How to Get Started in Voice Acting
So, you want to be a voice actor? But you don’t really know how to get started in voice acting? Not to worry as a lot of freelancers pretty much start the same way, even in other industries or fields. That’s the beauty of freelancing, everyone comes from different backgrounds. You’ll be able to find voice actors who have trained for years or are self-taught, yet they are able to find freelance jobs.
Two Important Voice Acting Questions:
Before getting down to the steps to getting started in voice acting, you might want to answer these two important questions first. When you do, you’ll have an easier time with your journey as a freelance voice actor.
1. Why do you want to be a voice actor?
There are dozens and hundreds of other freelance jobs out there. So, why voice acting? Is it simply a hobby that you tried before? Do you always get compliments about your speaking voice? Or maybe you saw someone online do it and thought, “I can do that too!”?
Whatever your reason may be, you need to always remember this as it will help guide you through being a freelance voice actor. For example, if you want to go into this industry for fame, then this will help you navigate which projects to audition for and take on.
2. What kind of voice acting do you want to do?
Do you like dubbing for foreign movies? Or maybe it’s your dream to voice a cartoon character? Learning your niche is a must because this is how to get started in voice acting. You just focus first on one area, like commercial ads, where you will build your career on. Of course, there are voice actors who are truly versatile and can probably do it all, but these people have had a lot of training and experience.
Tips on How to Get Started on Voice Acting
Starting out on anything, whether it be a job or a hobby can definitely be rattling or overwhelming. But not to worry as these tips below can help you get started on your career as a voice actor.
1. Get Inspiration
Maybe you don’t know where to start. So the first thing you have to do is to see or hear someone who will inspire you. It can be an established voice actor or an up-and-coming talent that you usually see on social media.
Follow Voice Actors
Try to follow fellow voice actors online. The really good ones are those who continue to harness their skills. Maybe they have voice acting challenges and they ask for other people to duet or stitch with them. There are also voice actors who drop daily tips on how to sharpen skills. It can even help if you follow someone who just does vlogs on what a voice actor does on a regular basis.
Following voice actors can encourage you to be more confident. It can also show you the competition and you can decide on what to do and what not to do when going to auditions.
Join Voice Acting Groups
Groups on social media can really help you on how to get started in voice acting. You’ll be able to find veterans who are helping out newbies and you can also find fellow voice actor aspirants like yourself. In these voice-acting groups, you may even find posts for auditions and applications for voice-acting jobs.
2. Listen to Yourself
It’s hard for many but know that you are not alone: people don’t like the sound of their own voices. However, if you want to get into voice acting, you are going to need to do this. Record yourself, even just reading or having a conversation with someone, and then listen to it. This way, you’ll be able to notice your diction and your inflections. This practice will help you correct yourself in the future, kind of like a writer proofreading their own work.
Of course, this will take some time and adjustments, but it will help with your growth as a voice actor. This can also help you be prepared once you are critiqued by fellow voice actors or clients.
3. Find Your Niche
When you are just starting out, it might be tempting to apply for every type of voice acting job. But it would be better if you just focus on one first. This can help you build your resume and your name in the industry as well as improve your voice acting skills.
Just imagine you applied for a commercial voice-over and then a cartoon series and also a romance audiobook, then you have to create multiple demos or samples. Just give your 100% on one niche to help you get started.
4. Practice Everyday
Voice acting is not just regular speaking, you have to do vocal exercises. Pretty much like an athlete who trains every day at the gym, you have to do the same for your voice. Search online for vocal exercises that you can do and practice, practice, practice.
5. Get Help
It’s okay to ask for help from other voice actors. Some can give you tips while others may even offer to throw lines with you. If you have the money to enroll in voice acting classes, go ahead. Some even go as far as hiring voice acting coaches. The point is that you get the help that you need for your own improvement.
How to Get Your Voice Out There
You’ve done the basics, now you are ready to land jobs. How to get started in voice acting careers is all about patience and sometimes a bit of luck. Here are things that you can do:
1. Record Samples
Once you are satisfied with your voice quality, it’s time to create samples. If you plan on voicing cartoon characters, you need to make record samples that will showcase your broad skills. Remember that the purpose of these samples is that they will be sent out to agencies, companies, and potential clients.
2. Promote Yourself
How do you promote yourself? If you are a shy person, this is something you have to overcome. No one will be able to hire you if they don’t know anything about you. Create a professional website or social media page to let others know that you are a voice actor. You can create fun videos and even post some of your record samples—anything that can highlight your skills and talents.
If you ever find other voice actors who want to connect with you, give it a try. It’s exposure for both of you and you get to help each other out along the way.
3. Do Auditions
Now, this can be nerve-wracking, especially for voice actors who are just starting out. The key here is to practice auditions, too. And when you do auditions, you have to do background checks on the clients or the companies as well. For example, if it’s for an audiobook company, see the latest audiobooks they have produced. Listen and observe so you will know what they are looking for or what they want from a voice actor.
Some freelancers find it easier to go to auditions that they don’t really want. Think of it as an audition test. That way, you already know how it feels, what to expect, and what to do once you land an audition for your dream job.
4. Take on Starter Jobs
Look, the reality of freelancing is you don’t win big all the time. You have to start small and there are times when you have to keep doing small jobs. But that is okay because this will help build your portfolio. What’s more, you might even ask for referrals from your previous clients. So, don’t dismiss smaller jobs as this can be your pathway to something bigger.
5. Have a Signature Voice
Finally, you need a voice that is distinct only to you. Yes, it can be very tempting to copy your voice acting idol but that won’t do you any good in the long run. You need to find your own voice and you stick to it so whenever someone hears it, they’ll know it’s you. Of course, there will be times when you have to change up your voice to suit a character or a client’s requirement, but never forget your signature voice for auditions, samples, or simply chatting with clients.
How to get started in voice acting may seem like an overwhelming task but know that it is doable. There are many freelancers out there who just keep trying and trying and sometimes they luck out. Who knows, there’s a client out there who is looking for a voice specifically like yours? You’ll never know if you don’t try. Don’t fear rejections, give yourself a chance and learn how to get started in voice acting.
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