Hi there, me again, here to delve more in-depth with all the wonderful ways voiceover touches our lives. I know I went into it a bit with my first post here, but I keep meeting new people who always seem surprised by just how much voice acting is around them. So today I want to help open your eyes—or, well, ears—to noticing just how much voice acting you encounter every day.
Everyone knows the obvious jobs: animation, radio and TV ads, and video games. Last time I also brought up some lesser-known jobs like telephony, the recorded voice you hear on trains, and even background chatter for films. But those aren't even the tip of the iceberg. Let's think about where you might have encountered a voice in your day-to-day life. Does your grocery store have those self-checkout counters? That voice prompting you to please remove any un-scanned items is a recording of a real person. You ask Siri about the weather tomorrow, and again get another recorded voice answering you. Granted, Alexa is a computer-generated voice (dang machines stealing our jobs!), but it's one of the rare exceptions, as even Google Home uses a voice actor.
Now think about some of the other places you've gone or things you've interacted with, and whether or not you heard a voice. For instance, listening to podcasts and hearing an intro or outro, trailers for new apps and games you see on social media, and mobile language learning apps (I'm currently trying to learn French on Duolingo, myself). Maybe your church has done a show that had a voice narrating something, or a video displayed with narration. When you were a kid, you might have had a toy that talked when you pushed a button or pulled a string. If you go to a museum, you can take one of those self-guided audio tours. Some museums even have interactive displays with recordings that play as you move through them or press certain buttons. The last time you went to an airport, you probably heard an announcement about making sure to keep an eye on your luggage. These are all products of voice acting that people don't think about so much. They're the more obscure jobs that always get me shocked looks when I explain to new acquaintances that I've done some of them.
But probably the most obscure VO job I've had is when I voiced things that were used at marching band competitions. That's right. Massive competitions that pit different schools' marching bands against each other, and they have to put on quite a show, often telling a story with their music and marching. Voice acting can even be found in something like that.
Voice acting really is all around you. So the next time you're at an amusement park and get strapped in for a ride, give a thought to the actor who's pre-recorded voice advises you to keep your hands inside the cart. Think of us as you and your friends go to an escape room and get immersed in the story and interactive elements. We're there to tell you the weather, teach you new languages, warn you to mind the gap, and even just say a few words in a marching band performance. So back in that first post, when I said you might have heard me or one of the others here at FlyVoiceovers without realizing it, I wasn't exaggerating. Voiceover has become so integral in today's society, that I would be willing to bet that not a day goes by when you don't encounter something that uses it. Today, why not try to recognize each moment you hear one of us.