So, You Want To Be A Voice Actor

DBZ crew Funimation
Image courtesy of Marcelo Silk Screen via Flickr
Steve Blum voice actor
Steve Blum (aka Spike Spiegel) Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

So you want to be a voice actor? (Don’t we all?!)

You think you’ve got what it takes to be want to be the next Steve Blum, Monica Rial, or Crispen Freeman? Your voice can make anime and video games come alive?

Maybe you do, but probably not…. It’s a lot more work than most people realize.

But if you have the drive and are committed, you have a chance of breaking into this kick-ass profession.

Here’s the lowdown.

#1 Start practicing impersonations TODAY!

Don’t wait to take lessons – you have a voice, so start using it! A big part of getting good comes from training your vocal chords to bend, stretch, and move. Start practicing early by doing impersonations. Copy any character, from Goku and Bugs Bunny to Hannibal Lector or Al Pachino. Just start training those vocal chords!

#2 Get some formal acting training

You may think that you should skip formal acting training, but that’s wrong. Most animation studios look for REAL acting experience. Why? Because being able to make cool voices is only half what casting agents need – they also need actors who have range, can capture emotion, and take direction. Sign up for a few local acting classes.

Mark_Hamill voice actor
Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker and voice acting badass
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

#3 Put together a website and sample reel

No one will consider you for work without a website and a sample reel. Set up your website now so you never miss out on an opportunity. Put together a sample reel with some of your best voices and share it on YouTube. Get some real-world samples by applying for small gigs on job boardsĀ online, like UpWork and Fiverr.

#4 Audition for entry-level work

Once your voice and acting chops start improving and you’ve got something to show people, it’s time to break into the industry! Look for work outside of anime/games initially, as there’s much more gigs in other industries. Try local radio stations and advertising agencies that work with audio. Maybe offer your talents to YouTube channels or podcast shows who need intros.

You’ve taken your first steps, but remember you’ve still got a long way to go. You’ll need ongoing practice, professional coaching, and possibly even an agent. You’ll eventually need to live nearby a studio too, if you manage to break in. Many studios are located in the US (California, Texas, New York) but there are several in Europe as well (UK, Germany, Switzerland).

Becoming successful won’t be easy, but nothing is, right? Don’t wait!

If you’ve had any experience with voice acting, drop some support in the comments below.


 

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