Dream Job: Voice Actor
A hidden group of people is making a big impact on our society. Voice actors might seem invisible, but they are everywhere. Have you ever watched an educational television program? Do you watch cartoons or play video games? If you have, you know the work of a voice actor. Just like regular actors on television or in movies, voice actors play many different roles. Instead of appearing on the screen, they use their voices to provide the words in many different movies, televisions, commercials, and more.
The general public might not know what voice actors look like or even recognize their names. However, voice actors have an important role in all kinds of media productions. They provide the voices of cartoon characters and read the narration on programs about all kinds of topics. Have you ever watched a program about a famous scientist or maybe about deserts or wild animals? If so, you most likely heard a voice actor speaking. Commercials on television or radio also often have voice actors talking about the product or service, giving information on the choices that are available.
Video games, telephone messaging systems, and training videos all use voice actors. Audiobooks, where people make recordings of novels or other books, are also the work of voice actors. These books are useful for people who are blind, but also for people who want to listen to a book in the car or who have trouble holding books for any reason. Voice actors might read short stories, complete novels, biographies, history books, and more.
Like the people who act on television or in movies, voice actors learn their skills by going to acting school. Many universities and colleges offer courses in the performing arts. Courses in readers’ theatre are especially good for learning how to put different emotions and ideas into the voice. Taking roles in community productions can also be very useful practice.
Most regular acting happens in groups, with one or more actors and several people on the film crew. Voice acting, however, often happens with one person alone in a studio with a sound engineer listening nearby. Bad weather or problems with messy hair or the wrong clothes are not issues for voice actors. However, health is an important factor. No one can avoid ever getting a cold or the flu. However, being able to speak clearly is very important for voice actors. Voice actors need to try to keep themselves healthy and to prevent illness if possible.