How to become a voice actor? Voice actors are widely employed today; you may hear their work in audiobooks, Saturday morning cartoons, video games, and even in virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa. But how do you enter this realm of audio-only content? We’ll coach you through every step of the voice acting process in this manual, from locating voice acting gigs and casting calls to producing your very first voiceover demo reel.
How to become a voice actor?
Here are some actions you may take to improve your chances of developing a lucrative career as a voice actor:
1. Enroll in acting classes. Voice acting needs acting talent and goes beyond simply reading something from a page. An acting coach may help you sharpen and polish your skills so that you can perform with more assurance and credibility.
2. Hire a voice-acting instructor. Making impressions and employing a hilarious voice are only two aspects of voice acting. You can enhance your technical abilities, such as breathing, pronunciation, articulation, and delivery, with the assistance of a voice-acting coach so that you can deliver each line as effectively as possible.
3. Pay attention to the experts. Play video games, watch cartoons or advertisements to see the work of your favorite voice actor. Take note of how they vary their tone and inflections as you pay attention to the decisions they make during delivery. To learn how experienced voice actors approach particular roles, you can also start paying attention to voice-acting podcasts.
4. Create a demo. Similar to a sizzle reel for a traditional actor, a voice-over demo reel doesn’t include any supporting visuals. The professional demo reel of a voice actor is essentially a mixture of numerous lines of conversation delivered in various voices. For both their commercial and character work, the majority of voice actors have different demos. These demonstrations can be uploaded to websites for auditions, or you can search for talent agencies who will take unsolicited applications and perhaps sign you up as a client.
5. Audition. Because auditions are how you get gigs, they are a crucial element of the voice-acting process. Just apply for opportunities that best match your abilities to avoid needless rejection. Find open casting calls online or a website for a voice talent to find and submit auditions. Before you record your audition, read your sides, check over the character breakdowns, work on your pronunciation, abstain from smoking, and don’t drink anything acidic.
6. Network. You can use networking to find work, make friends, and gain knowledge about various facets of your voice-acting job. By growing your social network, you can improve the likelihood that an opportunity will present itself through a contact you have. Because networking is a two-way street, it’s critical to assist your contacts whenever you can. Use everything you have to your advantage to show how much you care about your contacts’ success.
Types of Voice Acting
Although most people only think of animated films and TV shows when they think about voice acting, there is much more to it. Audiobooks, documentaries, ads, video games, and even virtual reality all use voice acting in different ways.
- Animated TV: Animated TV is probably the medium where voiceover acting is most prevalent. Consider the animated children’s shows on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and PBS. Each and every one of those endearing, vibrant characters has a voice actor. Not to mention shows like “BoJack Horseman,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and “Family Guy” that cater to adults.
- Audiobooks: Audiobooks have recently experienced a rise in popularity because of digital platforms like Audible. Despite the fact that some productions use voiceover actors to play different characters and bring drama and action to life, some books are read by the author.
- Movies: With the incredible advancements in CGI and green screen technology in film, it’s also become prevalent for voice actors like Andy Serkis to be cast as CGI characters, as seen in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” Major animated releases like Pixar’s “Finding Dory” or Disney’s “Moana” frequently utilize voiceover talent.
- Documentary TV and film: We understand that your preferred documentary narrator is Sir David Attenborough from “Planet Earth.” What about the countless additional documentaries that are available? It takes a skilled voice actor with a steady cadence, impeccable pronunciation, and dramatic chops to fully sell a documentary as it is presented on film, from the prestige to the pulpy (as if Investigation Discovery’s melodramatic gotcha narrations aren’t delightful!).
- Commercials: Since when was there no voiceover in an advertisement? Layering product information over an image is one of the most efficient ways to convey a message when marketing a good or service, and guess who does those voiceovers? That is correct! voice actors who are experts.
- Video games: In some circles, the biggest video game releases each year are just as buzzed-about and anxiously awaited as the year’s greatest films, and the voice actors who perform the characters that these gamers love the most are just as adored.
- Multimedia: Multimedia entertainment is possibly the most intriguing voice acting frontier at this point. VO and VR are combining at the present time, creating more opportunities for voice actors worldwide as virtual reality capabilities grow their effect on the gaming sector. Although virtual reality is only one component of the ever-developing multimedia entertainment landscape, it is the one to watch in terms of voiceover work.
What Advantages Do Voice Acting Careers Offer?
1. The Difference You Can Make by Adding Your Voice to Global Projects
Voice-over productions of any size can be quite successful. The voice-over you produce benefits every client you work for, whether they are a global powerhouse or a regional small business. It can be quite gratifying to see what someone can accomplish with your assistance. Voice actors have frequently mentioned this satisfaction, which they frequently combine with another perk of their profession: ongoing education.
Voice actors make a commitment to fully comprehending the material in a script so they can speak about it with authority. Many voice actors appreciate how their profession gives them the chance to learn about facets of other industries they might not have otherwise encountered. For instance, you might record the voiceover for an online recipe video in the afternoon after speaking an e-learning lesson about mechanical presses in the morning.
2. The Amazing Clients and the Voice Acting Community
If you use some straightforward rapport-building strategies, the producers and coordinators you meet as you start to book jobs and establish a portfolio can very simply turn into repeat customers. Before you know it, you’ll be collaborating with the creators of Coca-international Cola’s marketing campaigns.
In networking, voice actors are also included. It’s really crucial to explore this specific type of networking as well. Voice actors frequently recommend a fellow talent when they aren’t quite right for a job, not simply to expose themselves to those who are receptive to sharing business, technical, and artistic suggestions.
Many voice performers claim to believe that the voice-over community significantly contributes to the fulfillment they feel in their work. It’s a terrific idea to start networking with other VO artists by attending workshops and other events, whether they are physical or virtual.
Check out our community forum to get a feel for the voice-over of the community. There, voice actors often share highs and lows and offer support to one another.
3. Working from anywhere and on your own schedule
The freedom to work whenever, from wherever, and on a schedule that suits you is undoubtedly one of the voice-over industry’s most alluring features.
The ability to strike a work-life balance that suits their family and personal schedule has been praised by several of the most prominent freelance professional voice actors on Voices. One such voice actor is Christy Fabbri.
4. The ability to earn as much money as you want
Entrepreneurs frequently work as voice actors. They treat their voice like it’s their business. The earning potential is endless when you are your own employer. That does not imply, however, that it is simple to succeed as a voice actor. Be ready to put in a lot of effort as a business owner and learn a lot along the way.
What difficulties does voice acting present?
Voice acting is expensive to get into, but not just financially. Here is a list of some of the difficulties that newcomers to the profession frequently encounter:
1. Time Fees
The amount of time you’ll spend preparing for your first booked tasks may take longer than you think, from getting coaching to setting up your home studio to learning about audio production to prospecting work and auditioning.
Beginner voice actors occasionally land their first gigs within their first month of auditioning. However, others might take considerably longer. Be patient, introspective, and open to exploring your voice range.
Due to her perseverance, voice actress Sara Kmiecik was highlighted in a success story. She secured her first gig after 89 auditions, and she couldn’t be happier with herself!
2. Isolation and Emotional Costs
Even voice actors with established careers have said that spending hours each day in the booth may be isolated. It’s crucial to balance your booth time with other activities and participate in the voice over the community through social media groups, conferences, meetups, etc. There are more strategies to safeguard your mental wellness.
Ilyana Kadushin, who narrates the audiobook, advises taking frequent tea breaks, setting aside time to close your eyes and unwind, and being mindful of your posture and position in the booth. All of these tips assist in safeguarding your voice and your mental health and preventing burnout.
3. Financial Costs
Depending on your lifestyle and whether you want to turn voice acting into a full-time career or a side gig, there are different financial expenses. A top-notch home studio, professional-grade gear, and knowledge of standard business and marketing procedures are all investments that are necessary when beginning this fascinating career if you want to pursue VO full-time.
The Benefits of Voice Acting Outweigh the Drawbacks for Many People Around the World
Being a voice actor has a ton of additional benefits, such as being your own boss, working from home, and showing up to work in your jammies. The occasionally difficult situations brought on by working in a field where there is a fierce rivalry and quick turnaround times are often outweighed for many people by these appealing working conditions.
In the end, pursuing a career as a voice actor is a distinctive path that will undoubtedly introduce you to fresh perspectives, new acquaintances, and information in fields you would never have imagined. It’s the ideal profession for lifelong learners.
Is Voiceover Training Required?
For voiceover, no formal training is necessary. It’s uncommon for aspiring voice actors to get a university degree solely to learn more about voiceover, unlike stage or film acting. The essentials to beginning voice acting include honing your technique, understanding your genres, and putting in the work.
Nevertheless, many accomplished voice actors develop their craft by working with both an acting coach and a voice coach. How then can you find the ideal coach for you? While asking other performers for a reference or referral is worthwhile, you should also conduct your own research.
The ideal coach will instruct you in accurate line delivery, effective emoting, character creation, and vocal health maintenance. They might also be able to help you develop a strong demo reel; however, you should be aware of coaches who try to pressure you into using their demo reel production services too soon in your training.
A qualified teacher is more important than one who is convenient, even though in-person sessions are preferred. Don’t limit your search based on location, especially if you live outside of large markets like NYC or L.A. as many coaches are happy to work with clients remotely via Zoom or Skype.
We hope that this introductory piece has given you greater confidence to continue on your path to becoming a voice actor. The data presented here, however, only scratches the surface of the subject. Voice acting is a career and a craft that demands commitment and ongoing education.
FAQs on How to Become a Voice Actor
Is it hard to become a voice actor?
It necessitates developing your skill, establishing your voice, and attending numerous auditions. Being a voice actor is not for the weak of the heart because it is a very competitive field. But if you are persistent, diligent, and knowledgeable, you will succeed in your goal of being a voice actor.
What qualifications do you need to be a voice actor?
Vocal talent alone suffices for voice-over actors; no formal education is required. However, taking regular voice or acting lessons or seminars is frequently sufficient when combined with practical experience. Some actors may choose to achieve degrees in acting, theater, or voice studies.
Is voice acting a good career?
The entertainment business greatly benefits from the contributions of voice actors. Consequently, if you have a great voice and are having trouble finding a solid career that pays well, you should think about becoming a voice-over artist. As time goes on, you’ll grow to enjoy your job.