The art of acting out character voices for animated films and television shows is known as voice acting. A voice actor, like other actors in the performing arts field, should develop his or her character rather than just providing a voice. Voice acting coaches advise that those interested in pursuing a career as a voice actor should first study theater and take regular acting classes to develop basic skills before transitioning from stage acting to voice only acting.
To work in the field of voice acting, most voice actors in North America must live in Los Angeles, California. Agents represent voice actors to voice casting companies, and an aspiring voice actor must have a demo tape in order to get an agent. A demo tape is a recorded demonstration of a performing artist’s creative performance abilities. After learning how to become a good actor and taking stage and voice acting lessons, aspiring voice actors should study cartoons and develop their own distinct animated voices. The demo tape can be made once the voices have been perfected.
It’s critical that a voice acting demo tape include a diverse range of voices. Because animated films and shows focus on physical rather than psychological action, the characters should be involved in active situations. Agents and voice casting companies are on the lookout for voice actors who can convey a variety of emotions and attitudes in animated characters in order to give cartoons personality. The more animated voices and action scenes there are on a demo tape, the more likely it is that an aspiring voice actor will be seen as having a useful talent and a vision for the industry. Of course, quantity does not imply quality, especially when the demo tape’s purpose is to demonstrate voice acting ability.
Voice actors with unique talent and the ability to create voices for a variety of characters usually have more work available to them. Even so, breaking into the field of voice acting can be difficult. James Alburger’s The Art of Voice Acting is a popular book that covers everything from acting techniques to creating demo tapes to becoming a voice actor.
Aside from studying acting and practicing voices in order to prepare a demo tape, aspiring voice actors should gain as much voice experience as they can. One way to get some early experience is to volunteer to make announcements to customers in retail stores. Another option is to intern at a local radio station to do voice-over work for commercials, but polite perseverance to gain experience is required because voice acting opportunities can be competitive.