Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Technology is the modern voice actor's friend. If you want to build a voice-over career, there are websites that can help you avoid agents and let you audition from your own home. You'll still need to develop your skills and acquire the equipment necessary for a productive career, but 21st century technology makes it easier than ever before.
Train Your Voice
Your own voice is your most important piece of equipment. If you're new to the voice-acting world, look around to see if there are classes or coaching in your area. Outside of class, practice speaking clearly and confidently. Learn to do this even with material you've never seen before. It's also important to learn voice care – straining or injuring your voice can hurt you and your career.
Set Up a Studio
You don't need a state-of-the-art production studio to work in voice-over. You do need good enough equipment to record, edit and submit a good audition. A computer with a microphone and a mixer may do the trick. It's important that the room you record in be as soundproof as possible – if you use a walk-in closet where the clothes muffle the sounds outside, the industry's not going to complain.
Have an Awesome Demo
A demo recording of you doing voice-over work is your CV and your business card combined. If you're applying for a voice-over job, you can send the potential customer your demo via the Internet. Ideally you have multiple demos for different types of gigs. For commercials, clients want to hear 60 to 90 seconds of voice work. If you're auditioning as an audiobook reader, five minutes of demo proves that you can stay in character over a longer stretch of time.
A demo has to be top quality, so you might want to pay for professional production.
Agents and Unions
With websites such as voices.com working to bring talent and employers together, you may be able to find work without a voice-over agent. If you work mostly in local voice-over gigs, you can also get by without joining the Screen Actors Guild, the union that covers voice actors.
For larger jobs such as films, national commercial campaigns and major video-game releases, you'll need SAG membership and an agent. But you can audition for the gigs without union membership, and then sign up if you're cast.
If a client likes your demo, they may invite you to audition. In the 21st century, you can download the audition script, record the audition at home, and then send the results to your client over the Internet. Prepare yourself for a life of constant auditions: Even successful voice pros may do many more auditions than actual jobs. But if enough jobs come your way, it's worth it.
- Voiceovers: Putting Your Mouth Where The Money Is; Chris Douthitt; 1997
A Durham, NC resident, Fraser has written about law, starting a business, balancing your budget and fighting evictions, among other legal and financial topics.