Headphones on the old book. Concept of listening to audiobooks.

Backstage’ Trends to Note

Advertising reflects life itself. Life influenced by the Internet today is quick and loose with multiple resources of information, choices, visuals, and possibilities at our fingertips.

The culture we live in has changed the look and feel of commercials. Notice the bright, positive colors, the graphics, clothing, hairstyles, humor, environments, and storylines.

Voiceovers have greatly been effected by these influences, and the industry has changed as a result. Here are five current trends you should know:

1. The sound of the voiceover announcer is more real. I have been casting and teaching voiceover technique for years and I stay acutely aware of what type of voices support the visuals and brands of a particular spot.

The announcer who sounds like he is talking to a large audience with a smooth, polished, stiff, stylized, unapproachable deep tone is pretty much gone.

The more “real” sound is referred to as the non-announcer announcer. This sound is approachable and connected to the listener. His sound is more in alignment to today’s world of accessibility. Companies want to be considered or branded as approachable, trusted, and relatable.

Listen to the differences between these announcer types in the following two commercials—one old and one new.

Here, listen to the contemporary announcer sound, and then the old-fashioned announcer sound.

Now, there are trends other than the sound of the voice.

2. Talent must be able to record auditions anywhere, at any time. With Internet access, clients are asking for auditions to be submitted to them very quickly. For this reason talent should have the ability to record at home or even on the go in the car. There are inexpensive mics with good quality that you can use with your laptop or iPad to record auditions. Take a little time to visit any electronics store and test some out. Look into clever ways to semi-soundproof the space you are working in at a very low cost.

3. You’re expected to have a website. Be visible on the Internet for searches. You want to have as much of an online presence as possible for any producer to find you easily. This website should be simple,  but should include your demo. The colors and visuals should be branded to match the feel of your sound. 

4. Self-submission Internet sites are available to you. Auditions are available on voiceover sites for self-submissions. Where you are in your career will influence your desire to register and submit auditions online. Backstage, for example, has voiceover auditions to get you started.

5. Voiceover agents are accessible in multiple cities. There are voiceover agents all over the United States. It is common for talent to have a couple of different agents in different cities. 

To be a successful, working voice actor, you must be prepared to be competitive, train consistently, and keep up with the ever-changing industry.

Like this advice? Check out more from our Backstage Experts!

Terry Berland is an L.A.-based voiceover and on-camera casting director, teacher, co-author of “Breaking Into Commercials,” and a Backstage Expert. For more information check out Berland’s full bio

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