In May, career voiceover casting director Sara Jane Sherman spoke to Backstage about the casting process for voiceover artists and explained what she looks for in new artists, commenting that it’s “not just about having a funny voice”.
She revealed that she looks for people who can put in a great performance in the booth and bring physicality to a role. “It’s not just putting the voice on and doing five or six lines in one level,” Ms Sherman asserted.
While having an unusual voice can help, this is far from the only quality that you need to be good at voiceover acting.
An article from Backstage this month explored the top qualities you need to cultivate if you want to work in this field, or if you want to get more work in voiceover.
One of the most important attributes to have is a sense of play, according to the publication. It explained that when you step into the booth you need to “have the ability to switch off the outside world”.
“Even the driest of corporate reads requires a certain amount of imagination and play, giving life to words and sustaining interest in the listener,” the publication continued.
Following on from this, you should always be enthusiastic when you are performing voiceover work. This will shine through in your performance and help bring the play and energy you need to deliver a strong voiceover.
It’s also important for voice actors to be resilient, because, as with all acting and performance-based careers, there are likely to be setbacks along the way. You need to cultivate the ability to “take lessons from failures, move on from negative situations and maintain focus amid rejection”.
Actor Julian Thomas recently spoke to CT Insider about how he has been coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and what work he has been getting, given that production on many shows and movies remains on hold.
He has joined a Connecticut-based Zoom series and later this month will talk to audiences about how voiceover work can be quite lucrative for actors. One area that he’s been particularly enjoying is audiobooks, Mr Thomas revealed.
“The work is really engaging and I’ve gotten very good at picking up accents now,” he told the news provider.
Working on different accents may be another skill you want to focus on developing if you want to further your career in voiceover acting.
Being adaptable, not only with your voice but also in terms of the work and direction your career might take, is another key attribute that voiceover artists should seek to master.
As the Backstage article pointed out: “No journey to success is ever a straight line; it’s often littered with dead ends and circuitous paths. You may even discover a hidden talent or an unexpectedly fulfilling area of the industry.”
Remember that voice acting isn’t just animation and cartoons, it can also be audiobooks, documentaries, dubbing, video games and even voice assistants. There are a wealth of opportunities out there for people with all kinds of voices.
Find out more about some of the available opportunities by getting in touch with a voice over agency in Manchester.