It's time for me to start recording some short videos about my journey with voice over. I'm still a ways away from my big goals, however, I've made a lot more progress than I sometimes remember and I've experienced quite a bit in my professional almost FIVE year journey. To make it plainly clear, I've been pursuing voice over for about six years but the first year was more like me dabbling and testing the waters to see if this is something I really wanted to pursue.
Voice over is the dream job in most people's eyes. You're an entertainer, you're making money recording and talking to yourself and most of the time, you don't need to do so around other people (this has been my experience for the most part), but a lot of people don't get to see behind the scenes and how much money, time, blood, sweat, and tears go into turning VO into a full time career.
With this VO diary, I hope to show you all what my journey has been like and maybe, I can shed a little light and help you prepare yourself for the road ahead (this does NOT mean I am a coach though and you absolutely NEED to get a coach, which we'll talk about later). You should know though, that every voice actor's journey is different from the other so there is no secret pattern to success! It's a challenge balancing your life and pursuing this career. What an exciting adventure!
How did Melody get into VO?
Starting out in voice over is fortunately, the least complicated part of the journey in my opinion. Six years ago, I took my super cheap and crunchy headset and googled casting calls for voice actors! What inspired me to try this? It was my dad actually. He heard me sing Disney songs and act out so many Disney scenes everyday that when I approached him one day, he said "you should try making this into a career, you're REALLY good at it". Is it original? Nah. But it was true.
That's when it hit me, the biggest light bulb sparked to life. Immediately, I downloaded a crusty free recording program and I decided to start trying out for free fan projects on behindthevoiceactors.com! Instantly, people were liking and commenting on my auditions and I got immediately cast right out the gate. This isn't meant to be a brag, but just a highlight when I realized that "yes, I want to do this". When I finally got to start voicing the lines? That simply sealed the deal.
My brother helped me out with getting some awesome equipment because he saw the passion and how much I wanted this. So I expanded my horizons and auditioned and auditioned until two professional indie developer casting calls appeared! I took a big first step in my career and auditioned. Then, I got booked for both and the rest is history.
How could you start?
There are so many ways for you to approach voice over but the first one I always recommend is doing so online, especially with the pandemic going on. Most of us have an internet connection and access to a PC, so I suggest utilizing it to first RESEARCH and STUDY all of the resources that actors like myself have made readily available for folks like yourself who are interested.
One of the things I'd change is to not have auditioned for as many projects as I did at the very beginning with such horrible audio quality. So before you do any auditioning or recording or purchasing, look into this some more to see if this is something you'd like to try! I'll recommend two websites that I think are incredibly helpful to people who are brand new and those who have been at this a while. https://www.castingcall.club/homepage - This site offers classes that are reasonably priced. Most of the casting calls are on the "unprofessional" side meaning they're fandubs, fan projects, and for fun creative projects but every now and then, a shiny decent paying gig will pop up!
https://voiceacting.boards.net/ - This site has a discord server with a very supportive and knowledgeable community. It also gets multiple nice casting calls often, both paid and unpaid.
The MOST important thing when it comes to voice acting is not how pretty or smooth or lovely your voice is, it's the ACTING. So the first question you should ask yourself is...do you enjoy acting? What character archetypes can you confidently portray? What character archetypes do you want to learn how to portray? What voice over do I want to focus on? There are so many other questions to ask, but that's just starting out and I have a lot of thoughts to share on voice over branches.
That's all for now and I hope you all enjoyed this rather long diary entry!