There has been a debate over on the Yahoo! Voice-over forum on whether or not the voice actor should include a headshot with or on the demo packaging or other voiceover marketing materials.
Let’s be clear. Most actors have headshots and video demos for their on-camera careers. The question at hand is about including a photo with your voice-over demo or your on-line profile.
My opinion? Only if your voice and your face are a most excellent match. If you look the way you sound. And local actors come to mind that illustrate the point. The late Harlan Jordan and John B. Wells.
Harlan was known for his “country boy” sound. The first time I met him was in a session where I played a banker and Harlan read the rancher role for a radio spot. He was running late and the rest of us were hanging around the studio making small talk while we waited.
Finally the door flies open and in walks a big ‘ole boy who looked like he’d ridden to the studio in the back of a hay truck. He had on dusty overalls and a big straw hat. Harlan stepped up to the mic with a voice and a read that sounded like Larry the Cable Guy’s dad. A most excellent match.
On the other hand, we have John B. Wells. Those of you who know his work would agree that “deep” doesn’t begin to describe his voice. It’s about as low has a human voice can go and still be audible. It’s in the same category as the late Don La Fontaine, the kind of voice that can blister paint.
But John is relatively young and sports a handsome yet boyish face. One of his former agents told me he studied theater in college and really wanted to have a film career. However, he was told over and over again at film auditions that his voice just overpowered his “look” and to come back in , oh, 20 or 30 years, when he resembled the Sam Shepherd he sounded like. Not a match.
So if you really really look like your voice (Harlan), then maybe include a photo. Otherwise don’t.