When people think of voice acting, they often picture actors like Tom Hanks, Tina Fey or Morgan Freeman. But the career actually has a broad scope. Voice artists are responsible for recording the off-camera narration or dialogue that accompanies many video productions. They work in a variety of different genres, from infomercials and commercials to documentary films and even video games.
To do their jobs, voice talent artists need to possess a range of skills, including clear diction and a natural ability to mimic various voices. However, a natural talent will only get you so far. In order to truly excel in the field, it is necessary for aspiring voice actors to practice with or without a coach and explore their range of sonic possibilities. This includes experimenting with different pitches, tones and various accents. It is also critical for them to build a network of fellow voice talents, as these individuals can provide support and referrals in the industry.
In addition to networking, voiceover talents must be prepared to take on and complete work requests at all hours of the day. This is especially true for those aiming to rise in the industry, as competition is fierce and projects have a tendency to come in with lightning-speed turnaround times. Outside of the studio, they may spend their time continuing to perfect their craft with vocal lessons or pursuing professional development opportunities in the form of seminars and workshops.
The most successful voiceover artists have a combination of education, work experience and personal attributes that set them apart from the pack. Many have previous careers in acting, singing or radio DJing, while others lack significant performance experience but were drawn to the profession by the promise of flexible and portable freelance work.