How to Become a Voice Actor

If you have a passion for acting but feel like your voice is your biggest strength, there could be a promising career as a voice actor ahead of you, but the path to this profession isn’t quite as straightforward as many people think. Keeping an open mind to the possibilities out there and putting in the hard work are both essential to success.

What Does a Voice Actor Do?

Voice actors are called in to perform for a wide range of roles. Casting directors look for people with distinctive voices who can best match their characters or other voiceover needs. Voice actors need to be able to enunciate clearly, have a broad range of tones and emotions they can convey, and may sometimes be required to alter their voice to match a very specific character.

People most often think of voice actors in relation to voicing animated characters. This is definitely a popular form of voice acting and one that is highly lucrative, but it’s hardly the only direction you can take. Other common needs for voice acting include video games, commercial voiceovers, and audiobooks.

How to Build Your Skills as a Voice Actor

There is a common misconception that voice acting is an easier way to get into acting. While you won’t necessarily have to “look the part,” there is still a lot of skill that goes into voice acting. This is particularly true if you’re recording for an audiobook or other types of narration, where there will be no visible emotions like there are for an animated character on a screen. Everything needs to be conveyed through the voice.

And even when recording for animation, you’ll still need to get into character and picture yourself in the story to match the energy and emotion needed for the scene. Whenever you look at behind-the-scenes footage of animation recordings, you’ll often notice the actors are even more expressive and, well, animated, than they would be even for live-action performances.

Hiring a voice coach could give you an edge over applicants who think they don’t need any training. By combining your natural talents with instructions on how to control your tone, cadence, and timing of your delivery, you make yourself more valuable to casting directors. You should also record yourself performing famous scenes or improvising with characters of your own to refine your skills.

How to Land Jobs as a Voice Actor

The first step in landing jobs as a voice actor after you’ve spent time training is to create a demo reel. Either invest in some quality recording and sound-proofing equipment or find a studio you can use and create recordings demonstrating your skill range.

From here, you’ll want to start submitting your demo reel for casting calls that match your talents and look for an agent who can help you take your career in a desirable direction. At Discovery Spotlight, you can be seen by multiple talent agents and casting directors at the same time during one of our virtual or in-person events. Once you get in front of the right people in auditions and start gaining traction, you can discover your niche and start being more selective with voice-acting jobs that are fulfilling to you and offer good pay.

Apply to Become an Actor