Working in voiceover casting and directing in Los Angeles is like being
a gazillionaire in Las Vegas. Wherever you turn, you run into new riches.
Even if you lose an actor to another booking, you’ve still got
plenty of resources. So with all this talent, why do so many spots sound
Of course, it starts with the script. Let’s assume you’ve
got a script with some potential for comedic or dramatic interest. One
could argue that a well written script would leave few choices of just
what type of voice should perform it. After all, if it’s crafted
that well, wouldn’t the character or kind of announcer pretty
much suggest itself? In some cases, yes. A few writers I know start
the process with a specific actor in mind. And some product categories
are still in a genre, like cancer research facilities, where everyone
expects to hear a certain delivery and voice quality, so that’s
what gets cast.
Now, just as we’ve finally broken out of the stereotypical announcer
sound, we can also get out of the same old character rut. One simple
thing you can do is keep up with the agents’ house reels. If you
really want to hear what a diverse choice we have in casting, keep agents’
reels in your car as you drive. Hearing demos when you have no particular
spot to cast is really kind of fun. This exercise can be useful the
next time you write a spot or need a voice.
If you’re using a casting service, don’t be shy about adding
your own performer suggestions to the list. If you wrote the spot, you
certainly have a performance in mind. You might bring an unexpected
twist to the process. If you’re producing, ask the creative for
more complete picture than the usual “male – female –
30’s – adventurish – somber.” Another tip is
to think outside the expected age of the character or gender.
Inspired casting can truly change a Radio or TV spot into something
great. All it takes is just a little more thought and a client who will
allow you to be creative in your casting.
- Julie Prendiville Roux, Owner / Creative Director, Radioville