Voice acting is intriguing to many people. The thought of sitting behind a microphone reading from a script is appealing to many people, especially if being in the limelight is not your thing.
While voice acting may seem like an easy profession, there is more to it than just reading behind a microphone.
Voice acting can be a hobby that many people enjoy, but it may not be the most relaxing option for side pursuits.
Many people are voice actors for a profession, and they spend countless years taking very specific training to do the job, not to mention the hours of practice they put into perfecting their practice. Although it is not a common hobby, there are ways that you can make it one.
In this article, you will learn about voice acting and how you may pick it up as a hobby. You’ll also learn how to stay passionate, and if you really want to, you can turn your voice acting hobby into a career.
Table of Contents
Training for Voice Acting
While voice acting may sound like a simple hobby or profession, many layers of training need to take place for the voice actor to perfect his or her talent. Even if you want to be a voice actor for a hobby, you will need to participate in some training.
The most important thing to remember is that voice actors are trained in the same way stage actors are. Although you are essentially reading, you need to get into character, which requires fundamental acting skills.
These are obtained by taking part in professional acting classes. There is no set number of classes that you need to take, but like anything, the more you practice, the better you become.
Hire a Coach
Yes, you read that correctly. You need to hire a voice acting coach. This person is going to help guide you through the process of voice acting and help hone and strengthen your skills. Even if you have “the voice” of a voice actor, there are likely things you can improve. Your voice coach will help with this.
Learn from the Experts
You may feel that you can jump right into the realm of voice acting after a few classes and coaching sessions, but this is not a great idea. Although you may feel ready for the big leagues, you must push pause and spend time watching those already in the career.
Believe it or not, you will learn an immense amount by just watching and listening to seasoned veterans.
Learning from the experts does not only involve reaching out to someone and asking to shadow them; it can be as simple as listening to a voice actor in a certain role. Take notes of what you hear and think about incorporating some of the strategies into your routine.
Is Voice Acting a Hobby?
Voice acting can be an amazing and fun hobby. However, it would help if you remembered that many people have invested a lot of time and money into learning the skills needed to be successful in the professional voice acting community. Because of this, you may have a difficult time getting work.
If you choose to have voice acting as a hobby, you need to do some research first, or it will likely be a rather mundane hobby. Some of the things you need to keep in mind when choosing voice acting as a hobby are:
Resilience is Important
Even though you view voice acting as a hobby, you are still likely to be heavily invested in it, and human nature prefers success and acceptance rather than rejection.
Even as a hobbyist, you will probably need to face rejection. It is important to remember that not everyone will like your style and may not choose to work with you.
Most people can let things like this roll off their backs, but sometimes the rejection hurts a little more than normal. It would be best if you had resilience in these situations. Instead of crumbling under defeat, you will be able to look ahead to the next opportunity with strong resilience.
When you are in the world of voice acting, you need to stay focused on both your goal and your task. If you are truly looking at voice acting as a hobby, you need to make sure your focus is on the enjoyment of voice acting, not the monetary compensation you may receive. This will help to make it a much more enjoyable hobby all round.
Voice acting can be extremely unpredictable, so you need to roll with the punches regarding how jobs present themselves to you. If you cannot have a flexible schedule, voice acting may be a tricky hobby to have.
Flexibility does not only have to do with the schedule you choose to keep but also with the type of jobs that you are willing to accept. Most voice actors do not tend to stick to one specific role or category of roles.
They are flexible and willing to step outside their comfort zone when it comes to accepting work. Although this is a hobby, you will need a certain degree of flexibility to be successful.
Be a Student
Voice actors, like screen actors, are always learning and willing to be students of the craft. Even the very best actors and actresses are willing to take direction from coaches or peers.
This is something that even a hobbyist needs to be willing to do. In learning, there is much growth that you can find.
As you can see, there are many different things a voice actor needs to be able to do to find success in voice acting. Although you are trying to look at this as a hobby, you will need to do things to ensure that you can perform.
Where do Voice Actors Work?
So, you have decided to take on voice acting as your new hobby, but you may be wondering where to find work as a voice actor. Remember, as a hobbyist, you will be vying for positions that highly trained professionals are also trying to get, so it may take time to land your first job. Voice actors can find work in many different areas. Some of the most common are.
- Tv Shows
- Films (especially foreign films that require voiceovers for translation purposes)
- Radio or audio shows
- Video games
There are many other areas where voice acting is needed. These are a few of the most common and popular areas in which voice actors work. The best and most appealing part of voice acting to many is that you can work from the comfort of your home if it provides a quiet environment.
Do You Need to Have Experience?
Everyone needs to start somewhere, so whether, in the form of a hobby or a full-time job, all voice actors had a starting point to their careers.
Because our world is so technologically driven, it is quite simple to get voice-acting jobs when you want to. Companies are looking for a person to read for a commercial or do voiceover work for a simple piece of text or a book.
Most of the positions that hire voice work artists are geared to the professional crowd, but if you look hard enough and in the right places, you may be able to find some amateur work that is appealing. These are the most common locations to find voice acting jobs.
- Edge Studio
- Global Digital Divide
Just like any job search you take part in, you need to be selective when it comes to voice acting. Before accepting a job, you need to make sure you fit the requirements and that you will be able to have time to complete the task. This is more likely to ensure success and repeat business 🙂
Even if you choose voice acting as a hobby, any voice actor worth their salt would want to participate in classes to help them excel in this field. While there is no specific degree related to voice acting, you need to be willing to put in the work to hone your craft. Here are some tools that may come in handy:
Books about voice acting are going to be invaluable when it comes to preparing for your hobby. Just like anything, you will want to be selective about the books you choose to use in preparation.
Reading a book will not make you a famous voice actor overnight, but you would hope to at least glean tips and tricks that can be useful for your journey.
Online classes are easy to find when it comes to voice acting. However, you need to do your research before committing to any online classes, especially if they ask you to spend a significant amount of money. While some organizations are legitimate, many are scams.
Hiring a coach will provide the greatest benefit to you as you begin to explore voice acting. It may seem ridiculous to hire a coach when this is your hobby, but if you want to get an opportunity to showcase your talent, a coach is an invaluable resource to have.
Networking with other voice actors will help provide opportunities to you that you may not otherwise have. While you are all essentially competing for the same job, having a network of friends in the field can be helpful when jobs open. Even voice actor hobbyists should take time to network and showcase their talents.
Acting Classes are going to be one of the best ways to break into the voice acting profession. When you are voice acting, you may not be moving your body across a stage, but you need to be in full character and make your voice sound exactly like that character.
You can do many different things to ensure that you have an opportunity to find a voice acting job. Still, it is always important to remember that famous voice actors have spent countless hours in the “classroom” learning formal ways of voice acting. You can find acting classes at a local college, online, or even at a performing arts studio in your area.
What to Look for In Classes
When it comes to finding a class or classes to take to sharpen your voice-acting skills, it is important to know what you should be looking for.
The cost of the course is likely to be a factor unless you have an abundance of money to throw at your hobby. Many online courses are extremely expensive and not that great.
If you are taking an in-person class at a college campus, you would expect to spend more because you need to pay the tuition fees.
On average, you will spend between $45-$125 per hour on voice acting classes (Source: Take Lessons). As you can imagine, the classes at the higher price range are likely taught by an individual with experience, but not always.
Because of this, it is important to do your due diligence in researching the individual or company that is offering the classes.
Whenever you take a class for any purpose, you should see out more information about the instructor. Voice acting lessons are no different. If the instructor has never done voice acting, it may be challenging for them to prepare you for a voice acting career adequately.
It is important that you can respect and learn from the individual you choose to be your voice acting instructor. Not only are you paying a significant amount of money to this person, but you are utilizing them to kick-start your hobby or career.
Most classes, no matter the subject area, tend to have a specific format. Voice acting classes are no different. You will probably not learn much if the class you take is all lecture-based with no real application time.
When taking acting classes, you want to make sure there is a balance between learning and practicing.
Practicing strategies and tips that are provided during the class are critical to your success as a voice actor. During this all-important practice time, your instructor should be providing tips and feedback to you as well.
Before enrolling in any course, you want to make sure the content being covered will be helpful to you and your career. The last thing you want to do is spend money on something that will not be helpful.
Skills You Need to Develop
Once you have decided that you are going to tackle voice acting as a hobby, there are several skills that you need to strengthen and develop. This can be done with classes, by using a coach, or by practice.
Voice projection is extremely important for a voice actor. Sure, you will more often than not be reading into a microphone, but you need to make sure your voice sounds strong and can be heard without the microphone as well.
Getting the attention of your audience is also a skill that you need to develop. If you are reading without expression or any tactics to grab and hold your audience’s attention, you will have a tough time getting jobs.
Enunciation is critical when it comes to voice acting. Most individuals hire voice actors to look for distinct speech patterns, including the proper pronunciation of words and phrases. The last thing you want to do is mispronounce words or should like you are half asleep by running letters and words together.
Interpretation is extremely important when it comes to voice acting. When auditioning, you will receive a script, much like a play. When you receive your script, it is your job to determine the mood and tone that needs to be taken. If you misinterpret any part of the script, it might lead to disaster.
Get Your First Gig
Getting your first job as a voice actor can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. If you are doing voice acting as a hobby, it is likely to be more exciting than overwhelming. It can also be a time that expectations need to be put in check. Remember these things before you take that first gig.
- You will probably not become wealthy from this one job.
- It would help if you studied the script and practice, no matter how small the part is.
- You may or may not be the preferred voice by the individual hiring you.
While exciting, accepting voice acting jobs can be stressful, and they are not always easy. You need to make sure your expectations are not so high that you cannot reach them. Whether a hobby or career, you will need to work your way to success. There are likely going to be roadblocks along the way.
As you can see, voice acting can most certainly be a hobby, but it may not be the best hobby if you want to relax and fall into something easy going. Voice acting requires a lot of effort and time to be successful.
If you enjoy this aspect of voice acting and getting to the point that you can steadily perform, this may be the perfect hobby.