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Is the "Regular Guy" King?

This article (and others like it) pops up every once in a while. Sure, as a relatively deep-voiced sort, I miss out on some jobs, but I still get work. The whiplash move to "regular guys" has tempered a bit, as clients look for voices of all types.

To be sure, the trend is real. Austin's "alternative rock" station KROX features imaging voiced not by a cavernous-throated behemoth, but by a young guy who evokes a "Napoleon Dynamite" feel; he sounds not a day over 16 and likely grinds curbs on a skateboard --- at least, that's the image that one infers, and that's 100% intentional. On the other hand, album-rock station KLBJ-FM is imaged by the sort of mega-baritone sounds more typical of that format.

When clients began asking for guy-next-door in lieu of voice-of-God, what they were looking for was more of a delivery than a vocal quality; the skills needed to make ad copy sound like an everyday conversation belonged to trained actors as opposed to trained broadcasters. Nowdays it's pretty common knowledge, even among beginning voice talents, that acting training is essential for all voice work.

Very little point in voice-artists kvetching about movie stars doing voiceovers; not all advertisers, not even all of the major ones, are going to shell out triple scale for every spot. The rest of the work will still be there, and will go to those who've worked their way into a position to get it.

On a related note, the use of celebrity voiceovers has given rise to another trend; some famous actors have reported seeing numerous casting calls for a voice that "sounds like [insert celebrity here]" --- while the actor is available! From top imaging talent Dan Nachtrab comes this gem (which he credits to VO great Randy Thomas), the Four Levels of a Voice Actor's Career:

  1. Who is David Houston?

  2. Get me David Houston!

  3. Get me someone who sounds like David Houston.

  4. Who is David Houston?

 The trick, of course, is to get to level 2 and stay there as long as possible...


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» Some thoughts about the “regular guy” voice from The Voice-over Boblog
I’ve written previously about the trend in voiceover away from the traditional “announcer” style to a more “regular guy” sound; a trend that’s been going on for at least 10 years now. (Actually I think it’s mor... [Read More]

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