I just thought I'd leave this here because I'm endlessly intrigued with how everyone on the planet makes a living, and wanted to return the favour. I started recording voicework about 8 years ago, but would say I've only really been decent for the past 5.

Ask me anything about voiceover processes, or breaking into the industry without being a trained actor beforehand, I've got no clue how to go the actor's route. Uphill battle but can be done, and I've got a lot of time for others starting without a theatre background.

My Proof: www.voiceofgeorge.com / https://imgur.com/a/IKYUc4Z

edit: proper proof added

Comments: 382 • Responses: 78  • Date: 

throwawaychilder276 karma

I'll bite.. how did you get into the industry without formal training?

Also, what do you do for fun?

voiceofgeorge_497 karma

I hoped this would be the first question, because I think the people in the industry don't answer it straight. Everyone is trying to make money off you with coaching so they sell that as the only way.

In reality even after spending $10k on coaching sessions, you'll need huge amounts of practise with actual jobs. But it's a catch-22 because you won't be good enough to book proper jobs. So..

I started on Fiverr, even though it's a dirty word in the business. I was rubbish when I started, but it helped me get experience and feedback, whilst getting paid (a very small amount), which allowed me to upgrade my equipment and improve my recording space without risk. I have done some coaching back in the day, and it helped for sure, but without the constant practise from lowly paid jobs I wouldn't have progressed far.

I've been off Fiverr for ages now, as I've moved up the ladder but it's a necessary part of the ecosystem imo, to keep things accessible to everyone regardless of whether you were privileged enough to have a theatrical education.

Bit obsessed with designing themed playing cards the moment, currently working on a Mistborn set. Other than that, Gym and Badminton! Nothing really related to the work at all, ha. Suggest something fun for me to try, I need to mix life up a bit.

Nixplosion178 karma

So just like any job! You need experience to get a good paying gig, but no one will hire you to give you said experience.

So Fiverr allows you to get that experience to boost your resume. It makes sense.

voiceofgeorge_128 karma

the unfortunate way of the world, it's a broken system at its core

Nixplosion53 karma

Can I ask why Fiverr is so frowned upon if it's, seemingly, a great way to gain experience and break out into bigger gigs?? I'm extremely interested in trying my hand at voice acting so I'd be curious as to why it's such a taboo.

axlrosen35 karma

Companies get used to cheap voiceovers on fiverr and they’re less likely to pay a lot to the people who are trying to earn a living at it.

lIlIllIllllI24 karma

Some companies see it as low quality work, which it is, and immediately dismiss that as real experience. They don't consider how one progresses from awful to good with experience.

People that are formally educated (and paid for it) get a bit salty when someone comes off Fiverr and is 'accepted' in the industry like OP did.

Coaches, of course, also get salty since it makes them somewhat redundant.

voiceofgeorge_30 karma

there is a whooole subsection of the industry dedicated to milking people who will never make it in voiceover, with 'coaching' and endless demo reels, it's absolutely gross

mdchaney10 karma

I live in the Nashville area, and we have quite a few companies that'll turn your little starlet into Taylor Swift. I've been to a few of the recitals and 99% of the kids were simply awful.

voiceofgeorge_14 karma

its predatory to be honest, but then again, adults should know better. Still stinks, and people don't deserve to be taken advantage of, just because they have stars in their eyes

throwawaychilder40 karma

You ever play D&D? Improvisation and character voices are part-in-parcel to it; also there are a few voice actors that have become famous while playing it as well 😁 (But mainly it's fun if you're nerdy, like me)

voiceofgeorge_64 karma

Yeah love roleplaying in general and roleplaying around a table too. Any excuse to dress up, and I take it! :D

Critical Role is cool, and I watched Viva La Dirt League's too for a while, but I always get fatigued with everyone overacting a bit and trying to be funny ALL the time. I'm not the intended audience which is cool, I'm so glad they're famous enough to be bringing roleplaying games more into the mainstream :)

lannister8031 karma

I've been off Fiverr for ages now, as I've moved up the ladder

What's the next place up the ladder from Fiverr? And what is the "2023" equivalent of what Fiverr was for you years ago?

voiceofgeorge_59 karma

perhaps something like Voice123 is a suitable intermediate phase, but really you want to be going straight to direct relationships with clients

Fiverr is still the place to be awful and get paid (small amounts)

UpstartBurrito5 karma

I'm rereading the mistborn series to start the last book that came out recently on audiobooks. How do you make playing cards and what do the designs look like?

voiceofgeorge_6 karma

are you talking about the later generations? I tried the Wax and Wayne (is that right?) series, the one set in like the industrial revolution and couldn't get into it. The OG series is forever the King

I have a sort of template/spreadsheet for organising the ideas, i.e Queen of Whatever -> Vin

Then I mock up interesting designs that fit the theme while also being consistent suitwise, then I get to drawing on a tablet.

I'll be selling them at some point when I've got a few versions covered, not 100% happy with them yet. You'll see them in a few years on a reddit post I'll throw up probably ha

Full_Environment19603 karma

Would like to know this answer too!

voiceofgeorge_17 karma

see the comment above, I'll save people's screenspace by not copy pasting. You can also message me on my site for any specific questions you think need some privacy

Clem-Fandango-23185 karma

Hello, George, can you hear me?

voiceofgeorge_197 karma

hahahhahahahaha the commitment, I love it

YES I CAN HEAR YOU CLEM FANDANGO

Phxlemonmuggle106 karma

I work for a call center. People always say I have a radio voice. No theater training or acting. How would get into voice overs? Do you have an agent? How much do you make a year (if you don't mind)? Thank you!

voiceofgeorge_193 karma

First off, no disrespect or dig at all but a radio voice is basically the opposite of what people are after these days.

Doesn't mean you can't make it work, but you need to temper your expectations, and perhaps work on relaxing into a more casual voice to give some options for your clients.

Make a profile on Fiverr and see who bites, invest maybe £100 in a setup to start. That should be enough to see if you can make it work.

Agents.. I have a few, but it's not how it used to be.. i.e in the old days, an agent had a few clients they are actively trying to win work for, it's now more that the agency has a big roster and the clients scroll through it and picks a voice out.

I'd say 95% of my work comes from my direct relationships, which are the golden goose. Really nice people as well, and you don't get that connection working through a 3rd party.

I was making £40,000 a year on Fiverr in the final days, I decided to beat my country's median wage before I went solo. Then made about £12k the first year post-fiverr-account-deletion, working purely directly, and now my last tax return was somewhere about £50k.

Most of these clients are word of mouth, as I really struggle with the sales aspect of the job, I just don't gel at all with the idea of cold calling people and demanding their time. It's something I am working on slowly!

Phxlemonmuggle42 karma

Thanks for the reply. Start up equipment would be a nice microphone and a pc, right? What is something you wish you knew at the beginning which would've made it easier or just rookie mistakes people make?

voiceofgeorge_93 karma

Not even a nice microphone, just something that isn't a gaming headset. Haven't been clued up to that level of equipment since I upgraded ages ago, so wouldn't be able to give any recommendations unfortunately.

Pc is needed yeah, but nothing powerful. Audio recording and editing software is not intensive.

Ah man so many things. So many regrets hah! Probably the most serious one was that I tried to use a 'voiceover' voice. It was good to start with because it kept me consistent, but I took about 5 years to relax into my actual voice, which has increased the quality of my output and also the satisfaction of my clients, as now I am much more unique in my delivery. Which, really, is what people want. Au then ticity.

fwubglubbel24 karma

Audio recording and editing software is not intensive.

Can you share which one(s) you use?

(And thanks very much for this IAmA AMA.)

voiceofgeorge_78 karma

Don't get too fancy with it, just use Audacity. Free and regularly worked on.

Dead simple and does the trick.

My pleasure :)

Alan_Smithee_9 karma

I’m surprised you can get away with a more basic microphone. I’d say the Rode NT-1 or similar would be a lot of bang for your Buck.

Considering how much garbage there is on now with robot voices, I imagine that a real human voice is a drawcard, although apparently a lot of people are willing to settle for the robot voices, as bad as they are.

voiceofgeorge_26 karma

I think I wasn't clear, I used a basic setup when I started (Blue Yeti), but then upgraded to a Shure SM7B soon after. THEN a CAD e100s, and about 4 years ago I bought a Neumann U87 which is the industry king.

If your budget is $20, you may as well use an AI voice. But the higher paid jobs will always choose to pay more for the human sound (I hope).

downandoutingalway8 karma

U87 has to be a deal sealer. Those mics make it sound like you’re in the same room as the listener in comparison to the others.

voiceofgeorge_18 karma

I'm working on ways to slip it into emails without sounding like I'm just namedropping! :D

It does have sway for sure, even just for audio engineers being familiar with it, so not having to spend as much time on the EQ side of things

LastSummerGT21 karma

Have a headshot of yourself included in the introductory emails. And it just so happens that they can see the U87 in the photo as well (either in the foreground or background)

voiceofgeorge_10 karma

haha cracking idea! Oh, you mean this little thing? 😏

Alan_Smithee_6 karma

Oh I see. Thanks for clarifying.

I got out of the film/tv business quite a while ago, when I could see which way things were headed.

As you say, those who know, or want better, will pay more.

But every time some new corner-cut comes out, the market gets a little smaller, meaner, and cheaper.

voiceofgeorge_11 karma

interesting, what sort of thing were you doing? Be as vague as you like.

I'm not 100% chill and relaxed though, I am wary of the way the world is going and it does worry me. Hoping to unplug a bit over the next few years and work on reducing cost of living so as to be less reliant on a perhaps shrinking industry

Alan_Smithee_9 karma

Started out as an assistant editor (film,) eventually moved into production stuff, then back to post-production, including film lab work.

In the end, I owned my own small Post (nonlinear) shop. Went completely out of it when I moved back to Canada. I work in IT now, but have considered dabbling in it again.

voiceofgeorge_10 karma

how safe is IT from AI replacement? I've heard coding is one of the things it does REALLY well. I know IT is not coding exactly, but perhaps similar.

I love the idea of your film path, might be one of the cases of grass is always greener. Something about working with a team on a project that will always beat working by myself on a single output.

Not many people are lucky enough to have a creative job, you'll probably get the creative bug again at some point, but hopefully with a load of financial freedom from the IT stuff, so you can go a bit more boutique with it.

Rambling now, but sounds like you have interesting options.

lannister8011 karma

but a radio voice is basically the opposite of what people are after these days.

What does that mean? What are they looking for?

How many voice "types" do you use in a typical 3 or 4 months of work?

voiceofgeorge_24 karma

genuine reads, conversational reads, authentic voices and emotions

lannister805 karma

Can you elaborate on what any of those mean? In what contexts are you getting jobs for those kinds of voices?

FUS_RO_DANK24 karma

I'm not OP but I work in production and have to cast VO talent for clients often.

Basically, most clients these days aren't looking for a bombastic "SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY, COME TO BIG BOBS BEAUTIFUL BARBECUE BONANZA" or something that sounds like your local radio DJ that has to do ad reads on air for local businesses. People turn off or skip commercials in the age of streaming. Instead clients aim to draw you in by appealing to your emotions. A conversational tone is just that, it sounds like you're part of a conversation, just some people talking. When you hear some big radio voice selling you soap you probably register "that's a commercial, time to tune out" while if you just overhear someone talking about this great new soap that really helps their psoriasis you are more likely to go "oh shit I've been having trouble with my psoriasis, what soap is he talking about?"

voiceofgeorge_16 karma

Yeah exactly this, better explained than I could've. I agree with the change personally too, I think my ears would be physically fatigued listening to that radio voice all the time.

Let me know if you want to connect in a professional capacity, always looking to meet interesting people in the industry who know what they're talking about

loonytick7545 karma

Where did you go start finding work at first?

voiceofgeorge_74 karma

Fiverr, even though it's a taboo thing. I was on there up until maybe 5 years ago. Then I sort of 'graduated' to fully direct work. Realistically you can earn a living there, but you'll stagnate with the quality of your clients and the feedback you receive.

Pushing yourself to make the jump to direct work is terrifying, but really lights a fire under you to treat it like a proper business.

Main advice really is be personable. Everyone working as a Voiceover has a decent voice, so you need to make genuine connections with clients, and that will set you apart.

loonytick7517 karma

If you worked that long on Fiverr, am I right to assume you have a home studio setup, then?

voiceofgeorge_54 karma

Yeah, these days most of the work is from home. I go into studios maybe once a month, but those clients are very old school.

I have a Neumann U87 mic, with an Audient iD14 interface for reference. Oh and I'm surrounded by GIK Acoustics panels. Creates a wonderfully dead environment.

lannister807 karma

Fiverr, even though it's a taboo thing.

Why is it taboo if it's the only way to get started?

voiceofgeorge_13 karma

It's not the only way, but the industry is very exclusive and likes to pretend only people with a theatrical background who can afford $10k on coaching before booking even the smallest gig can make it

darrenoc2 karma

Why is the Fiverr thing so black and white for you? It sounds like you tanked your income by closing your account. Couldn't you have gradually moved away from Fiverr as you got more direct work? Seems like a really bold but also potentially unnecessary move.

voiceofgeorge_2 karma

I could've coasted on that platform indefinitely and made a good living, but I never would've taken the leap into the higher 'rungs'.

Bit like resting on your laurels, sometimes you need to take away some security to really throw yourself forward.

I know what you mean though, the delete account thing wouldn't have been a fit for lots of people and it could've been awful.

aspdRobot30 karma

What was your biggest project so far? Anything we would know?

voiceofgeorge_112 karma

A few LEGO adverts, a Peppa Pig commercial and a Manscaped promo are probably the most mainstream. Couple of Car adverts too. Mostly it's corporate/explainer videos and training work, stuff that blends into the background but is very very consistent. Keeping 'grey' reads engaging and human is probably my niche, if I had one.

Due to the amount of working voiceovers, if you focus on landing adverts you are leaning into the feast and famine side of the industry.

Corporate stuff pays the mortgage, Commercials pay for the fun stuff!

awkwardoxfordcomma5 karma

How do you get into doing stuff that isn't commercials and/or animation, like the corporate explainer stuff, eLearning, etc.? I'm an established VA but really only get the opportunity to audition for the first two. I'm guessing through p2p sites, which I've been trying to avoid.

voiceofgeorge_8 karma

all direct relationships, make a genuine connection and you become the 'goto' for that company

do you have a website? Always curious to check others out

awkwardoxfordcomma7 karma

I only have a linktree right now. I really need to get on the website lol, but the tree has my demos, studio sample, and resume.

I never know how to make relationships when I don't even know what companies making the stuff. I guess sending my info and demos out to talent agencies counts? Haha. Guess I could do the same with companies that do that kind of stuff (I used to be a Youtuber and private tutor, so I love doing explainer stuff)? I just don't know where to even begin looking for them.

voiceofgeorge_11 karma

LINK ME TO YOUR LINKTREE IN DMS

Everyone I ask to show me their demos/reels in whatever form never follow through with it. How you gonna make money if I'm not even allowed to review it haha

You sound like you know exactly what to do to be honest, and you're lacking that oomph to get going with it.

Focus first on a website, and it'll give you something solid you feel proud of showing off, and that should get you going

Mister-Grumpy27 karma

What do you think about people that want to get into voice acting but are just doing impressions of Peter Griffin and Super Mario?

voiceofgeorge_48 karma

you won't make a single dollar doing it, but if it's just for fun, go for it

scardien25 karma

What's your hourly rate? Would this be a feasible side gig?

voiceofgeorge_58 karma

£200 as a basic studio fee, which means you get me and the studio for an hour. This doesn't include usage though, which is where the meat of the money is. So the client 'buys' the freedom to use the voiceover wherever they like for a certain fee, depending on where they want to broadcast it.

Feasible sure, just bear in mind it's taken me nearly a decade to get to this point. It's not a get rich quick scheme in any sense of the phrase, even though it is sold as such by some people (usually looking to sell a course, or coaching).

scardien8 karma

Do any jobs offer a revenue share/residual? I'm guessing no, or at least not unless you're at the very top of the industry.

voiceofgeorge_44 karma

Audiobooks do often, but it'll be the ones that sell about 12 copies. The high earning audiobooks will be a fixed fee to limit author's losses.

I don't think there's any other medium in the business that offers revenue share. A YouTube channel I narrate for pays me more at various stages of subscriber levels, but that's all I can think of.

Residuals exist! But it's still usage. Companies can 'rebuy' the license for another 6 months or however long.

lannister807 karma

£200 as a basic studio fee, which means you get me and the studio for an hour.

What studio exactly? Is it your home studio, or do you physically go to a studio with a set up for better than you could have at home? And if you do, what portion of that 200 quid goes to the studio and how much do you keep?

voiceofgeorge_6 karma

My home studio, sorry if that wasn't clear. But if you send me to a local studio, you pay that for my time AND pay the studio their cut on top, so either way it's my Basic Studio Fee.

The setup I have at home is bonkers. On par equipment and environment-wise with a good chunk of studios. I'm no audio engineer though, so that's sometimes what they are paying for with a studio hire.

fwubglubbel3 karma

So the client 'buys' the freedom to use the voiceover wherever they like for a certain fee, depending on where they want to broadcast it.

How do you go about setting those fees?

voiceofgeorge_12 karma

not sure what you mean.

Client likes your voice, they ask your rate for the project, you give them it, and they accept or reject (more likely haggle)

It's very freeform

HHS201917 karma

Do you expect that AI will put this career out to pasture soon?

voiceofgeorge_33 karma

Don't think so. I do think it will clear up the low paying gigs though.

The medium to high end of the industry needs the human touch (imo) as it's more about engagement and connecting with the audience. Something that AI is just atrocious at.

Soon is also relative I suppose. I think for at least 10 years the industry is safe, I'll re-assess then.

coldfu-10 karma

I think you should reassess a lot sooner. Like now. Not when ai is perfect and you're out of a job.

voiceofgeorge_5 karma

what the public dont see is that these voice synthesis tools have been in the works for years and years, they havent come out of nowhere recently, even though it seems like that.

They have been slowly getting better over time, but not at an alarming rate. What you see as an explosion in AI voices, is just the first time in a decade of small investment it's been passable. And it is only that, passable

Occultivated-20 karma

10 years? Talk about being super optimistic. Or just delusional.

voiceofgeorge_4 karma

are you a part of the industry? If so, you'll know that the AI tools that seems to have burst onto the scene, have actually just been very slowly improving over the course of a decade, and no 'breakthrough' has been made

VociferousQuack16 karma

Do you have a single "voice" you use, or have you built up a repertoire of a dozen voices you can hold & present as believable casual conversation tone?

voiceofgeorge_46 karma

Definitely just the one, my authentic genuine voice. There are various styles on this that I can use, but it'll always sound like me.

I do Voice Acting too, but couldn't keep up a videogame character's voice and cadence for a whole e-learning course for example. I'd slip up somewhere, but in short bursts with some redos they hold out.

Think it's a big misconception about the industry actually. People think because they can do 12 impressions that's a sellable skill, when really it's about perfecting how easy your own voice is to listen to, and not the range of characters you can play.

VociferousQuack18 karma

Many people think "audiobooks" or "cartoons" when they think voice actor.

12 impressions is a fun party trick. 12 voices that are unique characters unto themselves is an impressive skill.

How do you categorize "easy to listen to" vs " lulls the listener to sleep "?

voiceofgeorge_24 karma

Yeah, and I think many people aspire to be a voice actor due to loving anime or listening to audiobooks, without realising there's a whole bland world of corporate training too, among other things, ha.

Hmm. Honestly I have no idea how to answer that, but I should be able to. I think they're very similar, but 'easy to listen to' is a bit like you're talking to someone you're attracted to and want to keep engaged, whereas 'lulls the listener to sleep' is like you're talking to an old friend, and have no need to act up, as it's already a comfortable bond.

I think. Maybe.

daversa3 karma

When people inevitably ask you to do your "work" voice at parties do you just keep talking normally? I'm kind of joking but it has to be hard for people to pick up on the subtitles of what you've dialed in over the years.

voiceofgeorge_8 karma

It's strange.. but natural voice has become cleaner and smoother as I've worked on my 'work voice', so whereas 6/7 years ago people used to ask exactly that, now people can sort of tell that my normal voice is the voice that sells and they comment on it

I get compliments on my hair, my voice and my red flares. Thank god for the voice or I'd be struggling haha

Ryvaeus15 karma

Any tips for getting noticed on Fiverr, and starting to take on direct contacts? I've had my gig page up for a little under a year now but "paused" it recently because all I got on recent months were extremely low-ball offers (like $10 per 2000 word YouTube script deals) and price shoppers. I've had slightly better luck on Upwork, but not much.

I'm confident I can do quality voiceovers well enough to get properly paid for it, but I just seem to be "stuck" in this category of talent.

I record onto a Zoom H6 interface through an AT-875R, and touch up in Reaper. My "home studio" environment is pretty quiet; built a blanket fort to record in and it's been good enough to satisfy the clients I do land.

voiceofgeorge_12 karma

send me your demos, and I'll tell you a hundred things to improve on. That's how you've got to be, ultra critical and hungry for perfection because you can ALWAYS improve

I've been off Fiverr so long that I wouldnt be confident offering advice, but I didn't do anything special

notandy8212 karma

I try to do unique voices for characters when reading to my kids, but some of the more gravelly voices tend to do me in after a while, any tips on making them easier or soothing the throat afterwards?

voiceofgeorge_29 karma

hah, you and me both brother! I did a recording for a Warhammer 40k game earlier today and I haven't spoken since becuase it really took its toll on my chords.

Honey for soothing, but nothing that I know of will prevent the strain

KarmicHammer4 karma

There's a way to properly do gravelly voices, it's the same thing that metal singers do, vocal fry.

It's essentially relaxing your vocal chords so they vibrate in a specific way. There's a video series by...I think her name is Melissa Cross? She's trained the likes of Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) and Corey Taylor (Slipknot) to be able to yell sing without damaging their voice.

voiceofgeorge_2 karma

it produces a different sound than the 'strainy' way though as far as I know

I'll check out that video series, maybe I'm wrong. I'd be happy if I was! Thanks :)

Highmoon_Finance8 karma

Do you do anything for sound proofing? If I’m just getting started should I record in a closet

voiceofgeorge_13 karma

yeah spent a metric ton on GIK Acoustics, but to start with a small room with lots of soft/thick fabric on all surfaces is acceptable

AdminsHateThinkers7 karma

How do I get started? Over my entire life I've always had this in the back of my mind as something I would love to do for a living.

voiceofgeorge_11 karma

its hard as nails to get going, but if you grit your teeth and get through the few years where you are undeniably awful, it's ace.

see this comment: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/13c3xg9/iama_voiceover_artist_who_is_paid_to_sit_in_my/jjduuwy/

auntiepink7 karma

What would you tell people who want to do voice work but have distinctive accents? Is that part of their charm or should they forget about it/take elocution lessons?

voiceofgeorge_17 karma

own it! it's what makes you marketable and unique

billyjack6697 karma

Are there voiceover artists you "looked up to" when you started your career?

voiceofgeorge_21 karma

no not really, its quite a lonely profession and many great reads on adverts are nameless, there's no IMDB for voiceover artists. Voice Actors in films/animation/videogames are a different thing, I really enjoyed the Voice Acting in Hades.

RedTryangle6 karma

Say that I decide to make a Fiverr account today, just like you did. I'm getting ready to record my first sample to put up on that page and start the arduous journey.

What is your biggest piece of advice to help me land actual work? How do I avoid the hobbyist phase and jump right into the paying real world, business and corporate work? What do they need out of me?

voiceofgeorge_19 karma

you cant make that jump, unless you're inhuman

there's something that just breaks in humans when we first speak into a mic, we lose all of our natural relaxed rhythm and emotion, and that's the part that you need to spend years slowly breaking down.

biggest tip is really just never straying from your REAL voice, that's what you want to work on.. not some bastardised version of it to pander to corporate videos. There's always a market for uniqueness

RedTryangle2 karma

My bad, I've done voice work for a long time, through YouTube and my own content, that was important context 😅

voiceofgeorge_7 karma

link me and I'll check it out man!

but the most important skill in this industry is being as self critical as possible and improving on every little fault

GhastInTheShell5 karma

How do I get in on this racket?!?!

voiceofgeorge_21 karma

Lots of time spent being absolutely atrocious and earning very little per job done haha! If you can build your skills while working a 'proper' job, I'd say that's the best way to do it.

Make a fiverr account, see if you are passable. Maaaayyybbee do one coaching session but I don't advise it, there's so many unscrupulous coaches who will take anyone on and bleed them.

itsalongwalkhome5 karma

You sound very similar to the kurzgesagt voice. Is this one of your works?

voiceofgeorge_10 karma

no ha, but I get that a surprising amount

it's my sort of style to be fair, so I see what you're saying. He's a middle aged version of me

itsalongwalkhome4 karma

I have a diploma in sound engineering and I legit went back and fourth thinking it was you.

Is that a common style? Is it more the sound of your voice or do you change it to that style?

voiceofgeorge_4 karma

I think it's sort of like how two different animals can evolve the same features on different continents

Me and the Kurzegat (sp) guy are both going for the easy listen, clear and engaging voice so we sort of arrived at the same place

I doubt we changed our voices that much, but perhaps started from a similar place and 'cleaned' our voices in the same way

He is slightly more nasal than me I think, and has a bit more of a radio energy to his voice. Nt much though!

camilleanner4 karma

How did you do your samples when you first started? Wrote a commercial for a fake product and then read it?

voiceofgeorge_6 karma

they were so bad!

I think I just spoke a quick intro about myself, that lasted the first year or two

your way is better ;)

Coley_Delena3 karma

Hi George Question! There are 25,494 results for voice over on fiverr now. Was there that many when you started out and how did you stand out?

voiceofgeorge_4 karma

there was bloody loads when I was starting, but when you distil it down and isolate your accent and gender then there's much less competition. It's still a lot though.

I think I just had a nice cadence? Like my voice was nice, but also the way I spoke was, which is important. God knows though really, I'm just guessing as its impossible to work out retrospectively

hanapyon3 karma

Why is there such a big quality gap between voice actors for a natively produced animation and foreign language dub? Many people complain about the quality of English over Japanese voice actors in anime and video games, actually the Japanese over English is pretty bad too. (My husband is Japanese and I can always tell he is watching a show that has been dubbed to Japanese because the voices seem so unnatural.)

voiceofgeorge_7 karma

this is more of a linguistics question I think, the two languages are so far removed that monolingual speakers of either one can't tell even a bit whether the other is being performed 'well'

English is sort of close to Dutch, so it follows similar emphasis patterns etc, but Japanese is so 'alien' in its patterns that if I was an American animation director and I was prooflistening to a Japanese Voice Acting performance, all I could do was basically say 'great, they are indeed saying the words in the script' and sign off on it.

that's my idea anyway, and it must work the other way round too

S-Vagus3 karma

You mean you professionally speak to ears that aren't there and to voices of a single origin?

voiceofgeorge_4 karma

sounds beautifully eldritch

napincoming321zzz3 karma

Do you do any kind of audio editing (pop removal, noise reduction) for your work, or is that all handled by the people who hire you? Any tips to combat awful dry mouth click sounds? (I record audio diaries and some singing for fun but never considered making a few bucks with my mic on Fiverr until this post. Huh.)

voiceofgeorge_20 karma

In the past I've recorded some (in my opinion) cracking voiceovers, then have gone to ask for the final product to use as a portfolio piece and found the sound quality.. lacking at best. So these days, I deliver a broadcast-ready file so that I have a bit more control over it. The client saves time this way too, so it's win-win.

Mouth click.. look into Izotope RX processing plugins, they are a lifesaver. I have a 'cleanup' chain that I run, which takes all those sounds out of the audio and makes it sound delicious.

Throw something up on Fiverr, you never know what'll happen. Nuts to think where my life would be otherwise.

Metronix2 karma

I'm a performing arts student in my final year looking to do voiceover work in the future but I am struggling to come up with content for a voice reel.

I really like the sort of stuff people like ProZD and Gianni Matragrano do, but I don't want to just copy them. Do you have any suggestions on how to come up with something?

Thanks for doing this btw!

voiceofgeorge_3 karma

If you have a look at my website, I'd say 90% of my reels are using material I wrote. You'll see its not complicated, nor particularly hard to come up with. I'm sure you can do at least as good a job scriptwriting as me, probably better due to your education :)

Skogula2 karma

When you get a script with non standard personal or place names, do you get a pronunciation guide from the author?

voiceofgeorge_6 karma

Sometimes, but unless they offer it or send it over without asking I usually try to figure it out myself. It takes time to research, but every time you are learning about how a foreign language's patterns work, which is fascinating. Maybe not useful, but I enjoy it!

raz0rbl4d32 karma

Do you a dream voiceover gig? Some particular character you'd love to perform, or maybe just a regular job doing movie trailers?

voiceofgeorge_8 karma

would love to be a Character in a CRPG like Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

unfortunately for my spare time, I like games, so the idea of being a badass in one is very alluring

ktpr2 karma

What are your thoughts on generative AI for voice or machine learning that can synthesize voice from a few samples?

voiceofgeorge_5 karma

not too worried.. yet

anything to do with human emotion, AI generally really struggles with and voicewise they are miles off still

give it 5 years and I might have to retrain though, who knows

Wyrdeone3 karma

It was ten years 7 hours ago, and it's 5 years 5 hours ago. As of now, you should be at 1 year-ish?

I loved your post, what you do for a living was as close to a dream job as I ever had, and I wish you all the success in the world.

My only other two skills are digital art and SQL script, both of which AI is going to do better, cheaper, sooner than any of us would like.

I think we're doomed.

voiceofgeorge_5 karma

Haha, I'm in the UK so trust my earlier answers more, as the later answers were getting written at 3am.

I'm disgustingly left wing, and as far as I can see, AI job replacement will be the spark that ignites actual change in the West. The workers have put up with so much, but mass job loss cannot be abided by I think.

I'm sorry you are feeling threatened by AI, it's a horrid feeling and even though I don't think I'm replaceable yet, I know it's coming in my lifetime. It gives a nagging anxiety, very unpleasant.

Trevor5192 karma

How long do you think you have until AI and generative voices take a bulk of your work?

voiceofgeorge_3 karma

no clue on timeframe, but it's not been as quick an improvement as it seems to the general public.

The technology has been slowly improving over a long period, so it's not as crisis mode as it appears

time_to_reset2 karma

I see I'm not the only one feeling you sound like the Kurzgezagt voice. Which is a compliment.

My younger brother did voicework for a while which came as no surprise to us as for years he would narrate our breakups, poor school grades and other fun situations in his "movie trailer" voice to rile us up. Often to great success.

His way into the industry was by taking a job at a magazine as a journalist, then pushing for to have some of their more popular articles to be turned into videos and him offering to do the voiceovers.

So I guess my question is: were you also loads of fun at home, doing voices all the time? Haha.

voiceofgeorge_3 karma

Your brother sounds like a lot of fun to be around, hah! He also seems like much more of a go-getter than me.

Boring answer but no, I never did voices. No fun from me!

RickFast2 karma

I’m a video editor, for a lot of videos I do I record a scratch track VO. Many times clients have asked to keep my voice even after auditioning other talent.

Do you think VO work is worth pursuing as a side gig? Every time I’m looking for youthful adult males (my voice market) there’s SO many people. It feels so crowded on audition sites and I don’t want to pay a large entrance fee if it won’t pan out.

What do you think?

voiceofgeorge_3 karma

I think you know the answer already, of course! I hope you're charging for your voice in these projects.

It's crowded, but its more about making human connections with people than being 'the best voice'. There are a 1000 people who would fit every project, but the client will always choose the guy who they feel is more like an acquaintance than a freelancer

Dynomeru2 karma

Is it ever a lonely gig? Or do you make sure to get out and meet people “in the field”?

voiceofgeorge_3 karma

Incredibly lonely, everyone works from home unless you're maybe in London and I have no desire to live there at all.

It's made me more sociable in person though, because I don't have that 'office chat' to meet my social needs

elizabeth4982 karma

How many takes of a certain amount of text do you normally do?

voiceofgeorge_3 karma

I'd say about 5 takes all in all, listening and thinking between each one. It's amazing how many little things you can identify to positively change if you're careful and particular when listening back

atxhater42 karma

Cloud you be accused of "loving the sound of your own voice"?

voiceofgeorge_3 karma

yea I should hope so! Because I've worked on perfecting it for years hahah

damniticant2 karma

How do you move up from the fiverr/upwork gigs? My wife is currently pursuing this as a career and having difficulty figuring out exactly what she needs to do to hop up to the next level.

voiceofgeorge_5 karma

link me her website? I'll have a look

damniticant4 karma

I sent you a DM with her site, but I’d bet others in this AMA would love to hear about how you personally made the leap!

voiceofgeorge_9 karma

its as simple as getting good enough to win work in that 'pool', getting a distinct and inviting website to land cold clients, and then getting yourself out there

if it doesn't work, you're probably not at that level yet, so really critically evaluate your output and improve

don't send out using email lists, personalise everything and be as genuine as you can

djones03052 karma

Have you seen any sort of advantage in being British in getting jobs outside of the UK? Do you ever do other accents?

voiceofgeorge_1 karma

Luckily British is a very accepted accent all over the world. No other accents, except in a real pinch. It feels disingenuous to pretend I can speak with a (for example) German-English accent, when a real person exists who can do it 100 times better than I can.

Rumple922 karma

Would you rate my voice? :)

voiceofgeorge_3 karma

sure! send over a sample somehow and I'll take a listen

coarsing_batch2 karma

Have you discovered graphic audio yet? There's a version of Mistborn and Stormlight that has been recorded with full voice acting and sound affects. If you do know about this, what are your thoughts about them? I love that you're making Mistborn playing cards. i just finished The Lost Metal last week.

voiceofgeorge_4 karma

sounds absolutely badass.

When I produce my own demos, the best part is creating that 'soundscape'. It sounds similar to a radio drama from the old days, and they were cracking

PandaWithACigar2 karma

Hey George, I know I’m a little late to this AMA, but what does a normal day of work look like for you? Are you recording/trying to book jobs for eight hours?

voiceofgeorge_5 karma

First thing is respond to overnight emails, people are dotted around the world so sometimes we miss each other.

Second is doing any auditions that have come through to wake up my voice. They're never perfect but they don't need to be

Third is recording actual work

Then when I've done that I've usually got about half a workday left, which is where I do things like reassess my website every now and again, and think about how much money I'd have if I could bring myself to cold email businesses and not live off word of mouth ;)

Dontbecruelbro1 karma

Do you think AI voices will eat into the business?

I recently saw a home made AI rendering of a new monologue by the recently deceased, long time Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy. It wasn't perfect, but scary for an early effort. Same for the AI renderings of Joe Rogan and Trump doing a podcast together.

I understand that intellectual property laws would stop big companies from doing that willy nilly, but what could it mean for you and the industry as ordinary or talented people could increasingly do this for themselves at home using AI?

voiceofgeorge_1 karma

I think it will hoover up the lower paid gigs, but the higher end will persist. You need that human connection and engagement that AI just will never understand. Also you can't direct an AI to convey a certain feeling to a script

camilleanner1 karma

I’ve been told by a few people that my voice sounds a bit like a certain celebrity (who happens to get some voiceover work along with her usual gig as a talk show host).

Would you see this as a negative or a positive?

voiceofgeorge_4 karma

its another string to your bow I suppose, but you won't make a living relying on it.

its a positive, unless you lean on it, wherein it would become a negative and restrict you

AVBforPrez1 karma

I'm about to try my hand at this on fiver, I can do almost any character.

Advice for how to get started and noticed?

voiceofgeorge_9 karma

'doing any character' is not a skill that will make you money

its about doing your own character well. No idea how Fiverr is these days, but authenticity is key. Your voice is unique

skurvecchio1 karma

Have you ever worked face to face with someone who your lines will be pared with? Did it (or do you think it would) help you do better work?

voiceofgeorge_3 karma

no interestingly enough, but I would love to.

I've done collaborative projects, but never anything in person. I do believe it would create an better product though for sure, especially in quickfire dialogue settings

Brent_Forrest1 karma

How do I do a good Christopher Walken?

voiceofgeorge_2 karma

god knows mate, but first off is nailing that peculiar stunted, rolling cadence he has.