Ask any professional, and they’ll tell you that the voice acting industry features incredible opportunity and is growing rapidly. If standing out in this industry is your priority, you may want to enroll in voice acting schools.
Whether you are a newbie in the industry or a veteran looking for ways to improve your versatility, attending training sessions and classes is crucial. A lot of people who want to enter the field already have a background in acting, so if you are still inexperienced, you may first start with acting classes. Voice acting schools provide you the skills you need to succeed in the voice acting industry.
Although you don’t need a diploma to become a voice actor, getting a coach or attending voice acting schools is a standard route that many professionals take.
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This post has been updated in October 2021.
What Are Voice Acting Schools?
Voice acting is considered an art form. You hear voice acting when you play video games or watch movies. Many voice acting talents who lend their voice to movies and other forms of emerging media attend schools to maximize their potential.
Voice acting is challenging. Just because you can do a spot-on impersonation of Elvis Presley does not mean you can become a voice actor. There are many essential techniques you can learn from voice acting schools before you become a sought-after artist.
Voice over schools are dedicated to teaching individuals how the voice over industry works through the help of coaches and other established professionals in the field. The courses let you discover what you can do with your voice and how to get your creative juices flowing. Whether you want to take on radio dramas, animated film dubbing, or hosting, voice acting schools will bring out the best in your voice.
Should You Attend Private or Group Acting Schools?
Many schools offer both private and group sessions. Your choice depends on what you need. For example, a private class will allow the teacher to focus more on improving your weaknesses and giving you microphone time. On the other hand, group sessions are amazing for budding professionals who want to listen to other voice actors and improve their confidence to perform in front of an audience. You can either choose one of these options or mix it up.
Do You Need to Attend Voice Acting Schools?
If you’re an emerging voice actor, it can be confusing to decide whether or not you should attend voice acting schools. First of all, this means you need to shell out money and time. Second, there have been thousands of accomplished professionals who did not have proper training.
For many voice actors, attending voice acting schools is out of the question because of the lack of finances. Not only that but going to classes also means they won’t be able to submit audition demos since their time will be taken up by the course. For some professionals, they just could not take the idea of being performing and being coached in front of other people.
Let’s look at it this way: Can a person talk tell you what drugs to take when you are sick despite not going to medical school? Can a person talk about legal matters without being an attorney? The answer is yes. Traditional voice over actors have been doing their job using techniques they did not learn from school, but actual experience.
However, you should also ask yourself whether or not you are prepared to learn on the job. Since competition is very tough and the industry demands impeccable skills to convey scripts, you have to come prepared. The voice actors from decades ago did not face the same level of competition today. Now, the market demands strong acting chops for any job.
What to Do Before Attending Voice Acting Schools
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and go to voice acting schools. Before your classes start, here are the things you should do.
You need money to get into voice acting schools. This investment is the price you have to pay for all the things you will learn. Save as much money as you can to cover the fees of your education. You should also have extra cash to finance your audio recording equipment, computer, and other things for your home studio.
While the upfront cost may be expensive, it should be considered as an investment. If you cannot afford to go to voice acting schools, there are tons of free online resources available for you. You may even ask voice acting schools near you for volunteering or apprenticeship opportunities to get discounts.
Before you start your schooling, you need to have ample knowledge about the industry. Buying your own books or simply borrowing from a library works just fine. Get books that are centered on acting, business, and audio recording, among other topics. This way, you can broaden your knowledge not only in the field of voice acting but also in entrepreneurship. After all, voice acting is a business, and the product is your voice.
Listen to podcasts and watch videos
If you want to save money, try listening to voice acting podcasts. There are tons of free podcasts that will teach you the basics of voice acting. You may also check out episodes of someone performing voice over acting. Listening to these resources is an awesome way of observing effective vocal techniques and traits, as well as the various voice types you can practice.
Not only that, but you will also learn how each voice can have a unique purpose in the industry. For example, if you can perform a kid’s voice, you may do well in the animated film niche. Aside from podcasts, you may also search for videos online. Watching professionals in action will both educate and inspire you.
Join a community
If you’re still starting out in the industry, you need all the help you can get. As early as you can, try to widen your network through joining online groups and voice acting clubs near you. There are also thousands of voice over forums you can participate online. Becoming part of a community is a unique way to get your name out there and train yourself on how to deal with different types of people.
Exercise your voice
If you really want to become a successful voice actor, you have to practice as often as you can. For instance, you may read newspaper articles and radio dramas scripts out loud. Also, try to interpret it in different ways.
The materials and scripts you can find will allow you to get used to reading and performing. Soon, you won’t be embarrassed to perform in front of your class. While practicing, you can also record yourself and then listen to it afterward. Determine what you like about your voice and the things you need to change. This step is the perfect time to experiment, so don’t be scared to go outside the box.
Study additional resources
As mentioned above, voice acting is still a business, so you still have to educate yourself about marketing, sales, management, and accounting. Thanks to the internet, there is no shortage of additional resources, for example, with StuDocu you can check out if you’re really driven to excel in the voice acting industry. Through studying in advance, your professors may notice your talent and drive to learn. Then, they can refer you to clients.
Although you don’t have to be an expert in all technical and business areas, having a basic understanding will aid you in understanding all aspects of your career. When you become successful, perhaps you can delegate other tasks to people, but until then, you need to work on your own.
What Will You Learn in Voice Acting Schools?
Here are some of the most important things you will learn in voice acting schools.
Whether you have a hundred-dollar microphone or a $20 mic you bought from Craigslist, the quality of your work widely depends on your microphone techniques. These skills involve your relationship to the mic and include the angle, mic, and voice level, as well as proximity. These elements are important and are also dependent on your setup and environment.
Interpreting the script
When you are a voice actor, you can’t use your facial expressions to amplify the feelings in the script since only your voice can be heard.
The first step to interpreting a script well is breaking it down. Determine the overall story and motivation of your character so you can understand the scenes more objectively. When you examine the screenplay, it will let you in on the unwritten facts about your character, which will ultimately become the determining factor in how you perform the script.
Enunciation and articulation
Even if you have the deepest voice in the world, it won’t mean a thing if people cannot understand what you are saying. A good voice actor knows how to properly enunciate and articulate words to convey information effectively.
Voice acting schools will teach students valuable exercises and tricks to ensure that their sound is produced clearly, such as opening the mouth wide, pronouncing consonants well and differentiating vowels, knowing which sound to exaggerate, speaking with inflection, and using the muscles in the stomach to sustain your breath when you speak.
One of the most critical aspects of your success in the industry is marketing. When you market yourself well, you can expand your roster of clients, and many people will look to you for their needs. As a professional, you have to do business to business or B2B marketing. This strategy is entirely different from how brands market themselves to their consumers.
To start, you need a website to showcase yourself. Having a professional online presence will impress casting directors interested in hiring you. This step is also a remarkable way to establish your personal brand and have all your information on one page.
Facial and vocal exercises
You have to warm up your voice before any practice or recording session. If you skip this important step, your voice will not sound full and may even break. Facial and vocal exercises will enable you to have total control of your vocal cords to easily command attention and power. Some popular facial and vocal exercises you need to do are face massages, humming, jumping to improve circulation, neck rolls, and trills.
In some cases, you are given the freedom to edit your own script if a phrase or sentence sounds awkward. Scriptwriting and editing are entirely different jobs on their own, but you have to figure out readability problems in the script on your own.
When reviewing a script, use visuals cues such as commas and periods to detect pauses and the end of the sentence. You may also edit the words that need to be emphasized through italicizing, bolding, or underlining it. Once you learn to divide your script into independent units, your final audio file will turn out amazing.
Are You Keen On Attending Voice Acting Schools?
Voice acting is everywhere. You hear it on the radio, shopping centers, local cinemas, websites, and audiobooks. Before deciding whether or not you want to attend voice acting schools, you first have to nurture your love for the job. When you finally enroll to voice acting schools, make sure that you are not letting this priceless experience pass by without taking note of important learnings.
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