How to Start a Career in Voice Acting

Voiceover is a performance-based profession, which tends to draw people who (surprise, surprise) like to perform. But the real surprise is that many people who are very talented at performing, can’t cut it in voiceover. This is because it takes more than being able to do voices well. Winning voice over jobs or getting premium voiceover job’s salary takes more than technical skill or voice quality. You’re interested in career in voice acting, but you’re not sure where to begin. Start here, my friend, because we’re talking voice acting for beginners.

Nice Voice

Do your friends say you have a “nice voice”? Or, maybe you’re in radio and you’re doing voice overs for local advertisers. You may be an actor and you’re curious if you could earn a few extra bucks. These are all very good reasons for taking a closer look at starting a career in voice acting.

Becoming a voice actor can be lucrative,and it both for male voice actors and female voice actors. Plus, you can work from home and you become a member of the vibrant voice over community. While there are many benefits to voice acting, starting a career in voice overs requires careful consideration. Read on for straightforward, actionable steps for starting a career in voice acting.

Voice Over Training and Coaching

There are a lot of people that believe they already have the skills needed to do professional voice overs. There are related vocations that provide a great foundation for a career in voice acting. For example, having a background in radio or theater provides you with some useful skillsets also used in voice acting. But having this experience is not necessary. You can succeed as a voice actor without related background experience. However, even if you are starting out with some basic knowledge of how voice acting works, you need training. That is where a voice over coach comes in.

Find a Reputable Voice Over Coach

Basic knowledge and natural ability need to be molded and enhanced. Like an athlete, professional voice actors work with trainers and coaches to sharpen their skills and build upon their natural ability. The first step in your voice over journey is finding a reputable voice over coach.

A good voice over coach will evaluate your ability and let you know if you should pursue voice acting. If a coach agrees to take you on as a student, you will work through a series of lessons and learn best practices. Training takes time and a good coach costs money, of course.

You should do careful research before hiring a voice over coach. Be aware that there are some voice-over schools and coaches that take advantage of newcomers by making grand promises with little to no experience in the industry. On the flip side, there are also incredible coaches who specialize in training new talent. These are the coaches you should seek out.

Not sure which coach to choose? Try joining a Facebook group for upcoming voice actors and just ask. There are a number of professional voice actors who act as mentors. They can point you in the right direction and guide you toward a coach you can trust and advise you on who to avoid.

A Recording Space and Basic Voice Over Gear

In order to learn, train, and work in voice over you need a space to record and basic recording gear. Working as a professional voice actor in today’s voice over industry requires that you have a studio where you can audition for voice over jobs and record paid gigs.

You will need, at the very least, a good microphone, a computer, recording software and a quiet place to record. Your recording space will need some soundproofing to eliminate outside noise and room echo. You do not need a fancy soundproof booth for training. Many new (and even some veteran) voice actors record inside their closet! As you build your voice-over business, you will invest in great recording gear and a nice studio, but it’s ok to use a basic set-up when you’re starting out. If you can get good, clean professional sound, it does not matter where you record.

Professionally Produced Voice Over Demos

After training and setting up a recording space, the next step to becoming a voice actor is producing samples of your voice so others can hear you and decide if you are right for the job. These samples are called demos or demo reels. A voice-over demo reel is basically a montage of audio clips featuring your voice-over work. You might have a “commercial demo” which is a collection of short snippets of various commercials you have voiced. Or an audiobook demo, eLearning demo or a demo in any number of voice-over genres. Your demos will depend on your specialties, which is something your coach can help you determine.

Create Your Voice Actor Website

After you have a logo and have determined your branding, the next step is launching your voiceover website. As a voice actor, you are your own small business and every business needs a website. Voice actor websites do not need to be expensive or elaborate. A single-page website will do fine if you set the page up to prominently display your name, your demos and your contact information. If you have computer skills, you can build the website yourself. Many voice actors hire a professional to design their voice over website. There are even website designers who specialize in voice actor websites.

In conclusion

Starting a career in voice acting is expensive and requires a lot of hard work. Voice acting is an exciting way to earn a living. Your best bet to success is taking it one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to an awesome career in voice acting.

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