When I was young, I watched a lot of cartoons; they made me laugh and held my attention longer than any baby doll or toy car could. Part of me still has a strong appreciated for animated shows. Cartoons bring so much joy to children everywhere, and I want to be part of the process. I want to be a voice-over actor. All my life I’ve loved singing and making up different voices to make people laugh, so why not make a career out of it? The pathway to success in the acting industry is winding and hard; I’ll have to take classes, make demos, go to auditions, book jobs (LOTS of jobs), and try to eventually land where I want to work—PBS Kids Sprout.
The absolute first thing on the path to voice-over acting is taking classes. Jim Duncan, a meteorologist in Richmond, Virginia said, “[he] just got thrown into being on TV and in the studio. [He] wished that [he] had taken extensive classes prior to booking the job” (Duncan). This personal reflection shows just how vital training is to be comfortable in the industry. A person living in Texas or Tennessee will not have problems taking classes and receiving training, however he will have trouble booking a job and using those new skills effectively. The most logical places to live if a person wanted a voice-acting job would be New York City or Los Angeles, which comes as no surprise to most of us. One of the most famous and effective voice acting studios in the United States is located right in the heart of it all— Los Angeles (Bevilacqua).
W. Burbank Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91508
Since 1975, Hugh Liggett and Voicecaster have made connections for voice talent with producers and advertising agencies. It has the largest, most extensive database of voice actors, which ahs made the studio and its team a leader in the industry for the past 37 years. The studio offers classes at a range of different levels: beginners, intermediate, advanced, and a special class just for animation. Once a person is in its database, the studio finds auditions to suit that person’s talents. Some of the clients Voicecaster has served in the past include FOX, Disney Channel, Starbucks, and Bravo (“Voicecaster”).
The Audition Process
Auditioning is the most stressful part of the entire process. An actor can go to a hundred auditions and only be accepted for one or two jobs. That is just part of the industry, and actors will need to get used to being rejected. However, actors must enjoy the process of auditioning, because they will likely be trying to book gigs more than actually working in the studio (Bevilacqua). Some things stand out to potential directors as instant “no’s:”
•The actor doesn't understand the character for which they are auditioning •While the actor may have prepared something for the audition, he does not seem to have any versatility •The actor has not prepared a "unique" voice (i.e. if the director requires a witch voice, 9 out of 10 actors sound like the Wicked Witch of the West) • The actor is not able to take direction in the studio
What talent should do instead is make the audition stand out in a number of ways. The first and easiest way to look good to a director is to be on time (Kenyon). If the employer sees that an actor is punctual, he will be more likely to cast that person because of his responsibility. Another guideline is to make sure unique skills are displayed appropriately (Bevilacqua). Showing a way to approach a line that no one else has done before can make an actor pop instead of blending into the sea of actors who the client has already seen.
Another way to stand out in the auditioning process is to be completely involved in the performance. Even though ultimately only the actor’s voice is what is being broadcasted, showing involvement in the words takes the audition to the next level and shows the director that the actor...