How Bilingual Speakers Can Be Successful in Voice Over
If you are a bilingual speaker, there are opportunities in voiceover for you that you my not be aware of. More and more commercials, for instance, are being created in Spanish and other languages to appeal to specific market segments.Please read on to learn about one of my voice over for bilingual speakers students whose primary language is Spanish.
Maria is a real estate agent who caters mostly to what’s left of the middle class community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Spanish is her first language. She can speak English fluently,but she has a slight accent. Many of her clients had told her how warm and personable she was, and that she had a voice that would be perfect for the radio.
When she came to me for a voice assessment, I could understand what her clients had seen, a very warm and energetic spirit who had a rich, strong voice. But I also told her that there was hardly any work for English speaking voice over actors who spoke with accents, or for that matter, with American dialects. She wanted to try accent reduction, a process through which you gradually lose your accent and learn to speak in what is known in the industry as “American neutral English.” But after one lesson, I knew that accent reduction would take a very long time and more money than I think Maria had expected to spend.
I recommended that she start thinking of herself as a Spanish voice over actress instead of an English one. That way, her natural warmth and spirit could shine in Spanish, without needing to worry about her accent. The funny thing is, I don’t think she had even thought about herself in this way, but once she did, everything quickly fell into place. She relaxed into her gracious nature and after a couple of months of coaching, she was ready to audition. We rehearsed everything in Spanish, and created a great demo that landed her an agent, and work!