How to Become a Voice Actor?

How to Become a Voice Actor

Voice Acting is the most exciting and thrilling occupation available in the market. Isn’t it amazing how Voice actors use their voice modulation and skills to entertain, educate and make us buy a product? If you often get compliments for your vocal talent (mimicry or dialogue delivery) and want to use this talent. You can become a voice actor. But How to Become a Voice Actor?

To become a voice actor, you don’t only need a great voice but few other skills. You need to be hardworking, ambitious, have a good voice range or modulations, acting skills, and have good marketing sense. If you have these skills and talent, then we are here to help you. We will guide you on how to become a voice actor. 

Let’s look at the basic concepts and the ways to become a voice actor. 

What is a Voice Actor?

A Voice Actor is an artist who uses the voices to entertain, educate, narrate, advertise products for commercials, audiobooks, characterize characters for movies, animations, and video games. While performing all these, they need to possess acting skills. As their role is off the screen, they reflect the actions and emotions through the voices. 

Many organizations require the services of a voice actor. Either for marketing their product or narrating the information to the users. 

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
Jeff Bezos Career Advice

In the United States, many businesses recruit voice actors for Television or Radio Commercials through voice acting agencies. 

What are the various types of platforms for Voice Actors? 

The voice acting industry is in great demand, from lending your voices for characters in movies or Animation to narrating information in the education field. The field is broad, and you need to choose the type of voice actor you want to be. 

To become a Voice Actor, you need to widen your scope and understand different projects on which you can lend your voice. Let’s look at various types of platforms for Voice Actors:- 

  1. Characters Voice for Movies and Television 

 Most voice actors dream of lending their voices in Movies or Television. Being a popular medium, it can provide better pay and build a portfolio.  

For example, a Voice Actor needs to work with the producers and directors to understand the script and their character. It helps to build a unique personality and gives identity to the characters. After the personality building, they work in recording studios to record their voices for the character. 

Instead of a continuous script, they record their part in words, lines, or in different scenes. It helps the director and editor to cut and arranges them as per the script. Often, a trained voice actor plays more than one role because of the voice modulations and characterization skills. 

  1. Characters Voice for Video Games 

 The video games industry is another place to show your vocal skills. Voice acting for video games is similar to that of Television and Movies. Voice actors give voices to game characters and create their unique identities. The only thing that differs is its recording process.  

Video games are interactive and offer choices to the player. So, the voice actor needs to record different lines that suit the story. It demands lots of work and time to record hundreds of lines to make it realistic for the gamer. 

  1. Television and Radio Commercials 

Television and Radio Commercials provide the best opportunity for Voice Actors. Their extraordinary voices with catchy lines prompt the sales and give a push to their career. 

To become a Voice actor for commercials, you need to know the marketing strategy and understand the copywriting basics to shape your voice and increase sales. 

  1. Narration in Audiobooks 

Voice actors working for Audiobooks need to record the script or chapter engagingly. You have to justify with lines, emotions, characters, situations. So that listener gets connected and doesn’t feel bored. 

Narration in Audiobooks is the work of skilled voice actors because they need to narrate the story and modulate the voices as per the different characters of the story. 

  1. Dubbing Artist 

Being multilingual can act as a positive factor for voice actors. Television Shows, Movies, and Video games are not limited to one place. These are released all over the world for generating profits. 

Production houses hire dubbing artists to dub their content and send it across the world. If you have this added skill, you can use it in your voice-acting career. 

  1. Narration for Fiction and Non-Fiction 

A good story needs a great storyteller. A good narrator can build the story and keep it engaging, while a bad narrator can ruin a great script. It applies to narration for Fiction as well as Non-Fiction. 

The voice actor deeply studies the script and gets involved in discussions to understand the story’s mood.  It gives the basic ideas to use their voices. Whether the narration needs some hints or it should stay neutral. Is there a need for voice modulations to emphasize something? 

  1. Education and Training Purpose 

 Listening to job training and educational videos for a long duration can get boring with the wrong narration. That’s the reason why organizations choose voice actors with smooth and friendly voices for this purpose. 

Voice actors give their voices for various educational materials for school and college students and occupational education like training for the assigned position in the company. If you have a smooth and friendly voice, you can make decent earnings. 

  1. Giving Voice for Automated Voice System 

 Artificial Intelligence is advancing and becoming a part of every organization. Interactive Voice Response(IVR) is one of the most popular elements of AI. These build in IVR systems installed in phones or cars interact and guide us to our destination. 

Also, it serves as a guide for visually impaired people because they use the recording to communicate with the digital world. Many companies are spending huge money on Automated Voice Systems. It means more demand and income for Voice Actors. 

How to Become a Voice Actor? 

The Voice acting industry is continuously growing, and so is the demand for voice actors. But it doesn’t mean it will be easy for you to become a voice actor. There are more skilled and talented people out there who are looking for the same opportunity. 

You need to put up more effort and create a unique personality. Let’s look at the various steps to become a Voice Actor:- 

  • Take Acting Lessons 

Voice Acting is similar to acting because you have to use your voice to create the effect. You can’t just read the script with your smooth voice. You need to know the techniques and ways to modify your tone as per the requirements. 

To acquire this, you need to take acting lessons to understand the script. You will identify the tone of the story, the character’s demands, and what to do to justify the story. Also, it serves as an opportunity to work with other talented artists and take tips from them. 

  • Get a Voice Coach 

Getting a voice coach is the best way to understand voice acting. They are professionals and know how to shape your voice or fix any errors. They are working in this industry for years to train actors and voice artists and easily catch the wrong vocabulary. 

They first take your demo and identify the area for improvement. Then, start the basics like pronunciations and breaks between the lines so that your dialect becomes smooth and adds to your performance. After that, they work on your vocal range and helps to adopt different accents. All in all, a voice coach helps with the technical skills and makes your performance better.

  • Take Industry Knowledge 

To enter any field, you need to have basic knowledge about it. The same applies to your career in voice acting. Get knowledge of the voice acting field, the areas of demand, and the strategy to create a unique personality. 

For example, to do voice acting in Television, Movies, or Video games, you have to study the characters and find ways to benefit the story. You can take help by observing established voice actors and note down their delivery style. 

Industry knowledge helps you with marketing yourself and provides insights into the industry demands. You can identify where to invest your time and the type of voice actor you want to become. 

  • Create your demo 

A demo is the first thing that indicates your voice acting skills to your potential clients. It will reflect your vocal talent, voice range. As well as help clients to decide whether you are fit for the job. Most professional voice actors keep separate demos for characters and commercial work.

To create a demo, listen to the established vocal artists and actors that share a similar range. Study their style of delivery, practice to perform few lines, and record your work. 

Record different demos covering your true talent. You can upload your demo or reel to audition sites, and the client will hire you as per the uploaded demo. 

  • Practice Regularly 

The more your practice, the more you grow. It’s doesn’t matter whether you are a professional or a newbie. You have to practice regularly to widen your scope in voice acting. 

  • If you have enough money, build your at-home studio setup for voice recording. You can record your auditions and get a professional feel with soundproof recordings. Listen to your recordings, make improvements and make them appealing for the clients and casting directors. 
  • Give Auditions 

Just like acting, it is essential to give auditions for getting into voice acting. The casting directors will cast voice artists based on your auditions. Since you are new in this industry, auditions teach you the basics and help to sharpen your skills. 

It’s not a simple job, and you will face hundreds of rejections until you get a good project. In addition, it will be a time-consuming activity, and sometimes you spend your whole day giving auditions. So make sure to invest your time in the right project that goes with your capability. 

You can also give auditions online by uploading your videos or reels. Websites like  Voices.com, VOPlanet, and Voices123 are the biggest recruiters of voice actors. 

  • Build Networks 

The easiest way to get into voice acting is by good contacts. If you have connections with established voice actors or casting directors, you will get more chances. 

It doesn’t mean that they will hire you without talent. You have to prove yourself first, stay in touch with your clients and show them you are worth their money. 

Having networks not only help you in creating a unique personality but saves the casting directors from hectic and costly auditions. 

You can build your networks by attending workshops, making friends with like-minded professionals, and keeping in contact with past employers. 

  • Get an Agent 

Getting an agent is the best way to get the perfect opportunities and know about the areas in demand. They have the connections and networks to find the projects for you.

Once you earn good money and prove your talent through few projects, you can hire an agent to handle your work. 

An agent can save your time by finding the correct projects, negotiating your rate, and arranging your schedule when you get in demand. They will charge a particular percent of the work that they find for you. 

  • Widen your Scope 

It’s good to take every opportunity that comes your way. Being a newcomer, you may not find the work that you like, but it can help you in the future. You can build connections, sharpen your skills and get to learn more about this field. 

These experiences will expand your scope, and your talent won’t be limited to a particular area. For example, many voice actors who started with stage shows, radio jingles, or standup comedy are now voice acting in movies and television shows. 

How to prepare yourself for Voice Acting? 

You can’t just wake up one day and feel that yes, I want to become a voice actor. So you need to prepare yourself even before you get started with the steps to become a voice actor. 

Let’s check out the steps that you can take to prepare yourself for voice acting. 

  1. Research 

Research is the first step to get a better understanding of any field. You can start by reading articles, listening to professionals, and participating in the workshops organized by voice actors. 

The more you research, the more you will learn about voice acting. You may find the path you never thought of going. 

  1. Read Aloud 

 Read aloud anything and everything. Take the script of your favorite movie, write your favorite lines and practice them by reading aloud. 

Not only scripts, but you can also read newspapers, articles, and even ingredients from food packets. It will improve your pronunciation and the range of your voice. 

Set a particular time to read something aloud and practice adding modulations in your reading instead of plain narration. 

  1. Record your Talent 

Maybe you have a good range and can mimic pretty well, but you feel nervous recording your talent. Of course, it’s normal to worry about how it will turn out, but it’s essential to evaluate your voice quality. 

Start by recording whenever you practice scripts or read something aloud. Listen back to them, get used to your recorded voice, and note down the mistakes. Then, try Then to work on them and make modulations as per your voice requirements on the microphone. 

  1. Do Breathing and Voice Exercises 

 Just like singing, voice actors also need to practice voice and breathing exercises. It will provide good range and help in controlling and improving your voice texture. 

You can start by performing breath control exercises and practicing tongue twisters. 

  1. Speak with your Diaphragm 

 You may have noticed how voice actors or vocal artists’ actual voice sound differs in movies or shows. It’s because they not only use their mouth but deliver it using the diaphragm. 

Listen to your recording, try to identify which part you use to produce sound. Listen to the professionals and how they use their diaphragm to generate the best sounds. Try to do deep breathing exercises and delivering sounds like laughing. It will help you in developing your diaphragm voice. 

  1. Set up your at-home Studio 

 You can practice your vocal skills by setting up your recording studio. You don’t need to go to any lavish and expensive studios to record your demo or assignments. 

Find a perfect comfy room, make a soundproof setup and get some necessary equipment. It includes equipment like a microphone, headphones, and a computer for editing your work. 

Skills Required to Become a Voice Actor 

Getting into voice acting isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. You can’t just enter this field because you have a smooth voice and others compliment your mimicry talent. It depends more on your born talent and vocal skills. 

Here are few skills required to become a voice actor:- 

  • Good Voice Range 

You can’t deliver your dialogues with a flat voice. It will be boring and less effective for the audience. You need to have a good command of language and a lot of range for doing different voice-acting gigs.  

  • Accept Rejection 

You can’t become a great voice actor in one day. You will face rejections more than appreciation. Sometimes it takes years to land on a good project. But if you can handle rejections, you will get your spot one day. Once you get into this field and record some nice gigs, you can take it as your profession. 

Remember, rejections teach us more than success. You will learn to sharpen your skills and improve yourself for the next audition. Just take it as a lesson, possibly you will find a new path that you have never thought of before. 

  • Needs to be Initiative 

 Just like another field, this industry is full of competition and talented individuals. No one will select you unless you take the first step. You need to be skilled to market yourself through auditions and networking. 

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Voice Actor 

Just like a coin has two sides, voice acting has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at the pros and cons of becoming a Voice Actor.

Pros of Becoming a Voice Actor Cons of Becoming a Voice Actor
Build your Community and Get Permanent Client’s           Own Setup is Expensive
Create Impact             Competition
You are your Boss           Strain your Voice 
Work from Home  Time Costs 
Get to Choose your Working Hours Feel Isolation 
Can earn a lump-sum No Permanent Earnings 

Pros of becoming a voice actor 

  • Build your Community and Get Permanent Client’s 

Once you start with your recording and get regular projects, you can make good contacts with them. If you have the right talent or networking skills, you can get permanent clients. 

It will let producers and casting directors know that you have talent and select you for the big projects. Along with that, you can build a voice actors community. They will assist by providing business or technical advice and help you in making correct choices. 

For building the community, you can attend events and workshops organized by Voice Actors or voice-over artists. You will meet other voice actors, and they will help you in building networks. 

  • Create Impact 

Every recording that you do can create an impact on someone. It doesn’t matter whether you narrate in educational videos or give character voices in an animation movie. Every small or big project can create an impact on somebody. 

It’s like you are the mediator between your clients and the listener. You are helping them in reaching their destination. 

  • You are your Boss 

Owning a good voice is like owning a business. You need to keep it growing to earn good profits. Most voice actors are either freelancers or run their voice-acting businesses. 

You can prepare your schedule and decide the projects that suit you the best. Then, when you get better in this field, you can set up your recording studio and choose the projects as per your choice. 

  • Work from Home  

One of the biggest perks for voice actors is that they can work from home. As a voice actor, you can record your projects at your cozy home studio and send them to the clients. You only require a studio setup, internet connection, and a computer. 

It allows you to work with international clients who like your voice, and you can experiment with your choices. Along with it, you can spend more time with your family or on practice and less on traveling. 

  • Get to Choose your Working Hours 

Every voice actor doesn’t work all day. If you are new in this field, you may not earn good money. You need to work in other jobs to make a living. Instead, you can take your voice acting career as a part-time thing. Practice whenever you can and start with small or good projects. Keep building networks and expanding your portfolio. These small steps will help you to take it as a full-time career and choose good projects.

  • Can earn a lump-sum 

Voice actor’s earnings are not constant. Sometimes you get a small amount for your hard work, while other times, you’ll get a lump sum. It’s up to you to decide which projects suit you the best. 

Some works like giving voice-over in commercial projects like sci-fi movies or television commercials can get you thousands of dollars for a minor role. 

Cons of Becoming a Voice Actor 

  • Own Setup is Expensive 

Voice actors need to have an at-home studio setup for recording and voice acting jobs. As you can record and send it to your clients without going to the actual recording studio. But to build a studio, you need to purchase a good microphone, good headphones, computers, and software to give it a professional experience. All this requires lots of capital and time. Also, you have to make sure it’s soundproof. 

  • Competition 

Finding your first project can be a tuff work. There is a huge competition and hundreds of talented individuals. You may also see newcomers and experienced professionals auditioning for the same role. Sometimes, you won’t find work even after several years of experience. 

Competition is massive, and you will face rejections more than success. So ready yourself to deal with the heavy competition. 

  • Strain your Voice 

Voice actors need to take care of their voices and keep them healthy. For example, you can’t eat more fried food, drink cold beverages, or smoke often. Also, don’t practice too much because it can strain your voice. An unhealthy lifestyle can damage your vocals for a lifetime. 

  • Time Costs 

Getting into voice acting takes a lot of time. You have to take acting lessons, set up your recording studio, build networks and give auditions. All this requires more time and energy than you had thought. 

It may take a long time to get your first job after all this. So be prepared, take it as a challenge, and learn something every day. 

  • Feel Isolation 

Spending long hours inside the music studio can be hectic, and you may feel isolated. It’s doesn’t matter whether you are a newcomer or a professional. You should balance your work with other activities. 

Take small breaks, chat with other voice actors, and get involved in voice-over communities through meetups and social media platforms. It will keep you socially active and help with your career. 

  • No Permanent Earnings 

Unlike other desk jobs, you don’t have a designated job or monthly salary. Therefore, you need to work hard, build networks and create your unique personality. Sometimes, you don’t find the perfect work or won’t get nice payment. However, once you get contacts and sharpen your skills, you can earn a good amount with a minor role. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: Do voice actors needs training? 

Although you don’t need any special education or certificates to become a voice actor, you can still take various voice acting classes. The best way to sharpen voice acting is to get into voice acting classes and train under a voice coach. It helps newcomers work on their voice and identify what type of voice acting they want to do. 

Q: What are the qualifications to become a voice actor? 

There are no specific qualifications to become a voice actor. However, if you want to enter this field, you need to be passionate, self-motivation, have a good voice, and have business knowledge. In addition, you should have the basic technical knowledge to operate the recording studio and record professional audio. 

Q: Can I become a voice actor without any experience? 

Yes, you can. Everyone starts somewhere and, the experience gets added with the work. You may face challenges and didn’t find yourself capable in the competition. Don’t lose hope. Stay motivated and take small projects to learn the basics of voice recording. All this will benefits you in your career as a voice actor. 

Q: How to get voice acting jobs? 

Auditions are the first step to get into voice acting. The more auditions you give, the better your chances are to get a job. If you have enough money, you can hire an agent who will find job opportunities according to your choices. Or you can upload your auditions on online platforms like voices and voice123. 

Q: How much can a voice actor earn? 

Most of the voice actors are freelancers it means that instead of a fixed salary, they get paid as per gigs or projects. Voice actors working in websites like Voice123.com can earn around $20,000-$76,000 per year. 

Conclusion 

Working as a voice actor can be an exciting job opportunity. You can work on new projects, has flexible working hours, or can work from home. However, it is not an easy option, and not everyone with a good voice becomes a voice actor. 

If you want to become a voice actor, you need to be ambitious, hardworking, self-motivated, and ready to face challenges. Work on your vocal skills, and don’t be afraid of rejections. If you have the right skills and proper plan, you can become a voice actor. 

How to Become a Voice Actor?

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