Part 2: VOICE FOUND!
Mission accomplished. You have been doing your research in VO and have finally found where you want your voice to be. How you fit in to the world of VO is very important so you should be proud that you've figured out what you like! SO now that you have gotten this far...
Let's get to work.
It's very hard to get started if you don't know where you want to end up. That is why I try to stress the importance of researching before you really start working on VO work. Don't immediately start submitting to agents, sending out the first thing you record because someone once told you "you have a cool voice". The voice acting world has many pieces to the puzzle.. your piece may not fit in some areas but it will fit perfectly if put in the right section. Still now, I am figuring out where my voice best suites the industry, it has taken a lot of time and research to figure out where to start. Not to mention enormous amounts of help and feedback to get where I am. It is now time for you to do exactly that. Start getting to work.
"The secret to getting ahead... is starting"
Sure... you could go spend all your money on recording equipment that you don't know anything about and start auditioning for projects without understanding how.... but that will be a waste of your time. I don't care how many tv shows, movies, or theatre shows you've done, how long you have been in the industry, or how many degrees you have in acting... none of that matters if you don't know how to perform behind a microphone. You need some professional training in VO on top of everything else. Wherever you are there is a way to do this. The internet of things is an incredible resource... google search voice acting classes in your area... find private voice acting coaches and research them. You need to learn how to audition, and proper microphone etiquette. Learning how to use the mic is another skill you need practice to do effectively. Breathing, articulation, plosives, natural pauses, sounding natural, not peaking, not talking too quiet, lip smacks, and the list keeps going on. You have things about your voice you didn't know existed, also if you haven't heard yourself on a high quality microphone played back.. you may want to.... it sounds a bit different. Go. Get. VO Training.
Also, as you grow don't be afraid to share and ask for advice. Join community forums or even read for your actor friends by forming a workout group. Odds are if you are already considering doing this career you will know where you should go to gain feedback. Don't jump right in to buying into a VO service either before you know what you are doing.. take this time to grow.
- Practice. Every day.
Keeping up with your knowledge by reading, watching, and listening to all things VO is very important but you also need to do it yourself. You don't need a microphone to start practicing, although very helpful... it isn't necessary. Side note... before you go out and buy some random microphone do some research... (I will be posting soon about microphones). You can practice with your phones microphone by opening up a recording app and reading aloud any/everything. Start by either creating your own copy or finding some VO copy online. Voice123 has a script bank you can check out, also edgestudio has free scripts to read. Go find these and start practicing. Take the script, read it aloud. Try messing with the way you say the lines, the pacing, the tone, the feeling, why not emphasize a different word or syllable... read it like your dad would, like that crazy cartoon character you love would, or like you're talking to your best friend. Practice.. Always.
- Find your heroes.
Along with everything else your balancing right now there's always more research. You have already figured out where it is you want to end up... you are also practicing reading copy out loud as well. Now you need to figure out who has been doing it longer and is much better then you, that you look up to. Time to find the people you want to be like! Your heroes. Follow them on twitter, instagram, and facebook... find their blogs.. figure out what they are all about. Here are some helpful websites to help you discover more about your favorite artists and actors.
Use this site with caution. There are many reports of shady practices coming from voices.com. However, you can use this site to look up actors demo's. These can give you a good idea of what is out there similar to you. If you DO decide to work through voices... be proactive in communication with your clients in an attempt to educate them about the VO world. Grow a relationship and work outside of these pay to play sites if you can. YOU DO YOU. If you want to go on these sites do it!! Just use caution.
Again, an incredible resource. This site will break down everything you possible need to know about your voice over heroes. It also list's everything they have done including movies, games, shorts, rides, advertisements, narrations and more.
This site is very important for any actor in general. It is a basic listing of every actor not just voice actors. So if you don't like the layout of behind the voice actors... check out IMDB. It will list everything you want to know.
Every voice actor should check this site out but particularly ones who are interested in Commercial. This is a site where you can go watch commercials online. Very important to watch and listen how things are done in the professional world.
Research, Research, Research!!
Also don't forget the obvious sources to find your heroes. Youtube, netflix, hulu, funimation, or just your regular TV/Movies and radio. Give yourself permission to sit down and watch a few cartoons, movies, or tv shows but watch them with a new perspective. The one of a voice actor. Take the time to really look into what you love. If you are following on this journey, enjoy the time where you are learning. Remember everyone is an beginner before they know what they are doing... enjoy that time and use it!
Feeling as if you are in a good place? Great! Keep researching, but also now is the time to start thinking of the biggest selling point, and arguably most important tool for a voice actor.
Head here for Part 3!!
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My name is Andrew, I am an Actor | Voice Actor | Singer based out of Burbank, CA. To contact me click here. You can also email me at email@example.com