Announcer Neil Wilson says he doesn’t want to be isolated; he wants to feel like he’s part of the team. His advice to local TV creatives is don’t be afraid to communicate with the voice of your station. He may not be in the building, but feel free to call.
Voice-over announcers work alone. They see just one part of your creative — the words — and must interpret them to capture the feeling, the mood, the tone of your creative. Detached from the creative team at your station, they isolate themselves in quiet studios to ensure getting the cleanest sound.
But announcer Neil Wilson says he doesn’t want to be isolated; he wants to feel like he’s part of the team. His advice to local TV creatives is don’t be afraid to communicate with the voice of your station. He may not be in the building, but feel free to call.
“Include them on emails that we have had ratings success,” said Wilson, “make us feel like part of the team and you are going to get that much more super service from us.”
Wilson has wanted to act — yes, he sees being an announcer as acting — since he was in high school.
“I knew I wanted to act from a very young age. I didn’t realize it was voice acting until maybe high school when I started to do announcements in the morning and that turned into an internship at a radio station.”
Today, Wilson does voice-over work for about 15 TV stations, but he can be heard on HBO, CBS, Discovery, The Travel Channel, as well as on commercials for clients like Universal Orlando and Zaxby’s.
“I play in a lot of fields. I am really lucky that I have had the opportunity to play in just a multitude of genres of voice-over.”
Wilson’s advice for voice-over talent looking to market themselves?
“Just keep working. Nothing happens overnight. It is not always about how good your voice is. It is about what you bring to it.”
There’s a misconception in thinking being a voice-over talent is a get-rich scheme, work from home sitting in your underwear, Wilson says. He’s invested thousands in “learning the business, which I am still learning something new every day, how to deal with my agents, how to work with clients, there’s all these different layers.”
There are a lot of voice-over artists that Wilson admires.
“I love Steve Stone. I have always been a fan of Brian Lee. I love John Pleisse. There is just a plethora of really good voices and that is what makes it hard on the creative directors is there’s a lot of options out there. But it is what makes each individual voice special, unique and different enough to help your brand stand out.”
Wilson said he’d like to see more women being the signature or only voice of local TV stations, an area commonly dominated by male voices.
“There is a lot of unique perspective from them. There are some females that I know that are the sole voice of the stations and I think that is different. I like different from a marketing standpoint.”
NOTE: To say that Neil Wilson is a San Francisco 49er fan would be a gross understatement. He usually always wears some red — San Francisco 49er Red — and he has tattoos depicting 49er plays on his arms.
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