Required Competencies for Voice Actors
Voice-over actors are not required to have any specific diploma or license. A good marketable voice is essential, but not enough. You do need to know how to use it. You need to learn how to deliver a wide range of vocal styles. The more versatile you are, the more jobs you can potentially get.
You can learn voice acting via voice-over classes, on-line training, or off-line seminars. If you have the financial means, you may also hire a vocal coach for a more intensive study. Below are some of the leading training opportunities in the industry. Make sure you do your due diligence before you sign-up.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a voice-over class. But your primary considerations should always be:
Instructors' experience - Make sure they actually have extensive experience within the industry. Previous voice-over agents/producers are great in that they know what agents are actually looking for.
Class size - ideally there should be no more than 12 students per class. This ensures you will have sufficient time at the microphone.
Availability of a state-of-the-art digital production studio.
Most voice-over workshops culminate with the production of a demo tape. A demo tape is a professionally produced recording, whether in a CD or MP3 format. This will be your first impression with potential clients so it has to be of the highest quality. Consider it your calling card.
Some work-from-home voice-over actors choose to produce their demo in house. This is possible especially if you have a high quality home studio. But ideally, you should record your demo with a studio that specializes in the production of demo tapes. Depending on your chosen studio, a demo tape may cost you anywhere from $100 to $800. While you want to stick within a budget, producing your demo is probably one area you do not want to cut costs on.
Tip1 | Before you produce your tape, listen to the recordings of other voice-overs. There are plenty of samples on-line. Here is a starter: Top 100 Most Listens. Observe closely. What are they doing right? More importantly, what are they doing wrong? Learn. Learn. Learn.
Tip2 | Finding a niche where there is less competition will definitely increase your chances of getting a job. Create multiple samples that not only demonstrate the versatility of your voice, but also closely approximate the needs of your target niche.
If you are running blank on your script, this might help: 3500 FREE Voice Over Scripts - for Practice and Demos!
Continue to page 2 for basic equipment you need when working as voice-over talent.