Why Get into Voice Acting?
There's another very common question that I get when I tell people I'm a voice actor, aside from the three we've mentioned on here before (What is voice acting? Have I heard you in anything? How do you get into something like that?), and that's “Why did you decide to do that?” Of all the careers out there, why choose to do voice acting? Every voice actor has their own reasons as to why they pursued this road, but I'm going to talk a bit about the reasons why I (and maybe you, dear reader) found voice acting to be a good fit for me. In doing so, I'm also going to provide a few tips for any aspiring voice actors out there.
What makes voice acting so appealing? For one, the ability to do it from anywhere. I've moved around a lot in the past few years, and so long as I can set up a home studio I can still do my work. I love to act, and so being able to do that from anywhere is pretty great. This isn't to say that there aren't regions and markets which provide better opportunities for in-person studio work, but as previously mentioned, more and more VO work is becoming remote. And with things like FlyVoiceovers, I can have clients from anywhere in the world without having to leave my home. (Just like how on the flipside, clients can have talent from anywhere in the world without having to leave their office! Technology is truly magical.)
This is why I previously talked about the importance of having a home studio, and how it's not just beneficial but a necessity for today's voice actor. I have met many aspiring voice actors (or just folks who are considering it) who don't seem to realize that it's more than just walking into someone else's studio, voicing some lines, and going home. Granted, you don't need to create a home studio that's exactly the same as one of those big, fancy recording studios, but you do need a scaled-down version that still produces professional, studio-quality sound. You don't even need to have an entire room dedicated to it, as I've used closets in places where I was renting. There are also products out there that are essentially pre-fab sound booths. Equipment is also key, and you can find sites dedicated to it, read what equipment other voice actors have by finding the info on their websites or online profiles, or even go to your local shop that deals in selling products to record music and talk with experts there (your home studio is not unlike the home studio of a musician). Also, some voice acting training schools/courses will provide info on home studio setup, so definitely look around at your options!
The community of voice actors is also a very friendly and welcoming one, I've found. We tend to try to help each other out, let each other know about opportunities, and assist in other ways. I'll be honest a bit here and say that it can be a very isolating job, as you spend most of your time alone in your studio without much face-to-face interaction with other humans. Maybe that's what makes us so friendly—where just so excited to actually interact with people when we get the chance. But joking aside, it really is typically a pretty positive and supportive atmosphere, and I would highly recommend you maintain that yourself if you enter into the business.
If you get to meet other voice actors through training or conferences, I suggest seeing if they're part of any social media groups you can join, or at least try to keep in touch with them. It's always great to have someone who's willing to listen to your raw studio recording to help you figure out which new mic or pre-amp works best, or to discuss editing software with. If you're new to all of that, it's especially helpful, and as you gain experience you can turn around and help others out. It's best not to think of other voice actors as your competition, but instead as your colleagues. Honestly, it is this positive environment which is one of my favorite aspects of this job.
And, of course, I do it because it's neat! Like I said, I love acting and performing of any kind, and it's incredible to get to see the things I voice come to life. There's really such a wide range of opportunities within voice acting, and you can find yourself voicing an explainer video about financial planning one day, a fantasy audiobook the next, and something totally unexpected like escape rooms the day after that! There's something kind of magical in knowing that somewhere out there, people are hearing you in something. It doesn't matter if it's an orientation video welcoming them to their new university, an ad on the radio, or a tutorial for a new software product—that's you. That's your voice. And that's pretty cool.