A subscriber writes:
I do funny voices and accents that keep my friends in stitches. How can I use this in voice over?

Susan Berkley:   Many people are born mimics. They can copy accents easily and entertain others with a variety of voices.

While this innate talent might also mean you have a good ear and a “knack” for voice over work, you will still need training to focus your skills and adapt them to the demands of the market.

Take accents, for example. The next time you listen to the radio, notice how very few commercials feature voice actors speaking in accents or dialects. There are several reasons for this.

An accent may be difficult for many people to understand. If an ad can’t be understood, its purpose is defeated. An accent may offend members of a particular ethnic group. Or an accent or dialect may cause certain preconceptions in the mind of the listener.

For example, it may not be fair or true but some people foolishly assume that a speaker with a southern accent is slow or uneducated. For all these reasons and more, advertisers tend to steer clear of using accents in their commercials.

Animation is a different story. Funny accents can bring life to a character in cartoons and other children’s entertainment. However, just because you can do accents doesn’t mean you can do cartoons.

You have to be able to use your voice to create real, believable characters that are much more than a funny voice. The best animation voice specialists sustain their characters indefinitely (not just for a few lines) and can do a wide range of voices within the same production.

Because copywriters frequently use humor to sell, an ability to handle humorous copy and good comedic timing is a real asset for voice over work.

If you’re entertaining your friends with your funny voices there might be a future for you in voice over work, but you’ll need training to develop these voices into marketable characters.

Interested in pursuing your voice over career? Whether you do funny voices or not, your timing could be perfect! Our new Career Launcher Program includes a ticket to one of our Voice Over Bootcamps, private telephone coaching sessions and a professionally produced voice over demo. Our next Bootcamp is June 21-23 in New York City. For information contact us at 800-333-8108 or


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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit

Copyright 2013, The Great Voice Company. All Rights Reserved. Can You Turn Your Funny Voices and Accents Into Voice Over Money?