Being the voice of the main character in a popular game; recording in the most bizarre places; providing live commentary at an international trade fair: Voicebooking’s voice overs go through a lot. In The client is always right – stories from our voice-overs you get a glimpse into the life of a voice over (and maybe even your own). This time with our Flemish voice over Astrid. Are you reading along?
Introduce yourself quickly; who are you and what do you do?
I started 15 years ago as a VJ at TMF Belgium, which was quite a dream job! In the meantime, I have been working for more than 10 years as a DJ at radio station MNM, I host Sporza on Radio 1, I make my own podcasts (e.g. Fichebak) and I do various VO work from my home studio.
How did you become a voice over actor?
I once started as a net voice for MTV Belgium. I did that in combination with my VJ work for TMF, which were both part of the same parent company. When that disappeared, a colleague talked to me about Voicebooking. At the time, they were looking for new female, Flemish voices. Incoming Astrid the Dutch voice over! After a short introduction and installing the right setup, I was off.
What do you love about your job?
The big advantage is that I don’t have to move around. I schedule the shoot myself and don’t have to take traffic jams or other parties into account. I do it at my own pace, not dressed up and with the baby monitor next to me. The chat function on Voicebooking also allows you to engage with the client much more quickly, which only makes it easier for everyone.
If you weren’t a voice actor, what would you like to do then? And why?
Because of my love for sport (watching it and being immersed in it, not so much practising it 😊), I think I might have gone looking for a job as a spokesperson or press officer for some top club.
Or my big plan B: open a pancake bar in Antwerp! Nothing better than a freshly baked pancake with sugar, and ice cream, and whipped cream, and apple, and…
Why did you choose to be a part of Voicebooking? And what do you like about Voicebooking?
After meeting them for the first time, six years ago now, I immediately felt the warmth with which Voicebooking works. I was, and still am, extremely well supported by everyone. If I have questions about budgeting, or if a customer tries to be difficult, they immediately help me with clear advice. Also important: the Voicebooking platform is very handy! You immediately have a clear overview, you can quickly report your absences and it simply looks good.
What project did you like the most/are you most proud of, and why?
It is very difficult to choose one out of hundreds of assignments. It is all so varied. Of course, it is the ‘specials’ that stick out. Like voicing a covid-video for the Flemish Government, or voicing the VO as an anime-girl for an Asian pop culture festival. These are the assignments that require you to step out of your comfort zone and that other people talk to you about.
What was the most crazy voice over job you have had? Which job was the most fun to do?
When I was still not long at Voicebooking, in 2018, I was suddenly asked if I would like to work as a voice actor for The Fast and the Furious Live show in the Sportpaleis in Antwerp. I was assigned a role for which I did the dubbing in several sessions. I had never done dubbing before, and soon found out that it requires a lot of precision work, but is also very enjoyable and funny. Unfortunately, I was not able to go and watch the show itself, as it was cancelled last minute. Fortunately, my invoice was paid!
Every craftsman/woman has their own special set of talents. What makes you the voice actor that you are?
I would like to believe that my strength lies in the fact that I have a young, fresh voice that comes across as enthusiastic, but not too enthusiastic either, and with a lot of warmth. This makes me very versatile; I can be used for commercials as well as for corporate assignments to make slightly boring texts come across as fun and interesting.
What advice would you give your younger voice actor-self?
Always try to keep calm during the recording. Even if the client asks for an enthusiastic tone of voice, this does not mean that you should suddenly start speaking very high and in a hurry. This is a typical pitfall. Keep your voice low and warm, but with a smile and you will notice that you sound much clearer and fresher than you might expect. And oh yes: the customer is always right.