Have you ever wondered who the mysterious voice behind your favorite audiobook is? Or who narrates those romance and erotica books? Well, chances are you will never know their true identity if they don’t want you to. That’s because voiceover narrators often use pseudonyms to hide their real names. Welcome to the secret world of pseudonyms in the voiceover industry.
The Mysterious World of Voiceover Narrators
The voiceover industry is a fascinating world of narrators, voice actors, and sound engineers. It’s a world where the voice is the star of the show, and depending on the subject matter of the narration, the person behind the microphone may be shrouded in mystery. Voiceover narrators can be heard on everything from TV commercials to e-learning courses, from movie trailers to video games. They bring scripts to life with their unique vocal talents and create unforgettable audio experiences for audiobook listeners around the globe.
Pseudonyms: Hiding in Plain Sight
Pseudonyms have been used in the entertainment industry for decades. Actors, singers and writers have all used fake names to protect their privacy or create a new persona. The same goes for voiceover narrators. They often choose a pseudonym to keep their personal and professional lives separate or avoid any unwanted attention. It’s also common for narrators to have a different name for different genres, so they can maintain their unique brand within the industry. But they often go incognito when working on specific genres such as romance and erotica audiobooks, or political ads. Here’s why:
- Preserving Privacy: Narrators may choose to use a pseudonym or go incognito to separate their general voiceover work like TV and radio commercials, e-Learning modules or a variety of other genres. This allows them to maintain privacy and protect their personal identity.
- Avoiding Stigma or Prejudice: Some voiceover genres, like romance or erotica, can carry societal stigmas or judgments. Narrators may opt to go incognito to avoid potential negative perceptions or unwanted attention.
- Navigating Political Bias: When narrating political ads or controversial content, narrators may prefer to remain anonymous to prevent their personal beliefs or affiliations from impacting their professional reputation or limiting future opportunities.
Don’t Call Me by My Real Name: The Art of Voiceover Alias
Choosing a pseudonym is an art form. It has to be memorable, easy to pronounce, and reflect the tone and style of the narrator’s voice. Some pseudonyms are playful, like “Max Power” or “Crystal Clear,” while others are more straightforward, like “John Smith” or “Jane Doe.” Pseudonyms can also be based on the narrator’s real name, but with a slight alteration. For example, “Mary Brown” could become “Mara Brown” or “M. Brown or Brownie LaRue. You get the gist. Here are some famous pseudonyms:
- Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) – American author known for “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
- Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) – British author known for “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass.
- Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) – American author known for children’s books like “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”
- Agatha Christie (Mary Westmacott) – British author known for mystery novels like “Murder on the Orient Express” and “And Then There Were None.”
- Nora Roberts (J.D. Robb) – American author known for romance novels and the “In Death” series.
Voiceover narrators go incognito to protect their privacy and create a unique brand within the industry. Typically, they keep their personas completely separate which means websites and social media content.
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Rhonda Phillips is a full-time voiceover actor specializing in commercial, eLearning, corporate narration, explainers and a variety of other voiceover genres. She is a voice over performance coach who specializes in working with people who are just beginning their journey into the world of voiceover.
Book a session today or email me your script for a free audition. RhondaPhillipsVO@gmail.com
Rhonda is also the host of the the popular voiceover webinar series, Late Night Secrets for Voiceover Success, a monthly affordable webinar series featuring various industry professionals sharing tips and tricks on industry topics as well as secrets to their success. Be sure to check out Rhonda’s other great blog content like this one about overcoming Imposter Syndrome.