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The different types of voice over jobs can be categorized into media or products that involve television, radio, film, video games and audio books. Some of these require mainly a distinctive, clear voice, while others also demand considerable acting talent. Commercials, cartoon character voices, dubbing, promos, narrating, and reading fiction or non-fiction books for audio recordings are some of the different kinds of voice over jobs.
A voice over actor may specialize in either fiction or non-fiction audio book recordings. Some of these voice over readers even have an entire career in this one area of voice over work once they get some experience in the field. These "books on tape" may be for blind people, seniors or those in hospitals. Readers in these audio book voice over jobs must usually have a soothing, yet lively voice with a lot of expression and fluctuation in tone.
Narrators often have a unique, richly distinctive voice, such as James Earl Jones' deep, dramatic one. Narration voice over jobs may include television or film documentaries as well as promos. Television, radio or film promos require a voice over artist to use the ideal blend of enthusiasm and likability to be convincing in inspiring viewers or listeners to come back for other shows. A promo voice over actor for radio or television often first identifies the station, then the time and date of the particular show being promoted.
Dubbing voice over jobs involve watching the screen image of a human actor, animal or cartoon and voicing the script lines to match the mouth movements as closely as possible. Dubbing is considered a bonus skill in the voice over industry. Actors or artists capable of voicing different dialects and accents are especially likely to do well in this type of voice over work.
Voice over actors who provide voices for animated, or cartoon, characters are usually capable of many unique characters. They can't simply be rehashed voices that have been heard many times before, but rather fresh and interesting. These kinds of voice over jobs may be for animated films, television shows or video games. Animated voice over actors must have talent in using different tones, volumes and modulations, or rises and falls in pitch.
Television and radio commercials are popular types of voice over jobs, although they may be competitive for actors to get. Casting directors for commercials are looking for a selling type of voice, not merely a fresh or interesting one. They prefer experienced actors since it's necessary to create a character when doing commercials, much like what a television show requires from on-camera actors, yet much shorter in length.