetarias. Acá en México, un "radio", es decir, un anuncio para radio que te toma diez minutos grabar, se paga en 350 dólares... un "tele", por los 500 dólares, sin contar las regalías que puedes cobrar si el anuncio se difunde más tiempo.
Que tengas mucha suerte.

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Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:37
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Make a demo tape Mar 18, 2004

Find a sound studio and make an appointment for the recording of a demo tape. Typically they will ask you to read a variety texts that you feel most comfortable with and that reflect your interests for later assignments (general marketing; tourism; promotional videos; adult material))
Professional demos include the appropriate background music etc. Costs: around 100-150 $, depending on the hourly charges of the studio. You will then be able to email your sample demo to translation/PR/Special voiceover agencies [google for voiceover+sound studio+ your area] and register with them; alternatively, you can just go through your local Yellow Pages and approach sound studios in your area, offering them with your CD/tape and list as voice-over talent. I started out as a "checker", i.e. listend to another voice-over talent, making sure no text was left out, intonation was correct etc. It is a very lucrative business [+ $80/hr]once you get a foot in the door...and makes for an interesting change of pace, compared to sitting in front of your computer screen!
Good luck! johanna

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