Ubiquitous picture of microphone on voice over talent website (Shure KSM-32, Peter Drew's mic)


Voice-Over Articles

Tips for Directing Voiceovers

Tips for Writing for Voiceovers

Christina & the Animation  Demo, Pt. 1

Christina & the Animation  Demo, Pt. 2

Marketing On-Line

Starting a Voiceovers Business

Getting Paid for the Gig

Equipping Your Home Studio

The Future of Voiceovers

Analyze the Copy First

Why Computers Crash

A Voiceover by Any Other Name...

Finding the Rhythm in Voiceover Copy

Interview with a Voice Guy

Getting the Best Performance from Voice Over Talent

Going Global With Your Voiceovers Business

Nasal Irrigation: Clearing the Way to Better Voiceovers

Taking Care of Your Voice in a Voice Over Session

Setting Up an Affordable Home Studio: Step by Step

Stop the Stumbles - A Quick Tip for Voice Over Talents

Sending Voiceovers Using FTP

Voiceovers and Ever-Changing English

A Voiceover by Any Other Name...

                                                 by Peter Drew

Everyone probably agrees what an auto mechanic, an insurance salesperson, and a baker do for a living. Sure, each of these people might specialize in a particular aspect of their chosen fields, but at rock bottom they each have a simple name to describe their jobs. And, in general, that's the way it is with most occupations.

Of course, there are exceptions. What do you call someone who reads scripts into a microphone for a living?

For those of us who belong to this particular job fraternity, selecting a job title can be confusing. Let's see, there's voice talent, voice over talent, voice-over talent (to hyphenate or not to hyphenate), voiceover talent, voice artist, (here we go again) voice-over artist, voiceover artist, voice actor, voice over actor, voice-over actor, voiceover actor, narrator. And for those from the UK, the total blending of job and title: voiceover.

Quite the selection, eh? And it goes beyond the job title to the actual job itself. Are you in the field of voice over, voiceover, voice overs, voice-overs, voiceovers, voice artistry, voice acting, narration...?

Personally, I tell people I do voiceovers. When I write to people, I spell it as one word: voiceovers. If I need to give my job a descriptive name, I say I'm a "voice over talent" or just " voice talent."

Now, of course, on some days I'm tempted to call myself any number of things besides titles with the word "voice" in them. It depends on the work load and types of VO I have to do. Things like "professional blabbermouth" and "screaming idiot" come to mind on those days when hard-sell auto dealership spots dominate the day.

Other days, when a truly sublime piece of copy comes my way, I'm tempted to call myself not just a "voice artist," but a "voice artiste." That extra "e" and the pretentious fact that the word must be pronounced "ar-teest" definitely connote my status as a communicator of extraordinary merit.

And when I voice a script for an online interactive application, I just call myself a "Hal"--as in HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Question: "So, Peter, what do you do for a living?" Answer: "Me? Oh, I've been Hal-ing for a number of years now."

So, what's in a name? Well, in the field of blabbermouthery...or (select one)...

a) voice over

b) voice-over

c) voiceover

...it really doesn't matter what you call me--just as long as you call me. Um, preferably with a gig.

© Peter Drew

Peter Drew, a freelance voice-over talent and copywriter/producer with decades of experience, is heard on radio and television stations, corporate presentations, web sites, and messages-on-hold across America and countries around the world. To send an email regarding this article, please visit Peter Drew Voiceovers at this address.

You are welcome to publish this article electronically or in print, provided it is published in its entirety, along with the resource box, including active link, above. Thank you.

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Peter Drew Voiceovers, voice over talent, is a worldwide provider of voice-overs for radio commercials; TV commercials; radio imaging and promos; TV imaging and promos; video games; and industrials, including narration of new media, phone prompts, and message on hold, with same-day delivery by ISDN or MP3 via the Internet.  Copyright 2008 Peter Drew Voiceovers E. Hartford CT 06108