Sara is a voice actress who has been featured across a range of media such as video games, animations, radio, narration, web, commercial, audiobooks, and more. She shares valuable tips about starting your voice acting (VA) career, finding VA gigs, and dealing with competition or rejection.
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I’ve been working full-time as a voice actress for six years and part-time as a casting director for about three years.
As a voice actress, I provide clients from around the world with voiceover that is often recorded and processed in my home studio. I work mostly with video games, but also commercial, corporate, animations, radio, and much more.
As a casting director, it’s my job to help find voice actors, handle auditions, make selections, manage budgets, and ensure quality and efficiency between clients and actors.
Here are some of my tips to kickstart your career:
Invest in Voice Acting Classes before Building a Home Studio
Many voice actors, with myself included, often begin humbly with a closet repurposed as a recording studio or something equivalent. From there, it’s best to slowly invest more into a studio. But before investing in that, I highly recommend aspiring voice actors to invest wisely with acting classes to better learn the fundamentals.
Types of Voice Acting Classes
There are tons of options available online or in person, such as: webinars, improv classes, online coaching, and group classes. It’s important to first establish if voiceover is right for you as a career before worrying about studio equipment.
Spend more time learning how to ACT and worry about the voice aspects down the road. Too many new voice actors do the opposite and it shows.
Choose Your Equipment according to your Budget and Preferences
When it comes down to the equipment, however, that can vary. Everyone’s budget and voice aren’t the same, so in the same respects, the best equipment for each actor might also not be the same. There isn’t a singular method to having a well-done studio setup. Research a lot about what works, who it works for, and even ask other actors what they recommend. Just be sure to do your due diligence.
Ways to Find Work as a Freelance VA
As a non-union voice actor, most of the work is spent finding jobs and clients. The point here is you’ll always be actively branding and searching for work. And truthfully, that’s more what voiceover is for non-union/freelancers than voicing itself. There’s no simple answer to this question, but here are a few ways most go about finding work:
Dealing with Competition and Rejection
Looking for work can sometimes seem fruitless and may involve monetary challenges, or even distress. Along the way, many actors also come to realize just how competitive the field is, and they have a hard time handling the immense rejection that’s involved.
You simply must come to terms with how the industry works and keep pushing along, even when jobs run dry and you’re constantly told no. Voice actors need to know how to not take any of that personally or think it means something is wrong with them. To put it in few words, voiceover can be incredibly frustrating, but if it’s your passion, you keep going.
Make Sure that Voice Acting is Your Passion
Personally, I’ve always believed voiceover was a career choice and not a great hobby, so ensure that it’s where you want to be before investing. Know that voiceover is competitive, oversaturated, and sometimes, it’s brutal. Don’t do it for fame or money because you’ll be sorely disappointed. If voiceover is your dream, then there is no better time to start your journey than now.
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