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Four Common Notions About Voice Acting
- Which Are False Or Partially True?
April 12, 2019

By Rick Lance

Voice Actor

Like for pretty much any career choice in life, people tend to have certain preconceived notions about working in the voice-over business.

While a few of these are correct, many others have no basis in reality.

Here are four common notions about the VO business that you need to be aware of if you plan to carve out a career or even work in part time as a voice talent or voice actor.

1. You Can Only Do Voice-Over if You Have a Great Voice

This belief is like saying that to be a great guitarist (or a pianist) you need the very best guitar (or grand piano).

Beethoven or Jimi Hendrix would be able to make great music whether they had a standard instrument or an expensive master-crafted design.

The same principle applies to voice acting.

If you have a great voice, that does indeed help. However, the real magic comes from how you deliver that voice, and how you make that emotional pull with your audience from the natural sound you already possess.

2. Talent is All You Need in This Business, and Training is Overrated

The explanation to this is a continuation of the logic in the point above.

The greatest actors and musicians all had some raw talent in them. However, nearly all of them attained greatness by working on it and taking guidance from sagacious teachers.

This principle is valid in the voice-over business as well.

It will help if you practice and understand the necessary skill sets involved. And that comes from classes, workshops, conferences and by simply reading from the wealth of books/material available written by working professionals.

3. In Voice-Over You Have to Know Accents and Weird Voices
Partially True

The bit about weird and funny sounds is valid when it comes to projects like animation, cartoons, and comedy. Those often require VO talents to deliver outlandish sounds and voices.

However, that is more of a niche. Regular voice-over work requires you to have a normal sound.

And just about all voice actors should be able to manipulate their voices enough to extend their range.

For instance, one of my most popular VO sounds is a Southern, Western or Cowboy accent. Although I was not born in the South, my voice has a natural affinity for this sound. (And it's in my blood!)

All voice actors should work to create derivations from the "root" sound of their voice to use in a very natural way when called upon to do so.

If you become good enough at that, you can fulfill the client's job of having a few other talent on the same script, satisfy the client's need for various characters, and adjust your payment figure accordingly.

4. You Can Do Voice-Over from Home
Partially True

If freelancing is all you plan to do in this field, you can harness the power of the internet and work from any part of the world.

At the present time, most of the movie and animation work is centered around NYC and LA, but this is changing for certain projects when there is a need for supplemental voices. 

And of course, anytime you have the opportunity to work in a "live" session in another studio it will be super rewarding, fun and career boosting. Especially if you are working in a group f good voice actors.
Rick Lance has been working as a voice talent since 1993, transitioning from singing demos and personal projects in Nashville's music business to voicing hundreds of commercials, then promos, narrations, character voices and more. His vocal style is described as Americana, the voice of the Heartland. He is currently the voice (narrator) of three hunting programs and one outdoor program on the Sportsman Channel and the Outdoor Channel. His client list includes Toyota, Harley Davidson, Sony Entertainment, Coca Cola, Life Care Centers of America, John Deere, Jordan Outdoor Enterprises and Sacred Seasons II. He has also become a leading voice for the industries of construction, manufacturing, energy production, trucking, agriculture/equine, outdoor sports, travel, community banking, finance and health care. And he is a colorful voice for film, television, museum and corporate documentaries. "I'm lucky to be working within my comfort zone," he says, "literally living out my voice acting life as an outdoorsman, horseman, weekend cowboy and working man, gentleman farmer on my six acre mini ranch with my horses, dogs, cats and my wife near Nashville."



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