Making Use of Downtime: Life as a Voice Actor
Whether you’re just getting started with voice acting or you find work regularly, it’s always important to make use of your downtime. While others use their free time to sit on their phones or browse the web aimlessly, you should take full advantage of free time and hone your voice acting skills. Whether it be practicing techniques, taking voice acting classes, or looking elsewhere for work, there’s always something else you can be doing to further your career.
So, when you’ve created your demo and sent it out to prospective clients, you can certainly sit at home and perfect your skills? Just finished an audition? In addition to following up with the casting director, you could be practicing important exercises. Even if you just finished a session and have another in a few days, take that free time and put it to use. Clearly, there’s an endless list of ways to make use of your downtime, and the Voice Shop is happy to help you get started. Take a look below.
Hone Your Skills
As with any hobby, skill, or occupation, you can always improve your approach, as well as your skills for such. Voice over is no different. Sure, you could have a solid demo and a versatile voice, but there’s always room for improvement. When you find yourself with nothing better to do, practice up on your skills and better yourself as a voice actor. If you need some help, check out the tips below:
Work on Clarity: Beginners and experts alike all know the importance of clarity when doing voice over, but you must be careful not to overdo it. Listen to examples online, do multiple takes of any script at home, and switch up the enunciation each read.
Improve Your Consistency: Including the above-mentioned enunciation, consistency encompasses projection (volume), the pace you speak, and more—and you need to be consistent with each. As with clarity, simply do multiple reads, recording each, and pay mind to any oddities and inconsistencies.
Master the Cold Read: In many cases, you’ll simply be handed a script and be tossed in the booth. To prepare for such, do exactly that—over and over. Whether you grab a book off the shelf or find example scripts online, setup your mic and start recording right away.
Note: In practicing each of the above tips, record your takes and assess each.
Stay in Shape
In addition to improving your skills, it’s also important to keep your voice in shape. If you’re finding regularly VO work, your voice obviously needs to be ready to go at all times. On the other hand, if you’re just getting started or find work here and there, you also need to keep it in shape regularly for that unexpected call. Either way you look at it, you need a ready voice if you’re seeking work, and the tips below will help you maintain such:
Avoid yelling and whispering.
Keep hydrated at all times, drinking plenty of water.
Try to refrain from smoking.
Avoid frequently clearing your throat. Drink more water instead.
If you’re sick, try to use your voice as little as possible.
If you live in a dry area, considering keeping a humidifier in your home.
Expand Your Knowledge
Of course, you can’t always be honing your skills and speaking aloud in your downtime. As mentioned above, you also need to take proper care of your voice. When you need a rest from speaking, grab a seat and take advantage of the internet. There’s a seemingly endless list of resources on the web, and they all can help you become a better voice talent. In fact, we have a great selection of voice over resources here on our site. Check some out below:
Seek More Work
Though we can imagine you’re always looking for work as a voice actor, it may help to know some valuable resources for finding additional work. Even experienced voice actors run into dry spells from time to time, and these days, you can find quite a bit of work online. While some sites list jobs you can essentially compete for, others may allow you to upload your demo and information and let the clients come to you. We’ve listed a couple of sites below:
Take Voice Acting Classes
Finally, another great way to spend your downtime is by taking voice acting classes at the Voice Shop! We offer a broad range of classes, with options geared toward beginners, as well as working talent. From in-studio classes to online voice over workshops, take a look at our options today. If you have any questions, give us a call at 212-213-9487.