Voice Over Handbook for Getting Started

Chapter One

            In the beginning God said, “Let there be actors,” and so without reservations – meaning any forethought, or real thought at all – they came forth in search of what ever it is expectant actors seek.

Chapter Two

Finding out what a voice over is.

            It appears shortly after God’s summoning the soft of head, people learned to speak to and at one another. The first line of communication was thought to be muddy and hard to decipher. Early on it became apparent that it wasn’t the sound equipment causing the problem; fact is, there wasn’t any sound equipment to deal with. It was a gifted child born to one of the cave families whose first words were the beginnings for solving the communication problems.
            In the form of screams he yelled, “Listen to me, and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two”.
            The cave people ultimately acquiesced to the counseling of this special child. It was during a breast-feeding incident the child learned he could teach his Mother by inflicting some degree of pain while at the same time satisfying his hunger pangs. This procedure didn’t last for long. One day, Mother didn’t return to the cave and our gifted child expired due to what the cave people thought was the first real hunger strike. It was also the first recorded incident of child abandonment and simultaneous desertion by a wife leaving her husband.
            The dramatic incident has been told and retold through the centuries. As Shakespeare noted, this monumental double dose of angst served as the forerunner of the American theater as we have come to know it today. As a matter of fact, many of today’s actors and actresses still bear a striking resemblance to their earlier brethren – the cave people.

Chapter Three

Being paid to do a voice over. What a concept!

            The fact that we refer to it as voice over is actually an incorrect assertion. In the beginning, it was a guy on the bottom yelling up to the guy on top informing him his shoulders were getting tired; thus, the first nomenclature for the human voice was indeed a voice under.
            As a point of interest, it was at this very same time the ladder was invented. A new era had begun with the discovery of the voice under and the invention of the ladder, later on to be known as the footstool. Through the centuries, painters from around the globe hailed this as the real and true beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
            The great philosopher Plato declared, “If not for the ladder, there would be no wars.
            Rather deep, don’t you think?


            It was a dark and dank night in the township of Delather, named after the inventor of soap, a clean and prosperous town. Delather was the first man to recognize the meaning of dank could also be applied during the daytime although we rarely hear anything having to do with a bright and dank day; as an example, the city of London might be described that way.
            But I digress.
            Delather’s claim to fame was by no means an accident. The man made the best soap in town. His early problem, as is the case for many prominent inventors, was a lack of publicity for his product.
            The Village Women (also a well known singing group of the era) made great use of his soap for scrubbing down almost anything. However, none of them used soap for anything personal.  Instead, a white fragrant powder used for dusting wigs was the personal cleanser of choice.
            On a rather quiet business day, Delather found himself deep in thought concerned with how he could increase his soap sales.  His contemplation came to an end as his friend the Town Crier stopped by to pick up his soap supply.
            “You know I could help you sell more soap”, the Crier said. 
            Delather was all ears as he listened intently to his booming friends voice.
Town Crier
“You know how my job is to read the daily news to our illiterate populous? Well, what if at the beginning and end of each reading I do an announcement about the wonders of your new soap?”
That’s a great idea, Delather replied, but the trouble is…I don’t have a new soap. And besides, I already sell to every woman in the village!
“You’ve got to come up with a new product.”
But all I know is how to make soap.
“I’ve got it. Just change the name.”
To what?
“Drop the De.  From now on call it Lather for the Ladies.”
That’s a great idea. But I still don’t have another product to sell.
“Just listen to me. Remember, I’m also the town publicist. It goes hand in hand with being the town crier. I’m going to begin with a thirty.”
What’s a thirty?
“That’s what we’re going to call our announcement of our new product…
Lather For The Ladies
Lather for your neck
Lather For Your Legs
Lather for your beck*
*Should be BACK, but it doesn’t rhyme.
Brought to you by the name you can trust. Delather!”
Sounds good, but what is all this crying going to cost me?
“Here’s the deal, Delather my friend. You pay me fifty cents for the first cry and then, after that, five cents each and every time I cry out the same message. If you happen to pick a new message or change the words of this first message you have to pay me another fifty cents.”
What if it doesn’t work? What if my sales don’t increase?
“Then all you owe me is fifty cents for the first cry.”
This sounds complicated.
“Just trust me. I’ll bill you for my work and you can pay me within four working days.”
So Delather said, thank you and the Crier closed with…
“This has been another documentation of another auspicious occasion.”


Another true industry record, and possible lesson presented by Harvey Kalmenson.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *