Becoming a voice actor or voice artist as a beginner can seem daunting. But with the right knowledge, you can break into the world of voice acting.
While practice can help you stand out, there are other key steps and processes, like learning or training, finding your niche, marketing yourself, etc., you need to consider.
So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced voice actor looking for a refresher, this step-by-step guide to getting started in voice acting is for you.
Can I voice act with no experience?
As a beginner, you may find yourself asking this question frequently.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question, although having acting experience can make the journey more manageable. However, by following these steps, you can get started in voice acting.
A 10-step guide to getting started in voice acting.
Listen, listen, and research: This is my first recommendation because it will expose you to the industry and help you familiarize yourself with different voice acting roles and the skills needed to be successful, among other essentials. This means watching and listening to commercials across ALL platforms (digital, linear, streaming, OTT, etc.)
Find your niche: There is no specific approach to this, as different projects require different voices and techniques. However, finding the type of voice, you deliver best will help you. To do this, look at the genres available, like animation, commercials, documentaries, narration, audio description, video games, OHM/IVR, etc. I always say that as time goes on and you start getting work, your genre will find you. This puzzled me a lot when I was starting out, but someone said your genre will find you. That means when you start auditioning, take note of the types of jobs you are getting, is it mostly #eLearning #corporate #Narration, or for #Onholdmessage.
Listen to other voice actors for inspiration: this will help you develop your voice acting style and approach. Pay attention to how lines are delivered and how different emotions are delivered and imitate other characters. This goes back to tip #1 watch and listen to commercials ALL THE TIME.
Join a community of like-minded professionals: This is good when you’re just getting started in voice acting and as you learn and train. A community of like-minded voice actors will help you develop relationships that can lead to more opportunities. Ultimately, being part of a community will give you access to industry information and support to help you get started.
Practice, practice, practice: Don’t ever get tired of this; even if you do, keep doing it. You never stop learning and growing, especially if you want to sustain and maintain in the industry. You know what they say: “Practice makes perfect.” Practice every day, even if it’s just for an hour. Voice acting is a skill that needs regular practice and hard work to get better. Consider volunteering to read for a radio station for the visually impaired or blind, an educational organization that helps kids with reading skills, or just reading out loud a book you are reading instead of silently in your head.
Record your practice sessions for review.
Record your practice sessions for review: it’s the best way to track your progress. Also, you can use these recordings to get feedback from mentors or experienced voice actors and build your portfolio to land jobs. This is very helpful, and you will get a gauge of what you are improving in.
Invest in quality equipment and soundproofing: Having the right equipment and a soundproof recording space can make all the difference in the quality of your recordings. The equipment you need will depend on the type of recording you’re doing. You’ll need, at minimum, a good microphone and computer/laptop for most of the voice acting. Working from home is the thing for voice actors in the twenty-first century and post-pandemic. So make sure you have equipment for studio sessions or self-recording sessions for remote work.
Market yourself: This is tricky because you want to be market-ready when you get to this step. The key to getting jobs or being known is ensuring people know who you are and what you can do. One of the most effective ways to do this is by utilizing social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, among others, to promote your work and achievements.
Audition: Look for voice-acting opportunities in your area, such as local radio or TV commercials, video games, and animation projects. When you are ready and have been vetted by some VO pros, submit your voice demo to agencies, production companies, and independent contractors looking for voice talent. I strongly suggest you start small and grow. For instance, start with local agencies, or if you are working a full-time job and pursuing voice acting, start with your job by communicating and offering your services. Just make sure you are ready to “Step to the Mic” if they take you up on it.
Be patient: This is a never-ending thing… You will need to be extremely patient with yourself; this can be a long learning curve. Even the best actors have all faced rejection daily or had to audition multiple times before landing their first job. So as you work towards your voice-acting dreams, remain patient and persistent. During ups and downs, remember why you chose to pursue this career in the first place and keep improving your craft.
Now you have some tips for getting started as a voice actor. Take time to reflect on each step and improve as you learn and grow. In the end, you’ll be glad you took your first step. It’s okay if you get stuck as a voice-over newbie as your journey progresses. Keep in mind that building your voice-over business is like building a house. If you don’t see the results you were hoping for, keep building and learning—the best voice actors never stop growing.
Where are you on your path to becoming a voice actor? What is something you’ll do today to move toward the next step?
Let me know in the comments below.
How can I help you?
At MyVoiceWorks Management, we specialize in providing excellent, quality, and professional service for any VO project, including commercial, radio, digital, e-learning, corporate narration, and audio description, among others, with a breadth of emotion that brings your script to life and connects to the heart and soul of your audience.
Whether you’re a small business, a large corporation, or an independent producer, we take pride in understanding your projects and delivering high-quality recordings that go above and beyond expectations because our focus is on the outcome before the income.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our services and how we can help your project succeed.
If you haven’t already, follow Saundi Harrison-Cooksey, voiceofsaundi.com owner and talent of MyVoiceWorks Management, LLC, click the link for samples, booked work, and more.