In this post we going to take a look at how to get into voice acting. There are now more opportunities in the voiceover industry than ever before — but competition is intense. In Gravy For The Brain blogs and resources you will find everything you need to succeed to build a voiceover career.
THE STAGES OF A VOICEOVER ACTOR
Before we take a look at how to get into voice acting we need to set some expectations about the industry. Getting voiceover jobs is not always easy especially the more difficult higher paying jobs. Many big clients use only a handful of experienced voice actors, the good news here is that if you develop good client relationships you too can get regular work.
There is a lot of competition in just about every industry. In the voiceover industry you will face some tough challenges, but if you develop your skills, learn how to market yourself and apply some creative thinking it becomes easier.
The three stages of a voiceover actor:
You are probably at the beginning of your journey and still learning some of the skills that are needed to become a voiceover artist. At the beginning you need to learn about the industry, technical skills (recording, editing and producing showreels), voice skills as well as essential business skills.
The skill of a voiceover artist is to bring a script to life and lift it off the page for an audience who can’t see you. To do this though you need to learn the basics, practice and then get a showreel produced that shows off your voice talent.
How To Get Into Voice Acting
Like learning to to drive a car, you have to get into the car to learn how things work, the rules of the road and what to avoid. You can’t figure it all that out simply by looking at the car or even just sitting in it.
So let’s put together a bit of a roadmap of what you need to do get started in the industry.
- Learn about your voice (it is your personal instrument – in much the same way that violinist can tell you about the character of each violin and how it sounds)
- Learn the basic techniques of voice
- Learn how to read scripts
- Learn how to record your voice to a professional standard
- Learn how to produce a showreel
- Learn how and where to promote your showreel
- Learn how to audition
Of course different people go through these steps at least to give you a feel for why they are important.
#1 Learn About Your Voice
Have you been told you have a good voice or can make funny voices or can imitate accents. Many people can do all of these things yet do not become voiceover artists. Remember that voice acting is difficult because you have express everything through the voice. Unlike acting you do not have props, your body or other actors to help signal what you are saying.
So you need out if you can listen to your voice and learn how to ‘play’ it. You need to learn about your vocal range, and teach yourself how to better control your voice.
#2 Learn The Basic Voice Techniques
Once you have understood your voice about your own voice you need to learn some of the techniques to control it. This involves everything from warming up your voice, breathing techniques to volume, intonation and pitch. The best way to learn is to take a professional course either online or in a studio workshop.
#3 Learn How To Read Scripts
The first thing you need is to find some real scripts. If you head over to our resource centre you will find loads of good scripts that you can use to practice. Another option is to write down the script from a TV commercial or a piece of narration. You know what it should sound like so the next thing to do is to test how well you can perform that script. Remember that timing in reading scripts is everything. So record yourself and play it back, learn to be critical and also get friends to give you honest feedback.
The key is to practice, practice and practice.
#4 Learn How To Record Your Voice
The cost of setting up a professional home studio is within most peoples budget. A good home studio allows you to record your voice and produce your own showreel. A good home studio is necessary if you want to work in the global voiceover industry. It allows you to take paying jobs from producers around the world. A basic voiceover studio is ideally a purpose-built room that’s been soundproofed, acoustically fitted, and has equipment built into the booth. There are in reality a number of different ways of creating a home studio and for the most part it will depend on how much studio do you need and can afford.
The two essential skills to learn though are how to record and then edit your voice.
#5 Learn How To Produce a Showreel
The first impression that voice directors will have of you is a showreel and even then they may only listen to the first few seconds before deciding if you are right for their job. Your showreel is how you showcase your talents when looking for work. Most casting directors won’t care what you look like, what they want is a voice that will fit their project.Remember to place your best material at the beginning or your showreel and these fit to the type of work you are aiming to get.
After receiving good training and creating a professional demo reel, you’ll be ready to move forward, meeting agents and casting directors and learning how to promote yourself to buyers.
#6 Learn How and Where To Promote Your Work
As a beginner in the voiceover industry you will need determination to get work. Having a well crafted plan though can massively improve your chances. If you have followed all of the previous steps so far you will have been experimenting with your equipment, voice, and have produced a high quality showreel. At this point in time you now be looking into building your personal brand.
So what does this involve? Well you should be looking to have home for where people find out about you, listen to your work and understand who you are. Ideally you want to build your profile across the main social media sites, create your own personal website, and put your showreel on some pay to play sites.
You also need to research and target the contacts for the niche part of the industry you want to work in. It is more productive to target one sector than just go for anything or everything. At Gravy For the Brain we provide some insights into how to research and digital marketing techniques to get work. Learn these skills to get ahead of the competition.
# 7 How To Audition
Wow, now we are at the exciting part where you have been short listed. This is the make or break part, so the better prepared you are the more chance you have of succeeding. There are some tips to focus on:
- Warm up ahead of time – not in the waiting room
- Read and re-read the script – get your head in the script.
- Make quick decisions about the script – decide quickly on the tone and pace needed; try and think about the audience.
- Keep it simple – focus on the brief (written or from the voice director) – don’t over complicate it
You will like all of us have the odd bad auditions, but by learning how to audition professionally and preparing yourself each time you will stand out from the competition.
So How Do You Get Into Voice Acting
You work at it. You practice and learn and put the hard work that any good profession requires. Use the resources you have at your disposal, be social and learn from others and develop your talent. One community you can join for instance is the voiceover community we run on Facebook. The voiceover industry is a people industry so be god to others, courteous and patient; it will pay off.