Working as a promo gal

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Television promos (ads for TV shows) would have to be one of my fav voice acting specialisations. The high-volume work is diverse, dynamic and demanding.

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My first foray into voice acting was when I worked in radio. Like most presenters, I loaned my dulcet tones to a bunch of station advertisements. I was generally typecast as an excited, youthful FVO (female voice over), interested in shoes, clothes or the latest cocktail at Mooseheads (a local pub / bar / nightclub).

It wasn’t until I made the move to television that my versatility and love of voice acting grew. As the female television promo announcer, I got to voice all the ‘ads’ for the network programs. The gig included two voicing sessions per day with each session lasting anywhere up to two hours.

It was a great job and heaps of fun. I got to promote network dramas, lifestyle programs, comedy shows, current affairs, movies and international hit shows—each genre requiring a unique sound.

I learned exactly how much smile to add to sound cheeky but not cocky in a comedy read. I deciphered the correct ratio of breath to voice for the sexy read. And I could quickly channel the newsy, ‘when you need to know’ voice to pitch our news bulletins as the best in the biz.

And just to keep things interesting, as an affiliate of a larger metro network, the TV promos were provided as what would best be described as an audiovisual shell…music, graphics and snippets from the show (called ‘grabs’ or ‘SOTs’) were sent via a satellite feed. I would then have to voice around, between or in time with what was contained in this shell. Needless to say, I quickly mastered the art of voicing exactly to time.

The life of a promo voice is vocally demanding—you need to be able to channel a range of styles at a moments’ notice, voice exactly to time and with minimal takes. It will stretch you as a voice actor and give you the opportunity to try new things on a daily basis. That’s what makes it such a great gig. As an added bonus, you’ll also know what is happening on all the network shows!

Here is a promo I voiced for Family Guy. I had to voice around the grabs of Peter and Stewie…made all the more difficult ’cause Family Guy is HILARIOUS!    image

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Check out more of my TV promo work in the hear me section.

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