What to Look for When Hiring a Voice Actor

You know you need just the right voice for your next project, but you’re not sure how to go about getting it. With literally millions of search results flooding onto your screen, the search for a quality voice actor can be daunting. You can narrow the list down rather quickly if you keep these top tips in mind.

Basic Criteria

Before you even start your search, make sure you have solid criteria for our ideal voice over talent. Your ideal candidate needs to be:

  • Available when you need them
  • Open and willing to respond to your questions and inquiries
  • Eager to make your job easier
  • Aligned with your goal of creating an amazing project resulting from an equally amazing collaboration

Include any additional criteria you may be seeking, such as male or female, age range and experience with the type of project you have. Searching with keywords or phrases that pinpoint what you’re looking for can narrow down your search significantly.

Quality Demos

Demos are typically edited to perfection, so they’re not the end-all for choosing your ideal voice over actor. But they can certainly be helpful for getting an overall feel for what the talent sounds like. Experienced pros will have a portfolio of recordings on their site that includes demos and samples of other projects. They’ll give you a general idea of a voice actor’s range and capabilities.

Solid Experience

Experience is the greatest teacher for honing talent, skills and professionalism. Highly experienced voice over actors are more apt to deliver a higher-quality final product than less experienced talent. A background and training in acting is another plus, as is a lineup of notable clients. You can typically find all this information in the actor’s bio and on other areas of their website.

Custom Audition Option

If the talent you’re considering won’t even consider a custom audition, it may be a sign to look elsewhere. Most professional voice over actors are glad to provide custom auditions to give you a sample of what they can do for your script.

Agreement with Project Details

Your final discussion before hiring needs to focus on the project details. This is the time for client and talent to get their questions answered. The voice actor may ask questions about where and how the recording will be used, along with the script length, duration of use and the deadline. Answers to these questions typically play a role in the rate.

Once all your requirements are met to your satisfaction, you should be well on your way to collaborating with just the right voice that delivers exactly what you need.

Voice Actor Debbie Grattan has leveraged her acting skill into a successful career in voice over for over two decades. She has a degree in Drama from UC Irvine, and has won awards for her stage performances. 

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