From adverts to animated films, voice actors are in demand around the world. While some famous film actors also do voice acting, some actors choose to make voice acting a career speciality on its own. It’s not second prize. Some of them become famous just for their voices.
There’s no doubt that just being a “voice” has its advantages. In visual performing arts, you need to look the part. But in voice acting, all you need is the right voice to bring a character to life or to convey a message. In this post, we’ll show you how to get into voice acting. UK accents are popular – could this be the big break you’re looking for?
Essential Voice Acting Skills
The first important skill you need as a voice actor is the ability to speak clearly. This requires good timing and clear pronunciation even when you’re changing the way you speak to fit a part. As with any form of acting, the ability to convey emotion with your voice is important. But in voice acting, it’s even more vital since you can’t use body language or facial expressions. At the same time, you should sound natural – unless you’re playing a caricature role.
To get the widest possible range of roles, being a good impressionist can help, but your normal speaking voice can still form the basis of a successful voice acting career as long as your voice is well-modulated and pleasant.
Voice Acting Training and Coaching Can Help
You don’t need any formal training to become a voice actor, but even if you’re a “natural” a little training and coaching can go a long way. Some training courses are conducted by voice over agencies who will be willing to market their best talent to clients. So, if you’re wondering how to get into voice acting, that could be a very good start!
While small, niche radio stations often don’t offer very good wages, some of them also offer voice training to presenters who are willing to work for a low wage. Even if they don’t, they provide you with a great opportunity to practise your skills. If you choose this route, get recordings of your shows or adverts and listen to them with a critical ear. Better yet, get an acting coach to give you a critique.
Setting up Your Home Recording Studio
One of the best things about voice acting as a career is that you can work from home – provided you have a good home recording studio. A lot of opportunities for voice acting in the UK are freelance, so having one is essential. Don’t worry. Setting up your studio needn’t be hugely expensive.
To begin with, you need a computer. Already have one? Now you need the right software. There are even free options like Audacity, but as you progress, you might want something a little more advanced. Of course, you’ll need a microphone too. Look for a good condenser microphone with a “pop shield” for high-quality sound recordings. An audio interface between your microphone and your computer will also help to boost sound quality. Next up, you need headphones and a way to eliminate background noises – so, ideally, a relatively soundproof space. That’s it! You’re all set!
How to Market Yourself as a Voice Actor
To land the big contracts, it’s best to get in with a voice acting agency. And, as with all things acting, you will have to make the first move. Put together a high-quality demo recording. Keep it short – a minute is long enough, and target top agencies. No response? Try again with a new demo!
In the meantime, you can start looking for freelance voiceover opportunities on a range of online platforms. Choose one that specialises in voiceovers and don’t be fussy about remuneration to begin with. Every contract you land is one more thing to add to your portfolio. Once you’ve built your reputation a little, you can start charging more – there are even voice actors who get most of their work by bidding for projects online.
For the big money, you’ll want to get work through agencies, and your portfolio of previous work plus your demo will boost your chances of getting an audition. Study your script carefully, check out your cues (if any), get your voice warmed up with a few simple exercises and don’t let your nerves get the better of you. Focus, focus, focus.
Part Time or Full Time?
If you’re earning so much money from voice acting that you needn’t do any other work, good for you. But for most voice actors, projects are sporadic. Even if you could get enough work to make it a full-time job, your voice will tire and your concentration will begin to flag.
For most voice actors, an additional income source is welcome. But finding an employer who will understand your need to attend auditions, and take time off to record voice overs, could be easier said than done. What if we told you that you can not only get a job like this, but that it would even give you an opportunity to hone your voice acting skills? At the same time, your employer would give you access to an acting agency that could help you to get even more voice acting work.
Surprised? Curious? Then it’s time you visited the RSVP Careers page to find out about this opportunity. RSVP actively recruits actors of all kinds, allowing them all the flexibility they need, while providing support for their acting careers that far exceeds their expectations. This could be you! So, what are you waiting for?