National VO Day, celebrated on March 15, is the time of the year that focuses on appreciating the talented voice-over artists in the country. The day also gives a glimpse into the history of voice-overs, and how the art evolved into the different forms of media we are exposed to today. The fact is, without voice-over artists, all the cartoons we watch will be silent, nor will there be any information provided in documentaries. And yes, all the movies we watch will be missing the oomph factor! So on this day, join hands and pay a tribute to all our talented voice-over artists.
History of National VO Day
Voice acting or voice-overs, is an art form that took years to master. This is because it is not easy to convey a message using just your tone of voice. This is why voice-over artists require years of training before they can find work that pays well. Here’s how the art form came into being. In the 1900s, work had started on radio-based communication that could reach out to a large number of people. However, the first step was taken by Reginald Fessenden, who reported on the weather while employed by the United States Weather Bureau.
In 1906, he made a transmission on Christmas Eve 1906 and opened up a doorway for radio communication. During this time, the radio was only used to broadcast ships at sea, messages to the public, and music. Fessenden changed the game by following up the usual broadcast with a speech.
Another notable instance in the history of voice-overs was when the Mickey Mouse cartoon used the voice of Walt Disney. From there on, forms of voice-overs continued to evolve. In 1926, the British Broadcasting Corporation (B.B.C.) was formed as a consortium of radio manufacturers. When the B.B.C. became a non-commercial public broadcaster, it began to inform, educate, and entertain the public. However, it was Orson Welles who bought the magic of the art of voice-overs in 1938. Welles broadcasted the drama “The War of the Worlds” on radio and narrated it so well that Americans began to believe the world was actually under attack.
National VO Day timeline
The Mickey Mouse episode “Steamboat Willie,” has the first voice-over.
An increase in the production of cartoons leads to an increase in demand for voice-over artists.
Don LaFontaine records his first voice-over for a movie trailer.
Movie trailer narrations become popular.
National VO Day FAQs
Are voice actors in demand?
Yes. In the digital world, there is more demand for voice actors.
Why are voice-overs used in documentaries?
To provide viewers with all the necessary information.
What is a voiceover talent?
These are individuals that record dialogues or narration off camera.
National VO Day Activities
Watch the first cartoon with a voice-over
To celebrate the day, watch the first cartoon that used a voice-over. This will be an interesting experience as you will also begin to realize how much technology has advanced.
Pay tribute to some of the greatest voice-over artists by posting their accomplishments and life stories on social media. Make a list of artists that were the voice of some of your favorite characters.
Watch a documentary
To truly discover the roots of the history of voice-overs, watch a detailed documentary that looks into the technological aspect, as well as the money that is spent to create the different sounds we hear in a film or a cartoon.
5 Interesting Facts About Voice-Overs
The voice of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo
Matthew Lillard screamed until his voice became hoarse and scratchy.
The actors who get the jobs
Roughly 5% of the voice-over actors get 95% of the work.
Auditions required for a V.O. job
It takes around 200 auditions.
The earnings of voice-over artists
10% of voice actors earn $90,000 and above.
The actor with the most voice-overs
Mel Blanc has been the voice of 400 different characters.
Why We Love National VO Day
It pays a tribute to the artists
We love this day because it pays a tribute to all the amazing voice-over artists that work hard day and night to lend their voices to documentaries, cartoons, and movies. Without them, no media platform would have the same impact.
It focuses on the history
The day is important because it focuses on the history of voice-over artists and educates the public on how the profession came into being. It also reintroduces some great V.O. artists to the world.
It highlights the importance of the profession
The day brings to light the fact that voice-over artists are crucial to television, radio, cinema, and now the digital world. This is also a talent that is hard to master and requires ample training.
National VO Day dates