I am an on-camera actor. Why should I try voice-acting?

Transitioning From On-Camera Actor to Voice Actor

Have you ever wondered if the grass is greener on the other side? Some of Hollywood's leading actors have discovered the hidden benefits of voice acting and eagerly jump at voice acting roles every chance they get. Why are they doing it? 

Less Preparation Time

Actors find that preparing for voice acting sessions is much easier than for roles where they are filmed. For instance, Cameron Diaz (Princess Fiona) didn't have to go in for hours of make up and hair appointments for her roles in Shrek and Shrek 2. Imagine if Mike Myers had to actually suit up as Shrek... The make up and costuming would have taken hours to apply and his acting wouldn't have been as convincing as a big green ogre with a Scottish brogue 'in person' as it was with an animated hero tailored to fit the physique of Shrek.

Scripts at Sessions

Many voice actors read from scripts. There's another bonus for the actor that usually memorizes all of their lines before shooting a scene. This is not to say that voice actors don't memorize their lines. It's just that when you aren't in front of the camera, the audience will never know that a script was present if the voice acting is spectacular. That, and a script can serve as a security blanket for busy actors on the go with multiple engagements and projects. 

Achieve the Impossible 

Now, let's look at Eddie Murphy's role, Donkey. Aren't there scenes where Donkey flies and... talks?! Picture Eddie dressed down on all fours trying to convince you that he is a magical donkey. If you had to pick yourself up off the floor from laughter or disbelief, you've just given another brownie point to the ability of animated films to achieve (and make you believe) the impossible. Cameron has proven herself in the Charlie's Angels series for her phenomenal butt-kicking, but could she have pulled off the Matrix-like engineered fighting scenes without her animated Princess Fiona self? 

Freedom to be Themselves

A voice actor is not likely to run into the paparazzi in a professional studio or when recording from the privacy of their own home production facility. For celebs with a need to getaway from the glitz and for some working R&R, voice acting may be the best antidote. It's not that these celebrities are becoming camera shy, it's just that they're normal people like you and I who need to feel valued for more than just their physical attributes - that, and they also like showing up to sessions in attire that wouldn't be acceptable on the set of a film studio. Some come to work in their pyjamas, may not shower every morning, wear hats, and if need be, their reading glasses. 
Have you been convinced? Perhaps some voice acting could do the trick!

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Article Number
First Published
01/17/2014 23:57
Last Modified
02/10/2014 15:58
Career Advice (Talent)
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