The World of a Professional Voice Actor
Sometimes being an Agent to Voice Actors is like being an American Idol judge. Oh boy, the phone calls I receive…people playing characters, singing to me or simply trying to use a forced voice to try and project their “talent”. Voice acting is not easy but hard!!!
Here’s a glimpse into their world.
Most actors come from a performing background in some way, stage, radio, TV or a musician with years of voice training behind them. On top of that they regularly refresh their training and attend workshops. A good majority have Masters Degrees in music or performing arts.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “It will just take them a second to whiz it out”. Au contraire, my friend! The voice actor has a constantly changing day from producing out of their own studio, to going to production studios to voice large projects. This requires them to be able to adjust their voice to fit the parameters of each job. You will know an amateur if every job sounds the same.
Projects are booked within that day in accordance with what will be required of their voice. Overworking their voice can cause problems to their vocal cords or even temporally losing their voice which can be costly and mean loss of work. When an actor voices a piece it’s so much more than just “sitting down and spitting it out”. Actors have made a significant investment in their studios to produce clean quality work. They take care to understand what they will be voicing, direction from clients and the added icing on the cake…passion. They rehearse, then voice the project a number of times to get the delivery they like and what the client has asked for. There’s a check for pronunciation and articulation on each word, then they must edit the project together making sure it’s clean from any pops, page turns, rustles or throat clearing. The project is then moved from their system and put into the preferred format for the client.
If an actor is hired for a character voice or to sing, this takes the work to a whole new level. The Actor must bring the character to life and keep in character all the way through the piece. The delivery requires a new energy level with highs and lows. Singing is usually within character and is an additional element to contend with. It takes a true professional to be able to pull it off naturally. Editing this kind of project is much more intense and takes time to complete the project perfectly.
The voice Actor can have very long days as they will work from coast to coast and even internationally so must be available for those time zones. Many even work on weekends!
This is a great industry and a very fulfilling career but it’s not for everyone. It takes a very talented actor to make it big and be a financial success!