Is voiceover the new Rock & Roll Career?
It just might be, voice actors performing in popular animation, anime & video games are finding themselves dealing with fame whether they like it or not! They are very much in demand on the Comicon circuit and are inspiring many young adults to want to get into the industry. As in many creative enterprises, fame & notoriety can be a byproduct of the career and can solidly establish it, especially if cast in a long-running or hit series. Some may go into Voiceover to find fame or to emulate their voiceover heroes, but most go into it because of a love of performing, or as a natural extension of other creative professions (actor, singer, DJs...). Others with no desire to be 'actors' find a comfortable fit with corporate, non-fiction audiobooks and eLearning. Then there are the Youtubers, Twitchers, Discorders & TikTokkers that create content, find a following, and find they are voiceover artists, by default.
As in any job or career, it always seems easier before one has actually tried it out. It may start out with the industry cliché’ of a great sounding voice but one soon finds out there is so very much more.
There is training in how to use your voice, how the industry works, what equipment is required (plus the costs involved) and how to use the equipment (microphones, recording and editing software), how to find work (casting sites, agents, social media) and all the other P’s & Qs of the business. Even when you get a grasp of these things, the training, branding, marketing & networking is always ongoing. Trying to stand out, be different, be seen (and not just heard). It can take months to get going and getting established can take even longer. Many voice actors are part-timers or do more than one job in the voiceover industry, like audio demos or training. All while burning the midnight oil working to build a base and leave the 9-5 behind.
Although a tremendous amount of voiceovers are done remotely, there are still certain areas that are considered voiceover hotbeds. LA and London (For everything!), Vancouver for Animation, Austin for Anime, NYC for high-end advertising, and Montreal for gaming. There are lots in between, but if you have agency representation in these locations and can go into a studio there, it can help book big work. (In the same way, many on-camera talents move to NYC/LA to break into acting).
As the above infographic says - Not only do you need a great voice! You need a business mindset, a plethora of technical and personal skills, and stamina.
One place to start learning and networking is on the conference circuit. Check out the One Voice Conference London 2022 taking place May 12-15, 2022. You can attend both virtually and in person. It’s definitely one of the most comprehensive and affordable voice conferences out there, to give you a leg up!
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