Voice acting advice?

  • I have always wanted to be a voice actor for anime, but I don't know where to start. I'm 16 and I just wanted to get some info! I know it is a very specific career choice and hard to be in that field but, I always wanted to do it.

  • First, ask yourself the following questions:

    • WHY do you want to become a voice actor?
    • Do you have any prior stage acting/voice-over experience?
    • Do you live in or near any city where anime dubs are recorded, ie: Dallas, Houston, L.A., New York, etc?
    • Do you have a job to fall back on in case voice acting doesn't work out or pay enough for you?
    • Are you willing to work in a completely unrelated department for a voice acting company before you get a chance to act?
    • Are you willing to start out doing background and bit parts before slowly working your way up to bigger gigs?
    • Are you willing to accept any part you were cast in, even if you found it personally demeaning or objectionable?
    • Are you patient, humble, long-suffering, and willing to take direction and/or criticism?
    • Finally, can you actually speak English well? (you'd be shocked how many wannabe voice actors don't even speak it as a second language)

    If your answer to any of the questions besides the first is "No," then maybe voice acting isn't the right job for you. :hmm:

    Work on turning those "Nos" into "Yesses", then we'll talk. :)

  • the only question i would say no to is- i do not have any experience

    i dont know how to get experience when im this young

    i would love to keep in contact with you SpacemanHardy, and would appreciate your advice on how to get started!

    EDIT: Please don't triple post. Use the Edit Post button instead. -SH

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  • The best way to get experience is to join the drama club at your school (assuming you're in school) and perform with other people. Performing on stage is the best way to practice and apply voice acting, and you'll receive plenty of guidance from a teacher or adviser, or even other classmates who have been acting longer

  • I think the biggest obstacle (Spaceman pointed this out, I'm just adding to his point) is that voice acting in anime really isn't something to live off of alone. It's a real struggle constantly trying to find work. The pay is not that great, so you'll definitely have to find other work outside of dubbing anime.

    And to sum up what Riles said: you actually need to learn how to act. It's certainly not too late to learn, but gain plenty of experience now while you're still young.

  • @katie99:

    the only question i would say no to is- i do not have any experience

    i dont know how to get experience when im this young

    Just like Riles mentioned, check to see if your school offers any sort of drama club or theatre program. Just like Eric said in his video above, if you want to be a voice actor, you have to be an actor first and foremost, and school plays and productions are some of the easiest ways to break into that. After you graduate, you might look into majoring at a university of the arts, as well as auditioning for local and community theatre projects. They don't pay worth squat, but they'll provide you with plenty of experience to hone your craft and take your abilities to the next level. Once you feel like you've got enough experience as an actor, then you might want to look into putting in some auditions for voice acting gigs.

    Just be warned, though: Voice acting does NOT pay much. I went to a panel that Eric hosted once, and he said that even despite all his anime work, it's roughly only 15% of what he does. He makes most of his money doing voice-over work outside of anime, as well as writing, producing, directing, and even holding a secular job. Unless you hit it big time in the business like Steve Blum, the truth is you simply CAN NOT MAKE A LIVING OFF OF VOICE ACTING. You need to have a backup plan in place in case things don't work out. That's really the only advice I can give you.

    i would love to keep in contact with you SpacemanHardy, and would appreciate your advice on how to get started!

    Well, you know where to find me. ~_^

  • While there's a specific set of skills to voice acting and if you can afford/find a good vocal coach, I would suggest it, I'm going to put my support behind the "voice acting is acting, first and foremost".

    Is it possible to just go for voice and ignore traditional acting? Probably. But nearly every voice actor out there started on stage or onscreen. The acting techniques you learn from stage acting are the same things you'll need for voice acting but, again, a good vocal coach is a great asset.

    The other thing people tend to overlook, in my experience, is that you don't record from your home for anime. You have to physically travel to the recording studio. So, if you are interested in having a career, it REALLY helps to be in at least the general vicinity of the studio, or have the ability to move closer to the studio if you get a part.

    Another thing that doesn't usually get mentioned is that there are a lot more opportunities for voice acting in non-anime work– podcasts, voice overs, audiobooks, that kind of thing. I'm not sure how much any of that matters in terms of building a voice acting resume, but you CAN actually get experience in doing voice acting without dubbing an anime. How much that helps as compared to traditional acting is REALLY a "your mileage may vary" kind of a thing.

    (Also, one correction to Spaceman Hardy-- while it DOES sometimes happen, working at FUNimation in a traditional job role is NOT a good way to transition to voice acting and is CERTAINLY not a substitute for actual acting experience. It is, however, super cool! ;) )

  • This entire thread is a fun one too read and I love Eric Vale video, his advice about committing mind, body and soul to this career can be great advice for any other careers out there. Many people choose a different path that doesn't reflect what they learned in college or what their degree states or people may fall into a career they never expected. Loving the highs and lows of whatever career you choose will be a rewarding part in your life and many people find those careers by accident.

    Anyway enough of my rant wish you the best of luck Katie in whatever you decide to do

  • Thanks so much!

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