Let me start by saying that if you’re visiting my website for the first time – welcome – it’s nice to know those lovely people at Google are doing their jobs in helping you to find me, and in this week’s blog, I want to talk about the search terms that lead a lot of people here.
Recently, I’ve noticed that an increasing number of people are not content merely searching for the words “voice over”. Instead, there’s now a tendency to add some geography to the mix as well. I’ve had people searching for “Bristol Voiceover” or “Birmingham Voice over”, rather than simply searching for a voice over who can do a particular regional accent.
Why is this happening? Well I imagine it’s because what people are looking for these days in a voice artist is someone who sounds genuine. An ability to perform a wide spectrum of regional accents is great – I myself have ‘pretended’ to be from so many different parts of the UK and indeed the world at large that I’ve actually lost count! However, it’s very often that someone from a particular region can spot an impersonation. They may not be able to put their finger on it, but they’ll know that something is “off”.
That can be important in cases such as commercials for local radio, perhaps even more so when it’s community radio, where a sense of local pride is more important than ever.
But what if you’re from North West London like me? Do I have an accent? Well, to be a little pedantic, everyone has an accent, but mine is referred to as RP, which stands for received pronunciation. I like to think of it as a middle class version of how the Royal Family speak, in that it’s the sort of accent that everyone can understand, and that’s great, because it gets used a lot!
There’s a new accent that has found its way into the world of voiceover in recent years, and that is what’s referred to as Mid Atlantic. Try as I might, I just don’t know what that means. Surely the only things living ‘mid Atlantic’ are fish! Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to audition for it, because the definition is so fluid that I may just hit the nail on the head.
So is location important to the voice artist? I don’t believe it is any more. I work with clients all over the world from the comfort of my own studio, and tools like ISDN and phone patches enable me to speak with the client in real time to direct the voice over session. With that in mind who knows where my voice will end up next!!!