Voice over talent, artist? Of course, and my plumber is Michelangelo
Why 'artists' exit'? Because voice over talent who think they're 'artists' can take it (with the exception of dubbers and narrators, which I'll talk about later). We sell soap, we narrate scripts for corporate videos, and we have nothing to do with artists. Let me explain.
Questions I've read about voice over talent as 'artist'
"What is voice over? How is it different from acting in theatre or film?"
Answer: it's more than that, it's completely different (apart from dubbing and audio books): we're simply not artists.
Being a voice talent means providing a service. In other words, serving a client by giving our time and adding value through our expertise, sensitivity, talent, etc., in exchange for remuneration, thereby participating in a commercial creative chain, just like creative artists, producers, sound engineers, editors - nothing more, nothing less.
"Doesn't it take talent to bring a script to life, whether it's a TV commercial or an internal factory safety video?"
Answer: it's easy to confuse art with talent. Of course you need talent - you need to be a good craftsman, like a carpenter, an electrician, a programmer, a web designer... I could go on and on. Doing your job well has nothing to do with being an artist. It doesn't make our job any less important, quite the contrary.
A well-interpreted TV commercial script will help sell products - and keep the people who make them in work. A script for an internal factory safety video, to use the example in the question, if it's read properly, will ensure that the people who have to watch it don't fall asleep when it's being shown. Saving lives is pretty satisfying, isn't it?
What do you think of character dubbing in film?"
Answer: in dubbing, we can talk about an artist, and in audiobooks too. But why? Do you need more talent in these cases? Different techniques, yes; more talent, no. The difference has nothing to do with talent, but simply with the sector. In these cases, we are participating in an art creation chain, not a purely commercial chain (although, sometimes...).
There is also a less glamorous, and therefore less mentioned, discipline, the poor relation of dubbing: ADR, which literally brings films to life with sound. And in this case, sound engineers are at least as much artists as we are!
Let's stay grounded and calm our egos
At the risk of repeating myself with redundant truisms, we are no more artists than any professional involved in a commercial creative chain. I recommend a superb text that I have narrated, entitled 'Le Testament Artistique d'Auguste Rodin' (The Artistic Testament of Auguste Rodin), which you can listen to or read here. You'll find a plethora of advice for artists that can also be applied to us, particularly this one: "do your job like honest workers". And this one: "Work hard". And another one: "Practise relentlessly. You have to get used to the job". And... a plethora, I tell you!
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