More than likely, you’ve heard his voice on your television, radio, or electronic device. Maybe you were watching the NBA playoffs, when a Wendy’s breakfast commercial popped up. That’s Dandrell Scott. Maybe you were listening to your car radio, and noticed a new Miller Lite voice. That’s also Dandrell Scott! Maybe your Pandora jam session was interrupted by an Alka Seltzer ad. That’s Dandrell too. Needless to say, this guy (or his voice) is everywhere! From Ford to Walmart, Dandrell has voiced over 80 commercials since 2018. So, what makes Dandrell Scott one of the best voiceover artists in the game? Let’s find out!
Thank you for your time, Dandrell! We would like to ask you a few questions about the VO industry. First and foremost, how did you start your voiceover career?
“I started in 2011. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) wanted to create an industrial video for their staff, and needed a young voiceover actor. My agent, at the time, convinced me to submit for that audition. I didn’t know anything about VOs or recording commercial audio, so I blindly did the submission. After a few days, I booked that gig, and developed a love for it. Consequently, I worked a few more years as a part-time voiceover actor until 2019. That’s when I became focused, joined SAG-AFTRA, and did VO as a full-time job!”
Did you need any specific VO classes or training?
“Honestly, I’ve never taken a VO class. Most of my training came from acting and speech courses. I was a champion on my Thornton Township High School speech team, so I learned about voice control at an early age. But I’m sure there are several great voiceover classes. In order to be successful in this business, you must have some form of acting and voice training.”
What’s been your biggest gig so far?
“That’s a tough one! I’ve recorded some great spots with Walmart, Toyota, Ford, Comcast, and Coors Lite. But I would have to go with Wendy’s right now. You know it’s a big gig when you see your Wendy’s commercial airing during the NFL, MLB, and NBA playoffs!”
What’s a misconception people have about your job?
“The biggest misconception involves the recording process. People think you walk into the booth, say a couple of lines, and be done for the day. It’s not that easy! In some sessions, you’ll do 90 recording takes, just so you can have different iterations of the script. The hardest part is maintaining your energy for that entire time. Another misconception involves black voiceover artists. People think we should all sound the same. So, if you’re a black AVO with great diction and enunciation, you’re automatically trying to sound white lol. But it’s not about “sounding” like anyone, it’s about having range.”
That is very true. Was it a personal choice to sound different in most of your VO commercials?
“Yes, it’s always my choice to sound different. People forget voiceover artists are actors. I get paid to use voices other than my own. Take for instance, my Wendy’s commercials. I don’t sound like that in my daily life. It’s actually based on a character I created. I call him, “the energetic nerd.” Once you understand that VO actors portray roles, you’ll also see our unique acting abilities. Just like a TV actor portraying a character completely different from themselves, AVOs have to get on the mic and act out these commercial characters.”
Besides VO, do you have any other jobs or hobbies?
“Yes, I’m a jack of all trades! I studied as a television and stage actor, so I was fortunate enough to have guest starring roles on “Chicago PD” and “The Chi.” I love creating hip-hop music, so I’m releasing my album, “King of Everything (Vol. 1),” in July 2021. I also run a successful t-shirt business called, “Bad Clothes Company.” It’s truly a beautiful thing to utilize all of your God-given talents!”
How can someone get into the voiceover industry?
“To get into voiceover, you need a one minute demo reel. You can look on Google, and pick 2-3 scripts that are 15 or 30 seconds each. Try to go for a natural read that sounds fun and personable, because they don’t want anyone sounding too “announcery.” Your demo should have a professional quality, which may entail booking a session at a recording studio. But you can also do well with a condenser microphone, an audio interface, and a computer setup. I recommend the SYNCO D2 mic, a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface, and any computer. After that, look up voiceover talent agencies in your area. View their submission policy, and email your recordings (demo reel) to them. If they like your voice, they will sign you. After that, they will send you auditions, and you can start working. You can also submit yourself on VO websites like voices.com or voice123.com. But it’s always better to have an agent. It may take several months for your first booking, so don’t get discouraged! You’ve made it this far!”
Watch Dandrell Scott’s VO Commercials Here:
Miller Lite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mEjmEzyM3I