When Eric Bell really honed in and heard the sound of his own voice, he knew he had a burgeoning second career. “My voiceover training started in 2018, when I took an ‘Intro to Voiceover’ class at Atlanta Voiceover Studio. After hearing the playback of my voice, I knew I could be competitive in this industry,” Bell says.
“Since then, I have continued my training at AVS, as well as Drama, Inc., and Premiere Actors’ Network.”
Bell’s voiceover work includes commercials, e-learning tutorials and film narration. The voiceover artist continues, “I was tapped to narrate the official trailer for the documentary, What About Me. I am honored and proud to have lent my voice to this necessary and timely project about Black men in America.”
A native Californian, the home state of Hollywood and Tinseltown, Bell actually landed his silver screen opportunities in the deep south where he is pursuing his passion. He affirms, “Since living in Atlanta, I have been fortunate to connect with wonderful voiceover and acting studios.”
Here, Bell offers insight on how to really go after your passion and how his career is flourishing.
What inspired you to get involved in the entertainment industry?
I always wanted to be in the entertainment industry. It has been years in the making. Over the years, people would ask me if I was an actor, worked in voiceover, or if I was on the radio?
After being asked so many times, I finally had to ask myself, “Why am I not doing this?” I always felt I could be successful in voiceover and acting once I made the decision to do so.
I asked myself three questions:
- “Why not?”
- “Why not me?”
- “Why not now?”
And then, I decided to put the energy out into the world and begin this journey. There are moments in my life when I am reminded of my gift and what I believe is my purpose – my unique voice.
Do you have a favorite type of voice acting?
My voice has been described as smooth, sultry, sexy, and professional. My favorite type of voice acting focuses on my natural depth and tone.
I really enjoy voiceover reads that connect people, such as narration, commercials, and promos.
I am also excited for future opportunities in scripted podcasts, because they focus on human qualities and conversational storytelling.
How do you create a character using just your voice?
Voiceover sessions are always a special time because it is about breathing life into the script, connecting with the words, and making them your own. It is important to internalize the character and messaging, so it comes out naturally and relaxed.
What does voice-over training entail?
Voiceover is acting, and like acting, you must always be training and improving on your craft. My voiceover training includes improvisation, scene study, commercials, promotions, script analysis, and intensive courses and workshops.
What are the qualities/skills that make a great voice-over artist?
Preparation is key. You must always be prepared to do and give your best. I believe in continuous training in various voiceover genres, staying inspired, building my creative community, continuing to learn and practice, and most importantly, staying present and having fun.
What’s your favorite character you’ve voiced?
I have enjoyed all the projects I have done. But, my favorite has to be when I narrated for What About Me. The film was done in 2020 and with so much racial injustice that occurs. It was very personal to me. And, it will always be one of my favorites.
Is there a dream voice role you’d love to perform?
I would love to lend my voice to projects that involve travel, food and fun. I love to travel. I love to try new cuisines. And, I love discovering new and exciting experiences. I would really love to host a travel and food show. Hosting a travel and food show would be a dream come true because I would be doing what I love and using my talents to combine all these experiences together and share them with the world.
Are you great at timing?
I like to think I am good at timing. However, everything in life is about timing and intention. It is nice when the two meet up perfectly and wonderful things happen.
What practices have you learned to do to forward your career?
Being new to the entertainment industry, I am approaching it the same way as I do in my corporate career. It is all about relationships. It is important to build relationships and network with as many people as possible in the industry.
You never know who can help you or who you can help with their projects. It is also important to have professional representation, someone in your corner who has your best interest in mind.
Having my publicist, Taroue Brooks, has proved invaluable in helping to build my brand, generate press, build relationships, and explore future career opportunities.
If you could go back in time and start fresh on your career, what would you do differently?
Honestly, I would not change anything. Life is about timing, and I feel like this is my time. I have enjoyed many life experiences before entering the entertainment industry, which I feel is an advantage for me. I am more confident and patient than I was years ago, and I am incredibly grateful for having these opportunities in front of me now.
What advice do you want to give to those who want to get into the voice over industry?
To anyone wanting to pursue voiceover, or anything new in general, I say, “Start now.” As my grandmother used to tell me, “Time waits for no man; time keeps moving.”
My question to anyone interested in pursuing their dreams is, “Why wait any longer and why not you?” My advice is to take that first step now and see where it leads you.
For me, that first step was taking that first voiceover class and now I am doing what I was meant to do. The first step is always the hardest, but at least you will be one step closer to your purpose.
Please share your formal training.
I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and my MBA from Georgia State University.
How can our audience connect with you to learn more and show support?
Please connect with me at ericbbell.com; Instagram @ericbbell; Facebook @Eric B Bell. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.