Welcome, you’ve come to the right place to learn how to become a voice actor.
This amazingly useful and free guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to get into voice acting.
You’ll find the answers to many of the initial questions that you might have, such as: How much money do voice actors earn, what are the different skills you need and much, much more.
So, come with us now and we’ll help you discover if voice acting is for you. We promise you it will be an exciting and rewarding journey.
If after reading this guide you have more questions, then get in touch with us – we’re here to help you.
How To Become A Voice Actor.
Have you been told you have a great voice? Or you’re you’ve been told you have a knack for creating vocal characters? Well, this comprehensive, free guide on how to become a voice actor has been developed for just for you. The “How To Become A Voice Actor Guide” is packed with helpful information that explains in simple English how to use your voice to make money.
Everybody starts somewhere, and with this guide you will be able to explore the world of voice acting and discover how a career in voice acting can transform your life.
Firstly, a reality check.
It takes time, a lot of time and practice to develop your voice and learn the vital skills you need learn to use your voice professionally. You see, there is more to becoming a voice actor than you might initially think. It’s not just about having what people call a “good voice”. It mostly about how you use it. Voice acting is much more than talking, it is the ability to take someone else’s words and make them your own – to achieve a purpose. That purpose can be recording a commercial, voicing a character in a computer game, dubbing a movie, reading an audiobook or many other types of work.
This guide is designed to give you an insight into this hidden world and provide you with enough information to help you make an informed choice on whether or not this is a potential career for you. If you already are a voice actor, we will be giving you some tips and ideas to help you improve your voice acting skills to help you experience a dramatic difference in how you approach the written word.
One of the big changes to the world of voice acting is that today most voice actors work from home, in their own recording studios. This appeals to many people who want to develop a lifestyle that allows them to work from home. This guide on how to become a voice actor,explains how you can develop your voice and learn what steps you need to take to start learning the art of voice acting.
First of all all let’s explore what you will learn in this guide on how to become a voice actor:
- 1. The Essential Skills You Need To Be A Successful Voice Actor.
- 2. The Different Types of Voice Work.
- 3. The Technical Skills You Need To Develop.
- 4. The Earning Potential Of A Voice Actor.
- 5. The First Steps You Can Take To Learn How To Become A Voice Actor.
- 6. Where To Get Voice Acting Work.
- 7. Full time vs Part Time Voiceover?
- 8. What Equipment Is Best For Recording Your Voice.
- 9. What To Consider When Creating A Home Studio.
- 10. How To Market And Develop Your Voice Over Business.
- 10. Voiceover examples by Peter Dickson.
The Step-By-Step Approach To Starting Out As A Voiceover Actor
The advice we present here is tried, tested, and true. Peter Dickson is the foremost leading professional voice actor in the UK known for voicing the X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, Live at the Apollo, The London 2012 Olympic Games and countless brand commercials. In a stellar career spanning 40 years, he has worked on over 120 TV shows and series, many of them award winning, been a promo voice on 60 TV and Radio channels around the world, been a featured voice actor on 30 AAA game titles, and voiced in excess of 30,000 radio and TV commercials!
Hugh Edwards is a voice director and BAFTA judge, with over 15 years of experience voice directing games such as Harry Potter and many other well know films and games.
Having delivered workshops to thousands of voice actors Peter and Hugh know how to help beginners learn the art of voice acting.
Essential Skills Voice Acting Skills.
In this post on how to become a voice actor we try and give you the overall picture of what it takes to learning voiceover skills and getting work.
You need to appreciate that there is a lot to learn and do before your first paid voice acting job. Yes, you want to get out there and start auditioning. But first, you’re going to need proper training, equipment, resources, and yes, some natural talent. The great news is that even though the voice over industry is competitive, there is plenty of voice over work out there for everyone. This guide on how to become a voice actor will give you a good idea of where to start.
Before you do anything though, ask yourself why you want to become a voice actor. If you know upfront what your goals, expectations, and motivations are, you will be more successful. Setting small achievable goals and placing deadlines on them will make sure you stay on track, even if you only want to do voice over as a hobby instead of a full-time career.
Let’s cover some essential skills you need and that we cover in this guide:
- Voice acting
- Voice recording
- Audio editing
- Self motivation
The Different Types of Voice Work.
When you’re thinking about how to become a voice actor you might not recognise all the possibilities. Here are the many different genres that employ voice actors:
- dubbed foreign language films
- animation shorts or films
- tv programs
- radio or audio dramas
- video games
- IVR phone systems
- Voice of God at live events
- TV and Radio promos
- training / e-learning
There are a vast number of opportunities that exist for voice actors. Of course some aspects of voice acting are specialized. It is harder to learn how to do character voices and get into animation, than it is to voice commercials, for example.
The Technical Skills You Need To Develop.
First of all don’t be put off by the word technical. The ‘technical’ skills you need to learn involve how you record and then edit your recording and of course you will need a home studio to do this. This needn’t be a daunting prospect though. Many freelance sound engineers are available who can help you with this – contact us if you want a reputable one.
Learning to setup and use audio equipment isn’t hard. There are lots of step by step videos in our library to help you. Once you have your home studio setup, along with the audio equipment you need, using it becomes second nature.
Learning to edit and record audio is not difficult either. There are lots of good software packages on the market and we provide easy to follow, comprehensive training on how to use them.
Some examples of the software that you can use:
- Sony SoundForge Pro
- Adobe Audition
- Cool Edit Pro 2
- Twisted Wave
- Garageband & Sound Recorder
- Steinberg’s Cubase
We cover these in detail and which are best suited to voiceover later in this guide. So, before you go out and buy any recording equipment, software or anything – read the rest of this guide for the best advice and information,
The Earning Potential Of A Voice Actor.
How to make a living with your voice is one of the most popular discussion topics on the web, and understandably so. Unless you have secured your future financially already, you will want to get an idea of how much you can earn as a voice over actor. In this guide on how to become a voice over actor we cover this in much more detail.
So, a basic per hour rate is around $250 or £250. If you get lots of work you can soon see that it can mount up to create a good income. However, only people that really work at their craft succeed.
Learning How To Become A Voice Actor.
Before you invest lots of money in home studio equipment and a demo reel, here are some good ways to learn a bit about your voice.
Having worked with many aspiring voice actors at Gravy for the Brain, often one of two things happen when they hold a script in front of a microphone and are are asked to voice for the first time.
They become “flat.” Suddenly, there’s zero emotion in their voice! All the sentences end on the same inflection and have this monotone quality.
They try too hard. They over enunciate all their words and try to imitate those old school radio announcers they grew up listening to.
So some ways to get over this are:
- head to your local theatre and jump on stage!
- take an improv class at your local theatre
- attend an acting meet-up in your area
- volunteer to read to your child’s classroom or your niece/nephews
- listen to commercials and record on your phone your own voice and play it back
- meet with friends and read some books out loud in turn
The point is, you need to get used to reading and voicing out loud. We’ll cover this in more detail later in the guide and give you some practice examples. Take notes and start to think about how you can apply then as you start your journey on how to become a voice actor.
Where To Get Voice Acting Work.
There are lots of ways to get voice acting work, from online sites such as Bodalgo.com, Mandy.com, Voice123 and Voices.com. These are known as pay to play sites. They have lots of opportunities for you to audition, but it is highly competitive. Looking locally for businesses, including radio stations, that need voiceover is also a good way to start.
Full time vs Part Time Voiceover?
Many people transition into voiceover work over a period of time. Why? Well, setting up as a voiceover requires some initial investment. Professional recording equipment, training, demos, marketing, etc. it all costs money! This guide will help you to get started relatively inexpensively.
If you have some money you can move straight into becoming a voice over full time. The advantages are that you can spend time practicing and learning the craft quickly. You are also more likely have time to dedicate to auditions which in turn will give you an initial income.
There is no right path. Voice over actors who have started out part time have gone on to be equally successful as those who go full time right from the start.
Our recommendation is to start small and reinvest the money you make into upgrading your equipment and set up. All clients, whether they are Pixar or just a guy who needs a voicemail message, expect crystal clear audio recordings. You absolutely MUST be recording in a professional recording environment with professional equipment. They are NOT going to settle for less than perfection. Does this mean spending thousands of dollars? Maybe, eventually it does, but not today. What you’ll need to get started:
- A quiet space to record in, away from traffic noises, household appliances, kids, dogs, etc.
- Professional soundproofing materials
- A good condenser Microphone and pop shield
- XLR cable (most mics come with one)
- A computer
- Recording software
WE cover these in more detail later in this guide.
What To Consider When Creating A Home Studio.
The quality of your sound is paramount to your success with auditions. So, use the best materials you can afford to soundproof your home studio. Some things to consider:
Start small – You can use a walk-in closet or space under the stairs.
Invest in Auralex (https://www.auralex.com) soundproofing materials (If you can’t afford this , you can start off by buying some inexpensive duvets/comforters and drape them around your space
Cover everything! Especially windows or table tops. Cover those pieces of carpeting or something to dampen that noise because your voice will reflect off of it.
Get your computer out of the room. Your microphone will pick up fan noise from your computer. Unless you have a solid state drive that is completely silent, you will want to set up a monitor in your studio and run cables through your wall to a computer outside the room. You can use a wireless keyboard and mouse to control your recording software. This also cuts down on the heat of your studio.
Later on in this guide we will advice you on the best materials to use.
How To Market And Develop Your Voice Over Business.
The most important part of any business is getting customers. That’s it. Without customers you just have a hobby.
You will never have to answer to a “boss”, but you will need to be your own boss and manage yourself. You will work on your own a lot of the time. SO you need to embrace the benefits and the challenges this presents. Take courses in areas where you need to develop your skills. When you adequately prepare for running a business, you will succeed in its management, even if part of managing your business means hiring out, in areas that you know are not your strongest.
There are three parts to running starting and running your voiceover business:
- The service
Fortunately the internet has made this easier and more open. Most businesses have a logo, brand and a website. This forms the basics of how people get to know them. As a voice over business you need to recognise that you need to market yourself. This involves ensuring you get your brand, your business, in front of the right people. Marketing though is also about building relationships with customers, not just selling to them. The more customers that use you on a regular basis the more money you can earn and the easier it becomes to achieve a good income.
All of this may seem daunting at first. But you don’t need to be a graphic designer to get a good brand look, you can hire one very easily and inexpensively. There are lots of important parts to marketing yourself, but with the right routines and approach you can soon fit this in to your daily routine.
Audiobook – Winter of 1888
Character Acting – Ghost
Commercial – Favour Dog Nuts
Movie Trailer – Hugo
Narration – Drake
Animation – SpongeBob
The most important things to learn are covered in greater detail further on this guide on How To Become A Voice Actor.
Next section – What Is Voice Acting