Find Your Voice, Find a Job: How to Become a Voice Actor

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Jan 7, 2019

Jan 7, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

Have you ever considered using your voice for your career? No, we're not talking about singing. 

If you've ever heard that your voice is unique or booming (like an announcer), you could have a successful career as a voice actor. 

Whether it's something you've always wanted as your dream job, or it's a new idea for your career, voice acting is a fun, creative job. 

But what does it take to become a voice actor? Here are some excellent tips about how to become a voice actor. 

Find Your Voice

When considering voice acting, it's important to have a talented voice. Talent doesn't always mean "distinct." Not all voice roles are the same. 

You might find it surprising that many successful voice actors don't have a distinct or unique voice. There's a market for everyday conversational voices in the world of voice acting.

But it can certainly help your career to have a one-of-a-kind voice. 

If you do you have a bold, announcer's voice, explore hosting or voice-over work. 

Do you prefer acting roles? The more range you have to change your voice can help you land character roles. 

Determine the best type (or types) of voice acting that works with your voice. You'll also want to pursue jobs that fit your personality. 

There's a lot of variety out there in the voice acting industry. Take the time to find what works best for you.

You'll find everything from character work to recording voiceovers for business marketing videos. Check out this post by Amazing Voice to learn more about voiceover scripts for business videos. 

Hone Your Craft

You might have the most unique voice anyone has ever heard. But if you can't deliver your line according to the part or the script, you won't book jobs. 

Practice reading scripts. Listen to your inflection and annunciation. Find your best natural reading style when talking through a script.

Learn how to act with only your voice. Without props or facial expressions to help convey emotions and excitement, your voice has to do all of the work. 

Find a voice coach or workshop group. A coach or peer group can read lines with you. They'll also provide feedback and offer techniques to improve your skills.

A workshop also helps you network for more job opportunities in the industry. As you master voice acting and build your community, you'll find more auditions and land more jobs.  

Find other opportunities to exercise your voice. Reading books to children at the library or a school is a great way to practice different voices. 

Invest and Be Patient

When first starting your voice acting career, patience is critical. Don't expect to land every job after each audition. Be prepared to take some criticism along the way. 

You also might spend some money at the start of your career. The coaching and training we mentioned above is a good time and money investment.

You'll also need access to recording equipment and editing help to create a demo reel. Either purchasing your own equipment or renting studio time is a critical part of establishing yourself in this industry.

A professionally-produced demo reel can get you in the door of more audition opportunities. You might do well with more than one demo reel. Different reels might work best depending on the role and audition requests.

Make It a Business

If you truly want to make a business of your voice, treat it like a business. 

Whether it's a part-time gig or for a full-time career, you have to work hard to find new roles and make it through auditions. 

Decide how much time you want to spend finding and earning voice acting jobs. The harder you work, the more success you'll have. The more money you'll make. 

Being a successful voice actor is more than just the skill of using your voice. You'll need to find ways to market yourself and your talents within the industry. 

Sometimes, getting your name and voice out there is the hardest part of getting started. It's also an ongoing part of the job if you want to stay active in the industry.

Many voice actors work for themselves. Be your own boss and choose the roles you want. But without good discipline, you can quickly become discouraged with lost roles or a lack of auditions coming through the door. 

Being your own boss requires you to be a self-motivator. Voice acting jobs won't often land in your lap. It's an ongoing business of practice, learning new techniques, finding new auditions, and giving your best performances at auditions and recordings. 

Have Fun

If you aren't having fun in this industry, you'll have a hard time making it a career. 

Any career that lets you transform your voice into different characters and work in the entertainment industry should be fun. 

The more fun you have, the more passion you'll have for your voice acting job. That passion will be clear through your auditions as you seek more roles. 

Don't Limit Yourself

When it comes to different roles, voice acting has no age limit. Play roles older or younger than your true age. You can also play different genders--or species.  

You'll also find work in a variety of industries. Some of these opportunities include:

  • Films
  • Animation 
  • Commercials
  • Video Games
  • Audio Dramas
  • Audiobooks
  • Podcasts
  • Documentaries

Now You Know How to Become a Voice Actor

Now that you know how to become a voice actor get out there and use your voice! Your fun career as a voice actor awaits. 

You never know when you could land the next voiceover of a major network television commercial. Or you could be the next voice star of a cartoon film feature. 

While you develop your voice acting skills, don't forget those marketing skills. Selling yourself as an accomplished voice actor is part of the job.

Check out our article about advancing your skills as a marketing specialist. Mastering both your voice and marketing skills will help you create a successful voice acting career.