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HOW CAN I BE A VOICE ARTISTE?
Neeraj M. Mehra
 
Many people often ask me how to be a voice artiste. They have been commended by their parents, friends that you have a good voice, go for it. Mainly they are commending on your voice texture, not on other aspects. But still many people don’t know what requires being a voice artiste. What is that is required by the producers & directors?. I would here explain in very simple terms.
 
First of all I would like to break a very big myth that a heavy voice is a very good voice. No, the criteria of using particular kind of voices depends solely on the requirement of the script. Always upon receiving the final script, the director, producer and the sound engineer decide on the voices to be used and few short listed samples of the same voice texture are sent to the client for final approval. Therefore you don’t listen a very heavy baritone voice for character voices or such promos where a common man’s voice is used or for example insurance type of ads. Yes, for Programmes such as discovery and NGC where a narrator takes the whole Programmes you tend to listen heavy baritone voices as they tend to portray authority, command in their speech.
 
Now what is required to be a voice artiste… first you should be having a good command over the language you speak. You should know how that word is spoken and what does it mean. Second, the fluency in your speech. You should be able to read and speak it fluently without any stammer, lisp or stutter. You should have clarity in your diction, i.e…you should know the correct form of spoken language of the particular region. I believe, many of you are through with two pre-requisites. Now comes how to throw your voice with proper modulation, pitching. Or in simple terms how would you put emotions in to it. This delivery of voice is the most difficult part but also the easiest as you can train yourself rather quickly than overcoming any natural problem.
 
I would explain more on the third aspect, the delivery or modulation. People assume that modulation is done from the throat. Yes, it does but more so from our mind. The most important aspect in delivery of voice is to analyse and understand the script completely. Unless you understand each sentence of the script you cannot give justice to it. Therefore it is necessary to have some basic practical voicing skills before you actually land up doing professional assignments. Learn on breathing techniques, how to improve your voices, how to increase voice stamina, exercises for the throat and delivery, do and don’ts for intake and a lot more. More so you should do some actual recording or get yourself train in this aspect. Try to observe voicing in different kind of documentaries and Programmes and then practice the same scripts so that you can correct yourself. Try to spend some time in observing Voice artistes in sound studious. Always spend at least 15-20 min in script reading and most important get opinions from professionals not from amateurs or friends, as they would always praise you and you would never come to know your weaknesses. 
 
Get your DEMO CD prepared by professionals in a sound studio. Always remember this is similar to preparing an impressive CV for a JOB so that at least you get short listed for the interview. That should be not more than 3-4 minutes and should contain the best takes. You should then promote yourself by sending this CD to various sound studios, by email and promoting your voice profile on different websites. Take a subscription to get voicing leads so you can apply and get work.
 
The biggest advantage of being a Voice Artiste is that you do not have to leave your current profession. You can do it freelance, part-time, on weekends or if you get voicing assignments consistently you can take upon as a full time career too. There is no age or sex bar, as young as 3 years to 80 years can render their voice. You can be of any color, caste or religion. As no camera is involved so anybody can be a part of it, you sell your voice, that's it. You can even live your passion if you have just thought of it.
 
We are always with the aspiring Voice Talent in every aspect mentioned above. Hope to bring smile on your face, always.
 
Neeraj M. Mehra
 
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