Most career voice actors have previous experience in other forms of acting. Some are also singers or improv performers and still others, sound engineers, writers or animators.
Getting a job as a voice actor is competitive and work is never guaranteed. There are several key steps that new voice actors must take to get off the ground.
Voice acting can be a career that allows you to work from home, set your own hours and create character voices that you would never think of on your own. It can also be an excellent supplement to an on-camera acting career and help you stay busy with projects when the acting schedule gets slack.
The key to a successful career in voice acting is preparation and practice. This includes studying the script for each project, recording a wide range of vocal styles and developing a demo reel that showcases your best work. It also involves preparing and paying for home studio equipment, a microphone, and taking acting classes or hiring a voice coach to level up your skills.
In addition to developing technical skills, voice actors also need to understand the content of each project to ensure that their voice and delivery match the tone and intent of the script. They must be able to take direction from the client and deliver an ear-catching performance that will help sell a product or convey emotion.
Despite the fact that many people think that voice acting is only for celebrities or those who have unique voices, the truth is that anyone who can commit to it and has the right equipment can find success in this industry. This includes taking acting classes and working with a vocal coach.
Aspiring voice actors also need to be able to learn and adapt to various styles of work. For example, they must be able to speak quickly and clearly when they need to, and they should know how to use pauses and silence appropriately.
Some voice actors choose to specialize in certain genres of projects, while others may take on a wide range of assignments. This allows them to diversify their portfolios and increase their earning potential. In addition, a number of voice artists choose to start off their careers by working part-time and making money from other sources before getting into the field full-time.
Many voice actors find that the most important skills to have are a strong acting ability, improv abilities and a wide range of voices. Having versatility is one of the key elements that keeps them in ongoing employment, similar to session musicians who play multiple genres of music day in and day out.
A career in voice acting is a lucrative and rewarding one, but the industry can be competitive and requires commitment to hard work and training. It can take years to build up a steady stream of work and it is crucial to have a good recording setup in order to turn out high quality takes for each project that you audition for.
Many voice actors start out by joining a pay to play site like Voices or Voice123, which charge an annual fee in exchange for access to a slew of audition opportunities. Eventually, it’s often helpful to have your own website to list your services and begin to establish connections with production companies who can offer ongoing work.
Voice actors must spend time promoting themselves, seeking out new opportunities and networking with others in the industry. This can be a difficult and time consuming part of the job, but it’s essential to the career.
Many voice actors work from home and are self-employed, so they’re not limited to a specific geographic area or studio space. This flexibility is a major benefit for people who are trying to find their way in the field and also saves on travel expenses.
As with any career, it can take years to build up a consistent income from voice acting, and even experienced professionals go through dry spells where finding work is challenging. It takes a lot of resilience to keep going when the rejections come rolling in, but most who make a go of it eventually find their stride. The monetary costs of launching this career include paying for vocal coaches and training, and upgrading your home recording equipment as you progress.