How to Get Into Voice Acting

Things You'll Need

  • Tape recorder
  • Demo tape

Voice actors might not receive the accolades of film and TV actors, but they are just as powerful in their own right. Using your voice to display emotions so that listeners can visualize scenes is a real talent. Voice actors are necessary to bring alive the characters in audio books, cartoon characters, radio shows and other venues. Becoming a voice actor takes a certain amount of luck, tenacity and persistence to hone your craft.

Record your voice while reading books aloud. Listen to the recording and note where you can make changes that reflect the actions of the character. Make a demo tape to send to agents.

Enlist the help of an agent; he will guide you to know where the auditions are and help you get your foot in the door. Acting agents can open doors for you in the world of voice acting that you would not know about on your own. Many casting directors will not allow you the chance to audition if you do not have an agent. Contact the actor’s unions, such as SAG and AFTRA, to get the names of agents.

Enroll in acting lessons. You may not feel as if this is unnecessary, but it is an effective way to learn to throw your voice, disguise it and to evoke emotions with your tone of voice and technique.

Listen to professional voice actors in cartoons and audio books, anime features and other examples. This will help you to learn what distinguishes the voice for listeners.

Practice daily to be able to mimic the sounds and nuances in different types of speech. It sometimes takes years of practice to mimic certain cartoon characters or to train your voice to have the nuances required to reflect a disgruntled employee, a skittish giraffe or other characters.

Relocate to a location where voice-acting jobs are plentiful, such as Los Angeles or New York, if you want a full-time career as a voice actor. If it is something you want to do occasionally or as part-time work, then you will be able to find smaller jobs near other cities. When a casting director decides that she wants you to read for a part, it is typically within a few hours or the next day, not when it is convenient for you to fly into the area.

Train with a professional, he will be able to teach you about the different types of voice acting. For instance, sometimes a soft, menacing voice can be more inhibiting to someone than a loud shout of anger.

Speak with your entire body during the reading. Sometimes a raised eyebrow, a sneer on your lips or squinted eyes can inflect changes in your voice, according to The Unofficial Disney Animation Archive website.

Practice saying the lines of the character alone and with the help of other people reading the lines of other characters. Often, each individual character is recorded alone and then injected in the film or recording by a sound engineer. Other times, the film already exists and you have to fill in the sound matching your lines to animated characters mouth movements.