Just because voice-over roles are behind the scenes doesn’t mean that voice talent can’t be pigeon-holed or typecasted for specific work, voice types or character roles.
Where does typecasting come from? Who is responsible for typecasting actors?
Stuck in a pigeon hole? Break free!
The state of being ‘typecasted’ is frustrating for many talent. Being typecasted is like having a reputation, being associated with one particular role, type of person, physique, or, for our purposes, voice types and capabilities. Some golden examples of the typecasting phenomenon are manifested in some of Hollywoods most famous stars. There are even web pages and Wikipedia listings dedicated to typecasted actors and the qualities for which they were typecasted.
It would appear, after a little thought, that agents may have direct influence here. After all, aren’t they responsible for who they refer for specific jobs or auditions? Agents will want to present voices with characteristics that best meet the requirements of the artistic director or project manager. But, wait a minute. Agents only present talent for certain jobs because they are fully aware of their capabilities and background in a particular line of voice-over work…
Could it be possible that voice talent typecast themselves?
How would a voice actor go about doing that?
- Performing a role too well
- Isolating yourself into a comfort zone, a niche voice-over cocoon
- Not promoting your other talents, i.e. only showcasing certain demos, withholding others
- Little variety regarding recorded voice samples for clients or agents
- Not exploring other opportunities
- Snubbing other kinds of work, leaving you stranded in only one area of voice-overs
Performing a specialty voice-over service or meeting the needs of a particular market is a definite plus, but you don’t want to lose the thrill of working on new and exciting projects. Forfeiting well paying work and business relationships? That doesn’t sound like something an entrepreneurial voice talent or voice actor would do!
Back to the matter at hand…
Have you been typecasted?
Let us know if you have been, and what it has meant for your career.