Professional Acting Workshop:  Voice Acting

Voice Over Actors:
How to become a professional Voice Actor. Voice Actors are one of the most in-demand and sought after categories of ALL working actors

You might think that any pro actor could find work doing voice-overs in their 'spare time'. Truth is, voice actors who work all the time have a finely-tuned set of skills that truly sets them apart.

There are huge new emerging markets for skilled professional voice actors. The surge in successful animated film and tv projects, both features and shorts, has created a ton of new demand for experienced voice-over talent.

A quick note: the term "Voice-Over" was originally designated in film/tv and commercials to mean the unseen "voice" that is heard "over" the picture that is seen by the audience. Nowadays, we usually use the term "Voice Actor" to describe an actor who is never seen on camera, but who provides a charater's voice (or many different charters' voices) throughout a production.

In a script, the term voice-over is usually abbreviated as "V.O."

Even if you are an experienced professional actor, the skill set and tradecraft for voice actors is unique. Our recommendation is that you immediately look into finding some professional voice over training.

Voice-Over Acting requires a lot of specialized & technical training, in everything from knowing how to 'play the microphone' to knowing how to give a 'well modulated' performance that doesn't require the engineer to constantly ride your volume fader.

Many Voice Actors now have their own inexpensive mini-studios at home. This gives them a tactical advantage in that producers and ad agencies can get almost immediate voice-over content for their web ads, product blogs, YouTube channels, and other new media platforms.

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If you are looking for some quick voice acting experience, consider volunteering your talents for animation classes held at your local university or junior college, or volunteer at your local library or community center as a 'book reader' for kids, the disadvantaged, or disabled. These audiences might actually give your some of the best feedback you will ever receive.

Voice Acting Tip of the Day: Monday August 08, 2022

Be sure your Actor's Bag includes a pencil. You should not mark any script or side in pen, since directions, blocking, and cues are likely to change.

Voice Acting Advice: Here are a few Quick Tips to get you on the road to becoming a voice actor:

If you are a true voice acting beginner, start by recording and listening to yourself reading some brief scenes or monologues. It is very important that you get accustomed to hearing your own voice so that it becomes second-nature, and be able to make subtle adjustments to your tone, pacing, and pitch on your own. Try a variety of stage, film or tv scenes, monologues, commercials, and book excerpts. By the way, audio books have become a huge market for voice actors, so listen to as many as you can from as many different genres as you can afford.

Most smart phones have really good voice microphones, and if you don't have any other recording equipment, are a great way to record yourself so you can get instant feedback on your performance. On most phones you won't need a separate recording app -- just use the pre-installed "voice memo" app.

How to Become a Voice Actor

Don't worry right now about any vocal imperfections you might hear (sibilance, nasality, softness, etc.) -- just get used to recording and hearing yourself over and over. If you are using your phone to record, be sure to listen back not only through your earbuds or headphones, but also through the phone's built-in speaker.

Do not shoot video of yourself, at least not yet. You do not want to be distracted by anything about your physical performance at this time. Besides, you want the microphone to be only about 12 inches away from your mouth. Just listen to the recording of your voice, and get accustomed to your tone.

A Few Tips for Voice Recording With a Smart Phone for Voice Acting Beginners:

Brief Sample Voice Acting Script for Beginners:

Here's just a quick descriptive narrative to get you started. Read and record it several times, trying for a different "tone" or rhythm each time. Where does it feel right to pause? Which words or phrases should sound special? When you listen to your playback, can you see the girl and the story?

"The young girl just stood there in the cold, pouring rain -- head down, drenched, shivering. Quietly watching the rain drops plop in the big puddle that was growing wider around her feet. How long had she been there? Where could she have been going? I hurried to the front door to ask her if she needed anything. But, as I swung the screen door open -- she was gone."

We will be adding new content on Voice Acting each week, so please check back again soon.

We will be adding much more info on Voice-Over Acting over the coming weeks, so be sure to check back often.

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