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Hi, I'm Bill Murray. Welcome and thanks for visiting. Let's brand your product, service or station with a powerful new voice.

I'll bring you a strong, experienced, unique and recognizable sound, and we can start right away. I've been doing promos full time since the 1980's. Today I work from a custom studio on a horse farm in north Georgia, every day from around 8:00 - 6:00 eastern.

Have a look around, check out some commercials and promos, and please call or email. I'll look forward to talking with you.

One more thing: I'm an author. Check out my adventure travel book Common Sense and Whiskey. (Amazon, BN, Kindle), and my second book, Visiting Chernobyl, A Guide (Amazon, Kindle).

Thanks for visiting.

Bill works from here -
a real live log cabin!
It's a custom-built studio
bordering National Forest
in the southern
Appalachian mountains.

Bill records your script
as soon as you send it.

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800.229.2046
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1.706.379.0675
worldwide

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1.706.379.4125
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Voiceovers.com is the web site of Bill Murray, who does voiceovers from the southern Appalachian mountains in Georgia, USA.
Call 800.229.2046. Email bill (at) voiceovers.com.

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Some humble advice on how to get into the voiceover business



I get e-mail every single day asking how to get into the business. Well, I'm trying to DO it, not TEACH it. Still, just maybe I can give you a little nudge in the right direction. What follows is strictly nothing more than my opinion.

First thing to know is, it takes a long time. It's not really as easy as it seems. I don't know of any shortcuts through the heavy lifting part - you just have to constantly, I mean constantly, market yourself.

Isn't there an adage something like 'a hero is reviled in his own land,' or something like that? In this business it means that once a year or so there's a fresh, new voice discovered that everybody in the market flocks to.

You work with your established clients, but to continue to prosper you have to be that fresh, new voice somewhere, by always expanding into new markets.

(Ad guys, don't read the next line) Ad agent people who pick talent can be like cattle - listen carefully to the national ads and notice how they flock to the 'flavor of the month' - the currently fashionable vo person or type of read. So you have to stay top of mind. Keep stuff in the mail. Mail cds, then mail a card, then mail more cds, then do it again.

But I'm going too fast, aren't I?

Okay, first: Get printing done. Look legitimate in print. Try to come up with a logo or at least a distinctive type face that you'll "brand" yourself with. Do letterhead, envelopes, cards, etc.

Then do a cd.

It's not really all that daunting. Call a smaller radio station, ask for the traffic department, explain what you're doing and ask them if they'll save the scripts from some of their commercials, and go pick them up. Practice reading them, then find a little studio, book two hours ($60 - 70/hour probably), read them and have the studio guy put music behind your voice and edit what you've done into a demo. He'll know what to do, he's done it before (and if he hasn't, go somewhere else).

Your final demo should have a few different kinds of reads (did you listen to my demos on my front page?) and last not much more than a minute per track (maybe one track for commercials, one for narration, one for characters, whatever you do). Nobody will listen much past that. Get that cd done first, because talent agents won't want to hear from you until you have that.

If you don't have the gear to make copies at home, ask the studio guy to put you onto a duplicating house. Maybe there's a retail store in your town that does it - there is one here - but in any case get a hundred or two - not thousands because ideally you'll get some work with the first batch. Then you'll want to include the real jobs on new, revised tapes.

Spend a little time to design what they'll print on the cd, or arrange to have labels printed. Use your logo, or make it reflect the printing you've had done for your letterhead, etc. You can get clear cd cases so that the label will show through the case and you won't need a lot of fancy printing for the cd case. Mail 'em to all the talent agencies in town. Get a list of recording studios in town from the Yellow Pages and mail to them. Mail to the smaller ad agencies. Mail more than one.

Now, at this point, a few weeks will go by and nothing will happen. Don't be discouraged. Just mail to the list again. Then start to work the phones. Eventually you'll get a relationship with an agency or two.

This is important: Unless you're in a market that demands it, don't go exclusively with any one agent. In many places, all the agents can book all the top voices. No need to limit yourself to one agent.

Once you get an agent you'll give them thirty or fifty cds or tapes and they'll mail them under their letterhead. Later there's the issue of whether or not to join the voice union AFTRA or the Screen Actors Guild. One of these days I'll address the pros and cons there, but that's for later.

Here's a little math: The cheapest blank cds get cheaper all the time - well under fifty cents apiece in bulk. For a couple hundred dollars you can get a cd burner that you can attach to your computer and make them yourself at home. I use a cd duplicator to make about a thousand cds per run, but for the purposes of getting started you can make them one at a time on your computer. When I get a good prospect I do custom demos that I mail to TV stations with their logos on the labels and covers (I steal the logos off the web).

We haven't talked about pay rates, and we haven't gotten into alternative potential employers. You have to do the first things first.

Thing is, there's really not that much pre-preparation necessary. You just start. And when you do, be free with your cds. Try to have them lying around every studio in town. People have to see them to know about you.

I do coffee mugs and sticky notes. I mail a mug to all new clients and, when I used to go to studios, I'd leave sticky notes and mugs behind everywhere, so they're just lying around. I have also done mouse pads, and (if I can make myself spend the time) I'm going to do a calendar one of these years. All that's stuff that stays on people's desks. You gotta do that.

There is one thing you could be working on; One of the things an employer will appreciate is your ability to be easily directed. If you can take a script, look it over, and read it the first or second time in :30 or :60 (or whatever), this can reduce the money they have to spend on studio time. So once you get some scripts from a radio station, buy a stopwatch (athletic store or Radio Shack) and just read scripts over and over to develop this skill.

Tips on demo content:

1. Keep your demo short. I've been told countless times that producers, casting people, agents get a glazed look in their eyes after much more than a minute. In the old days, when I used to actually go to the station to do voiceovers, I was doing daily news topicals for the local NBC affiliate. I would get the copy and read three takes onto a tape and bring it to the producer. One day I asked which read she had put on the air for that particular promo, and she said something like, "Bill, I always use the first one. I just don't have time to listen to them all."

2. Vary the types of reads. Don't let the same style read occur twice in a row. If you have the same type read back to back on your current demo, pick the one you like best and either delete the other one or move it to elsewhere on your demo. Alternating the types of reads you can do, say first a frenetic then a sad then a calm then a tense read, seems to me to make your demo more dynamic.

Now go get started.

Use Bill Murray for Voiceovers.
Call 800.229.2046




Here's the two faces of Owen the Octopus - an online character Bill plays for
Beyond Speech Therapy Learning, teaching children with speech disorders.


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