The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, Bojack Horseman; what do these shows have in common? For a start, they are some of the hottest animated TV shows today, but there’s more. The voices behind these shows are the big reason behind their success.

Most people grow up on cartoons and animated shows. Over time, they eventually come to love the voices behind their favorite characters. Some of the best-animated films from Lion King, Toy Story, the Incredible, Frozen, Despicable Me to Finding Nemo have boosted voice acting in Hollywood. If you have an interest in voice acting, your interest likely stemmed from these voice-acted shows.

Voice acting has been an integral part of the film industries. It has played an essential role in the success of animated films and TV shows.

Voice actors are now in high demand, and their roles have become more prominent. For instance, ‘Incredibles 2, the most successful animated film in the North American box grossed $608.58 million. The range of work for voice actors has also expanded from entertainment to other industries.

If you have an interest in voice acting, this is the time to start honing your skills. This guide delves into voice acting training and also offers tips on getting started.

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This post has been updated in October 2021.

What is Voice Acting?

Voice acting is the art of doing voice overs. As a voice actor, your voice is your most valuable asset. You will use it in professional productions: from films, cartoon shows video gaming to commercials. As a trained voice actor, you can specialize in:

  • Voice over announcing: These professionals work in radio and live television or radio broadcasts to announce segments and other announcements.
  • Voice acting: If you want to specialize in video games, foreign language dubbing, animated films, and cartoons, you’ll carry the title of a voice actor.
  • Voice-over narration: Narrators work in educational videos, documentaries, audiobooks, explainer videos, business videos, and other areas. Their work is to give life to a script and pass a message.

Brief History Voice Acting

Walt Disney created the first voice over in entertainment for its iconic Mickey Mouse in 1928. This was for “Steamboat Willie. However, it is Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian inventor, who takes credit for bringing the idea of voice overs into the world when reporting the weather.

With time, voice-over acting developed as more productions of cartoons and animated shows went on air.  Mel Blanc, a radio personality and comedian, played a significant role in this development and was known as “The Man of 1000 Voices.”

In 1962, Don LaFontaine recorded a voice over for a movie trailer and was later to become the most influential and prolific voice-over artist in history.

Other influential voice actors in the industry today include Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons), Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy), Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants), Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons), Charlie Adler Actor  (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Billy West (Futurama), Trey Parker (South Park) among others.

voice acting training for voice overs

The growth of the voice acting industry has seen big names play roles in animated film and TV shows. They include Jenifer Lopez (Ice Age), Rihanna (Home), Miley Cyrus (Bolt), Shakira (Zootopia), Beyonce (Epic), and many others.

Others are Hollywood stars who have voiced characters in animations and cartoons including Angelina Jolie (Kung Fu Panda, Shark Tale, and Beowulf.), Mila Kunis (Family Guy), Cameron Diaz (Shrek), Brad Pitt (Megamind), Johnny Depp (Rango), Lucy Liu (Rango), George Clooney (Fantastic Mr Fox) and Eddie Murphy, (Shrek).

While these names are primarily known to the public, most great voice actors work in the shadows.

Why You Need Voice Acting Training

Many successful voice actors in history have no professional training. However, this is not the ideal path for everyone. Some Hollywood stars have made a name in voice acting based on their success in movies. Without such a background, voice acting training will be a crucial step in your journey to progress in your acting career.

1. Demand for Authenticity

Today, employers want organic, authentic, and empathetic voice performances. There’s a shift away from salesmanship and towards authenticity in voice acting.

Employers in the industry now find it easier to work with trained voice actors who can easily understand their roles and convey the required emotions. The voice acting industry today demands actors to convey authenticity, which requires some form of training.

From video games to commercials, the consumers also demand authenticity in voice acting. Gamers want the best voices for their characters. Shoppers are even turned off by salesmanship in ads.  Through voice acting training, it is easier to develop that authentic touch in your performances.

2. Honing Acting Skills

To appreciate the need for voice acting training, you have to consider this is an art just like stage acting, TV acting, and movie acting. Some of the most successful movie and stage actors had to go through training programs before making it big. Voice acting is, therefore, a skill you need to learn and refine over a long time.

If two people get the same voice acting script, a trained voice actor will fare better at interpreting the text and rendering a vocal performance.

Some essential voice-over skills you need to start training include:

  1. Clarity
  2. Consistency
  3. Confidence
  4. Control
  5. Characterization
  6. Conversational tone
  7. Cold reading skills
  8. Authenticity

3. Standing Out From The Crowd

In today’s highly competitive industry, you have big Hollywood names competing for voice acting roles. The high levels of competition and the globalization of the entertainment industry is making it even more important to have the right training.

4. Developing Versatility

You might have a unique character voice, but if you can’t use it across a wide range of human emotions, you will end up missing out on jobs. You need voice acting training to effectively use your voice in a field of human emotions, on cue. Versatility is one of the most critical skills you learn in practice.

5. Comprehensive Voice Acting Training

In the beginning, it might seem like voice acting training is an unnecessary and costly detour in your voice acting career. However, most actors soon discover that this is the most crucial step in their career. Voice over training focuses on marketing training. As a beginner, you might have the most fabulous character voice and a beautiful profile. But without proper marketing, there is a high chance that no work will come your way.

The training programs tend to be both eye-opening and thrilling.

Voice training experts will take you on an exciting journey involving:

  1. Practical techniques
  2. confidence building
  3. Voice over demo recording
  4. Building your clients’ list
  5. breathing techniques
  6. dialogue techniques
  7. Improvisation skills
  8. Voice acting business
  9. Accent training
  10. How to grow your brand.
  11. Different acting techniques
  12. Voice acting casting preparations

These are some of the skills you learn when working with a voice-over coach. Some of these trainers have been in the industry for decades. Hence, they will offer you more than in-studio or online training. During voice training, you’ll get acquainted with the latest voice recording technology when making your demos. You can also enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime conversation with industry gurus to guide you on how to grow.

The best voice acting programs have a characteristic of investing heavily in the latest studio technology. They will thus give you a head start over other beginners joining the industry.

Getting started in Voice Acting Training

Now that you appreciate the importance of voice over acting, here are some training options you can use:

1. In-Studio Voice Over Training

This is the most common training option for voice actors. It involves working with an experienced voice acting coach. Trainees also work in a professional setting with cutting-edge studio equipment. The main advantage of a voice acting trainer is the provision of instant feedback on your performance. Such scenarios will aid in your acting development.

A voice acting coach, in addition, has experience working with different types of actors: they can quickly pinpoint talent. These professionals will identify both your strengths and weaknesses and ultimately guide you through the process of growth. They also have contacts in the industry and can connect you with internships and other career opportunities.

2. Online/Remote Voice Acting Training

The advent of internet advancement has revolutionized many industries. In voice acting, many aspiring actors can now access professional training through online programs. Remote training has become affordable, convenient, and flexible.

You can work with professional voice coaches through Skype, tele-training, YouTube videos, and webinars.  The internet is allowing easy sharing of learning materials, interactive sessions between the voice coach and trainees, plus quick feedback on your progress.

Remote training for voice actors is a godsend for aspiring voice actors who want to improve their performances. You can create a flexible schedule with your voice coach to find a perfect balance between life and training.

3. Voice Acting Seminars

are you an aspiring voice actor? If so, you should always look out for voice acting seminars and any other related events to build your profile. It is also a smart idea to network with industry professionals and also grow your skills.

Professionals in the industry tend to share their experiences during these events, identify trends in the industry, and advise beginners on how to grow. You’ll learn the best strategies to improve your brands, new technologies in the industry, and much more.

voice acting training for voice actors

Opportunities for Trained Voice Actors

Voice acting is a fast-growing industry with the demand for voice actors expected to go up. A 2018 survey that covered the period from 2015 showed a 900% increase in the number of voice-overs. There are opportunities for trained voice actors in different areas, including:

  • Voice over films
  • Voice acting for animation shorts or films
  • Commercials
  • Toys and games
  • Vehicle and transportation
  • Documentaries
  • TV shows
  • Movie Trailers
  • Training/e-learning
  • Radio or audio dramas
  • Video games
  • Audiobooks
  • Live events
  • Awards shows
  • A phone message and IVR
  • Dubbed foreign voice over language films
  • Promos
  • Voice over podcasts

With the growth of digital media, the voice acting industry is continuously evolving. This means many other roles continue emerging hence the positive outlook for the industry. If you always had dreams of working as a voice actor, there’s no better time to join the industry.

Choosing the Right Voice acting Training Program

The high demand for trained voice actors has seen a proliferation of voice acting trainers. Hence, it is challenging to identify the best training program.

Listed below are some crucial factors to include in your checklist:

  1. The experience of the voice coaches in a training program
  2. Recognition and reputation of the voice acting training package
  3. Availability of training resources, including learning materials, the latest technology, recording hardware, and software.
  4. Opportunities for networking in the industry
  5. Flexibility in the training program
  6. A program that is up-to-date with the latest trends in voice acting

Final Thoughts

The best path to a successful voice acting career is through voice acting training. Working with a voice-acting coach opens your eyes to new techniques of acting, the latest trends in the industry. It will also help you get started in this industry. Such training gives you an edge over the competition in the job market and offers skills you need to grow your brand. As the competition in voice acting increases, your training will become an invaluable asset to help you grow as a professional voice actor.

Find the best voice actor for your needs today at Bunny Studio!