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A Rose By Any Other Name

In voice acting, the job is more important than the title.

Voice actor? Voice artist? Voice over? Voiceover? Voice talent? Talent? VO? Narrator? Describer? Storyteller? Announcer? Talker? Communicator?

Which is correct?

According to Miriam Webster, a voice actor is defined as;

an actor who provides voice-overs or who voices characters in animated films, video games, etc.

A voice-over is described in this way;

a: the voice of an unseen narrator speaking (as in a motion picture or television commercial) b: the voice of a visible character (as in a motion picture) expressing unspoken thoughts c: a recording of a voice-over
Multi-petaled pink rose

Mix-it up

Confused? You're not alone! Not only are people outside of the industry stumped as to what to consistently call folks who use their voice to bring a script or a character to life, but those of us actually doing voiceovers have the same problem. In fact, according to those who make it a point to know about such things, changing up how you refer to yourself, in certain instances such as when relying on SEO (search engine optimization) to get your name out into the world and make it easy for potential clients to find you, is very important.

It's up to you

Each person doing voice overs has the freedom to refer to themselves any way they want, based on how they see themselves or according to the situation or desired outcome. I would say that most of the voice actors I know, see themselves as fulfilling roles as all of the names mentioned above, with a healthy dose of each of them all mixed together every time they step in front of a microphone. Voice acting is tough! It's definitely not just reading words from a page. I may have thought that when I started my VO journey close to a decade ago. But really, there is a little bit of all of those titles in me each time I practice, or audition or voice an actual job, paid or not.

The bottom line is, go ahead and call me anything you'd like! As my Mom used to say "Just don't call me late for dinner." (Insert groan here... )

Debra Elaine is a California-based Voice Actor and Medical Narrator delivering professional voice over from her home studio via ipDTL & Source Connect. Learn more >>


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