March 4, 2008

Paid for Commercial Voice-Over Narration
Lima, Peru

There's a small, basic recording studio on the top floor of this house that Christian (Tatiana's brother) uses for his profession (as an audio engineer). He's been doing the sound work for commercials and documentaries for years, much of it out of the little studio in the house.

Tatiana's father has been a voice personality for decades, and now does plenty of work with his son. He's got this thundering James Earl Jones tone that has employed him in various capacities since he was young man. There's no short supply of photos hanging around when he emceed some very popular musicians and events, back in the day.

Christian approached me about a voice-over job a few days ago, and after recording a sample for the client, I was approved to narrate about as much text as you would find on a the page of a novel. For this, I'd be paid US$100.

Today the client, a director who would be compiling the video about Ray Corporation: Competing in a Globalized World, showed up around noon. I probably invested about an hour or so of time in the entire process, including the post-recording review and any single-sentence re-recordings that had to be done.

I think the hardest part for me was when the director would say something like "more patriotic and intense", and it would be on me to try and change my speech to reflect the emphasis he had in mind. But offering up more than just a non-regional American-English accent, I brought value by correcting improperly used words and sentence structure (that went slightly askew from the translation). For the curious, this unrelated clip on YouTube has me talking.

Christian tells me the voice-over market in Lima is dominated by only three people: An American woman, an older American guy (who apparently comes off as a little too gay on tape), and a Brit who lived in the U.S. for a large chunk of his life. The British-American, Alex, is popular (and much more expensive) because of his past work, and because he can do his own Spanish to English script translations.

He said that I wouldn't have too hard of a time carving out a nice piece of the market, especially given the solid sample he has of my voice now. If I was hanging around town there'd be no complaints here—great money for the amount of time invested.

Accents

"You have a good voice for TV and radio."

All this thinking about speech and accents found me searching on the subject, and I came two interesting items worth sharing:

The first is a quick quiz that tries to determine what region (or state) of the United States your style of speech resembles. It uses rhyming questions like "When you say bag does it rhyme with vague?"

Check it out: What American accent do you have?

The other is something that I found really quite interesting. George Mason University has something called The Speech Accent Archive, which is a collection of recordings from people the world over, reciting the same sentence (in English).

Take a peek at the speaker's language archive for alternate (non-atlas) view—fascinating.

Comments:

Canada

Jen/YVR

March 4th, 2008

LOL - I tried the quiz to find out which American accent I, a born-and-raised Canadian, have.

Apparently I have a 'North Central' accent: " 'North Central' is what professional linguists call a Minnesota accent. If you saw 'Fargo' you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian alot"

There I go, fulfilling the stereotype…..and no, my accent isn't quite of the Fargo strength…..

The United States

Katie

March 5th, 2008

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West
Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.The Midland Boston North Central The Inland North Philadelphia The South The Northeast

That makes perfect sense I suppose.

The United States

Kelly Noble

March 5th, 2008

Hey, it's been a while Craig. For some reason I thought of your site (I think I was watching the travel channel or something) and wondered about the goings on of an old classmate. This prompted me to finally post.

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

***
Ironically enough…I visited Indiana once for a week or so with respect to those states…lived in FL for 5 years but not sure if that would merit accent development…possibly…but as for the results…I'll leave that for my MySpace and Youtube accounts ^_~

Hope you are having a blast trekin Craig!

The United States

Tom Heimburger

March 7th, 2008

The quiz got me right: "Inland North". Born and raised manly in Indianapolis.

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