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What does a voice over artist do all day? Part 1.

I thought it would be quite nice to post a short piece each week (most weeks (ok, some weeks)) showing some of the projects I've been involved with.

The vastness of application for voice over is still surprising to me. "Every day is different", is something I say a lot - and it's so true. I just never know what's going to come my way. I certainly never said it when I worked as a database manager!

Casual readers will hopefully find the different types of voice-over work interesting and perhaps those looking to hire a voice over artist (whether it's me or not!) might see something that strikes a chord.

I won't always name names in these posts but where appropriate I'll put them in.

To start the week I voiced some news beds for a local radio station. "This is Radio Blah Blah....News", type of thing. (That's not the actual name of the station, but if anyone wants to start a radio with that, feel free.)

Next up was a really fun job with Baldforce - a moisturising cream for bald heads. They wanted a tongue in cheek sort of read for a narration where the voice interacted with the model. (It's me. I'm the model*.) There's a line that says "His hair is so short, he can't even feel it". The look on the guy's face in the video is so good.

* I'm not the model. But you knew that.

I also worked on some professional voicemail messages for a national sports organisation. (It involves a racket and a yellow ball.) There's something about phone messages that I love. It's the kind of secretive nature of the work. Nobody knows who that voice is on the end of the phone and in most cases, probably never will. It appeals to me more than being a famous film star or singer. My voice is out there, but flying under the radar. It's a hard feeling to describe and I think I failed appallingly in my attempt to do so. To hear some on hold message samples, you can listen to right here!

Finally, I want to mention a 30 second radio ad, which on first viewing seemed pretty straight forward. The document said 75 words exactly, perfect for half a minute of natural speed talking. It wasn't til I got to marking the script up that I realised 2 of those words were phone numbers. Phone numbers are 11 numbers (which are also words!) long. A 75 word script became 95 words which all had to be squeezed into 28 seconds (the other 2 seconds was for intro/outro music.)

If you need to read something ultra fast, shove a pencil between your teeth (horizontal across the mouth) and read the script a few times as fast as you can. The muscles in your mouth will work overtime trying to say them, so when you take the pencil out, it should be a breeze!

PRO TIP!!! Don't use one that has paint on it - you'll end up swallowing bits. Use a plain one like this. It's curved because of excessive biting, not because I chose the cheapest ones in the shop (although I did do that.)

A pencil that's been curved by persistent biting

Fortunately the ad lent itself to the upbeat, energetic read and the client didn't bat an eyelid at the speed.

Who knows what next week will bring? Not me, I sort of mentioned that at the start of the post.

Skip forward to "What does a voice over artist do all day? Part 2."

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Martin Whiskin voiceover artist talking into a Rode NT1-a microphone
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