To become a professional voice actor, you need to know how to control your voice and act as if you were on-screen to deliver a believable performance. If you have a great voice and decent acting skills, it may be possible for you to break into the voice-over business and become a successful voice actor.
What Is Voice Acting?
Voice acting is a performance art where actors use their own voices to entertain or market to an audience. Voice acting isn’t just being able to do impressions or character voices—it also requires some acting skills. Since voice actors are rarely seen on-screen, their talent must come strictly through their voices. You must be able to change inflections, provide different deliveries and impeccable articulation, and alter your tone for the program or soundbite. Many professional voice-over artists set up a soundproof home studio to use for recording, auditioning, or practicing. The voice-over industry is highly competitive and finding voice-over work takes time, even for those with a natural talent. Voice actors can perform in a variety of mediums including audiobooks, podcasts, commercials, radio, television, film, and e-learning content.
3 Types of Voice Acting
Even if you have a good voice, voice-acting jobs aren’t easy to obtain, but there are many avenues to explore. With routine practice and voice-over training (including acting classes), you can grow your skills and open up additional opportunities. Here is a list of the different types of voice-acting jobs available:
Video games and animation (like cartoons and anime) employ talented voice-over actors to provide the voices for various characters. Like live-action actors, voice actors read from a script, performing several takes in different ways until they achieve the right performance for the project. Character acting requires immense creativity and a full embodiment of the role.
Sometimes voice-over jobs include performing dubbed translations for foreign programming so that international audiences can understand it. Dubbing replaces the original audio with the same or similar dialogue in a different language. The actor must match the tone and delivery of the dialogue to express the same intention, ensuring that the story’s message is clear to all audiences. Dubbing can also include automated dialogue replacement (ADR), in which the original voice actor re-records lines for clarity or to improve delivery.
TV and radio commercials for products and goods will place voice-over narration over the images and sounds on-screen, using a performer’s voice to market a product and sell it to viewers. These commercials also include promos, where the voice-over talent has a limited amount of time to excite an audience for an upcoming show or event. Commercials usually fall under the voice-acting category when the actor must take on a role other than themselves (like “frustrated dad” or “overworked mom”).
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