How to Break Into Voice Acting

Want to hear your voice on the big screen? Voice acting can be a fulfilling career, but do you have what it takes?

Even if you already have acting experience, voice work is its own ball game. While previous experience on the stage or behind a camera can be beneficial, there will still be a bit of a learning curve.

So, how exactly does one make a career change into the world of voice acting? Let’s take a look at six critical steps to set yourself up for success:

1. Find Your Voice

Get to know your vocal chords and the power they hold by practicing reading aloud. While we don’t realize it, we read most things silently in our heads. But what would it sound like if we said it out loud? 

Read books, magazines, pamphlets, and even song lyrics out loud and experiment with how different tones, inflections, and volumes impact the emotion behind it. 

Does reading one type of material feel more “right” than other content types? Get to know what you’re most comfortable with, and you may develop an idea of the type of work you’d enjoy doing.

2. Create a Home Recording Studio

To be a real voice actor, you need a professional recording studio. This will not only make the quality of your voice sound its best, but it will also make it easier to send in demos to potential jobs and even work from home as a voice recording artist. 

To create a professional-grade studio, you’ll need things like microphones,sound-proof panels, earphones, and recording software. 

If you have enough space to dedicate a room to your recording, great! If not, don’t worry. Any room can be good for recording if you have the tools listed above.

3. Get Trained

Just as singers take vocal lessons, voice actors must also participate in regular training to keep their performance up to par. Invest in yourself by finding a coach either in-person or remotely to grow your skills and improve your chances of landing a good acting job. 

4. Sound Real

It’s easy to tell when someone is over-acting instead of sounding like a normal person. The best way to “sound real” is to understand the following basics:

  • Who the character is
  • Who they are talking to
  • What they are saying
  • Why what they’re saying matters
  • How to communicate this message in the most effective and meaningful way.

Go through each of these points for each character, and you’re more likely to make the right impact on the audience. 

5. Make a Demo

Making a demo is a great way to show casting agents what you can do. Create a reel with clips of different characters using public domain copy that you can read while avoiding copyright issues. You won’t use the same demo reel forever, but making one when you start will help you get your foot in the door.

6. Get Your First Gig

Send out your demo, keep up with your voice training, and work on improving each character your play. Before you know it, you’ll be booking gigs and trying to balance a busy schedule of jobs. 

A Career Change With a Voice

Voice acting isn’t for everyone, but it can be an exciting career that lets you try different characters. If you enjoy telling stories and want to use your voice in a meaningful way, consider making the career change to voice acting with the steps above.

Written by Monella