Working as a Narrator

working as a narrator

Working as a narrator can be a financially rewarding career.

Have you ever thought about working as a narrator or voice over actor? Some of the more famous ones command six figures or more, but it is something that you can pursue on the side. Here are a few ideas to get started.

How do you Become a Narrator?

Audible offers some good tips on breaking into the business of narration.

First and foremost, you will need blessed with good genetics. Having a pleasant or commanding voice is key, but even if you lack in natural talent, you can still do some work to realize your dream.

You’ll want acting experience to be successful as a narrator. Narration is acting, so it makes sense that some formal training in the field is helpful if not necessary. Many narrators have gone to theater school or have had similar exposure to the business.

Being able to differentiate voices and dialect is another key component of narration. You must be able to make different characters sound unique to the listening audience.

Stamina is necessary to be able to make it through hours of recording. You won’t simply be talking. You’ll be using voice control to convey emotion and set a tone. It can be an exhausting process.

Researching your subject matter is the final key that Audible gives. You aren’t simply reading text into a microphone. You are telling a story, so the more you know about what you are reading, the more believable it will be to the listener.

Where do you Start?

How do you break into the business of narration? If you don’t have formal actor training and are just starting out, then doing audio books may be a good place to start.

Many amateur narrators can record audio books from their homes using some basic computer equipment. Sites such as Amazon’s ACX links narrators with books that need to be recorded. You’ll need to audition for the part and meet the requirements of the project, but once you get moving and have a few recordings under your belt, you could potentially make some nice side income.  And interestingly enough, there are some positions in the video gaming industry for narrative designers, which is a very similar role to narrating audiobooks.

Can Anyone do This?

If you are simply looking for side income, then this may not be for you. There are some barriers to entry to being a narrator. To be successful you’ll most likely need at least some formal acting or voice training. Even if you are an amateur, you’ll still need to make a fairly heavy up-front investment for recording equipment and software.

To get your foot in the door prepare to do a lot of volunteer work for no pay. Just getting your name out there and linking up with others in the space requires a lot of hours of no to low pay work.

Highlighting yourself and your work on social media or on your own website is a great way to stand out and get noticed. Just be aware that the space is filled with a lot of other people attempting to do the same thing.

Wrapping up

Have you ever thought about working as a narrator? It could be a good way to earn nice side income, and it could even lead to a full-time job. But be aware that there are some high barriers to entry in the field.

You’ll most likely need at least some formal training in the world of acting or voice coaching. You’ll also need to make investments in recording equipment, software, and a personalized website.

Prepare to spend time working for free just to get your name out there and to network with others.

You can make money being a narrator, but it’s not as easy as getting a part time job. This can be a rewarding endeavor but be prepared to do the work.

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