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Welcome to the BVOUK blogs and podcasts page. You can also see our blogs via our twitter feed. We think it’s important to keep our finger ‘on the button’ and make a contribution to assist our fellow VO’s in the amazing industry we all work in!

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Greetings and Salutations!  As a veteran voice actor in the States, I enjoy a wide variety of clients.  Some large, many small, but all important.  Voice acting is how I pay my bills and take care of my son.

By trade, I am more of a character actor, but that is not to say that I don't also book other jobs such as commercials and corporate projects because I do!  What I mean is, character work is my strength. It's my joy. It is what I am best at, even though I started out in car commercials in Texas. Even when I worked in radio I was always doing funny voices as well as celebrity impressions over the air which eventually landed me a job in morning radio at a top 50 station in Dallas! 

Once I made a conscious decision to pursue our industry full-time, I quickly learned that even though my vocal instrument is naturally deep and "announcery," that quality alone does not make a career in voice over. In fact in this day and age, being only "announcery" can be the kiss of death!

What you need to do is find your unique voice. Once you've booked a fair number of voice jobs just being yourself, then start taking lessons on how to interpret scripts better. Polish that delivery. Listen to television and radio commercials. Download corporate videos and really dissect the audio. Check out YouTube videos and projects on Vimeo. Learn by listening.

A hard lesson that I had to learn, was that as badly as we want to sound corporate, or educational, or commercial, or funny, we always revert back to our natural gift when we hit the record button. If you have what it takes, clients will want your unique voice, trust me. Now, I am a southerner, but over the years I have learned to lose my accent and I routinely book jobs that require a midwest sound, an east coast vibe, even foreign accents (learn to execute them properly!). A recent booking I thoroughly enjoyed was voicing an animatronic magic wand shop owner featured in the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter!" attractions at both Florida and California Universal Studios Theme Parks.

One last bit about "your voice." En vogue for the past five years or so is this "guy next door" thing! Not everyone can do it. You will quite often read "as if he is talking to his best friend" in the direction for the audition. That doesn't mean whisper it. It doesn't mean changing your voice to try and sound like a "cool dude." It means exactly what the creatives are asking for. I started carrying around a digital recorder in my pocket years ago and recording random conversations. It helped me immensely, because I was terrible at sounding like the guy next door! And those of us who started out in radio and TV have an especially hard time with these relaxed reads. Get out of your own head, relax, and truly just "have a conversation with the mic." Don't time it. Don't rush it. And above all...be YOU.

Until next time...

Markham

British Voice Over UK;
Your imagination Set Free

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