Cartoon voice over jobs are another specialist area of the voice over industry. In this post on cartoon voice over jobs we will explore the opportunities to get work and provide you with some useful tips and insights. This post is one of a series of posts on how to become a voice over actor.
Cartoon Voice Over Jobs
From Looney Tunes to Futurama, animation hits the child in all of us. Did you grow up on a diet of cartoons? Most people at one time or another have had cartoons they are fond of. When watching these cartoons you might have thought to yourself, “I can do that”. The professional actors you hear doing cartoon voices make it sound easy. However, being a successful animation voice over actor requires proper training and practice. It involved not only the skill of voice but also developing the character as portrayed in the animation.
While some people consider it to be all fun and games, a great deal of time and work goes into making your cartoon shows, and central to that process are the voice actors. Many aspiring actors are interested in how to become a voice actor for cartoons. Although similar to anime voice over jobs, cartoon voice acting is much broader category of voice over. Of course the big investments and longer projects are animation films made by companies like Disney and Pixar.
Animation Voice Over Jobs – Developing The Skills
The key skill with animation is being able to perform many different types of character voices. You might find that you are hired for just one cartoon voice, but almost always asked to provide several others. For this reason it’s important to have a range of voices and be able to adapt. Improvisation is often need to secure additional cartoon voice over jobs.
Voice actors for cartoons have to develop a wide vocal range to create multiple characters. If practice speaking at a slightly lower or higher pitch you will start to notice how a small change in vocal range can result in a change in interpretation. Many cartoon or animation voices exaggerate vocal characteristics to create an unique vocal identity for a character. Despite having range though, the measure of a good cartoon voice over is to be able to be consistent. When you create and identify with a character’s voice, you need to deliver the same quality of sound throughout a performance.
Often when you apply for cartoon voice over jobs you will also often be asked to provide a ‘library’ of sounds for each character – laughing, crying, reaction noises, etc. – that can be used at different moments in the project. Other important skills for animation are lip synching and voicing to picture.
Example of Cartoon / Animation Voiceover – Performed By Peter Dickson
Two examples of character voice over acting
How To Get Into Cartoon Voice Over Jobs
You’re not going to land a first time cartoon voice over jobs with studios like Pixar. First of all of all you need to establish your skills and then develop a portfolio of work.
Create a demo reel to start with. Then approach communities like the Frederator network, there are many animators creating work every week and there’s always someone on the look out for new voice over collaborators. Alternatively, find some animators on YouTube that you like and ask them they’re in need of any voice over work.
It may take a while to build up a few pieces of work but the more you do, the more you learn and get to practice your voice skills. Even if it’s just a few “shorts”, it goes towards a portfolio that you can showcase on your own YouTube channel.
Another important way to get experience with cartoon voice over jobs is to search casting call boards. There are numerous casting call boards online and many are free. Others charge a membership fee. When you find a job posting that interests you, submit your voice over demo to the casting director in the posting. Often the casting director will ask you to email an MP3 attachment of your voice over demo. In some cases, he will provide a sample audition script for you to read.
A last note, which relates to how you are paid. When hired to work on a cartoon series, you will record more than one episode in a single session. This is common practice. However, you need to make sure you know beforehand how you are going to be paid.
The two options are either per episode, or per hour. Which one you agree to can make a big difference to what you finally take home. Also check for extras needed…adverts, voices for toys, promotions, etc. Be sure to take these into account when agreeing your fees. Cartoon voice over jobs are fun and offer a diverse and interesting range of projects. If this is a part of the voice over industry you want then practice and learn.
Other types of voice over jobs you might find interesting:
For more information on voice acting visit our series of posts on how to become a voice actor