Voice acting is fast becoming a popular option for actors who want to add another string to their bow. And what an option it is. The industry is booming and here at Hunter Talent we’re seeing a definite increase in demand for high-quality voice talent.
With so many of our actors and clients enquiring about voice acting, we decided it was high time that we created a short guide on one of the fastest growing niches in the entertainment industry.
What is voice acting?
Voice acting is exactly what it sounds like—acting using only your vocal talents. It’s a type of acting that many feel is not quite in the same league as on-screen or theater work, but believe it or not, it’s just as important.
Would Darth Vader have been as imposing a figure without the vocal talents of James Earl Jones? Certainly not, and there are many other examples of voice actors giving similarly impactful performances throughout the history of cinema.
In fact, some voices are so well known that all you need to do is mention the actor’s name and their voice springs to mind—like if we told you that Morgan Freeman was narrating this guide, his voice will probably pop into your head right now! You’re welcome.
Are there many opportunities in voice acting?
Voice acting isn’t always about the big screen, though. Here are some of the most popular areas where voice acting plays a major role.
- Animated movies and TV shows
- Commercials (Radio and TV)
- Marketing/explainer videos
- Video games
So yep, you could say there are a lot of opportunities for the right voice actor. Interestingly enough, you don’t necessarily have to have an imposing voice like James Earl Jones or a distinctive voice like Kathleen Turner or Jennifer Tilly.
The beauty of voice acting is that casting directors are always on the lookout for all kinds of voice talents. For example, if a company is creating a commercial for a specific region, they might require a local voice talent that people will relate to.
What this means is that with the right representation and some good voice coaching, there are endless opportunities in the industry for a dedicated voice actor.
How to get into voice acting
Take some acting classes
Yes, voice acting isn’t just about using your voice or reading from a script. You’ll need to put a lot of emotion into your performance and that’s not quite so simple when you can’t use your facial expressions or body language to convey your emotions. So if you want to be a voice actor, you need to learn to act first.
Check out this video of actors performing their roles and you’ll see what we mean.
Hire a voice coach
A good voice coach will teach you a lot about how to actually speak correctly. That means breathing the right way when speaking, pronouncing your words correctly and using the power of your voice effectively. This type of training is worth its weight in gold and can also help you with your traditional acting roles too.
Learn how it’s done
How do the pros do it? Watch commercials on TV, listen to the voice actors in the previews for movies, you can even listen to how the characters speak in your favourite cartoons from when you were a child. Remember, voice acting is everywhere, so open your ears and listen to how the professionals take on the many roles they play.
Pick up some equipment
Voice actors sometimes work in a studio environment, but for smaller roles they often record in the comfort of their own home. All they need is a good mic setup and a quiet space. So if you’re serious about voice acting, consider investing in some high-quality equipment.
The great benefit here is that you can record and listen to your own voice which will be extremely useful when practicing any techniques that your voice coach has taught you. It will also come in handy when you need to record a demo. Speaking of which…
Record your voice demo
A little like making a self tape, recording a voice demo is like creating your voice portfolio. You’ll just record yourself saying a variety of lines in different voices and styles. You might even try a few accents but only if you are 100% sure that you can genuinely nail them.
You might consider having more than one demo with each one tailored specifically for a particular market or niche. For example, you might have one demo for commercials and another for character acting.
Find a reputable agency
Perhaps the single most important step in the process is finding an agency that you can trust and that will find the right opportunities to help your vocal talents shine. Of course, we could simply recommend that you join us here at Hunter Talent—we are the best in the business after all!—but we’re not going to shamelessly plug ourselves… oh, right, oops 🙂
It’s important that you find an agency that has a proven track record of working with the biggest names in the entertainment industry. Agencies in this bracket are usually the first port of call for casting directors and in some cases, the only port of call. So do your homework before making any final decision and don’t be scared to say no if you feel like an agency is not the right fit for you. There are always other options that you can try.
If voice acting is something that you find yourself drawn to and you’re looking for representation, then you know what to do. Get in touch with us today or apply to join us here at Hunter Talent. We’d love to ‘hear’ from you!
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