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Have you ever wondered how to become a voice actor? Have you ever thought about who that voice is on an advert that you keep hearing or on that video game that you play? Well, you have come to the right place!
Most people think these people are just actors. A lot of the time you’d be right, but there are also a large number of people who would describe themselves as just voiceover artists or voice actors.
You might wonder how much these people earn and how long it takes to become a voice actor? Well, in this article we’ll give you the lowdown on how to become a voice actor and all of the avenues you can take to achieve this.
Let’s dive in!
First off, what actually is a voice actor?
Simply put, a voice actor is someone who uses their voice to create a character or perform a linguistic task that is designed to be heard by an audience.
You may think that voice actors are only used for the latest supermarket advert on television or a cartoon on Netflix. However, there are a whole host of jobs that require voice actors.
If you own an iPhone, the voice of ‘Siri’ is performed by voice artist Jon Briggs. When travelling on the underground in London, the famous ‘please mind the gap’ message and other recorded information is performed by a whole host of voice actors.
There are other more obvious jobs that are undertaken by voice actors that include book narration, radio work, and corporate jobs. The point here being, there’s a wide range of work out there for you to get.
There is no simple way of becoming a voice actor.
We can’t give you the answer on how to become a cartoon voice actor or how to become a voice actor for Disney, but, these steps may help you get on that way.
There are many positives to get from doing a course in voice acting. You’ll get a basic foundation in technique and pointers on how to improve.
You don’t however, need to have a qualification to have a successful voice acting career. As mentioned before, lots of voice actors start off as just actors and dip into voice acting where it then becomes their main focus.
What you need to determine is whether studying is going to help you achieve your goal in becoming a voice actor.
The majority of voice acting courses available in the UK are either postgraduate courses or short courses.
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama offers many voice courses including an MA and MFA in Voice Studies: Teaching and Coaching.
A drawback of these courses is obviously the price. Not only in the upfront cost of studying, but in the sense that you are training and can’t actually work.
Do your research into a course and think about whether it’s right for you.
Much like with being an actor, it is hugely beneficial to be represented by an agency. You will be put forward for higher quality jobs and have contracts negotiated for you.
The jobs that you can get while being represented tend to be better paid and of better quality.
Usually, you tend to have an acting agent and a separate voice agent. Although some agencies do provide services for both. We’ve written a handy guide on How To Get An Acting Agent where most of the same tips apply.
Now, it is possible to create and earn a living as a voice actor without representation. Many websites have castings for voice actors.
Mandy is a great website that is constantly being updated with casting breakdowns for voice actors. It’s a great way for amateur artists to work, earn some money, and get some experience.
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have castings for more amateur productions, so keep your eye on them. The ultimate goal however should be to gain representation. It makes your life much easier and opens doors for your career.
Your voice is your instrument and you need a stage to show that off. That’s where your voice reel comes in and it’s imperative to have one whether you’re looking for representation or seeking jobs.
There are a variety of companies where you can record and create your own voice reel. They will record your voice in their studio and provide you with a number of different scripts for you to read from. These include advertising, corporate, book narration, and video games.
Once you’ve recorded with them, they will edit the clips together and send you your reel. If you feel like you have the right equipment and expertise to record and edit your own reel, then you’ll be saving yourself a bit of money.
Just remember to record a number of different examples to show off your range. Once you have this done, you will be able to put it on your casting profile for casting directors or send it out to agents.
It’s always a good idea to think about investing in some of your own equipment like microphone, sound-proofing and editing software.
Many voice actors have set up home studios so that they can work from home. Granted, it is expensive but in the long run, could be seen as a worthwhile investment.
Imagine the scene, you’ve been doing straightforward corporate jobs for a while and you get the call from your agent that Disney wants you to audition for their latest animation. They’ve heard your great character work from your voice reel and think you’ve got what they’re looking for.
Now, believe me when I say that it is incredibly easy to lose the sense of a certain part of your voice if you haven’t been practising. Especially when you’ve got a nerve-wracking audition coming up.
This also applies to accent work and your general vocal capacity. The point is to keep practising.
There are many workshops you can attend and training programs to keep your voice in shape and is a great way to push yourself into new areas to keep your casting options varied.
What do you need to be a voice actor? First and foremost, a healthy voice.
Not only do you need to practice constantly but making sure you’re keeping your voice and vocal chords healthy is imperative too. You don’t want to lose your voice or do any long-lasting damage, so make sure you are being kind to your voice.
If you do decide to undertake some form of training you’ll get some great advice on warmups and techniques to keep your voice from being damaged. There are various tutorials on YouTube too that show you ways of maximising your vocal skills and some basic vocal warmups.
As most voice over artists are freelance workers you’re unlikely to come across a typical yearly salary.
Most of your work will be paid on a session-by-session basis and depend on what medium and company you are working for.
If your voice is used in an advert or something that is likely to be shown on television, then you are entitled to a TeleVision Rating fee (TVR) as well as your standard Basic Studio Fee (BSF).
Depending on how popular the channel you are appearing on dictates the TVR. But simply, the more popular it is, the more money you are likely to earn.
That was our guide on how to get a career in voice acting! Hopefully, you found some helpful tips that will help you into a career as a voice actor.
Your voice reel is imperative and should be the first thing that you start working on if you want to get into voice acting. Try to keep your options open by attending workshops and challenging your voice to keep your casting options open.
We hope that you found this guide helpful! Whilst you’re here, why not check out some more of our articles on our blog? We recommend The Ultimate Guide On How To Learn Lines and How To Audition For A Movie to get you started!
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