The Best Advice On Becoming A Voiceover Artist

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If you're someone looking into becoming an actor, there are many different avenues that you can take. Did you know that voice acting is a career path that can bring you a lot of fulfillment and help you make a name for yourself? 

Becoming a voice actor is more than just reading a script into a microphone. You need to have good acting chops, and the ability to work hard. 

Here's how you can make your start in the industry and really start getting ahead. 

Understand why you want to become a voiceover artist

Before doing anything else, think about why you're looking at becoming a voiceover artist. What is it that attracts you to the role?

The Best Advice On Becoming A Voiceover Artist

There are people out there who are amazing actors, but dislike being on the stage or in front of a camera. Voice work allows them to make the most of their talents without anyone even needing to see their face

There are others who find a lot of value in seeing the contribution they make. Once your voice is used in a project, you'll see just how much value it adds, and it's highly rewarding. 

One reason that you may want to go into voice acting is the ability to set their own hours and make as much money as they want to.

The ability to be a freelance writer brings you a lot of freedom, and the ability to move around even as you're working. It's something you want to consider when you're thinking about voice acting. 

Think about what it is that's drawing you to voice work. Do you like the freelance aspect of it? Do you like the idea of using your talents to add to projects? If this sounds like you, then voice acting could be for you. 

Understand the drawbacks of voice work

As well as benefits, there are of course going to be some drawbacks to getting into voice work. You want to be aware of these before you start making steps forward, so you know what you're getting into. 

Understand the drawbacks of voice work

Time: Like getting into many careers, it's going to take a lot of time. There's lots of steps involved, and the process can be a long one. Because of this, you need to be ready to prepare for all these steps before you can start making money.

You'll need to go through a lot of auditions before you find the role that will get you started. 

Isolation: Unlike other acting roles, you'll spend a lot of time on your own recording as a voice actor. It's very easy to spend hours in the booth alone, and even the most established actors find it difficult.

As such, you'll need to be happy working on your own. Even if you thrive in that environment, you'll want to spend time outside the booth meeting others in the industry and getting out there. 

Costs Involved: It's not cheap to get set up as a voiceover artist. If you're looking to go full time, you'll need a good quality home studio to record in. That's a significant investment, so you'll need to be ready to spend money on it.

That's why a lot of artists go part-time first, so they can invest that money back into their career and build up that studio. 

While these are some significant barriers to entry, you shouldn't let them put you off if you think is career is for you. You just need to be aware of them, so you can go ahead with open eyes.

Get acting coaching

The most common misconception about voice acting is that you can dive right in if you have a good voice, and get good results.

You may well have a good voice, but you still need to be trained in how to use it. If you skip this step, you're not going to get good-quality roles

If you have a background in theater and acting, especially in school or college, then you already have a leg up.

Working in these roles helps train your acting skills, and helps more than you know for voice work. If you don't have this background, you can look into theater groups or improv troupes near you to get started. 

You'll need voice coaching too, to get the acting skills that you'll need on mic. The good news here is that a lot of vocal coaches will actually work with you online, over video calls.

That broadens the scope of vocal coaches that you can work with, and you won't need to travel to meet with them.

These vocal coaches will help you as a beginner, showing you the basics and helping you understand how you should be using your voice. Don't discount training as you get more advanced, either.

There are coaches who work in all sorts of niches, so use them to help you level up your skills. 

Think about how to price yourself

As you'll be a freelancer, you'll need to think about the prices you charge when you work for others. There's so much to consider, so where should you price yourself when you start out?

Think about how to price yourself

Remember that even as a beginner, you need to be able to cover your costs. That includes utilities, training, and of course your time. It's very easy to discount your time, but it's the most precious resource you use when you're working.

Remember this when you start pricing your work

If you're not sure where to start, do some research into what other voice actors charge for their work. You're not going to earn the big bucks that the very top actors get, but you'll be able to see what a reasonable rate would look like for you. 

You'll start low as you're just starting out, but as you gain more experience, don't forget to put those prices up. A more experienced voice actor is worth more, so make sure that you remember that. 

Set up a good home studio

You're all ready, you just need to set up a home studio so you can start working. How do you go about this? Firstly, be aware that you will need to invest some cash to get started.

Set up a good home studio

You'll need to have enough to get set up with the basics, and then you can make improvements as you go along. 

Find the right space: Firstly, you need to find a space in your home that can serve as your recording booth. It doesn't need to be very big, just enough for you to sit in comfortably. It can be a corner of a room, a closet, or in your garage. 

Soundproof the space: You'll see many professionals using specialist soundproofing equipment, in order to soundproof their recording booths. As a newcomer, you don't need to spend that much money right now.

You can use heavy blankets and comforters right now, and they will do a lot to deaden sound. 

Pick a good microphone: If you're working on a budget and have enough to splurge on one thing, it needs to be your microphone. After all, it's the main tool of your trade.

Finding the right one can be daunting, as so many people have an opinion on which one is the best. Test as many out as you can before you buy, so you can see what they're like. Use the mic that best suits the quality of your voice, so you'll get the very best out of it. 

Find good quality headphones: As well as a good mic you'll need good quality headphones. A good set will help you hear everything from the recording, so you can get the best out of your work.

For example, they'll help you hear if you're making any extra sounds while recording, or if there's interference that needs to be dealt with. 

Use over ear headphones, as they will be the best quality. Remember that there are closed back headphones, used for recording tracks, and open backed headphones, which are used for mixing. 

Find software that works for you: Finally, you need a good software package that will allow you to both record and edit your work. There's lots of different options out there, so again you'll need to do your research. 

As a newcomer, you can try Audacity as it's free, and gives you good quality considering that price point. There's also Adobe Audition, Pro Tools, Sound Forge, and GarageBand on Macs.

These are all used by voice actors, so play around with them and see what works for you. 

Start marketing yourself

You're all set up now, so you need to start finding some work. Your voice acting is your product, so you need to market it to clients who are out there, looking for someone like you. 

Like most freelancers, you need an online presence that's easily discovered, and shows who you are. Creating a website is very useful, and on there you can highlight the work you've done in the past, and reviews from past clients

These are very helpful, as good reviews will show that you're good to work with. Samples of your work will show off what you're capable of. 

Start networking too, so you can start meeting others in the industry. When you get to know others, that's going to help your career.

For example, if you audition for a role and the client thinks you're not quite the right fit, they'll recommend you for another role that you'd be just right for. 

Another way voice actors are getting more work now is by diversifying what they can offer. Many are offering post production editing, for example. As an actor, you'll need knowledge of this to work in the field, so why not offer it as an extra service?

Many find that clients like it, as it saves them having to find an extra person to handle it. 

Start finding work

Now you've done all the above, so you just have to find some work. It can feel very intimidating to do so, but once you know where to look it's easier than you'd think.

Start finding work

Firstly, you need to understand what niche you'd be best in. There are people who work solely in radio and TV advertising, while others lend their voices to animation and video games.

These are some of the most commonly known niches, but there are plenty of others, too. 

For example, corporate training jobs are very common, as voice overs are needed on eLearning courses and other educational materials.

Businesses need voice over artists for more too, such as recording their telephone voicemail system, or to be a consistent voice over all their branded content. 

Also, consider audiobook narrating. There's a huge market for them, especially with markets like Audible making them readily available. This could be another niche that you could get involved with. 

Create a demo

A potential client needs to have an idea of who you are and what you can do. As such, a demo is highly helpful.

You can use this to show off who you are, and what you can do. It's worth creating different demos, depending on what you can do. For example, you can have one demo for narrating, and another for TV announcing, and so on. 

When creating demos, see if you can use work from past performances. Some clients will allow you to use samples, so it never hurts to ask. 

Learn to audition

Most of the time, you'll need to audition for parts. When looking for auditions, make sure that your skills match what the client is looking for. Ensure you're auditioning often, as this will help you start landing jobs and start making money as an artist.

Final words: the best advice on becoming a voiceover artist

There's a lot to do to get set up as a voiceover artist. You'll need to train, and have the right equipment to get started. Once you do though, you'll be able to start making a path into your chosen career. 

Work and train hard, and you'll be ready to start making money on your own terms. 

About the author 

Jenny Williams

Jenny Williams is a business analyst and careers writer for Essay Writing Service.

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