Let’s cut straight to the chase: voice acting is lucrative, fun, and every actor’s dream. Voice acting is the practice of recording voice overs for film, TV, video games, radio adverts and much more. Performers are known as voice actors, but largely voice actors are actors as well. If you are an actor with a strong voice, and a confidence with language, this is a dream job. Because it can be such a great career, or extension of an acting career ,we thought we would put together all our insights about voice acting in one place.
By the end of this article you will have a better understanding of what voice acting is, how to nail voice auditions, how to be prepared for recording and how to make sure you’re reemployed. Enjoy:
How to get better at voice acting
Voice Warm Ups
We go on about the importance of voice work quite a bit here at StageMilk and there is nowhere where voice training comes in more handy than with voice work. Make sure you are always working to improve your voice. Your resonance, articulation, range and expression (very important for voice work). A daily voice warm up (even if it’s only 5 minutes) is a great start.
Finding your voice
It’s not just about doing a bunch of humming and tongue twisters. To be confident with your voice you need to be confident in yourself. The voice is intricately linked with your mind and body. Are you standing tall? Posture is important for the free expression of voice. Do you speak openly and honestly in conversation? Backing yourself and using your voice to express yourself will help you in all your voice work.
What do I need to become a Voice Over Artist
A voice demo/reel
This is your bread and butter. If you want to land voice work you need a kick ass voice demo. A voice demo/reel is a collection of your previous voice work, or if you haven’t had work yet, a collection of voice recordings that showcase your skills as a voice artist.
So what is a great demo.
Firstly check out RMK Voices as a starting point. They are the industry leaders in Australia. Danis, Panaro, Nist Talent is a great American voice agent, if you want to listen to some American demos. The industry wants to hear confidence, clarity, expression and often range. The demo should go for about 1-2 minutes but there is no set rules. Make sure you don’t linger on one advert for too long (20/30 sec max), and put your best work early on in the demo. People won’t be listening to the full thing.
How to record a voice demo
Ask your manager or agent if they have any recommendations. There are some great recording places around, but it can be expensive. If you really want to be a voice artist cough up and make the initial investment. If you are on a budget do you have any friends (perhaps sound engineers or musicians) who could help you mash something together. Take an acting or directing friend along with you for a second opinion.
Worse case scenario have a go on your own, there is plenty of free software like garage band out there so you can make an ok product on your own, it’s just not ideal.
Do I need voice agent?
Many agents have a voice department. It’s worth having the conversation with your agent. Beware, many agents say they do voice work, but don’t actively push it, so don’t be fooled. For the most part it is worth getting a specific voice agent, if you want to take voice acting seriously.
How to nail voice auditions
Sometimes you will get booked just off your demo and other times you will have to audition. The good news is you should be paid for auditions. The key to nailing voice auditions, as with any acting audition, is confidence. If you are confident in yourself than comes across in your voice. Be open and show that you are versatile and easy to work with. Make sure you warm up before the audition. If you are recording an audition at home, send a couple of options to the producers.
How to get booked again
As I mentioned before it’s important to show openness and range. A great way to do this is to be open and have a good range! Be well prepared, well warmed up and ready to work. Being a “yes” person is also really helpful and gives the impression that you can do anything! If you are confident that will come across through the microphone.
So confidence can’t cover up a weak or restricted voice. It can help certainly, but you need to be working on your voice skills:
- Resonance. Feel your chest as you speak. Can you feel vibration here? You want to be resonating well in your chest and throughout your body. Practicing humming exercises.
- Articulation. Are you really articulating your words. The trick is in the consonants. Tongue twisters and other articulation warm ups help. You can also mark your text, so that you remember to really sound out a “t” or “d” sound. Just use a pencil and circle or highlight any important consonants.
- Get to the end of the line. This is important. Make sure you are carrying the vocal energy of a line right to the end of a sentence. The word at the end of a sentence is the most important. Many people “line droop” or lose energy through the line. Keep your vocal energy up all the way through a sentence.
Voice Acting Success
So they are our thoughts on voice acting. It can be a tough game to crack into, but if you have the skills and the right attitude you can thrive within the voice world. Make a great voice demo, look for a voice agent, and get out there!