How I Became a Voiceover Artist!

How I Became a Voiceover Artist!



hey everyone and welcome back to my channel I'm back in my bedroom again this is quite a nice bedroom you know I mean what you can't see is the mess on the floor you know I've tried to make the surfaces look nice and clean and you can see just in the corner there we're done by going there there no there oh it's really hard my hand-eye coordination is not a skill of mine okay so that is my youtube plaque that we got when me and Lea hit a hundred thousand subscribers on our joint tunnel amazing so welcome to today's video as you've seen by the title it's all about voiceovers so one of my first videos I did on this channel was a day in the life of a voice-over artist I've logged my day on my way to my job I think that almost for Barclays I did a voiceover for Barclays Bank and it was amazing it was really fun you guys seem to really enjoy it you really enjoyed me vlogging out and about and seeing the streets of London because lots of you aren't from London but you also enjoyed seeing me do something that you've never seen before on John Lee our main channel so yeah it was quite nice to involve you guys in that because I don't really talk about doing voiceovers very much and suddenly people were like oh you do voiceovers and I put my voice real on my channel as well if you haven't seen it then click the cards up in the right-hand corner what's in that corner I don't know don't know my left and right why do but it's just because it's flipped when when I edit it but go and check those out um but I got so many questions about how do you get into voice overs so I thought I'd do a video all about that answering questions well not answering questions I haven't actually got the questions with me but I can remember some of them and I also think it's really helpful to learn from experience so I'm just gonna run you down my experience of becoming a voice-over artist and hopefully you'll be able to learn something from that let's get crackin so I went to drama school I went to Rada that's where I met Leah and so I've always been into acting and performance in some way and throughout my life as an actor I was always told Joel you have an amazing voice every audition I went to everyone would comment on my voice and be like you've got such a deep resonant rich voice you need to do voiceovers you need to do voiceovers you need to do radio which an I took as a bit of an insult because you know that's the classic insult you've got a face for radio which I know I don't so I've got a face for camera and a voice for radio anyway wow I don't lack confidence today this is amazing so everyone's always told me you should do voiceovers and I've always thought yeah yeah whatever like maybe one day I'll do something with it but not right now I want to be on camera as the years went by auditioning and auditioning like nothing really opened up I've done a few small television jobs and I've done some commercials and things like that but I'm not having a big break yet so if anyone out there is watching and you want to give me my big break then hit me up my email address is below and it got to the stage where YouTube wasn't my job with John Lee it wasn't my job I was hustling working at theater as an usher doing anything I can for money but not not anything but nearly anything for money and I was at the place where I was just like I'm not getting any acting jobs what else can I do for money I've got to survive in this city so I was like right let's let's do voiceovers so what I did was I googled voice real because I didn't have a voice real and that's obviously one thing that you need so I googled London voice real and this company came up that record voiceovers for you they give you the scripts they invite you to their studio you record it and then as you walk out the door they ping you your voice real by email it's super quick super easy so I did that I went in and I recorded three different adverts and I recorded a narration reel as well so I kind of did nothing with it and like every sort of I was gonna same rights to riches story is hardly riches but in this every rags to riches story there's always a little bit of luck and with me that was the case as well so another job that I was doing for money was working as an extra so as a supporting artist in the background of films and TV programs and one day I was on a program called the Royals which you might have known it's on E it's with Elizabeth Hurley it was I think quite big in America anyway I was there as a doorman my role was a doorman I was just stood on the door as soon as the camera panned past me I had to open the door for Elizabeth Hurley to walk through she plays the Queen or something like that I don't want suddenly I've got pulled aside by I don't know who he was a producer or something he was like can you read can you read this into this microphone and I was like yeah okay and it was just like I can't even remember what the sentence was there was a little script and I read it and he was like great Thanks and then he pulled someone else aside was like can you read this and I was like what's going on what are we gonna get a line cuz as an extra the best thing ever was to be given a line because you get paid more money and most of us were aspiring actors who were like oh my god screen time and then nothing happened and you know had lunch did the rest of the day filming forgot about it went home and then I think a couple of days later I was working as an usher at a university it was some sort of event again like I said I've hustled for so many years doing so many different jobs every day I was on a different kind of job so I was at this university hating my life and I get this phone call from an American number and I thought what's this and I I answered and it was a producer of the Royals calling me from LA being like do you remember when you did that um we asked you to speak into a microphone and I was like yeah and they were like oh well we need someone to do the voice-over for the promo of the Royals and we really love your voice we'd love for you to do that and I was like this is amazing so anyway long story short I went in a few weeks later to record this promo for the Royals which I'll try and find a clip of it in answer and now a message from the Queen happy election season y'all how's that whole president thing working out for you missing home are we it's been a few centuries since your Boston Tea Party mishap and look who's getting royally T bad now Paul Revere warned everyone the British are coming now I'm warning you your next president is coming but don't worry merry old England will welcome you back with open arms we'll be expecting you god save me the Royals make America Great Britain again new season December 4 that's what I did and it was amazing it was like my first professional voice-over job without me even having to try like I had this voice real but I didn't have any experience I hadn't done anything with it I didn't have a voiceover agent I just I just got plucked out of no we're and to do a voiceover which is incredible because I guess you always hope as a performer that you're going to be spotted somewhere and someone's gonna pluck you out of obscurity and you're gonna be like my big break and I guess it wasn't my big break but for me it was a big break and um and that happened to me I was the lucky chosen one so I did that job and I was like right I need to get on this because I loved doing that voiceover work so I sent the voice reel to loads of different agents eventually just trickled in the rejection saying know you've got a great voice we love your voice but we've got someone too similar to you or we've signed too many clients we don't need anyone else and this is what I heard and speaking to other people in the industry they were like you're not gonna get signed by voiceover agent until you're at least 40 or 50 like the competition's too fierce is a very very closed industry you're not going to get signed and so I kept taking these rejections and I was like oh okay fine maybe maybe it wasn't my big break after all so that was really really disheartening so I was just like well great how am I ever gonna get into this industry then everyone's always told me I had a good voice and now I'm like pursuing it I'm not getting anything four months later I got an email in my inbox from my now current agent damn good voices and they were like hey Joe we'd love to meet you this was before Christmas and they're like we'd love to meet you for a meeting at the ivy and I was like what the IV and damge voice is my agent is one of the best voiceover agents in the country they are like probably in the top three I don't know if my agents watching this sorry you're the top one you're amazing but they are up there they're like the agent you want to be with so I was like oh my gosh not only if I got meeting with the best agent in town but it's at the ivy my aim for that year was to get signed by a voiceover agent and I got signed on the 23rd of December of the year so I went in for the meeting the meeting went really well they offered me representation and since then I well I was gonna say I've not stopped working of course I have it's not super regular work but I've just gotten job after job after job with gaps in-between of months at a time sometimes I'll go five six seven months without working but then I'll have another couple of jobs I've worked for big brands like Barkley's Nutella most recently you guys will know I was over the moon with that I've worked for Mary Curie the charity I've done lots of corporate jobs internal jobs so for British Airways visit California just lots of different things Volkswagen eToro loads of different companies and it's been really really fun anyway I've waffled too much about that I hope you found that insightful and now I'm going to get on to some specifics of a vice that I would give to someone who's looking to start now please don't get disheartened when I've said that there was a bit of luck involved because I used to get like that whenever I used to listen to actors or or people for inspiration and they'd be like well I was just lucky I got plucked out of obscurity and Here I am it used to be like that's not helpful for me like what are some actionable things that I can do and I guess the thing is like there is luck involved in sort of everything but I'm a big believer in that quote that's saying what is it I need to remember it now there is like this video is completely unplanned by the way this is just off the top of my head success is when opportunity meets preparation or something like that so sure the luck is getting the opportunity but really if I just get the opportunity and I'm not prepared then I won't get anywhere like the only reason I made the most of my lucky break was because I was prepared and I'd got my voice real together I'd had some experience and I just got my stuff together so firstly if you're new to voiceovers I wouldn't start with getting straight into it emailing agents and seeing what you can do because you want to present yourself in a good way to these agents you don't want to send them like a half assed voice real like something that you've flung together by recording it on your phone they don't want to see that they want something professional and they want to know that you are professional and that if they were sending you up for auditions or for jobs that they would go yeah they're gonna do a really good job there so the first thing that I would say is do your research when I first started getting into voiceovers I brought I bought books on voiceovers I read every article I could online about voiceovers and I wish I'd known about Skillshare before this you guys will know if you follow Leah and I on our joint channel that we've worked with Skillshare on a number of occasions we really really love them and I'm lucky enough to be working with them on this video so if Skillshare I don't know if skill show existed back then but even if it did I wasn't aware of it and I wish I'd known because just going on my Skillshare account and typing voiceovers there are so many different lessons on voice overs three simple steps to recording great sounding voiceovers intro to voiceovers 101 a complete newbies guide to voice narration in addition to that they've got lots of writing things so if you want to learn how to write the perfect cover letter or how to improve your writing skills for that cover letter then there are lessons for that as well I know for me that I'm using the creative writing tap and category which has been really helpful in developing my writing there are classes like storytelling 101 character conflict and context writing character-driven stories and creative personal writing where you write about yourself there are lessons for absolutely anything I should clarify it's not just voiceovers Skillshare is an online learning platform that has thousands of different classes ranging from creative skills to entrepreneurship to business skills technical things technology absolutely anything a premium membership gives you unlimited access to all the classes that are on there and it works out at less than $10 per month if you sign up for an annual subscription so it's really good value like I spent so much money on books it was unbelievable books are really expensive these days anyway Skillshare is a really affordable option so you're not having to fork out loads of cash on books you can sign up and also a thing with the membership like this is like I spent loads of money on voiceover books but my Skillshare Premium Membership I don't have to just commit to voiceovers like I've now got access to all of the classes so as you guys will know by now hopefully is that I would never do a brand deal without getting you guys some sort of deal so Skillshare have very kindly offered all of my viewers a two month free trial so if you want to check out Skillshare you can sign up with the link in the description you get two months free and if you enjoy it sign up if you don't that's fine you've tried it but yet I really wish I'd known about Skillshare before I spent all that money on voiceovers because it could have saved a lot of time and effort right so after you've swatted up on voiceovers and things like that and what the industry wants how voiceover auditions work how the industry works because also let me just say this the voice-over industry in America probably differs to the voice-over industry in the UK which differs to the voice-over industry in Australia and Canada and all these places in terms of recording your voiceovers if you've got some professional recording equipment that sounds really good then sure have a research online of commercials you don't need to worry about copyright because these are only for your own personal usage so go on YouTube and copy down a script of an advert that you like the sound of and then record that script as long as it's good recording then send it to an agent but I would probably advise you to seek someone who does have the professional equipment hire a studio for an hour or find a company that will do the show rules for you obviously the company I used had all the scripts there for me to choose from they recorded it for me edited it for me bish bash Bosh but that's a bit more of an expensive option do the research see which agents are the best apply to everyone don't be too snobby about applying to them writing to an agent and sending them your show rule isn't committing you to anything you're just saying hi listen to this would you be interested in having a meeting a practical piece of advice for cover letters is keep them really short obviously agents get hundreds of emails and letters every single day or every single week let's say so um definitely keep it sharp and short just introduce yourself say who you are why you're writing to them give them some sort of specific so blow a bit of smoke up them you know just say like ah I've really I've seen that you get a lot of great work for your clients I know you're really well respected in the industry and that's why I'd like to be represented by you I've attached my voice real have listened to it and let me know if you'd like to schedule a meeting simple as that and then you've got the horrible part of waiting and not just waiting but getting rejections and I think coming to terms with the fact that you will get rejections is really releasing and freeing because I think the people that go into it going everyone's gonna love me it's gonna be amazing other ones that then get disappointed when they get the rejections and it gets them down and they won't pursue it anymore so keep going with it as I said it took four months of getting rejections through and then suddenly an email that I'd email for months previously was like sorry we've only just got to your application because they have so many hundreds and they'll like come in for a meeting so you just don't know so just keep plugging away and don't give up this is the hardest part of being a voice-over artist is getting the agent and getting the representation of course there will be probably people in the comments that will say I've been self represented I do voiceovers all by myself I've got a home studio I that's great but not everyone has access to that not everyone can do that I certainly don't have a home studio that will cost thousands of pounds and I don't need to all the advice I'd read online is as a voice-over artist you need your own equipment you need your own studio but I completely disagree and my agent when I had a meeting with them I asked them the same thing I was like do I need my own studio and they're like absolutely not any good brand that wants to work with you as a voice-over artist would pay for a studio for you to go and record it I've never been asked to record a voiceover in my own home apart from as an audition for something so what I do have is a professional microphone that I can plug straight into my phone and record a voice over that way for an audition it's not the most professional quality obviously because I don't have a soundproof studio but it is really crisp and clear and it's just what I need in order to book some jobs anyway I hope that was helpful for you guys let me know if it answered any of your questions I'm sure that this video as well is going to attract new people that don't know who I am and they don't know what this channel is about they're just looking for advice on voiceovers and if that's you hello welcome my name is Joel subscribe if you want to I post videos every single week not just about voiceovers but about my life but if you have any more questions about voiceovers then leave me a comment below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can I love answering questions about things like this about the acting industry and about how to do things like I want to help people because you know I've received help along the way from people giving me advice so if I can give advice to anyone that's really great thank you to skill chef's sponsoring this video don't forget if you want a free two months trial then click the link down below and I will see you next week bye you you

47 Comments

  • Joel Wood says:

    I've just joined Facebook, so please follow me on there too: https://www.facebook.com/joelwoodofficial

  • Jim Crovatt says:

    Anyone that uses the word "actionable" in a sentence has my undivided attention.

  • K Britz says:

    Love how genuine you are and your positivity. Your content is so thorough and interesting. I’m not sure if other viewers are as curious about the mysterious LUCY… After you using her palm tree glass on one of your videos….you could even play it up where she walks by while you are filming without her head showing/or just a leg/back/arm or making noise in the background… Something fun that makes us viewers curious to come back for more reveal. Just a thought.

  • Linda Collins says:

    Thanks for the video! I'm so happy you finally made this video. I think you have a great voice for this line of work. However, I would love to see you perform as an actor in a sit-com. I think you would be tailor-made for that. Do you think you might try to get an agent when you are here in L.A. ?

  • Mark Botello says:

    How are you so darn cute?!!

  • Candy Clews says:

    Julian Fellowes needs to contact you Joel – would love to see you in one of his productions.

  • Ninjamom 4 says:

    ❤️❤️❤️

  • Darci Larae says:

    How crazy that you did a voiceover for “The Royals”. I watch that. 🤯

  • Karen Murray says:

    Everybody tells me I have a great voice and despite some VO classes that I've taken, I stop myself from trying because I can't record anything in my apartment due to living next to a train station. There's just nowhere to go to block out sound. Appreciate you sharing this! That's unbelievable how you got your first gig. I keep wishing for that kind of scenario! Oh, and edited to add….I'm shocked you get notified of rejections. That doesn't happen here.

  • Bridget Ryan-Samonte says:

    Have you ever done Audio books because I think you would be awesome!

  • Heather Davis says:

    Oh my gosh this video kinda made me sad bc I miss The Royals soooo much 😭

  • Debbi Vaughn says:

    Fabulously interesting, Joel! Thanks for the free information. You are very pleasant to listen to.

  • SWEET TEA DREAMER says:

    I am so happy Joel you got “lucky” I call it blessed. God blessed you with a great talent & divine connections!! Yay!!

  • Tina G says:

    I did a recording of voice overs back in the 90's. Never did anything with it. Maybe in the near future. In the USA.

  • Tina G says:

    Your voice is stellar☆☆☆

  • Angela Saunders says:

    First of all, you do have a fantastic voice, so glad you're able to get voice over work with it. Second, great advice.

  • Niners94 says:

    I’m going to randomly hear your voice somewhere and now know it’s you.

  • Cathy Caten says:

    I did a voiceover for a bank phone system. Interesting work. Also, I had trained my dog and he landed a commercial. That was interesting too. Good advice Joel.

  • Cherish Elledge says:

    Omg, I remember that ad, How cool.

  • Millie Almonte says:

    This was very informative! 💙

  • Susan Rice says:

    How is learning Spanish going?

  • Harriet Bredehoft says:

    Is the Ivy you mentioned the London restaurant? I've eaten there but I didn't know I was in a special eatery! How about that….

  • Lucy! says:

    You manifested it by putting the work in! 🙂 You two actually got me considering Skillshare; I was looking over the classes they offered, and it seems really cool! OH! Right on! Totally going to try the trial! 🙂 You know… I love the fact that I can watch your videos and thoroughly enjoy them, even if it's about a topic I'm not like… rah rah about? Thank you for that 🙂

  • Amy Kimble says:

    Thanks Joel, you an amazing voice and I pray that you get more voice over jobs. Great video, thank you for sharing your knowledge on voice over.

  • debby cassidy says:

    Great video and tips. My son wants to go into voice acting. I'll share this with him. Thanks Joel!

  • Matthew Gill says:

    Dude, British voice over actors are the best in shows and documentaries. Here's an American clip you might find interesting; it's a little long, you don't have to watch the whole thing. Here it is: https://youtu.be/FUGd-Rjq3Po

  • Robert Veal says:

    Have you ever did auto books?

  • John Symons says:

    I knew nothing about the voice over business before seeing this program. Thanks for informing us about this most intriguing subject. I love your comment,"you have got a face for radio!" Joel, have a fun and safe trip to Las Vegas and LA. Take care and as always, Happy Travels!

  • KRWdstck says:

    Everyone in the performing arts has to scrape and hustle to get work. I sure hope you get whatever kind of jobs you want! You are so right about preparation being the key. It’s the same with musicians and dancers.

  • Veronica says:

    yeah the life of the creative, fun project with gaps, major on the pluses

  • J.T. Scott says:

    " (aside) …not anything for money" 😂

  • Adam Wallace says:

    OMG! I can't wait to get up tomorrow!

  • Christine Allocca says:

    Well done, Joel!❤ That was a very informative video. I won't be seeking any voice over work, as I'm sure my New York accent might be a little too much. 🤣🤣🤣

  • Matilda Martin says:

    So very informative thank you!!!***❤️❤️❤️

  • StrikitRich says:

    @Joel Wood – does your narration and dramatic experience offer any opportunity in the audiobook industry?

  • Very informative. Good energy

  • Municho says:

    Me: Voiceover artist? I mean…how good can he really be?

    Me: listens to his work

    Me: 0.0

  • chantelle brown says:

    Great video for being off the cuff! You were informative and adorable as always sweetheart!

  • Lori Wheeler says:

    wow, i would have never guessed that was your voice on there. Soooo deep!

  • Mass Lass says:

    I hope LA makes your acting dreams come true! I was an extra in a movie filmed in Massachusetts a few years ago. It was a long day but fun. I got some decent screen time. It was a Lifetime channel Christmas movie. I don't have acting dreams. I contacted them to be a Hair and MUA on set and they wanted me more as an extra. They were all set with hair people.

  • Edward Miessner says:

    "…doing anything I can for money – but not, not anything for money…" I have an idea what those not-anythings were. Good for you!

  • NM1cookie says:

    I REMEMBER THAT COMMERCIAL!! HAHAHA i watched the show once or twice but commercials were on over and over

  • stacey knight says:

    Joel, I really loved this video, you are so talented and when I heard  your voice over for the Royals for E, I was so proud of you.    I have heard your  voice overs on the other video and  you really are going to go far I can feel it.  I believe in you Joel,

  • Janice Feny says:

    You DO have a nice voice, Joel…your voice sounds a little deeper in the promo😊!

  • Cathy Miller says:

    The harder you work, the luckier you get.

  • Morning Glory Julie says:

    The queen actress looks like a cross between Melania Trump and Princess Kate and Im dying hahaha

  • GentleSpirit JW says:

    Another 5-star video, Joel! Loved your high energy! I just love watching you, period! 😅 Much love from Jean in California. ❤👍

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