Answering the most asked questions about Voice Actors
Updated: Jul 19, 2022
I decided to answer some of the most common questions people on the internet have about voice actors! 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 to find voice acting jobs? There are lots of different ways voice actors find work. 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.
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 maybe if the client prefers all of their voice talent to record in a particular studio.
How to 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. How to 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.
Is voiceover acting a Job? I hope so or else my whole life is a lie.
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: https://rates.gravyforthebrain.com/ - GVAA: https://globalvoiceacademy.com/gvaa-rate-guide-2/
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?
By sorting hat. It 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.
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! How to 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.