So You Want To Be A

Voice Actor

What's More Important? Voice, or Actor?

As a voice actor, your voice and the actor in you are both important. In voice over work (commercials, narration, promotional announcements, phone messages, etc.), a few decades ago the voice often tended to tip the balance. But over a decade ago, producers began to prefer "natural" voices.

So if you can act, innately or through training, you've got a leg up. Today almost anyone can learn how to become a voice actor, if they can also learn the business, can take direction and focus on voice over genres for which they are best suited. But it takes training, and practice.

First, about those genres. There are many a kind of voice actor:

  • Radio drama (yes, there is some around)
  • Character commercials
  • Video games
  • Audiobooks
  • Instructional and educational videos
  • Cartoons and animated productions
  • and more

And those are just the pure voice "actor" jobs. We're also talking here about the many genres in the field of "voice over acting." Voice over actors are heard in:

  • Narrations
  • Commercials
  • Museum tours
  • Promotional announcements
  • Internet videos
  • Sales presentations
  • Telephone menus
  • and more

So the field of Voice Actor is continually expanding. And each of these specialties has a distinct set of skills the voice actor must be able to deliver.

Some of these genres place more emphasis on the acting aspect (audiobooks, drama, etc.), whereas some genres (promotional, branding) are often more a matter of voice.

As you would think, a telephone menu might seem the epitome of voice focus. After all, how many ways can you say, "Please hold," or "1,2,3,4...". On the other hand, for when the phone caller has been on hold for 5 minutes, the telephony producer might direct you to have "more emphathy in your voice." What do you do then?

The solution? Explore the range of your natural voice. And practice acting with it.

If you've been blessed with a golden throat, good for you. If not, be encouraged by what you hear on the voice-over world around you, such as TV, radio, announcements, everywhere -- plenty of ordinary voices.

An experienced coach can help you identify apply your natural qualities and innate abilities, direct them towards a genre best suited to you, and enable you to meet the needs of the voice over industry.

In terms of both your voice. And your acting.

And in one other respect: It helps if you act like you know what you're doing. That's why at Edge Studio, we teach a voice actor the business of voice over acting, too.

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