Voiceover Actors: How to Get Started
So you're looking to get started working in voiceover? If you have an outgoing voice and like to express yourself through narration, voiceovers, or character voices in films, commercials, corporate videos, educational and training materials, podcasts, audiobooks, video games and other projects that need a voice — then this business is definitely for you.
It's also an incredible time to start looking into a voiceover career. While the pandemic has put a ton of people out of business, the world is shifting towards remote learning, working, and building. Therefore, this is increasing the need for online video and content that calls for more voiceover artists than ever before.
As you can imagine, voice acting is a rewarding, exciting career. At Casting Depot, we have tons of voiceover talent coming through our site daily booking gigs and growing their careers. Here are a few things to help you get started:
1. Get setup with audio gear 🎙If you're confident that you want to pursue a career in voiceover work, or even as a side hustle, it's smart to invest in audio gear. However, dependent on the type of voiceover actor you want to be, you may require more gear. It depends. If you want mic suggestions, join a Casting Depot community and ask fellow users. They'll point you in the right direction for what they recommend.
A few things to consider when purchasing a microphone:
- Buy what you can afford.
- Purchase something that you can return, just incase. It's helpful if you can test out the mic in the space that you plan to be recording.
- Don't purchase something handheld.
Here are a few great mics we'd suggest:
While you may be inclined to use your Airpods, we'd suggest against that! You want to make sure that your producing the best audio possible, and that you're comfotable while recording. So, here are a few headphones we'd suggest:
- Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Closed-Back Studio and Live Monitoring Headphones
- Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 Ohm
- AKG K 182 Over-Ear Headphones
2. Find a quiet place in your home to be a studio 🏡There are many variables that go into creating a voiceover home studio. However, you don't need a fancy-built studio to submit auditions. You can do this on a budget, at home. The space can be a closet, garage, spare room, basement, or attic – as long as it's soundproof and quiet.
To soundproof your home studio, here are a few things to consider:
- Noise can be a big problem in the home studio. As with any production area, you’ll want to make sure your space is well soundproofed or insulated from noise coming in or out. The main culprits of unwanted noise are air conditioning units, fans and people – especially kids and pets.
- A few blankets hung up can help absorb reverb and unwanted noise coming from breathing and other close-miking techniques.
3. Find an audio editing software that works for you 🗣Most sites will suggest using the fancy editing softwares like ProTools. While you can use products like those, it's possible that you want something extremely easy to use while you're still testing out the waters. Here are a few programs we love:
4. Record practice demos 🚀Now that you've got the space and the audio equipment, it's time to record demo examples for your voiceover profile. If you have a range of types of projects you'd want to audition for, it's important to get that type of content up on your Casting Depot profile as a starting point. For example, if you can speak in different languages, accents, or tones, make sure that you have a demo for each! Here are some tips on making great demos:
- Make a demo for each voice/accent/character you plan to audition for.
- Keep your slate quick (full name and anything else that's important to you).
- Make sure the volume isn't obnoxiously loud or quiet.
- Pick the right script for you.
5. Start marketing yourself 💡Use your Casting Depot profile to build your online presence as a voiceover actor. We built talent profiles to be completely customizable, allowing every user to have their own unique experience in our community. If you're a voiceover actor, you'll most likely want to focus on building out and utilizing the following sections in your profile:
- Age, location
- Personal description
- Audio uploads
- Job history (use this section as your online resume)
Some tips and tricks for building a rockstar voiceover profile that helps you stand out from the rest of the community:
Avoid celebrity comparisons. It's easy to make comparisons between yourself and your favorite celebrity. However, when casting directors are searching talent, they love to see more of what you bring to the talent (and comparing yourself to a celebrity might typecast you into a hole). Describe your sound, instead. Using words such as "warm, authentic, young, firm" and so on will give the casting director better insight into what your voice sounds like.
Ask Casting Directors for the projects you've worked on. Don't be shy to ask for the final work! If they're allowed to, the Casting Directors are usually more than happy to send you the final cut so that you can add it to your virtual portfolio.
Find an engineer to work with. Search post-production audio engineers to help you edit and promote your audio submissions. Think of them as a business partner! It could take a lot of busy work off of your plate if you're booking a significant amount of voiceover work and don't have time to make edits to submissions. If you want to go down this route, ask the Casting Depot community for engineer recommendations.
& there you have it! A few quick tips and tricks to getting started as a voiceover artist. If you're ready to start using your voice to build a career, sign up for Casting Depot here.