As with most niche industries, breaking into voice acting is a competitive and often difficult feat. Who-you-know talk aside, finding regular voice over work takes due diligence and a lot of hard work. Nevertheless, with the right voice, proper technique, and necessary knowledge, becoming a voice actor is definitely feasible. Getting into voice acting all starts with finding your voice and learning how to use it properly. While it may seem simple, it takes more skill than most might think.
Getting Started: Key Considerations
Whether you’ve been told you have a great voice or realized you can alter your voice, there are a few things you should consider before giving voice acting your all. These aren’t geared to dissuade anyone from trying, but they are key in determining if the voice over industry is actually right for you. Take a look:
The Expenses: From buying studio time to building your own at home, not to mention marketing yourself, getting into voice acting can require a good chunk of change. Of course, it could potentially pay off in the end. But since there’s no guarantee, closely consider the initial expenses.
The Time: As with money (you know what they say), you’ll also need to spend a great deal of time honing your skills, creating a demo, and looking for work, among other tasks. This should be expected, though, as mastering any trade doesn’t happen over night.
The Rejection: Of course, you have got to be prepared to face rejection. There’s strong competition in the voice over industry and, no matter the reason, you’ll be beat from time to time. In short, getting in will take persistence—so be prepared.
The Enjoyment: Though you will face expenses, time consumption, and rejection, becoming a voice actor and maintaining a career as one is a lot of fun. Considering the many uses for voice over, you’ll have a blast working on various projects and taking on different roles.
Be sure to take everything above into consideration before you work to get into voice acting. If you’re passionate about the industry and willing to give it your all, you could very well find work and become a voice over artist. Even then, however, you’ll need to do your research. And we’ve laid out some essential tips to help you get started.
Tips for Becoming a Voice Actor
As with most industries, there’s always the age-old question, “How do I get into voice acting?”. While the answer may not be so clear cut, there’s quite a bit you can and need to do as you get started. From there, you’ll need to create a demo and market yourself to find work. We’ll cover this all below.
Getting Started in Voice Acting
Even with a good natural voice, you’ll still need to find your voice for acting. Whether it be geared toward narration, animation, or another discipline within voice over, you’ll need to discover that on your own. This is crucial, and most aspiring actors will require voice over classes, acting classes, or some other sort of training.
Aside from finding your voice, you’ll also need to perfect your skills and technique in terms of projection. Voice acting isn’t simply speaking into a mic; you have to act. Not only that, but you need to pick up on common techniques, like breathing and taking pauses. Fortunately, you can learn all of this from taking classes or training with an established voice over artist.
Creating a Voice Over Demo
Before you can start looking for work, you’ll need a demo reel to showcase your voice. Much like a resume, your demo should include your best work and be geared toward a specific job. In other words, it’s best to have a demo for each specific genre/discipline you’d like to work in. That could be the aforementioned animation, narration, promo work, etc. Here are some things to consider in producing your demo reel:
Always start the demo with your very best stuff, rather than saving it for the end. Obviously, you’ll want all your recordings to be “your best work”, but those that truly show off your skills should be first to grab the producer or casting director’s attention.
Include jingles and background music to support your voice. A simple voice with no background isn’t as appealing, and you can use ambiance to your advantage.
Use well-written copy. For example, if you’re voicing a character, give them actual lines that fit their personality, rather than just reading random copy to showcase the voice. In short, the copy you read should fit the voice you’re projecting.
Promoting Yourself and Finding Work
Once you’ve finished your demo and ensured it’s of high quality, you’ll be ready to start looking for work. Note: if you’re truly committed to voice acting, having your own home studio is ideal. Initial expenses may be high, but home studios are quite necessary for becoming a voice actor. Regardless, there’s plenty of ways you can start reaching out to casting directors and submitting your demo reel to land gigs.
For some, hiring a talent agent to help you in the process can be worthwhile, but it’ll add to your costs and take away from any money you make. However, it could also be the best way you find work. That aside, you can look for job postings online, upload your demo to voice over directories, and attend open auditions you find in your search. Finally, you should also consider creating a professional website for yourself. This way, you’ll be searchable online and have a place to send prospective clients to see more of your work. However you go about finding voice over work, be persistent and don’t let rejection discourage you.
Get Started Today
As you can see, getting into voice acting is no easy feat. However, voice over is a growing industry and the opportunities within are seemingly endless. Once you’ve found your voice, dialed in on key techniques, and created your demo, you can always submit your work to CMD via our new talent form. Other than that, be sure to get your voice out there and start looking for work.