You will, of course, need to learn a few things on your way into the voice biz, but there are enough resources online to help here.
Some may seem kind of silly as they can involve breathing exercises, tongue twisters, making funny faces, and all sorts of grunting and odd sounds to tone up and loosen up your vocalization equipment.
Just do a search for voice acting exercises and tutorials on YouTube and you’ll find plenty to get started on.
Finding voice acting assignments is a numbers game. When you’re starting out, you’ll likely get 10 “no”s for every “yes.” But you’ll learn from your rejections and eventually the process for finding assignments gets easier. Once you’ve reached a certain stage, you may even find you’re getting tapped as talent without even applying.
There are many different platforms available for voice actors to find assignments. Some popular voice acting marketplaces include Voices.com, Voice123, VoiceBunny, VoiceJungle, InternetJock, Thevoicerealm.com and Backstage.com.
With VoiceBunny you just set your own rates and audition after your profile is set up. But as it’s a free service they do charge a commission, taking a percentage of every job you book.
Casting Call Club is another site that comes highly recommended.
Eventually, it may even be worthwhile to join SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), which will open you up to union assignments. You can use the SAG-AFTRA rate chart at Globalvoiceacademy.com to help set rates against the going industry rate.
The ACX (Audiobook Content Exchange) allows you to audition for audiobooks, which generally offer a per-finished-hour rate, or sometimes a royalty share option where you earn a percentage on each sale. When searching for auditions, you can search based on the book’s popularity on Amazon. If you’re doing a royalty share, you should make sure it’s a book that’s going to sell some copies.
Freelance marketplaces like Indeed, Upwork, or Fiverr may also be worth checking out. The more places you set up shop, the better the chance you have of finding paid assignments.
One thing that will serve you well is building your demo reel. This is an example of your voice work. Your demo reel is essentially your portfolio and your resume and will be a deciding factor on whether you get hired or not.
There are many ways to create a reel even before you score your first assignment. You can expand your demos by using free scripts at Voiceactorwebsites.com, so you can showcase your voice in multiple styles and genres. Keep your demos short. Sixty to 90 seconds is optimal.
I’d suggest trying a bit of everything to widen your chances of success. Most of the freelance marketplaces offer upload space for your demo reel, but you should also consider setting up a simple WordPress site and YouTube channel to house even more demo tracks. You can point prospective clients towards them when you’re seeking an assignment.
You can also use LibriVox, an excellent non-profit service that allows readers to upload their audiobook versions of public domain works. It’s an excellent way to get some real-world practice in addition to building your demo reel.
Start out accepting any work offered to build your profile and eventually you might end up making hundreds of dollars per finished hour. If your work is good, there really is no upper limit to what you can make. Just remember to have fun.
How to Create a Low-Budget Professional Home Studio
Creating a home studio, with quality sound, is easier and less expensive than you might think.
You only need a few pieces of equipment, a laptop, and a sound insulated space. Your basic gear is a professional microphone, a pop filter, and a stand.
The condenser mic kit you can start with have all of the above and run under $100. It’s absolutely possible to get professional sound out of a recording set up that runs between $100 to $300. Blue Yeti makes a mic that many podcasters find suitable that connects directly to your laptop via USB. Make sure to do your homework to ensure the best value for your money.
Once you have your equipment, find an area in your living space that doesn’t have any noisy appliances that could get picked up from your microphone. A walk-in closet may even work. It doesn’t have to be especially fancy to be functional, and remember, as you begin making money you can invest in improving your home studio suite bit by bit.
Soundproofing is another important step. A sealed room (your “booth”) will help, keeping the area cooled also improves the acoustics by reducing potential reverb. Soundproofing curtains or foam are ideal but, believe it or not, many home studios began with egg cartons absorbing and dampening ambient noise in their place.
You’ll also need software to edit your audio. You can start working with Audacity as it’s an absolutely free tool that isn’t too hard to get the hang of, despite being powerful enough to be used as a pro tool. If you want more advanced options, Adobe Audition CC is widely used by the industry. It starts at $19.99 a month.