What Do You Call Someone Who Does Voice Overs?

Wednesday, June 19, 2024
What Do You Call Someone Who Does Voice Overs?

Is it Voice Actor, Voice Talent, Voice Over Artist or Narrator?

Someone who does voice overs is called a voice actor, voice talent, voice over artist or narrator. But which term should you use? If you've ever wondered about the different terms used to refer to individuals who lend their voices to various projects, you're not alone. Whether it's commercials, animations, audiobooks, or video games, the talented individuals behind the microphone go by several names. Here are the common terms used to describe someone who does voice overs.

1. Voice Actor

The term “voice actor” refers to individuals who specialize in using their voices to portray characters, convey emotions, and deliver messages in various media formats. Unlike traditional actors who rely on physical performances, voice actors rely solely on the power of their voices to bring characters to life and captivate audiences. Voice actors often undergo extensive training to develop their skills and versatility.

“Voice actor” is the most common term used to describe someone who does voice overs. One reason why some individuals prefer to use the term voice actor instead of voice talent is the association with the broader field of acting. By identifying as voice actors, they align themselves with the rich tradition of acting and performance, drawing inspiration from theater, film, and television. This connection to the world of acting underscores the depth and complexity of their craft and elevates the perception of voice over work as a legitimate form of artistic expression.

Another group of individuals who prefer “voice actor” are those who specialize in character work, such as animation and video game voice overs. These voice actors excel in creating distinct voices, accents, and personalities for a diverse range of characters, making them invaluable assets to producers and directors seeking to bring their projects to life.

2. Voice Talent

The term “voice talent” stands out as the second most common and preferred term to describe someone who does voice overs. A voice talent, or voice over talent, is more than just someone with a pleasant voice; they are skilled professionals who excel in the art of voice over work.

While “voice actor” holds appeal for many in the industry, some individuals prefer to use “voice talent” to describe themselves. For these professionals, the term “voice talent” emphasizes the versatility and adaptability of their craft. They see themselves not just as actors inhabiting characters, but as skilled practitioners capable of lending their voices to a wide range of projects, from commercials and corporate narrations to educational videos and telephone systems.

The term voice talent resonates with their belief in the importance of versatility and professionalism in the field of voice over work, highlighting their ability to deliver exceptional performances across various genres and industries.


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3. Voice Over Artist

Some people prefer the term "voice over artist" because of its emphasis on the creative and expressive aspects of voice work. By identifying as artists, these individuals highlight their ability to use their voices as instruments of storytelling, painting vivid imagery with every word and inflection. Whether they're narrating a documentary or voicing a character in an animated film, voice over artists bring a unique blend of creativity, emotion, and skill to their performances.

Another factor that contributes to the popularity of the term "voice over artist" is its association with professionalism and expertise. By referring to themselves as artists, voice actors signal their commitment to their craft and their dedication to delivering high-quality work. This emphasis on professionalism helps distinguish them from amateur hobbyists, positioning them as trusted professionals in the industry.

4. Narrator

While many individuals in the voice over industry identify as voice actors or voice talent, others prefer to use the term "narrator" to describe their work, particularly those who specialize in delivering spoken commentary or storytelling. Narrators play a vital role in bringing written words to life, guiding listeners through a narrative journey with their voice alone.

One reason why some people choose to identify themselves as narrators rather than voice talent is the emphasis on storytelling and communication. Narrators excel in conveying complex ideas, emotions, and themes through their vocal performances, capturing the essence of a story and engaging listeners. Their ability to evoke imagery, emotions, and create immersive experiences sets them apart as masters of the art of storytelling through voice. Whether they're narrating audiobooks, documentaries, or eLearning materials, narrators bring a sense of gravitas and authenticity to their performances, enhancing the overall impact and effectiveness of the content.

Some individuals prefer to use the term "narrator" because it accurately reflects the primary focus of their work. While voice talent may encompass a wide range of voice over projects, narrators specialize in the art of narration, placing a strong emphasis on clarity, pacing, and delivery to ensure that the story is conveyed effectively to the audience.


Learn more about voice overs: How to Spot a Voice Over Scam 


Should I Use Voice Actor or Voice Talent?

Determining whether to use voice actor or voice talent can vary depending on context and personal preference within the industry. However, historically, "voice actor" has been a more widely recognized and commonly used term, particularly in the entertainment industry and among professionals who specialize in character voice work for animation, video games, and dubbing.

That said, "voice talent" has also gained significant traction, especially in commercial and advertising circles, where individuals who provide voice overs for commercials, corporate videos, and promotional materials may prefer this term to emphasize their versatility and professionalism in various genres of voice over work.

The terms “voice actor” and “voice talent “are both widely understood within the voice over industry, and individuals may use them interchangeably based on personal preference, the specific context of their work, or the nature of the projects they undertake.


VOPlanet is a global marketplace that connects freelance voice talent with creators, casting directors and other voice buyers. You can post a voice over job for free or browse our voice talent directory and get auditions from our profession voice team.


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