Step-by-Step Guide to Start Voice Acting with No ExperienceJul 12, 2023
Ah, voice acting – the powerful craft of bringing characters and stories to life with just your voice!
Although we might not always recognize it, voice actors are everywhere: in our favorite cartoons, in the audiobooks we enjoy, and even in the late-night commercials that catch our attention.
It's a bustling, dynamic industry that continues to evolve and expand as the world embraces more forms of digital entertainment…
However, entering the world of voice acting can seem daunting, especially if you're starting from scratch. And if you’re reading this blog, you might be wondering about how to start voice acting with no experience.
Luckily, this is a common question and a valid concern – and one that we have the answers to! Rest assured, even without formal experience or training, there are plenty of opportunities and paths you can take to start your voice acting journey.
Don’t believe us? Let’s take a closer look…
Understanding Voice Acting
Nowadays, voice acting goes beyond merely reading a script or memorizing some lines. It's about using just your voice to portray a range of emotions, bring depth to characters, and narrate stories in an engaging way. Easier said than done, right?!
On the more technical side of things, voice acting involves understanding the nuances of speech, tone, and inflection, and applying them appropriately to deliver a convincing performance where people won’t be seeing you.
The Potential of Voice Acting
The digital age has ushered in an era of unprecedented demand for voice actors. With an explosion of content across platforms like streaming services, video games, and e-learning, the need for unique and engaging voices has never been greater.
It's a common misconception that you need a wealth of experience or a certain "type" of voice to begin voice acting. In reality, what matters most is your ability to convey emotions and stories convincingly. Every voice is unique, and therefore every voice has the potential to achieve something wonderful.
And if you’re eager to take the next step – or even the first step – let’s dig a little deeper into everything you need to know.
Starting Your Voice Acting Journey
Let’s make one thing clear: embarking on your voice acting journey starts with embracing the right mindset.
Just like any other profession, voice acting requires a great deal of patience, persistence, and practice – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you probably won’t get a call to voice the next installment of a world-famous video game within two days of getting started.
When it comes to how to start voice acting with no experience, it’s all about harnessing your natural talent and consistently working to improve and adapt your skills to meet the demands of this ever-changing industry.
As you start out, though, one of the first things you should do is to identify your unique voice. No matter how good you are at impressions, we each have a voice that's distinctly our own. That said, consider your tone, pitch, accent, and other unique voice qualities. Then, think about how these characteristics might fit into various genres of voice acting – be it animation, video games, audiobooks, or commercials.
Once you’ve nailed your voice, it’s time to get the ball rolling.
Step 1: Get the Right Training
The journey of how to start voice acting with no experience is made a lot easier by getting the proper training.
Just like an athlete wouldn’t enter a race without training, a voice actor must hone their craft before even considering stepping into the studio. You don’t want to be caught off guard when people start directing commands at you, right? Right.
Professional voice actor training provides the necessary groundwork to help you understand voice control, diction, intonation, and other key elements of voice acting.
Over at A VO’s Journey, for example, we have plenty of voiceover training options for beginners to dip their feet into the world of voice acting and get a sense of what’s expected of them. From understanding conversational tone voice acting to learning Studio One editing basics and even learning how to make $20k on Fiverr as a voice actor, we provide a launching pad for you to master your voice acting career and navigate your unique path with confidence and skill.
Step 2: Create Your Demo Reel
Once you’ve learned about the ins and outs of the business, it’s time to put lips to microphone and record your Golden Ticket into the world of voice acting: the demo reel.
Let’s put it this way: your demo reel is like your audible business card. It's the first impression you’ll give to potential clients and agencies, and it must showcase your vocal range and versatility. Whether it’s accents, character voices, or different emotional tones, your demo reel is a sample of your best work that allows clients to hear your talent firsthand and envision how your voice could fit their project.
Contents aside, an effective demo reel should be short, around 60-90 seconds, and contain a variety of vocal samples that are clear to identify and distinguish from one another. Plus, as outlined above, we typically suggest creating a voice acting demo reel that highlights your ability to convey different emotions, embody a range of characters, and adapt to various script styles.
If you need a little more guidance or advice, our 1-on-1 voice acting coaching program can also be a great way to find your footing and receive direct access to expert knowledge and advice that will help grow your business from the get-go.
Step 3: Build Out Your Home Studio
After getting your demo reel in place and sending it out to potential clients, the next step is building your home recording studio. Not only will having one save you time and money in the long run – although, let’s be honest: it won’t feel like that at first! – but it will also open up many different opportunities for clients looking for a quick turnaround, consistent sound quality, and availability for last-minute adjustments.
With all this in mind, it should come as no shock that having a quality home studio is now more of a necessity in the voice acting industry, especially in the age of remote work and digital technology.
On a more technical note, setting up your home studio doesn't need to be as overwhelming as it sounds.
For starters, make sure you have access to a quiet, well-insulated space. Then, do your research and find a good-quality microphone, microphone stand, headphones, and sound-editing software. A word of caution, though: don’t try to do it all at once, and don’t just dive in headfirst and buy the most expensive equipment out there – especially if you’re just starting. Quality work can absolutely be done with relatively simple tools!
And, as you move forward in your career, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to upgrade your gear as you see fit.
Step 4: Apply for Jobs
Now, with your demo reel in hand and sparkling eyes… it’s time to start applying for jobs.
In the world of voice acting, much like in any industry out there, actively applying for jobs is a vital step in making your passion a career. As an aspiring voice actor, your main goal is to land auditions, showcase your talents, and, hopefully, secure gigs.
Although in the beginning, the prospect of finding a job that’s right for you might feel overwhelming, it’s important to take things one step at a time.
Most importantly, however, you should be selective and focus on the listings that best align with your voice type, accent, and expertise. Read the job description thoroughly, and tailor your application accordingly.
And if at first you don’t succeed, don’t let yourself be discouraged. Persistence is key in this process, and you shouldn’t let rejections or silence slow you down or break your spirit. Not everything you apply for is meant for you, and that’s absolutely fine. Rejections are all part of the journey, and each application, successful or not, brings you closer to understanding the market and finessing your approach.
The world of voice acting is full of opportunities – it's all about finding the right fit for your unique voice!
Step 5: Find Connections in the Industry
Success in the voice acting domain is as much about forming relationships as it is about talent. In such a tight-knit and competitive industry like voice acting, forming and nurturing the right connections can be the magical bridge that leads to bigger, brighter, and better things.
Because, even amidst all the competition, the voice acting community is uniquely encouraging and supportive. With a mixture of seasoned veterans and aspiring newcomers all keen to share advice, provide feedback, and recommend job openings to their peers, having strong relationships within the industry can make or break your chances of becoming a household name.
By now you might be wondering: “Where can I find all these people?” Well, the good news is that there are plenty of online platforms and communities that can give you a hand with networking and connecting you to others in the industry.
From online casting websites to social media groups dedicated to voice acting, and professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn, these can all serve as valuable resources in broadening your network when you’re just getting started. Beyond that, joining forums where voice acting is the main topic of conversation is another effective way of interacting with industry professionals and passionate newcomers alike, offering a way to exchange tips, share experiences, and possibly stumble upon the next big opportunity.
Once you’ve built out a reliable group of friends in the industry, you’ll find it much easier to find and apply for roles within your expertise to keep growing as a voice actor.
Step 6: Never Stop Learning
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: voice acting is a fluid and ever-changing industry. That’s why, in order to succeed and stay relevant, it's important that you’re ready to commit to a journey of lifelong learning and self-improvement, both personally and professionally.
This journey, unsurprisingly, can take many forms. On the one hand, advanced workshops and courses can introduce new techniques and refine your existing skills. On the other, listening to industry-focused podcasts and reading up on the latest news can help you stay ahead of industry trends. And don’t forget about asking for constructive feedback from industry colleagues! Knowing how you work and where you can improve can give you insights into areas you may need to focus on.
The most important thing to remember is that every opportunity in voice acting, big or small, is actually a lesson in disguise. Each experience you go through will work to shape you as a voice actor by sharpening your skills, expanding your range, and steadily guiding you toward mastering your craft.
With each role and project you take on, you're not just contributing to seeing something wonderful come to life, but you’re also building a stronger, more versatile version of your voice acting self.
Taking the Leap Into Voice Acting
Stepping into the world of voice acting may seem daunting at first glance, especially if you're starting from scratch. However, when it comes to learning about how to start voice acting with no experience, it’s important to keep in mind that every great voice actor was once in your shoes, asking the same questions and facing the same hurdles.
The only difference between you and them… is that they stuck with it, tried their best, and kept moving forward.
Away from the tech, the gear, and the connections, what matters most when you’re getting started with voice acting is your willingness to learn, your persistence in the face of adversity, and your passion for storytelling.
Remember: in voice acting, there are no small roles – only small actors. Every audition, every job, every connection made is an opportunity to grow and improve, and each step you take brings you closer to your goals and dreams.
Voice acting is a thrilling, rewarding profession where you can truly make your mark, creating memorable characters and narratives that can touch people's hearts and minds.
So, take a deep breath and step up to the microphone. The world is waiting to hear your unique voice.
And if you’re looking for more tips, advice, and in-depth guidance on starting your voice acting journey, feel free to contact us at A VO’s Journey. Our team is more than ready to help you navigate this exciting career path. You're not alone on this journey, and we're eager to see where your voice will take you.
Your voice has the power to inspire, entertain, and educate. So why wait? Start your voice-acting journey today