Saturday, 14 July 2012

Voiceovers: How it all began - my personal beginning.

I bet there are some quite unique and interesting stories out there about how people began working as Voiceover Artists. I mean, it isn't as if you go to a Career's Advisor at school or college and hey presto, someone recommends your perfect career map leads to you becoming a Voiceover Artist. On the contrary, I bet a Career's Advisor would know very little about our Voiceover Business World.

Back in 2002, I was a recent graduate from drama school in London. My only future (as far as I could see) was on the stage. However, everywhere I went Casting Directors, Directors, Producers and fellow Actors would say how pretty my voice was. How young I sounded. How they could listen to me for hours....Believe me, at 22 years of age the last thing you want to be told is how young you sound! However, it got me thinking, and when I stumbled upon a course at The Actors Centre in London, led by Bernard Shaw, I booked myself a place.

It was a short talk on 'How to Get Started in Voiceovers'. It was incredibly motivating, and refreshing. That Bernard presented Voiceovers as a business, rather than an art, held great appeal to me after the rounds of auditions I was currently attending for my theatre career. His 'no fuss' attitude was direct and to the point, and I admired his ability to get things done. I booked a demo recording session with him promptly (Although Bernard is sadly no longer with us, his book still holds tremendous, relevant advice, 'Voice-overs: A Practical Guide' by Bernard Graham Shaw).

The hours I spent with Bernard were invaluable. He taught me to trust myself, and to just go for it. He was in the process of compiling the first book of Contacts for Voiceovers, and urged me to get on the phone and get posting out my demo. I did just that, and within a few short weeks I landed a massive gig directly with an Advertisting Agency who needed a young girly voice for a toy commercial. When I had first contacted the ad agency, I had asked what they were currently working on, and I had sent off the most relevant material on my demo. My demo landed on the right desk at the right time for someone after an upbeat, young girlie voice, and I landed my first job! I became the voice for Totally Spies Dolls in a series of Commercials for Radio and Television, and walked into the recording studio with my head held high because of the invaluable lessons Bernard Shaw had given me. Chiefly, he gave me courage.

Although it took several years, and various changes in my life's circumstances until I made Voiceovers my main career focus (and that's another story, for another blog, for another day) that was the start of it all for me.

So how about you? What's your Voiceover beginning? And if you haven't been brave enough yet, then trust yourself, book a course, record a demo and get contacting producers. Perhaps you are the perfect voice for a producer's next project. How do you know how good you can be if you don't give it a go? Will you be courageous enough?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Hello World!

This is me and my first blog post!

My name is Anna Parker-Naples and I will be blogging on my experiences and expertise as a professional voiceover artist.

My voice is best described as young, upbeat, enthusiastic, natural, crisp and British. You can hear it for yourself here.