Every now and then I like put out a gentle reminder that working in the voice-over industry isn't always as glamorous as it sounds from the outside. It's certainly not for everyone -- no matter of how good your natural speaking voice is!
Certainly no job is always perfect all the time, even your dream job. Voice acting, like other professions in the entertainment industry, often requires long hours for not a lot of money or recognition.
If you are considering getting into voice overs, ask yourself what your motivation is. Answer these questions:
1. Are you willing to work more than a 9am - 5pm job? If not, you might have a hard time as a full time voice actor! Some of the most talented and successful voice actors I know are up before dawn and can often be found recording work for clients well into the night. Sure, there are breaks throughout the day, but you should expect periods of feast and famine.
2. Have you been passionate about voice acting for a long time? Even before you knew what a voice actor was, did you pay attention to how a good orator speaks? Did you tend to analyze how something should be read aloud, even if it's an excerpt from a book, the back of a cereal box, or a newspaper article? I like the wisdom, "The key to life is finding something you love doing, and then finding a way to get paid for it." Essentially, if you weren't paid to do it, would you still want to do it?
3. Do you require a lot of face-to-face interaction throughout the day? The life of a voice talent can be a lonely one at times! We joke that voice actors are most comfortable in a padded cell, but there is truth behind that. Unlike working in an office setting, you are often only interfacing with clients via phone or email. A funny student of ours once told me, "I don't mind it at all -- I've got all my character voices to keep me company!"
4. If you can't take a risk. Voice acting takes training, just like "regular" acting! Investing in voice over training is a prudent decision if you are pursuing a professional career as a voice actor. If you aren't willing or able to take both the financial and career risk, then consider a back up plan. The market for voice jobs is ever growing, so don't let me discourage you. Just remember to treat voice acting with as much respect as any new career -- it takes time to build it up!
Do any of you voice actors have other questions you would ask an aspiring talent before choosing this career? Post your nuggets of wisdom here!