top of page
  • Writer's pictureMarilena Gant

Answering the most asked questions about Voice Actors

Updated: 2 days ago

It seems like the internet has a *lot* of questions about the world of Voiceover. From how to kickstart a voiceover career to how voiceover actors find work. So I decided it was time to answer some of the most common questions people have about voice actors!

Where do voice actors work? We work in studios. Almost all voice actors have home studios which we work from every day. Sometimes though, you may be asked to record from another studio, especially for larger or more technically demanding projects or perhaps if the client prefers all of their voice talent to record in a particular studio. How can you find voice acting jobs? 

Voice Actors find work in lots of different ways. Through Agents, building relationships with clients/producers/casting directors (which is my personal favourite), referrals from other voiceover colleagues or clients, casting sites or pay to play sites…the list is endless. Sometimes client's will come across your website/social media or have seen some of your previous work and will reach out to a voice actor directly too.

How do you speak like a voice actor? Just speak. The job of a voice actor is to bring characters to life, to tell a story and ultimately…to act. How your voice ‘sounds’ will be determined by the characters you are playing and the acting choices you make. The focus should be on the acting and the voice will follow. There are so many voice actors and every single one has their own unique sound so there's definitely a place for every kind of voice in the industry!

Are voice actors ‘actually’ actors?  YES. All voiceover work involves a degree of acting, whether you are recording a corporate video or characters for a video game. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all voice actors studied at Drama School or initially started out as actors however, but all have ended up as actors through their pursuit of voice acting. How do I practice voice acting? Act, act, act then act some more. Take an acting workshop, work with some voiceover coaches or take some improv classes. Listen to TV commercials, watch animated shows, listen to the radio and play video games. If it contains voiceover in any shape or form – listen to it.

Do voice actors train? Yes and no. Almost all voice actors will have taken a workshop or class in something like acting, voice acting, presenting, accent studies or audio production and the best ones will continue to train throughout their life in some shape or form to keep their skills sharp. But do you need to take a specific degree or study at a specific school - no. No two paths into the world of voiceover are the same and that means that no two people have the exact same training either. There are dozens of courses, classes, workshops and training opportunities both online and in person around the globe.

How much do voice actors earn? This is a question I am often asked. Just like in any other job, no two people earn the same amount. Voice actors don’t have a set salary and our income can fluctuate depending on what projects we are currently working on. If you are looking to hire a voice actor there are standard industry rates and most voice over actors will charge somewhere in the region of these: - Gravy for the Brain: - GVAA:

Do voice actors have agents? Some do, some don’t. I have some wonderful agents but having an agent isn’t an absolute essential to making a living as a voice actor. If you are prepared to put yourself out there, build relationships with casting directors, producers and potential clients, then you can work without having an agent. Agents do however have access to larger projects, especially in the animation, gaming and commercial sectors, that you might not be able to audition for by yourself.

How are voice actors chosen?

As a Harry Potter super fan I wish I could say it was by sorting hat. How voice actors are chosen very much depends on the project. Some projects will have casting directors associated who are responsible for casting and choosing the voice talent. Other projects, for example, corporate videos or e-learning projects, may not have a dedicated casting director and instead be cast by the production team, director or the clients.

What do voice actors do to create a character voice? This definitely varies from actor to actor. Some might start off with a visual image of their character (if the casting team or directors have provided one) and think about how that character stands, moves, breathes and how they hold themselves. This is usually where I start from and oftentimes the voice will follow. Some people will start with an accent or identify the character type and work from there. Much like most things in voiceover, there is no one size fits all.

Are voice actors good singers? Some sing, some don’t. Taking some singing lessons or classes is a great idea for anyone wanting to become a voice actor. You’ll learn how to take care of your voice and how to use it safely. You’ll also learn a sense of timing and rhythm (which is really helpful for voice over genres like Dubbing and ADR, as well as in creating original characters). Aside from all that, singing and learning to sing is just good fun and a great way to build confidence!

Is voiceover acting a real Job? I hope so or else my whole life is a lie. How do I become a voice actor? Take an acting class, work with some voiceover coaches, take some improv workshops. Speak to people who are already in the industry - maybe take some of their workshops and learn as much as you possibly can. No two voice actors have had the same path into their career and your path could look very different to mine and vice versa. It takes time, a lot of learning, a lot of hard work, perseverance and putting yourself out there. I may be biased, but it's a brilliant and varied career and there are more opportunities than ever before for new and emerging VOs.

Marilena Gant British Voice Actor Smiling


bottom of page