Whether your interest in becoming a voice actor is based on compliments you’ve received about the sound of your voice, the fact that you’ve always enjoyed mimicking iconic voices, or because you’re curious to try out a side gig that will allow you to work from the comfort of your own home, you’ve come to the right place.
This guide is jam-packed with comprehensive and straightforward voice acting tips that will teach you how to read and interpret voice over scripts, audition like a pro, build a home recording studio, begin using your voice to make money, and ultimately set out on the highly rewarding journey of becoming a voice actor.
By incorporating these beginner’s tips into your repertoire, you’re certain to improve your voice acting skills and experience a dramatic difference in how you perform a script and market yourself in the industry.
Voice actors can be novice or seasoned, and may hail from all four corners of the earth. For voice actors of all levels, marketplaces like Voices.com grant voice talent the ability to set up a personal profile, access a vast pool of auditions for high-quality jobs, and gain the opportunity to land career-altering voice over work.
However, like any career, earning a job in voice acting also takes work, dedication, and ongoing learning.
In order to begin landing voice over jobs, it’s important to recognize that leading a life as a voice actor requires you to put in the time and effort to determine your voice’s unique capabilities, and how to channel them to deliver a service. Mastering the craft of voice over has less to do with your god-given vocal range than it does with how you use it. Excelling in today’s voice over industry calls for a lot more than simply speaking into a microphone.
Today, a large percentage of voice actors work from home recording studios, faraway from the glamour of Hollywood and the in-person counsel of voice directors. This guide will explain how you can listen back to and assess your vocal recordings, seek out clues about how to perform your read in the lines of audition copy, and serve as your own director—as is often required of the workaday voice actor.
Whether you’re planning on working freelance, signing with an agent, or both, there are a series of complementary skills that will send you on your way to landing your first voice over jobs. Remember that it isn’t necessary for you to have a preexisting aptitude for these aspects of the market, and that they can very well be learned as you venture forth in your career.
Here are the 3 core skills necessary to become a successful voice actor:
Having acting ability means being a competent actor with the ability to become a character and an understanding of dramatic techniques.
While some emerging voice actors will only require minimal training, it’s to your benefit to hone your acting skills through obtaining training. For instance, working with an acting coach will help you train your voice and develop performance skills for any category of voice that comes to mind: from animated characters in film, TV, and video games, to podcasts, dubbed foreign language films, and more.
Even if you already have on-camera or theatrical experience, ongoing training with an acting coach who is specifically trained in voice over will work to your advantage. Acting in a recording booth is an entirely different experience than acting for the camera. When you’re at work in the booth, your voice is center stage, and you can no longer rely on physical movements or facial expressions to visually enhance your performance.
Being well-versed in the latest technology is essential for voice actors today. While you don’t necessarily need to be a tech guru, it is crucial to have a handle on how your equipment works and to be comfortable using it. From developing a basic understanding of your recording gear, to working with digital files and navigating the internet, there are a few basics that every voice actor should have in their home studio.
Learning how to record, mix, and master your audio will not only prove necessary in order to run your voice over business from home, but it will also set you apart from others who have mastered their voices, yet need to rely on others to take care of the technical aspects. Since the majority of your interactions and transactions with clients will take place online, you will need to learn to work fast. The more equipped you are to operate the technology in your home studio, the faster you can complete projects and make revisions if need be.
Voice actors need to have the know-how to oversee an independent business that can fulfill clients’ needs and generate revenue. Your voice is the product that you’re selling. As the owner of your own business, you are the sales, marketing, customer service, and accounting teams all in one.
Like with any business, you will spend the largest portion of your time and effort promoting your voice and growing your client base. In order for prospective clients to know that you exist in the first place, you have to declare yourself to the world. In today’s day and age, that means you must develop a strong presence online, such as with your own website and a profile on a voice acting marketplace like Voices.com.
Reading this guide will provide you instructions about how to record and produce voice over work, as well as promoting yourself as a voice over business. This guide features info about:
- Recording your own demo, which is a short audio clip that will showcase the range of voices you specialize in.
- Finding your signature voice.
- Acquiring the necessities to launch your business from home, as well as etiquette for when you’re invited into a professional recording studio.
- Interpreting scripts, getting in touch with your characters, directing yourself, and delivering compelling performances.
- Using vocal warm ups to prepare for a recording session, capturing or minimizing ambient noise, and seeking peer feedback on your recordings.