Yes, I am superior to you. You don’t know how many times I love to say that. But actually I’m not saying anything: I have no voice! You see, whatever I “say” is really a stream of written words. All my verbal pontifications translate into either erudite posts or comic strips with floating words above my head that somehow flaunt the laws of gravity.
So since one day I hope to “find my own voice,” I took some time to see how to get into voice acting. Not for me obviously since I have no voice, but to see what an earthling has to do to provide me with a cartoon voice over. (It’s absolutely galling for me that I have to be dependent on an earthling to be heard. Aaaugh!)
The first thing I found that securing voice acting jobs is very competitive. So don’t quit your day job. (It’s so funny how you earthlings are chained to your diurnal rhythms of your insignificant sun. My job—to put earthlings in their place—proceeds regardless of sunshine.) Most of the voice acting jobs got to an established core of professionals. The skills for voice acting are considerable and people who need them are comforted by established track records.
Voice acting, the discipline encompassing the voice over cartoon, is concentrated in few regions of the United States. You guessed it: mainly New York or California. Texas is also becoming competitive. However, it may be worth investigating what is going on in your area. Because California is a high tax state, more and more entertainment related work is being outsourced to other parts of the United States and Canada. Keep your antennae up; mine always are!
Who Am I?
One aspect of voice acting is to create personas. How will that person act? Does she have an accent? Is he serious or lazy? When reading a script, there is a lot of information to read between the lines. Some say it’s a good idea to run a movie in your mind while reading. The extra care in contextualizing the script can give the performance more authenticity.
Having a good voice is a great start, but using it effectively is another story. An announcer could have a voice rich in luxurious overtones, but if the delivery is in a monotone, all the overtones on Earth cannot save you. The ability to deploy the voice effectively in order to get into voice acting is crucial and takes much work to perfect.
As for me, I don’t want an accent for my voice. Nor do I want it high and squeaky. And I guess if it’s too low, the voice just won’t jive with my 4’ 11’ frame. So what I should sound like is still way up in the air, just like the words floating over my head.