What do Tom Hanks, Tina Fey, and Morgan Freeman have in common? They’re all voice actors. The field of voice acting is becoming increasingly popular as it becomes a vital component of many movies, videos, games, and commercials. The career can also be lucrative and fun, with amazing opportunities and the chance to meet famous people. The skills required to excel as a voice actor can be learned in a number of ways, including through on-the-job experience and by taking acting lessons.
The most important skill a voice actor needs is versatility. This is not just vocal flexibility, but the ability to adjust quickly to feedback from a director, dialogue editor, or recording engineer and work well outside of one’s comfort zone. It’s not uncommon for voice actors to be asked to do something that is completely different from their normal style, such as impersonating a famous character or accent. This can require a great deal of patience and resilience, but if done successfully, can lead to amazing results.
Another vital skill is consistency. A voice actor needs to be able to provide consistent quality over long periods of time, often while working on multiple projects at once. This can be a difficult task for some people, especially those who are used to the more structured schedules of a full-time job. Some voice over artists choose to specialise in particular types of work, such as narrating audio books or providing voices for video games. This allows them to become known as all-rounders in their industry and can increase their chances of getting repeat work.
As with any type of performance work, a voice actor must be able to read and understand the script they are reading or performing before starting on a project. It’s also helpful for them to have a good understanding of the production process, and what is expected of them by their client. This can help them avoid making mistakes during recording sessions and ensure that the finished product meets all expectations.
For many people, the main attraction of a career as a voice artist is its flexibility. It’s not unusual for voice actors to have a variety of other side gigs, such as singing or radio work, and to only work on the projects that interest them. However, there are also successful top professionals who make a full-time living from their voice over work.
Whether or not someone is successful at the craft of voice acting depends on a number of factors, but some of the key ones are having a unique and pleasant sounding voice, a professional home studio setup, and a solid demo reel that showcases their range of talents and styles. If they’re able to find repeat work with major agencies or companies, it can give them the stability and security that other forms of employment often lack. However, if they can’t get enough work to make a comfortable living, then it’s probably best that they focus on other career options.