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  • Writer's pictureAngeli R. Fitch

What skills does a good commercial voice actor need?


A successful commercial voice actor needs a combination of technical skills, creativity, and business acumen to thrive in the industry. Here are some essential skills and qualities:

  1. Voice Control and Range: Voice actors should have excellent control over their vocal cords to produce a wide range of tones, pitches, and styles. They should be able to modulate their voice to fit different commercial needs, from warm and friendly to authoritative and professional.

  2. Clarity and Diction: Clear pronunciation and articulation are crucial in commercial voice acting to ensure that the message is easily understood by the audience.

  3. Emotional Expressiveness: The ability to convey a wide range of emotions through your voice is important. This includes enthusiasm, sincerity, humor, and empathy, depending on the commercial's content.

  4. Adaptability: Commercial voice actors often need to adapt quickly to various scripts and character types. Versatility in voice and delivery is essential.

  5. Script Analysis: Understanding the script, its target audience, and the message it aims to convey is vital. This enables voice actors to deliver the appropriate tone and style.

  6. Timing and Pacing: The ability to maintain consistent timing and pacing, especially in radio and TV commercials, is crucial. Voice actors need to match their delivery to the intended duration of the commercial.

  7. Microphone Technique: Familiarity with microphone technique is essential. This includes understanding proper distance, angles, and techniques to achieve the desired sound quality.

  8. Voice Health: Maintaining vocal health is crucial. This involves staying hydrated, avoiding strain, and using proper vocal warm-up and cool-down techniques.

  9. Character Development: For animated or character-based commercials, the ability to develop unique and believable character voices is a valuable skill.

  10. Direction and Feedback: Being receptive to direction from directors and clients is important. Voice actors should be able to take feedback and make adjustments accordingly.

  11. Business Skills: Voice actors often work as freelancers or run their own businesses. They need business skills such as marketing, negotiation, and time management to manage their careers effectively.

  12. Studio Etiquette: Understanding how to work in a professional recording studio, including working with engineers and producers, is essential.

  13. Technical Proficiency: Familiarity with recording equipment and software can be helpful, especially for voice actors who work from home studios.

  14. Networking: Building relationships within the industry is valuable for finding opportunities and staying informed about casting calls and trends.

  15. Emotional Resilience: The auditioning process can be competitive, and rejection is common. Voice actors should have the emotional resilience to handle rejection and keep pursuing opportunities.

  16. Continual Improvement: The voice acting industry is dynamic, and trends change. Continuous improvement, training, and staying current with industry developments are important.

Remember that voice acting is a highly competitive field, so honing these skills and continuously working on your craft is essential for success. Additionally, voice actors often find success by specializing in certain niches, whether it's commercial voiceovers, character work, narration, or other specific areas of voice acting.

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