You can write to Casting Directors, Agents and Theatre Producers without too much help from anybody (unless you want help with their addresses on labels of course) but having a professional voicereel, really requires somebody who knows exactly what they’re talking about, if you’ll pardon the pun.
We have spoken to Tim Stockwell, who runs Silver-Tongued Productions, a studio specifically for the creation and production of voicereels.
We asked him some questions about the importance of a voicereel and how the process works:
- Is it important for all actors to have a voice reel?
The voice over industry is huge, with so much variety. Talking books, radio adverts, T.V. adverts, continuity, trailers, information audio, corporate, documentary, gaming, radio drama are just some of the diverse styles all needing a voice. Along with your photo, C.V. and show reel, your voice reel is an important addition and will complete the package and enable you to tap into another aspect of the industry and another source of income. So yes, it is important.
- I’ve never done any voice over work before, is this a problem?
No, most graduate actors haven’t appeared on T.V. or in a film but they need to be seen so they produce a show reel. The same applies to the voice reel. You need a sample of your voice showing the styles you wish to be seen for and are capable of doing i.e. the categories listed above. The finished voice reel will then enable you to get an agent or be heard by casting directors.
- How long does it take to create a professional voice reel?
Time in the studio varies but on average it takes two to three hours. That’s why we don’t have ‘package prices’ because why pay for a four hour session if it only takes you two?
(See: www.silver-tongued.co.uk/thecost for our simple pricing structure)
- Do I have to have a separate Voice Artist agent looking after my VO interests?
No, you don’t have to, if your agent has the right connections within the voice over industry. But most agents that deal with theatre/TV/Film concentrate on that and not voice over work. If you are free to find a separate voice over agent, we would always recommend you do that, as they will be in the know with regard to casting directors, currents jobs etc.,
- How often should I keep my voice reel updated?
Always keep your voice reel fresh. Ideally, when you do a voice over job ask for a copy and add it to your reel – casting directors like to see someone who is already doing the job. We also provide a Voice Reel Up-Date service. You can come along and record just one track if you wish, maybe a new audition piece or a new accent.
- What’s the process after I arrive at a voice recording studio?
Studios all have their own way of working – here’s ours: On the day of recording, we will discuss your strengths, and work out the best way of conveying them in the recording session. This will include choosing your adverts, which we supply, they are written and sourced for you and once used, never used again. The readings are your choice and they will be taken into consideration during the consultation to make sure we have a variety and that you are ‘shown off’ to your full potential. Always bring more readings than you need so that you have a choice. Finally, when we are happy with the choices, we’ll begin recording!
Don’t rush, or be rushed, through the recording process, take your time to get it right. When you are satisfied with the take, move on. You should be helped through this process by the director/producer. If there is something you want to change, now is the time to do so.
- I have an old voice reel, do I need to update it?
On average you will have your voice reel for about two years. If you have kept your voice reel up-dated you may not need to have a complete voice reel recorded as you have done it gradually. However voices change as we get older and as we get more experienced in voice over work your style may change too. This is the time to start afresh and get a completely new version of voice reel recorded.
We’re so grateful to Tim and the team at Silver-Tongued Productions for sharing their thoughts. If you book a session with them, please be sure to tell them that we sent you and send us a digital copy of your finished reel to email@example.com so that we can have a listen.
We also have the labels of the top voice over agents in the UK ready on labels for you – on top of the 231 Agents and 189 Casting Directors already on our database, please click here if you want to see what’s on offer.