What Exactly Do Voice Actors Do On A Day To Day?


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Voice acting is a career just like any other that you would think of. For the longest time, voice acting was not a lucrative career where individuals could work in and live comfortably through it. In 2020 that has changed and I can tell you for sure that voice acting is a career that you can live comfortably doing. In the past, screenplay actors would be given an upper hand and get great compensation for their skills while voice actors were sidelined and getting poor compensations for their skills. I’m glad that all that changed and now voice actors are getting a fair share of what they deserve for their hard-earned skills. 

Voice acting is usually confused for a profession where having a good sound voicing is all you need to make a cut but I will tell you that this notion is far-fetched. Having a great sounding voice is helpful but if that is all you have, then this is not the career path for you. Being a voice actor requires one to have talent. A talent to manipulate their voices to pass a message while still evoking emotions and entertaining an audience. Most of their projects involve working in video games, TV shows, movies, commercials, and movie trailers.

It is also important to note that it is a career path hard to tap into. You see how people say how hard it is to get cast for an on-screen acting gig, voice acting is two times harder than that. Since it requires no education, your talent and capacity to impress casting directors are all that you have to get yourself into the industry. Formal training would help in catapulting your skills but your talent is the most important thing that will get you in the door and secure a permanent place for you.

So, you might be wondering, what are the responsibilities of a voice actor? What does their work entail and what exactly do they do? Worry no more because we will be looking at exactly that in this article.

A Day in the Life of a Voice Actor

What Are A Voice Actor’s Responsibilities?

1. Interpreting Scripts

Voice actors need to interpret scripts and make sure that they bring them to life using their voices. Interpreting a script means that a voice actor should read through a script, understand it, envision the character that the scriptwriter had in mind when writing the script, and then make that character real. There are voice actors who already know how they would go about interpreting certain characters without the assistance of a director but when you are new in the industry you will always need a studio director to help you understand the reactions and requirements of your character and how best to bring it to life. 

2. Characterization

When you hear people say that as a voice actor you need to manipulate your voice in order to fit that of a particular character, it means exactly that. The difference between an on-screen actor and a voice actor is the fact that an on-screen actor has the benefit of using their body language and nonverbal cues to get in character while a voice actor is only able to get in character using their voice. A good voice actor knows how to get in character and making sure that he or she leaves a recording booth having done justice for their character. The ability to manipulate and tweak once voice is a very important skill for a voice actor to get into character.

3. Voice Practice

Just like in any other profession, you need to horn your craft. No one will follow you to tell you what to do in order for you to be better in your craft. A good voice actor who is serious about their career has the sole responsibility of constantly doing voice practice. You need to push your voice and see how far it goes. Try out new character voices whether it is a meek character or an arrogant character, you need to constantly do voice practice in order to grow your skills which will give you better chances at bigger projects.

4. Collaboration

Collaboration is more of a personality than a responsibility. It is your responsibility to collaborate with the staff and your colleagues in order to ensure that you bring your character to life perfectly. But being able to collaborate and relate well with your colleagues is a personality trait that you need to have if your intention is to succeed in the voice acting career. You will need to work with studio directors and sound engineers during your recording and collaborating with them will be a must. The director will help you bring out the characters to life and the sound engineer will help in regulating your speed when you record and help you in perfecting the project. In a nutshell, you need to know how to work with your fellow workmates.

We will further look at some of the important things you should know when you finally decide that you want to try out your hand in voice acting. I will outline this is a form of questions that you need to ask yourself and then follow through with answers.

Questions That You To Ask Yourself Before Trying Out Voice Acting

1. How Do I Become a Voice-Over Actor?

Voice acting has no formal education and there is no University or college that has courses that will teach you how to be a voice actor. The opposite is true for on-screen actors because they are fortunate enough to go and learn how to do on-screen acting in school. The only way to be a voice actor is by joining talent agencies or open auditions and hoping that you get cast for a gig that will help you in building a portfolio for yourself. A portfolio is important because it shows what your capabilities as a voice actor are and this helps casting-directors to give you more jobs. You can also record a professional demo CD and distribute it to agencies or potential clients. These steps will help you when starting out as a voice actor.

2. Where Do Voice-Over Actors Work?

All voice acting jobs are done in a recording studio but you can work as a voice actor in different career fields. You can be employed by a University to record an advertisement for them but you won’t work in an office like all the other employees at the University, you will end up doing your job in a recording studio. The actor will typically read from a script into a microphone to create an audio recording. The recording will then be edited by audio or sound technicians for future use. There are companies that have internal studios for their recording but more times than not, as a voice actor you will find yourself working in studios that have been outsourced. 

3. What Skills Do I Need to Be Successful?

To be a voice actor you need talent. Your talent is what will secure a permanent place for you in this industry and nothing else. There is no one who can teach you how to become a good voice actor but people can teach you how to improve your already existing talent in voice acting. When you already have pre-existing talent, you can go ahead and practice making yourself better in what you do. We all know that practice makes perfect, but you need to already know something and then make it better by constantly practicing. Aside from being able to skillfully control the voice, the ability to read eloquently from a script is also important. A voice-over actor may be asked to read a script several times in different ways, emphasizing different words and using different emotions or accents. Being flexible with last-minute adjustments is also important.

4. How Much Do Voice-Over Actors Make?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, voice-acting was not a lucrative career in the past but it is right now. You won’t be making millions of dollars as a beginner voice actor but your experience and level of prowess will help you get more dollars into your pocket. Payscale.com reports a median hourly wage of $39.90 in 2019 for voice-over talent. For actors in general, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics listed an hourly median figure of $17.54 in 2018. So, depending on how many hours you work in a day, you are in a position to make a good amount of money for yourself.

5. What Are Some Similar Careers?

You might want to know where else can you use your acquired voice acting skills if you ever decide to end your career as one. You can easily be an on-screen or stage actor with voice acting skills. These careers use the whole range of facial and body movements to express themselves, so vocal emphasis is less important than overall stage presence

These questions will further help you understand a thing or two about the voice acting career. If you loved to be part of it, understanding the responsibilities, this will make your navigation really easy early on.

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