Did you grow up watching cartoons as a kid? Were you glued to the screen watching Rocky and Bullwinkle? Did you love watching the lovable antics of Garfield? Have you uttered the phrase “Don’t have a cow” because you’ve heard Bart Simpson say it before? Have you noticed that when the previews are playing in the movie theater it’s the same person’s voice narrating all the previews? The people who have brought these characters to life are people that you wouldn’t recognize on the street. Everyone dreams of being a big star and in Hollywood, but what about being a voice actor?
Already thought about it? Well there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, it won’t be easy. It’s not just you talking and people recording your voice. To most professionals in the voice acting/voice over business, what they do is acting. Just like being an actor, singer, model, comedian, or anything in the entertainment business, there is a lot of competition and it won’t be easy, but don’t let that deter you. If you do decide to pursue that career keep in mind that even though no one can see your face, you are still acting. You are developing a character as you would as a normal actor, so when you do your job, when you have a surprise look on your face and you’re pretending you’re surprised, the voice will sound better and more genuine.
It’s always a plus if you can do different kinds of impressions and voices, so as you learn, be sure to practice and experiment and see what you can do. The person who plays Bart Simpson is a woman. The same voice actor does the voices of Homer, Apu, and Mr. Burns. You’ll be a lot more marketable and it can be cheaper for the production company if they can use the same voice actor for multiple roles.
Finally, remember to always have fun! Especially if you are doing voice acting for animation, you don’t have to take yourself too seriously. As voice over artist David Kaye would say, “In the world of animation, never ever grow up.” Who knows, you may be the voice of the next lovable character or the next one in the short list of movie preview voice over actors.