Choosing a young voice actor is an essential piece of your project. Whether you are creating a commercial, a film, an audiobook, or any other type of audio project, your actor is key to the success of the piece. For some pieces, a teenage voice is the perfect fit. A teenage voice can bring a youthful appeal while connecting with the audience. If you have a teenage character in your piece, you definitely need a young voice to create authenticity and a believable piece. The good news is that there are plenty of teenage voice actors to choose from. Choosing one is essentially no different then hiring another type of voice actor. In fact, you are already a step ahead by narrowing down your voice to a teen voice.
But if you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:
When is a Teenage Voice Ideal?
As you create your script for an audio piece, you should have your audience in mind. This goes for any type of audio or video work, from documentaries to audiobooks to corporate voice over to educational material to film and more. Just as a film writer has an idea of who should be playing each part in the film, you should have that same idea for the voice actors who will voice your piece. Sometimes a teenage voice is the ideal voice. This can go far beyond the teenage character in an animated film.
If your target audience is teenagers, a teen voice can be optimal. That teenage voice provides a youthful authenticity hat is easy for the audience to connect to. According to an article on TeenLife.com, we learn that voice over is great to try when you’re young. There’s definitely a demand for authentic teenage voices. As teenagers are working at finding their own place in the acting world, many are trying out voice acting to hone their skills. There is a lot of talent out there in this age range.
Here are some scenarios when the voice in your project should be a teenager:
- Audio books. If your book has a teenage character, look for a teenage voice actor. You want to stay true to the story and have a teenager voice the teenage characters. Even things like inflection and tone will be authentic to captivate your audience.
- Video games. One look at CastingCallClub and you can see all the demand for teens and young adults in voice overs for video games. Many of the characters are young, and even if they are ageless, they have a youthful flair. They should have a youthful voice to match.
- Commercials. Think about an acne commercial. Who better to connect with teens than a teen. An ad for tampons is another great example, or deodorant or soft drinks. Any business with a product whose target audience consists of teenagers should consider using teens in their marketing strategies.
- Educational pieces. Sometimes the best way to connect with a younger audience is with young speakers. Teenage voice overs can provide the magic of connection when it comes to educational pieces.
Look no further, with Bunny Studio you can find the perfect teenage voice over for your company. Quote instantly.
What Effect Does a Teenager’s Voice Convey?
Teenagers seem to have their own dialect. It changes for each generation and no one can emulate that dialect and intonation better than an actual teenager. A teenage voice actor can connect to the teens in the audience, as well as provide an energy and honesty that appeals to other age groups, too.
A teen’s voice can also grab those parents who are listening. It can help them to understand their own teens better. For instance, imagine a teenager complains about acne to his parents. The parent hears, but may not remember what a big deal acne is to a teenager. When that same parent hears a teenage voice on the radio sharing her feelings about her own acne, that parent may understand her child better. So not only can teens relate to this voice over, but so can their parents. With an honest, upfront, and genuine tone, a teenager’s voice may be just the thing you need to solidify your work.
What to Look For When Hiring a Teenage Voice Actor
Just as when you are hiring any voice actor, there are certain steps you can follow when hiring a teenage voice actor. You’ve already done a little bit by narrowing down the age range. And that little bit is actually a lot. Knowing a specific age group will help filter out a lot of actors so you can find the best one to fit your needs.
How to Make a Good Voice Actor Hire has some great tips to help in your search. First, beyond the age range, make a complete job description of what you will need from your voice actor based on your goals for your project. You’ll want that teen to be talented in whatever genre your piece falls into. If you are recording an audio book with a teen voice, look for a teen with experience here. Each project has different demands.
It’s also important to be able to share all the details of the project with the actor. This is especially valid when working with a teen who may be juggling school or other commitments as well. An adult may be able to devote full time to this, whereas a teen probably has other obligations. From the same article, here are some things to share with your client:
- The estimated duration of the project
- The length of the script he or she will be recording
- Approximately how many hours per week the voice actor will be expected to work
- The genre under which your project falls
- Any specialized talent they must possess to complete the job successfully (accents, singing, or impressions, for example)
- Your proposed payment, either hourly or for the whole project
- Any deadlines your voice actor must meet
- Any more details you can think of to include
All of these details will help your hiring process go smoother. But even more than that, it will help your actor be on the same page with you about these details.
What Happens When Teen Voices Change and Mature
That’s a big question when people are looking to hire teenagers for voice work. What if their voices change in the middle of a project? Depending on the length of the project, that is a real possibility. But it’s not necessarily a negative thing. Look at this from BackStage.com,
Change and growth are a good thing! Gradual vocal maturity is an asset to the voice actor. For example, Melissa Altro voiced the title character of Muffy for 16 years, starting at age 12. Her natural voice changed over time, but so did her vocal control as she matured as an actor.
That vocal control and maturity are huge. As an actor grows, her voice may change (his, too, of course), but that vocal control will add to the talent they already have. Also, sometimes the character is growing at the same time, and a teenage voice crack may actually not be out of place.
Sure, some people would rather an adult with a young voice play the roles of teens in voice acting, and that is okay, too. Again, the more you know what you want going in, the easier it will be to find that actor.
Adults Voicing Teens
Plenty of adult actors play the voices of teens in voice over projects. After all, this is voice acting, and a big part of the job is taking on roles. If you choose to go this route, your actor could have that control and finesse you may be seeking. However, make sure he or she still has the authenticity of a teenager. You may have more experienced talent with an adult, but you could possibly lose a little of that credibility. Remember, teens have that little bit of awkwardness and fresh tone that you don’t want to lose. This makes them endearing, after all.
An Agency or a Freelance Actor for a Teenage Voice Over
This is always a question when it comes to hiring voice actors. Should you go through an agency or voice service, or should you find a freelancer on your own? When working with teens, it may be a little more important to work with an agency. Because teens may have their parents involved, and they are, well, minors, it can get complicated. An agency can help with some of the finer details.
Agencies can also assist you in finding just the right voice actor. They can narrow actors down from a large pool and help save you time and effort. They also have payment set so you don’t have to worry about negotiations. Reputable agencies can save you a lot of headaches with the details. This way you can focus on the parts you do best.
Sometimes whether to go through a voice agency or directly to the actor depends on things like the length of the project. If it’s a one and done type of project, it may be fine to hire directly. However, if you’re looking at a long term, multiple session piece, an agency may be your best bet.
Another pro to go with a voice agency is that you can find almost price to fit your budget. Sure, the guys with more experience may cost more, but you can also find lesser-known talent that could do an amazing job. You have a lot of options and help in narrowing these options by working with an agency.
The Bottom Line
We know that the voice itself is the star of your audio piece or video voice over. Even if everything else is spot on, the wrong voice (even if it’s a good voice) can ruin your hard work. Sometimes a teenager voice over is the perfect fit. If you think it is, don’t be afraid to find a talented teen to work your voice over. With that youthful, honest, maybe a little awkward voice, a teen may be able to capture the target audience you want easier than an older voice who may have trouble connecting with the audience. And the connection is what you’re looking for, after all.