How To Get Into Voice Acting
[picture of an actor in a voice booth]
The field of voice acting is immense. A quality voice actor can find work not just in films and TV, but also commercials, video games, audiobooks, public announcements, and many more avenues. Despite the variety of areas to work with, it can feel daunting trying to break into the industry. So if you wish to try your hand at voice acting, where do you start? These 4 helpful tips will set you up and start you on your way to a career in voice work.
Practice, Practice, Practice
As in any field, voice acting takes dedication and effort to pull off. Your voice is the tool of your trade, so you must maintain and strengthen it. You need to spend time with your voice - practicing vocal warm-ups and experimenting with different sounds - and keep building off of your skills. It can help to work with the voices you’re confident with and slowly expand from there.
It’s important to remember that as an actor, feedback is your friend. Having others respond to your work and give tips will help to achieve your ideal vocal range. A good way to get feedback is by recording your practice and playing it back for others. Recorded audio will demonstrate your voice in the medium it’s created for, giving a good idea of how your voice will sound. Keep practicing your vocal ranges whenever you get the chance because improvement never ends.
Create Your Recording Set-up
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No one needs a professional recording studio to begin work as a voice actor. Many creators have home set-ups for both practice and freelance work. While you don’t need top-quality equipment to get the job done, there are steps you can take to create an ideal recording station:
A quiet work area - The best environment to record is an enclosed space with minimal sounds. You want your microphone to only pick up on your voice, so a closet or small bedroom will help to cut down on sounds. You can also hang up blankets or sheets to muffle outside noise.
Computer recording software - Voice work is never perfect. You will often read lines several times and make edits to create different sounds. There are many free recording software to choose from, such as GarageBand and Audacity. Becoming familiar with these programs is essential for creating your work.
Microphone with a pop filter - While you don’t need the most expensive microphone on the market, you should make sure the microphone you buy is good quality. It should pick up the sound of your voice while excluding outside noise. It should also include a pop filter to minimize the non-vocal noises your mouth makes while speaking.
Quality headphones - Just like with your microphone, your headphones need a certain quality to them. They should be powerful enough to hear all the sounds in your recording; they should not allow any audio to leak out and get picked up by your mic. Make sure your headphones are built to last.
Create A Demo Reel
Most jobs require a demonstration of your skills before considering hiring you. For voice acting, your skills are presented in a demo reel. A demo reel is a collection of voices pieced together to show your vocal range. A good demo reel will only last about 2 minutes and consist purely of your vocal examples. Put together the types of voices that best show your skills and keep improving your reels as time goes on.
Keep Applying And Keep Networking
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Voice acting is like any other type of acting - and acting thrives on networking. Once your demo reel is complete, you must keep putting it out there for others to see. Eventually, your work may be chosen for a gig, but you can’t let the rejections get you down. If you commit yourself to voice acting, then you will never stop improving and putting your work out there.
Interacting with others in the field is the best way to get your foot in the door. Meeting with creators, recruiters, and fellow voice actors will put you on the map in their minds, making it more likely they’ll recommend you for a role. It’s all about who you know in the acting world.
[picture of a person working on their laptop
These are the tips to remember when starting down the path of a voice actor. This career is filled with socializing, improving, and putting yourself out there. It may not be an easy line of work, but it can be done with persistence and patience. By following these basic steps, you are well on your way to becoming a professional voice actor.