You have a lovely voice, now you just need to do auditions to find work. Right? In this blog I’ll give you the answers to a number of frequently asked questions from Voice Actor talents who are just starting out.
You’ve had this experience, no? You’re at a party and the sound of someone’s voice becomes the topic of discussion. ‘Wow, man. You should really do something with that voice.’ O.K…but how do you go about that?
First of all it’s important to understand that voice-over work is no different than modelling, the world of football or advertising. You have to be able to do something special with your talent. Apart from that, a simple search on LinkedIn shows you there are a massive 774,000 people on the planet who claim to do something along the lines of voice over. So, look before you leap. Let us to learn how to start voice acting as a voice actor.
Take acting or voice acting classes (or watch some tutorials)
Books and online resources are great to learn the tricks of the trade, but nothing is better than real-life training. Depending on where you live, finding voice acting classes might be tricky, but that’s no reason to despair. Simply look for acting classes instead. Some skills you can acquire during a good acting class are things like speaking loudly and clearly, beefing up your confidence, reading and memorizing lines, and delivering a character like its second nature to you. These voice acting exercises will all help you become a better voice actor, too. Acting classes can also help you learn how to transform yourself and bring a character to life.
Whether you are stuck inside due to the pandemic or can’t find a class nearby, don’t fret. There is always YouTube and other online ways to enhance your voice and acting skills. It’s amazing what you can find and what skill you can learn from the Internet! These classes and tutorials, whether geared toward acting or voice acting in particular, can teach so many skills.
Taking care of the voice
While we are talking about body and mind, let’s talk about that voice of yours. You’ve got to coddle it and care for it. For instance, as the weather is getting colder, don’t forget your scarf when you go outside. This may sound silly, but a scarf can keep your voice healthy and sounding great. Stay hydrated, too. Whether you live in dry air or somewhere moist and humid, make sure you drink lots of water and healthy fluids. That also means staying away from alcohol, caffeine, and smoking. All of these can be bad for the sound of your voice and your vocal cords.
But…maybe you had an indulgent evening or are recovering from a cold. There are some ways to get your voice back to sounding great, like drinking warm lemon water or chamomile tea with honey.
Join the voice actor community
Make some friends. Voice actor friends! You may think of them as the competition but turn that around to consider them support. You can learn so much from colleagues and peers. In fact, you’ll probably all have different skills and niches so you will all be able to learn so much from one another. Maybe from time to time, you’ll vie for the same role, but think of it as the best voice should get it. Even if it’s not yours. However, what you share apart from that is much more important – a passion for voice acting and a drive to become bigger and better at your job.
Voice-over acting is a stressful job. No one knows better what you’re going through than fellow voice talent. Don’t get intimidated by successful voice actors. Instead, be willing to learn from their experience. Join the community, whether that’s in person or online, lift each other up, and exchange ideas, tips, and resources. You will become a better voice actor if you make the effort and get involved. You’ll probably make some great friends along the way, too.
Go high-quality or go home
Selling yourself also includes the ability to produce great quality recordings of your voice that will wow agents and directors alike. In an increasingly digitalized market, a professional appearance and a high-quality recording are a must. Your voice reel can’t just be any old phone recording. Not even paid for recording apps should make the cut. You have a couple of choices here. You can invest in a high-quality recording session at a professional studio, or you can create a studio at home.
Sure the home studio may seem intimidating, but if this is what you want to do, some investment may be required. Here you can see that it may not be quite as intimidating as you think. You don’t need that soundproof room and super fancy technology. There are some essentials, though, that you’ve got to have for a successful demo. These are some of the basics that may not be so difficult to put together to create a great home studio:
- A Computer
- DAW/Audio Interface Combo
- Studio Monitors
- One or Two Microphones
- A Few Cables
- One Mic Stand
- A Pop Filter
- Ear Training Software
You’ll also need a quiet place to record, but make sure it isn’t full of hard surfaces. So while your bathroom may seem like a great spot, it’s not. Instead, maybe that small extra bedroom where you store a lot of boxes and furniture. Believe it or not, the soft items there will make the sound better.
Once you’ve got a recording space, whether it’s in your home or a studio for rent, it’s time to get to work. Put together a selection of voice-overs that show how flexible your talent is,. You’ll want o showcase your expertise in not only genres, like documentary-style recordings, commercials, or audiobooks, but you’ll also want to showcase different voices. If you excel in accents, showcase this, too!
This reel should really show the entire breadth of your work and convince people of your talent. Just like a model has a portfolio of fabulous photos covering different looks, you want a full representation of your voice talent.
You could even get professional help, whether it’s on the recording or editing end. It might be costly to go professional for your voice reel, but there’s no doubt that it will pay off in the end. Remember, sometimes you have to invest a little to make a great start.
If you want to be a great voice over artist, you need to know that the road to get there is long and winding. If you start your trek with the right attitude and an open mind, though, the journey will not only be much easier, but it will also be quite beautiful and rewarding along the way.