Voice actors have access to several supplementary instruction tools. These include private coaching classes, voice acting seminars, and finally, voice acting forums.
A voice acting forum is where voice over talents come to interact, share, banter, advice, and talk about all things voice over. They are professional and creative platforms where talents can thrive as a community.
But you can’t just join any voice acting forum. You need to vet it, make sure it fits your interests and the community can accommodate your needs.
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Before Joining a Voice Acting Forum
First things first; most voice acting forums are unregulated. And even if they are, it’s hard to completely regulate a platform that can be accessed by everyone from around the world. So before joining a voice acting forum, look around. This will save you a lot of time and stress.
Are you interested in the topics discussed in the forum?
Take a look at the kind language the community uses when posting and commenting. Is it official or casual language, and more importantly, does it work for you? Scroll through older threads just to see if anything piques your interest.
Also, check on the amount of activity in the forum – the more active the better.
And speaking of activity, don’t join voice acting forums just to be silent. Ask questions, comment, reply, and react. The more activity you have, the more you establish yourself as an authority.
A good voice actor will play an active role in the voice acting forum they sign up for.
Sure, these forums are a great source of information, but it’s much more fun when you participate.
You might even make a new friend between the banter. But the real treasure is that you can use voice acting forums as a way to build your expertise.
Answering people’s questions about the voice acting industry is how you become an expert. Do you have a useful tip you picked up along the way? Share it with the community, and then keep sharing and soon, they will be coming to you with the questions.
Importance of Voice Acting Forums
Voice acting forums exist so users can talk about trends that are currently in the game – whether they’re working, whether they’re not working, what they enjoy or dislike, what they would like to see in future, and what they would like to see less of. Voice actors also share tips and advice and help each other grow.
Source for information (from experts)
Forums are especially important for actors who are just getting started in the industry. Voice acting forums and clubs are there to act as a guide.
A lot of talents actually start their careers from home, only interacting with clients and trainers once in a while. These talents rely on forums to learn how the voice acting industry works.
Forums are excellent sources of relevant information you need that you just wouldn’t find elsewhere. Besides, you get insight from real and experienced voice actors.
Seek Assistance and Support
An online voice acting forum is a space where you can ask your community for help. If everyone posts questions and answers, over time it creates a network amongst colleagues that actively supports each other. Even better, as forum posts are generally archived, you can refer back to previous answers given to common issues to do with your project.
Build your Online Network
A voice acting forum doesn’t have to be a standalone entity. It can also form a key part of your existing or new online network. Apart from being a place where you can meet your peers, these forums also connect clients to voice actors. Forums create a great way for voice over talents and stakeholders to connect over shared experiences.
Other online platforms will have you searching through a lot of information to find something specific. In a voice acting forum, you can simply ask a question and everyone’s response will be in a clear and in chronological order. Another advantage is that the key points raised in the discussion can be pinned to the top so no one misses out.
Working together helps bring out the creative side of voice actors as they harness their collective ideas and skills.
This helps the newbies build confidence in their skills, and they get to have a little fun while at it.
Aspiring voice actors can chat with each other about recording equipment, vocal technique and even job opportunities. They get to share their own experiences as they continue learning at their own pace. Voice actors with more experience can give insight to aspiring talents.
These forums provide a different kind of gratification not found in traditional media, and individuals may find it superior compared to face to face communication.
One more thing…
We all know voice acting can be lonely. You sit in the booth for hours and depending on the size of the project, this can go on for weeks.
But you are not alone.
A voice acting forum is a great way to keep your mental health in shape as it allows for social as well as professional interaction. You can vent about a bad client, or celebrate little milestones with your peers.
Characteristics of a Good Voice Acting Forum
When in Rome, do what the voice actors do? When you join a voice acting forum, you’ll find a set of rules and its only right that you stick to them (unless they make absolutely no sense.)
The guidelines and any other relevant information should be posted on the main page of the forum. This includes FAQs (frequently asked questions) which will explain what the forum is for and what type of posts are allowed.
It should also include a link to register for an account. Most voice acting forums will allow you to read the messages, but won’t allow you to post your own or reply until you have registered.
The main page should also have a list of the different threads available within the forum. This way, users can find discussions related to what they want to read or talk about.
Good Forum Etiquette
This is also referred to as netiquette.
Netiquette acts as guidelines of what should be discussed in a voice acting forum so as to maintain civility in the discussions. However, most members on are not aware of what constitutes netiquette and may get banned as a result.
Good etiquette in a voice acting forum involves:
1. Staying on topic
It is important to read the main heading of a particular discussion and keep your post related to that topic.
2. Do not advertise
Unless that voice acting forum/ thread is specifically for advertising purposes, do not try selling your material.
And neither should you post affiliate links. Be civil.
3. Do not be a troll
Trolls are users who will find archived messages and reply so as to get users worked up again. Don’t be that person.
4. Do not double post
If you make a post and no one replies, leave it that. Reposting the same message or a slightly edited version may earn you a warning from the moderator.
5. Search before posting
Before asking a question, make sure the question hasn’t been asked and answered before. Use the forum search option and type in different keywords related to your query before you proceed to ask it.
This also applies to searching the meaning of acronyms. If everyone asked a forum member the meaning of every unfamiliar word they came across, the forum would be filled with a lot of basic questions and answers and not lively discussions.
Struggling to Get Feedback?
If you want people to respond to your queries you need to be an active participant in forum discussions.
But do so only when you have something valuable to add.
The more you become known on a forum as someone who gives thoughtful feedback and advice and adds to discussions, the more you will get valuable responses to your questions.
Also, when asking questions make, be clear and give enough detail for people to assist you. Don’t frame your questions in a general and shallow way.
Instead of asking ‘how do I get into voice acting?’ you can ask ‘what skills do I need to become a voice actor, particularly for automotive commercials?’ Be specific with the answers you want and you may even find other users with similar questions.
It is also important to respond to users who give you advice even though the advice does not entirely solve your queries. A simple ‘thanks’ goes a long way.
Post often and do it in the most active hours. This way, you can get consistent engagement with your posts especially if you want to use the forum to build your network.
What not to do in a voice acting forum
Here are a few obvious (and not so obvious) mistakes that new forum users tend to make.
Using the wrong categories
Voice acting forums use categories to organize topics of conversation. If your posts are going unnoticed, it might be because you’re not choosing the right category or not selecting a category at all.
Make sure all your posts are not just there to drive traffic to your personal website. Any information you add to the forum should be useful to other users.
Stay on topic. Changing the initial topic of a thread and taking it into a different direction is rude.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Joining a voice acting forum is a great way to engage with your peers as well as grow your skills.
Be open to learning something, and be open to sharing what you know as well.