When I am at parties, networking events, on vacation, picking up my dog’s poop… I will oftentimes run into someone and start having a little small talk. Inevitably, the conversation turns to what we do for a living. I say: “I do voice overs.” 99% of the time, as many voice over actors reading this know, they ask:
“What is voice over?”
I try to give a quick, concise and easy-to-understand answer, but I never know exactly how to phrase it. Once I see their eyes glazing over, I know I haven’t given a very thorough and understandable answer. As somewhat of a follow-up to my poll on what we call ourselves and how we spell that VO word, I have a question for BOTH voice actors and non voice actors:
What is voice over?
In your own words and in 3 sentences or less, please explain what you think voice over is in the comments section below. I have been having trouble with my spam blocking software recently, so don’t be worried if it looks like your comment was blocked or didn’t go through. I’ll make sure it does.
Voice over is the (usually) pre-recorded voice you hear on TV, on radio, and on many other mediums where you can’t actually see who is saying the words.
Admittedly, that’s kind of a boring answer, but it is straightforward and to the point.
I hope to get some clever and insightful ones from you. Then, after I get your answers, I will then compile some of the best answers into another blog post, from both voice over actors and non vo people, through here, on Facebook, and on other platforms so we voice over actors have something we can say when we run into people and have to explain what we do for a living.
Thank you for your honest answer, and please share this post/question with people you know so we can get a lot of answers!
Voiceover is the unseen, off-screen announcer in video productions. It can also be an announcer in audio-only productions (think radio or “podcast”) that voices credits or other ancilliary information, apart from the primary host/guest/talent of the show.
Great answer, Mike! Are you a VO talent?
Very similar to you, I just say whenever you hear someone talking but can’t see them, that’s a voiceover. I then give some examples – commercials, telephony, animation and audio guides at museums. The original statement is a bit of an oversimplification but I can see they suddenly understand, especially when I give them the examples.
Thanks for your answer, Elaine!
You bring up a good point. People often need examples to really get what you mean.
VO is that voice you hear when no human face is near
In an ad or videogame, audiobook, or station name;
Movie trailer, answered phone, GPS, or cartoon zone.
Voiceover is everywhere: documentary here, museum tour there.
Anywhere words must be said, a VO artist gets them read.
Hope you enjoy!
Love the flow and rhyme of this, Mary! One of the best responses I’ve heard for sure. Thank you for answering. 🙂
Hey: I use BardicVoice as my name, I’d *better* be able to rhyme!
VO is the voice you hear when watching advertisements, documentaries and other media via TV, radio and film. You won’t see the person talking, but will hear a clear, descriptive voice leading to increased interaction with the listener.
I love the part about “increased interaction with the listener” Sammi. Thanks for reading!