Did You Know This About Voice Actors?


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Every single year, I see young men and women wanting to get into voice acting. It is such a good career path for anyone who is trying to get their foot into the film industry. From afar, it sure looks like a lucrative job where artists are free to do. Before you feel the need to get into the industry, there are things that you don’t know that I think you should. It is very okay to be excited about a new career path and all the possibilities it might bring into your life. It is important to be sure of what you are getting yourself into. In this article, we look at some things that you might not know or might have known about voice actors or voice over artists. This will give you some vivid knowledge about the career path that you are so eager to get into.

Different people know what it is the life of a voice artist is like and it might not be the truth 100% so we will debunk some myths and misconceptions and look at some facts you don’t know about voice actors.

1. Sometimes actors get hired to breathe.  

Just imagine being excited about being a voice actor and end up getting cast for breathing scenes? That is surely really troubling. I can’t imagine telling my family about a gig I got in a film as a voice actor, only to be told I will be “breathing” on my scene. Believe it or not, it is the reality of the matter. There are characters who can breathe and breathe amazingly well as needed for a scene. Does it make them any less of a voice actor? Surely not, but a casting director might end up casting you for such a role when you wanted to have a bigger one. The sooner you are aware of this, the better.

2. They are always on call.

The film production industry is really a busy one in case you did not know. Everyone is always on the move and unless you have a long-term contract for a particular film, chances are that you will constantly be on call with casting directors asking you to either go through a script or for casting you did not understand, etc. You should be very flexible with your schedule because they can call you to sit in for someone or to come and do an impromptu script voicing. You will need to have your phone on the standby at all times so you are reachable, else other voice artists will get a role they cast you for. 

3. You may voice for a film, but your voice might not make it in the film.

This is a known factor in the film production industry, working with a particular name brand of a known actor, or actress will give you more sales, and your film will be more successful. They might request you to do some voice acting, and you will do it to the best of your ability. Only to find out later on, the voice they settled for, is of a famous actor or actress or a computer-generated voice. In such a case you must have thick skin because you can’t do anything about it other than accepting and moving on with your life. As a voice actor, keep praying that the casting directors go with your voice for a particular role.

4. They always use vocal pops.

As a voice actor new in the industry, your voice may not appear in a film as you originally recorded it. There are specific vocal ranges that one cannot hit with their natural voices, and so producers enhance them using different equipment in the studio. With the use of technology, it is very easy to add vocal pops using a computer. If certain scenes don’t sound right with the original recorded voice, then they will most likely use voice pops.

5. Producers can put you on standby, without pay.

This is by far the worst thing that can happen to anyone who is a freelance voice actor. It’s known all over that producers can book you for a gig for a whole week and you end up not working, or getting any money for that whole week. This is because when producers book you in advance they are willing and looking forward to working with you, however, you might end up not working at all. Since you had already availed yourself with that producer, you can’t take other jobs. So, in case the producer who booked you did not give you any work, then you will go without pay. It happens a lot, and it’s one downside of being a freelance voice actor.

6. They work in front of the camera.

You might get into voice acting because you have been told that the only thing you must use in your work is your voice and that alone. It happens for a lot of voice actors who are fortunate enough never to be in front of the camera. That is not the case for others though, from time to time, voice actors have to make a cameo in front of the camera following a request from their casting director. It is usual for general reactions and whatnot, but you know that one day, one time, they might request you to be in front of the camera and you should be ready.

7. They can get paid per line.

Depending on who you work for or which production house hires you as their voice actor, you will get paid extremely well or badly. A lot of production companies have a standard pay rate per line, but if you are very lucky, you can land a job with one that pays really well. You might wonder what being paid per line is. A line in voice acting is every statement you read out loud or record. When all the lines add up, you will have a rough idea of how much you make in a particular project. If you want to make more money, pray to get a lead character on a script because they always have more lines than any other. Imagine having 10 lines to work on in a week when someone else has 1000 lines to work on. As a voice actor, strive to be good so you can get leading roles.

8. Celebrity actors don’t always make the best voice actors.

You might think, just because a celebrity actor is popular for his or her excellent performances, that they would be as amazing in voice acting. This is not always the case. A lot goes into voice acting that a normal actor wouldn’t be able to grasp. While normal actors focus more on body language and facial expression for their craft to be perfect, voice actors focus on their vocal range and voice to perfect theirs. These two forms of arts are far apart and just because one can do one doesn’t mean they can do the other. So don’t get into the industry thinking it’s possible for all actors to get into voice acting.

9. They get extras’ roles in a movie.

Normally, in visual movies, voice actors get the roles of extras. This is because most roles had already taken by visual actors and instead of investing in more actors to act out extra roles, they get people who won’t have to say anything like in a crowded scene and get voice actors to record for such scenes. If you don’t get a lead role for your voice acting gig, you can as well be an extra on a movie.  

10. They don’t always recognize their voices.

A recorded voice doesn’t always sound the same way as a normal voice when speaking. Because of this, a lot of voice actors rarely recognize their voices when they listen to some films they did a voice over for. So be ready not to recognize your voice when you hear it after recording.

With that said, I am now confident that you are ready to get into the voice acting world. It is not an easy career to get into, but once you grow and get used to it. It can be very fulfilling and lucrative. Learn the ropes and with time, you will be where you aspire to be.

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