How to Start in Voice Acting
Has anyone ever told you that you have a great voice for acting? Perhaps you have a unique voice that you can easily adapt to different characters and would like to use your skills in cartoons, video games, commercials and radio announcements. Voice acting not only pays well, but also can be an exciting and challenging career.
Take acting classes. While many people enter acting without any formal training at all, studying acting will help you to hone your skills and increase your chances of getting hired. Simply being able to read as script as you create different voices isn't enough. People looking to hire voice actors want people who can create believable characters. Through acting classes, you learn voice exercises, proper diction and audition techniques that will make you more marketable. To further enhance your skills, get involved in local theater.
Tape yourself as you practice. This will help you to identify your weaknesses and figure out ways to improve. Keep in mind that your voice sounds different to people than it does to yourself, and therefore, you initially might not be happy with your voice itself when you first begin listening to yourself. But rather than focusing on how you sound, focus on what you do to interpret the character or script.
Listen to demos made by other voice actors. This will allow you to see what over people do and to know what talent agencies and businesses that employ voice actors will be looking for. Many sites, such as VoiceBank.net, will allow you to listen for free. Listen to a wide variety, make note of technique, length of scripts and other elements.
Contact a demo producer and create your own demo. To locate a reputable demo producer near you, contact talent agencies and nearby offices for the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Links to both organizations are provided in the Resources section. When making a demo, keep in mind that you have a short amount of time to get the attention of the person listening. A good demo producer will help you find the right scripts for this project.
Send copies of your demo CD to talent agents. It is nearly impossible to break into voice acting unless you have an agent these days. Your first goal should be to land that agent. Actors unions list agents (AFTRA and SAG). Once you have an agent, he will assist you in marketing your skills.
Tips & Warnings
You can also find work online. Look at the resources section of this article for the Voice Acting Alliance and Voice Acting Club to get additional ideas.