Do You Need A Headshot To Market
Voice Over? No - Let Clients Imagine ...
September 9, 2014
By Kate McClanaghan
Voice Talent & Coach, Sound Advice
A good headshot and résumé is the common calling card of a professional talent pursuing on-camera or stage work. In fact, you can’t land commercial representation from a talent agent without first having a really good headshot and a decent résumé.
Like your voice over demo, the headshot is your first opportunity to let the on-camera agent know whether you are up to speed as a talent. It’s a dead giveaway as to whether you know what you’re doing in this business. It defines you - it types you.
One casting director put it this way, "Your headshots are a marketing tool. They must sell your type.”
FOR VOICE OVER, TOO?
But in voice over, you're selling your voice. So is a headshot necessary there? In a word, no.
You don’t need a headshot to land voice over work, though many local talent agents will probably ask you if you’re also interested in pursuing on-camera work, especially if that agent happens to handle both voice over and on-camera, as many do.
If you are interested in on-camera work, then it’s imperative your headshot look like YOU, the person walking into the room to audition. Just as your voice over demos should sound like you. You are promoting who you are and defining the sort of work you intend to land.
If you’re pursuing a career in both on- and off-camera work, you should include your voice over demo on your acting and listing websites, such as ActorsAccess.com CastingNetworks.com.
And, yes, if necessary you should pay for it! It’s the price of doing business.
Including your demo in both of these locations, especially in lieu of having a short (effective/appropriate) on-camera segment to serve as what you do best on screen, your voice over demo will offer greater insight into who you are as a professional talent and your true aesthetic level.
HOW ABOUT VO WEBSITE?
However, I never recommend that you include a headshot on your voice over web page.
In voice over, we want to imagine what you look like - not actually see what you look like as a voice over.
Suspend the imagination of your potential employers for as long as you possibly can. Otherwise your client will ultimately be listening with their eyes and not their ears … and that’s always a deal killer in voice-over.
Kate McClanaghan is the founder of Sound Advice, a full-service voice over training/demo production company for talent of all skill levels. She’s the author of The SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over & the Business of Being a Working Talent, which is currently in it’s third edition. She is also a busy casting director/producer with Big House Casting & Audio in both Los Angeles and Chicago, which produces commercials, corporate industrials and web content, ADR, sound sweetening, games and voice talent casting.
Web (Sound Advice): www.voiceoverinfo.com
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