There is more to voice acting in video than having a great voice. This profession is considered an art form by many because it needs a serious amount of acting chops.
It can be tempting to think that voice acting in video only involves you acting silly in a recording booth. However, voice acting in video is a challenging profession. This job involves a talent performing voice overs to give life to a character or to provide information to an audience. Voice acting in video is a diverse industry. It’s so common you can hear and see it a couple of times a day whether it’s a commercial on TV, a dubbed foreign film, or games.
When you’re starting in the industry, it can be confusing to find out how to improve your skills and enter this highly lucrative niche. Some of the most successful voice actors know that it takes effort and constant training to develop their talent.
If you want a long career in this industry, making sure that your voice is in tip-top condition should be a priority. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about voice acting in video to help you maximize your potential.
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What Is Voice Acting in Video?
Professionals who do voice acting in video are called voice talents. Because this term covers a broad spectrum, not all voice acting in video is the same. There is a wide range of techniques, skills, and voice ranges that used depending on the intended format and its target audience. For instance, voicing a cartoon character is worlds apart from voicing a TV commercial.
The diversity of this industry is why many people who do voice acting in video choose their niche to build their reputation quicker. Through this, they can become more well-connected to different people and brands and have a fast learning curve when it comes to handling new jobs.
The Importance of Voice Acting in Video
Can you imagine your favorite movies without audio? If not, then you may already have a rough idea of how vital voice acting in video is. When you watch any movie, try to notice how full of emotion their voices are in every scene.
For example, in Lion King, James Earl Jones’ evil-like voice heightens every scene of Mufasa. This impression on the audience is the exact reason why the director asked him to reprise his role for the film’s latest version. Coincidentally, he also lent his voice to one of the most famous villains of all time, Darth Vader. It would be a shame if Darth Vader sounded like a K-pop idol, right?
Good voice acting allows you to get to know characters more. For example, Disney’s Mulan has a soft-spoken voice, which allows the audience to think that she is not as extroverted or humorous as Mushu. Her voice also suggests her intelligence and maturity.
Now think about your favorite video game in which your favorite villains and heroes talk just like real people. Modern video games often create a vibrant history and realistic storytelling. And these elements would be impossible to do with scratchy digitized noises that used to be the norm when voice acting in video first began.
Poor voice acting can negatively impact how people view characters. You may think most media use only visual mediums, but it also has important audio aspects. Telling the story to the audience through voice, whether it’s narration or an actor uttering his lines, can make or break a story.
Tips for Voice Acting in Video
It may be hard to imagine, but a lot of voice over work goes into all your favorite shows and movies. This central piece of storytelling is a great full-time career for anyone who has a good voice. So if you’ve gotten compliments on your voice impressions, you stand a chance at making this your career.
Now that you know what voice acting in video is and its importance, it’s time to learn the tricks of the trade to improve your craft.
Get a voice acting in video coach
Voice acting in video has been around for decades. Its importance multiplied a thousandfold after dialogue in film took the focus off of silent films popularized by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.
Part of the key steps you should undertake as a voice actor is to study and consider getting a coach. Having the ability to adapt to various roles can be a challenging feat for beginners. Without a coach’s assistance, you might not be able to carry out performances the right way.
Whether you want to do narration, video games, or animation, a coach will help you deliver the script with the right level of emotion and authenticity. These traits will help engage the audience more.
Seeking a coach will let you gain an advantage since they promise results despite the heavy price tag their lessons often come with. A coach’s job is to develop a specialized program for you and determine which area of the voice over industry you are best suited for. Then, they will develop your skills before you lay down a demo.
When getting a coach, choose a critical mentor. A coach that only tells you what you want to hear will not help you get far in your career. You need a guide that will help you improve and explain the harsh realities you may experience in the future. Through this, you can prepare your roadmap to success.
Find role models
Before you do voice acting in video, you need to have some role models. It is essential to study these peoples’ skills. Re-watch your favorite movies and try to see which roles you think you can do. Then, research the voice actor and examine which techniques they use. One of the great voice talents you can check out is Nancy Cartwright, a multi-awarded voice actress who does key characters in The Simpsons. She also took part in Kim Possible and the Rugrats movies.
Expand the voices you can do
When you audition for voice acting in video, you may be asked which voices you can do. It would be a shame if you can only do one voice well. If you haven’t developed this quality yet, don’t panic. Finding out about the different voices you can perform is fun. So make a mental note of all the characters you can pull off.
Can you do an impression of Marlon Brando’s voice in The Godfather? Maybe you can perfectly imitate Spongebob’s voice. Even if you’re in your mid-20s, you might be able to pull off an older person’s voice.
Directors and producers like creativity, so make sure you have this down pat before you enter the sound booth. After all, you will not have ample time to practice when you’re put on the spot. Voice actors can usually do an assortment of impressions of famous people, as well as popular characters. Since many great voice actors are no longer working, producers greatly value ones that can act as replacements.
Ace your auditions
There is no way you can get hired for voice acting in video if you don’t do well in your audition. Even if you highly experienced, you are still expected to audition for jobs and compete with other voice talents. Aside from having an awesome voice quality, you also have to prove that your working ethic is great.
Usually, there will be a script available for you to examine before the audition. Make sure you’ve read it. You also need to know the role, setting, and character so you can determine the voice required for it. This test will help you determine the right tone for the role you want. Finally, follow the instructions. Directors will usually tell you what to do, so try to follow as closely as you can.
Performing the words right
It can be quite challenging to pronounce some words if you are trying a new voice. As you clock in hours perfecting your work, you can master this skill. You will experience words that you are unfamiliar with from time to time. If you’re unsure of a word’s pronunciation, ask someone or look it up. This extra effort can either make or break your audition, especially if you get a product name wrong.
Even if you already pronounce words well in your daily interactions, you need to bump it up while voice acting in video. If people cannot understand what you are saying, then there is no point in hiring you. Be familiar with some of the most important elements of pronunciation, such as word stress and intonation. You may also review the script and look for cues. If a writer italicizes something, emphasize it well.
Build your clientele
When you start voice acting in video, chances are, you won’t immediately get hired by big studios. The road to success is quite uncertain, so make sure to maximize your potential by building a list of steady clients. This step can be done by marketing yourself correctly and making sure you build connections with the brands you’ve previously worked with. Even if you start taking low-paying jobs, do your best since this can open new doors for you in the future.
Never look down on any job you take. Even if you are just doing a single sentence in a bathroom cleaner commercial, it will give you valuable experience. When you start taking every opportunity to show your skill and talent, clients will start noticing you.
Take care of your voice
Just like singers, people who do voice acting in video should treat their voice as their bread and butter. Simply put, you cannot make a living using your voice without taking care of it. Try not to smoke, scream, or even drink too much coffee since it can damage your vocal cords in the long run.
A good voice talent makes sure they are warmed up and well-rested before an audition or recording session. Avoid letting your throat or mouth go dry before and after recording, and make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Neglecting your voice is similar to leaving your guitar out of its case and allowing it to get knocked down.
Maintain proper posture and breathing
You may be thinking: why do I need to stand and breathe properly when all that people hear is my voice? It turns out, standing up will make it easier for you to speak clearer and more consistently. When sitting or slouching, your breathing muscles become compressed, and your body will be short of air. Because of this, you cannot take deep breaths. Plus, your delivery will not be as smooth as you want it to be.
Don’t Forget to Be Confident While Voice Acting in Video
Do you think you’re ready to audition for voice acting in video roles? There’s just one last tip you need to master: always speak with confidence. Even if you are doing a shy character, make sure you commit to it fully and speak his or her lines with conviction. Having a clear and confident idea of the direction you want to take will separate you from the thousands of voice actors around the world. Once you remember the key points listed above, booking jobs will be a walk in the park.