Ironically, for former Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1985 Joyce Burton Titular, her good looks matter little in the industry that she currently works in. Instead, as an actress and voiceover talent, her vocal chops reign supreme, bringing to life characters whose faces her audiences never see. Sounds simple? Think again.
Essentially, being a voiceover talent entails reading scripts with exactly the right tone, inflection, and personality to convey the right type of message for a target audience. For instance, Joyce might be asked to sound excited and cheerful in a radio commercial for multivitamins. On the other hand, a public service announcement for traffic rules and regulations requires her to convey the message in an entirely different tone. “We're like a huge troupe of actors, basically. It’s the same set of skills you would need in acting except voice talents usually have better voice control,” she relates.
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Breaking into the industry was difficult, to say the least. “I got my break after two years of auditioning,” reveals Joyce. “At first I was afraid of it but after I read the book, How to Get the Part Without Falling Apart. It really gave me a paradigm shift. It was more for actors, but it was so effective that all that rejection did not faze me.” She slowly built up her skills as a voice talent. “I was not a very expressive speaker. I just had a nice, sweet voice. Not much power. I really had to learn to control my voice better,” reveals Joyce, adding that taking any opportunity to broaden her experience, like workshops, training, stage or theater acting, made all the difference.
Hard work and happenstance would finally collide in a serendipitous moment. “My first ad happened to be a TVC for Creamsilk (with Ceramides Plus). The voice actress they were going to use was a friend of mine. But, she was pregnant and suddenly went into labor,” recalls Joyce, “I was second choice, so they called me. That was the first time in my life I was happy to be second choice!”
While vocal prowess helps matters, making your mark as a voiceover talent cannot be solely chalked up to skill alone. “Attitude and connections matter more than how good or talented you are,” reveals Joyce. “It's about relationships. It's about community. You can only go so far with skills.” Making yourself available for casting calls is integral to your success. “If you have a regular job, it will be very difficult to break into voice acting,” counsels Joyce, “If you start telling the casters, ‘Sorry, I have a job and can only record at night,’ they will most likely call another talent who is more available.” She has some practical advice for those looking into starting out in the industry. “Working as a DJ or radio newscaster is a good entry point,” says Joyce. “Station work usually lasts four to five hours, leaving you the rest of the day to be available for the studios.”
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Beyond the challenges of being a voice talent, the pay-off is certainly worth it. “It's so cool when people ask me what I do and I would reply that I work as a voice actress! The people are awesome! From producers to other talents and the casters—they are my fam,” exclaims Joyce, adding that she is well compensated, with a work-life balance that is quite enviable. “I was able to send my two children to college, give my daughter a nice debut party and help her buy her first car in America. I hang out with my hubby, work-out, read, spend time with my dogs, travel and get my daily eight hours of sleep. I pretty much own my time.”
At the end of the day, fortune favors the bold. Joyce believes that you fail far more from timidity than from daring to go after your dreams. “You might think it's scary to not have a regular nine-to-five job to support you while you try to build your voice acting career but if you think you have what it takes, then take that risk.”
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Banner image by Pexels.com. The rest of the photos from Joyce Burton Titular