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  1. I am a self confessed marketing nerd. I have been slightly OCD obsessed since a child, picking apart what makes people pick up a trend or product and buy it. After all, why did I really want Ariel the toy from McDonalds when the film came out back in 1989? So obsessed was I that I wrote commercials and worked for several huge companies marketing their products. The trick is always finding a way to connect you with your audience in a unique way.  

    So how can a voiceover artist market themselves as an independent creative? Especially during these isolating times. A few things need to be considered first: 

    1. What sort of voice are you? Know your range, your abilities, your strengths and weaknesses.
    2. What voice genre do you work in? Are you a VO specialist working in audiobooks or are you a generalist that works across the different disciplines in VO?
    3. Who are you? Do you have other hobbies or disciplines that make you different from others?

    Take time and be truthful as you consider this list, working through each point. It becomes relevant as you build your marketing profile. After working through your list, what have you got? What is your USP? Your unique selling point? Are you a big voice and know something or two about cars/cooking etc? Or can you sing professionally and like longs walks with dogs? Perhaps you are an impressionist that enjoys running? 

    Lorraine Ansell FVO at workWhoever you are it is crucial to knowing before you market yourself. By definition we are all different so you will by your own life experiences, personality and ambitions attract and be attracted by different groups and so different clients. Understanding this is crucial to knowing how to market yourself and cast yourself. 


    Ways to market yourself include getting on social media - there are many channels from Instagram to twitter and you have to decide which you prefer and what you will use it for and how. They ae all different with different rules and flow in a variety of ways. If you already are on these channels, have a look at your content and what you want to be saying. Do you want to be an expert? Show your personality? Some of both? How much time will you dedicate to these channels? Can you find the clients that you are looking for there? Or do you just want to play around on them? Be honest with your answers, avoid copying others strategies because they may not necessarily work for you. 


    Perhaps you want to do a mail shot to clients. But what to send? Have a look at marketing material online and see what might appeal to you. What reflects your brand and personality?


    Or maybe you can do this online with newsletters and reaching out to clients. Note that during this lock down the simply truth is that there will be limited work in the pipeline overall and it is tempting to spam agents, clients, friends, colleagues to ask for work. However while it is good to keep in touch, do so on connected level and appreciate that many are also in the same boat as you and trying to figure out what to do.  

    If you like to create videos, make some that are true to you and what you do. There have been some great examples of sports commentators narrating competitions between their pets while other actors have been working from home on improv or others that have decided to concentrate on themselves and self care. All are valid and how ever you choose to work is what feels right to you. It creates an authentic structure to your strategy. So take a moment and think about marketing the real you.

    Recording Studio

  2. Importance of performance : Performance is crucial to many an audio production. It can bring copy to life than simply reading it in your head. And performances in videogames are amongst some of the most nuanced. Copy is more than a collection of words scattered on a page or excel sheet. As a performer the aim is to take the copy and elevate it to deliver the lines that evoke a reaction of some sort. Questions I ask myself about copy include:

    1. What is the aim? 
    2. What is the emotional intention?
    3. What is the call to action?
    4. What is the truth?
    5. What is believable?

    Lorraine Ansell BAFTA Juror Games 2020

    These questions form a start of an interrogation of the copy that is essential to deliver a connected performance. What is connected? I see this as the voice actor connecting with the copy and then being able to communicate the intentions to the audience so that they connect with the character or the copy and the underlying messages that underpin it.  

    I was lucky enough to see this played out at the BAFTA Games awards in 2020. I was asked to be  a juror on the new category of Performer in a Supporting Role. This was a great opportunity to research each performance of the submitted video games and understand the nuance behind each piece. The nominated performances were a very good example of the voiceover work over this year and I thoroughly enjoyed playing all of the games. The games were great in themselves but the artists were able to convey much with their voice. And there lies the talent, performances that were rich in undercurrents, layered and full of quirks and thoughts. 

    The same questions I ask myself I asked of the each performance. To take each moment and connect with what the actor is trying to convey during each scene. Two nominated performances really stood out for me simply because I connected with them and believed them to be truthful in a myriad of ways. Ayisha Issa who played Fliss in Man of Medan, held my attention throughout her time in the game. The nuances of staying in character during decisions choices as well as game play were excellent and I enjoyed her performance. I also enjoyed watching Lea Seydoux in Death Stranding as Fragile. The character warmed up throughout the game and had many layers that I became excited to watch out for. 

     The winning actor was Martii Suosalo who while his character Ahti in Control has a limited amount of game time, gave a thoroughly detailed confident and thought provoking performance. As the caretaker the role and copy could have simply been a few lines read out loud. But Martii elevated this performance to something both sinister and sublime. What I found particularly interesting that all these actors were bilingual and to chomp and change between languages is one of the hardest skills to have. The cadence, word sounds an mouth shapes that have to be achieved are extremely difficult. Martti made it look very easy. A well deserved win. All of the actors I mentioned really gave performances that are worth of study and reflection for any actor. Have a god and play the games, see what I mean.