Getting Started in Voice Over

Voiceover Directory

Getting Started in Voice Over


So you want to be a voice actor? You would not be reading this otherwise. Seems like an impossibility, right? After all, how do you even get started? It's the same question that's been asked over and over, so here's the answer, straight from professional voice actors themselves!

1. Get as much acting experience as possible (and music does not hurt either) .Acting experience is key. No matter where you are, you can find a way to get acting experience. Look for school plays, church plays, community theater, or anything that will give you some solid experience. Google is your friend in these endeavors. Why? Well voice acting is part voice and part … acting! And the acting is the most important part of it. Any sort of experience in acting will make you better. While some may argument that stage acting and voice acting are too different, we'll leave that for a different article. But more than anything, practicing acting is the way to go. If you're looking for even more than just stage work, there are places online where you can practice voice acting such as the Voice Acting Alliance, Voice Acting Club and so on.

2. Take acting classes, especially improv. There's only so much you can do to improve on your own. And yes, I know you're already quite awesome at voice acting. But do not you want to be even more super awesome? Then take classes! They'll teach you the tricks that you will not discover on your own. If your teacher is good, he or she will be able to draw new voices out of you (and more voices = more work), and improv is especially useful as most voice acting is done cold (without seeing the script ahead of time). Plus … you get the important networking factor! Most voiceover teachers or coaches have plenty of connections in the professional world. Many are professional voice actors themselves, or even directors. Taking a class with them is a golden opportunity to get noticed by someone in the pro world. That being said, do yourself a favor and do not try to show off. While talent is a large part of voice acting, no one's going to take in a newcomer who looks like they're going to be obnoxious.

3. Make a demo reel. The demo reel is the voice actors resume / business card. It is, in short, a sampling of your best voices that you send out to agencies, production studios, where ever, in the hopes that they'll cast you. Basically, it's your two minutes to show off what you can do in terms of voices, acting, and delivery. Back in the day, they were tapes. These days it's typically sent through email in MP3 or WAV format or on a CD through the mail. But do not skimp on quality! Getting your demo professionally done may be expensive, but it will pay for itself in the end!

4. Go where the work is. First off, yes, there are voice actors who do their work strictly from their home office. But they have professional quality home studios. You will not get picked up big a larger studio (and especially not a dubbing studio) if you can not come in to their own studio to record. Second, yes there is such a thing as a phone patch where one studio connects to another one that's far, far away. You're probably not going to get that offer unless you're already an established talent. So go where the work is. LA and NYC are the big hubs for voice acting, with LA being decently larger. So why do you even have to live in the area? Why not just fly in to record and then be on your merry way? Voice acting does not work that way. Sometimes emergenies come up, sometimes schedule changes, and sometimes they absolutely need you in to booth NOW. Directors and studios will look for someone who can be there right this second if needed. While it is possible to ferry back and forth between cities (some actors do it), keep in mind that they are already well-established voice actors who they'll call up who are closer and it's not reasonable or cost-effective for someone trying to break into the business.

5. Be Patient! Breaking into the voice acting world is not easy. It does take a lot of time and hard work to become the professional and highly thought after talent that you hope to be one day. Do not give up if you keep getting pushed away or denied or your phone just is not ringing. You will get denied more times than you can count before you finally get that big break. And then that big break could even fall through! The industry is not guaranteed in any shape or form and you will be used and abused to the max.

But your patience will pay off in the end. Continue working hard, auditioning your butt off and do not ever give up!


Source by Morgan Barnhart

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