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Answerman FAQ - How Do I Become A Voice Actor? (Revisited)


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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 2025
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:43 pm Reply with quote
Meet the right people, Know the right people, Blow the right people.
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D00dleB0Y



Joined: 08 May 2015
Posts: 101
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:00 pm Reply with quote
This "Michael" person seems extremely hard to take serious, so I can't even imagine how he's easier to take serious than anyone else who's given you emails.

"I'm really good at it" but has no experience whatsoever. Has a "dynamic voice" and thinks that's enough to make it in the industry. Watches anime (in BOTH subbed and dubbed) and somehow thinks that makes him better than a person with no anime knowledge. Rolling Eyes
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CatSword



Joined: 01 Jul 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:07 pm Reply with quote
Another important part of being a voice actor is having a good voice. As YouTube fandubs will show you, a bad voice can kill the whole production.

If I heard my own voice on an English dub, I'd immediately switch to the sub. But then again, I'm only fifteen, so maybe it'll get better.
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MetalUpa1014



Joined: 24 Aug 2013
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Location: USA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:20 pm Reply with quote
I get the sense that most people who ask these kinds of questions are idealistic kids who don't yet understand how difficult, if not impossible it is, to be a successful voice actor in this industry. Then again, I think the even more naive questions (which I'm sure Justin gets plenty of) are the kids asking how they can become anime creators/voice actors in Japan. Eventually they'll have to grow up and face reality at some point. Or maybe not.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 3834
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:38 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Step 5: Keep your ear to the ground, look for opportunities

Step 6: Be flexible


Derek Stephen Prince especially pointed these two out at an anime con I attended quite a few years back. He said to take whatever voicework you get offered; don't turn up your nose and say "it's beneath me" because acting like a diva will not get you recognized. Lots of VAs do things outside of anime to get their name out there, as Justin pointed out, and the more your voice gets heard in various outlets, the more you get recognized. Some naive and rather stupid anime-loving youngsters think it's crazy, weird or even "demeaning" that the VAs they love hearing in anime would want to do something non-anime, such as in a car commercial (recent examples would be the Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon cast doing the Ford Fusion ads).

To said kids: It's called working hard to earn your daily bread, like what you'll be doing eventually once your parents get tired of you loafing around at home watching anime and playing video games all day.
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SaitoHajime101



Joined: 31 Mar 2013
Posts: 203
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:32 pm Reply with quote
MetalUpa1014 wrote:
I get the sense that most people who ask these kinds of questions are idealistic kids who don't yet understand how difficult, if not impossible it is, to be a successful voice actor in this industry. Then again, I think the even more naive questions (which I'm sure Justin gets plenty of) are the kids asking how they can become anime creators/voice actors in Japan. Eventually they'll have to grow up and face reality at some point. Or maybe not.


Its been my thought that any person of any age asks this question both out of genuine interest and encouragement to do something besides working a desk job that their parent(s) do all year around. Kids are even more susceptible due to wanting to find something that he or she can excel in that can guarantee an otherwise unsure future. Most kids I knew when I was in my teens, that liked anime, were from rough households and the though of acting in general is the idea of a stable future and getting rich. The whole idea of why people look up to celebs. Now as adults we know the real world and what that type of job entails, but kids are looking for a dream to achieve, no matter how difficult it would be. To be told you have the potential to achieve something great is a huge morale boost for a child.

VAs, while realistically have rough careers, ate lumped in the general acting category as a career that can pay dividends, so that amount of work one needs to put into it is an after-thought in comparison to the potential result.
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Paiprince



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:42 pm Reply with quote
You know if you keep shooting down people's hopes of becoming a VA and making it sound like a grunt job, eventually it'll reach the point that there will be no one left to replace the old guard right?
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TrailOfDead



Joined: 09 Aug 2012
Posts: 145
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:54 pm Reply with quote
Paiprince wrote:
You know if you keep shooting down people's hopes of becoming a VA and making it sound like a grunt job, eventually it'll reach the point that there will be no one left to replace the old guard right?


People who get turned off by hearing a realistic answer to this question are people who would never have made it anyway.
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Ashen Phoenix



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 2246
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:02 pm Reply with quote
This was a fantastic, in-depth answer.

I can imagine the allure voice acting has for anime fans the world over and how it can appear "anyone can do it" when in fact it's incredibly difficult. I appreciate Justin's respectful/kind response.
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DuchessBianca



Joined: 24 Apr 2015
Posts: 562
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:04 pm Reply with quote
Paiprince wrote:
You know if you keep shooting down people's hopes of becoming a VA and making it sound like a grunt job, eventually it'll reach the point that there will be no one left to replace the old guard right?


I can't help but agree. It's certainly important to educate people on what it takes to become a VA and surely not nearly as many as Justin I too have seen/heard many people who just think the only requirement are just voicing lines and this article does a great job at presenting the hard truth / how much more complex/requirements and all that stuff. However while I'm sure it must get really annoying getting the same question over and over and over I just can't help but feel the article gets a bit too negative in parts as if it's actively trying to dissuade people from ever aspiring to think about voice acting and only focusing on the negatives. It certainly is a thankless job and not helped but the amount of -Insert bad words here- fans who dislike english dubbing constantly sending nasty tweets, threats etc... to many VA on social media but from having following many VA whom I love over the years there's also many great moments too even with the bad and many do honestly love their jobs.

Very good in depth article overall though!
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1641
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:46 pm Reply with quote
D00dleB0Y wrote:
This "Michael" person seems extremely hard to take serious, so I can't even imagine how he's easier to take serious than anyone else who's given you emails.

This question gets asked a lot by younger fans, so a lot of times this question is posed in the form of barely-coherent run-on sentences with no punctuation, and a total lack of self awareness. This questioner could write well and owned up to the fact that he had no experience, which made it easy to figure out what I was dealing with here.
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1641
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:06 pm Reply with quote
Paiprince wrote:
You know if you keep shooting down people's hopes of becoming a VA and making it sound like a grunt job, eventually it'll reach the point that there will be no one left to replace the old guard right?

Good sir, you DRASTICALLY overestimate my influence, both immediately to an overzealous and ambitious young otaku reader, and to the world at large.
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#861208



Joined: 07 Oct 2016
Posts: 263
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:39 pm Reply with quote
People in general just usually think acting is easy, because all they see of it is two things: the character on the screen/stage who's cool and interesting, and someone they want to be friends with; and the actor on a big stage at a convention, or on a red carpet at a premier, with crowds cheering for them.

They don't see all the grunt work and the struggling and - most importantly - the fact that making that character come to life is a legitimate skill that takes years of hard work to develop, just like whatever you do for a living/hobby/whatever. And, people being people, if they don't see it, they assume it doesn't exist, and that actors' lives are super awesome all the time.

Actors more than writers/designers/etc. because actors are the most visible part of the production.

I do want to add one thing, though, to the life-experiences thing. When you get a chance, study other kinds of art, too. Film, visual arts, and music are directly relevant to anime, but just art in general. I'm a manga artist, and... obviously, there's no acting component to manga, but taking acting classes was the thing that taught me the most about writing characters. And taking dance classes was the thing that taught me the most about drawing characters. This sort of interaction probably exists on all sides - an actor who takes a writing class probably gets a deeper perspective into every script they see from then on, because they can think of it from the writer's perspective, not just the actor's and director's.
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merr



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 200
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:54 pm Reply with quote
Paiprince wrote:
You know if you keep shooting down people's hopes of becoming a VA and making it sound like a grunt job, eventually it'll reach the point that there will be no one left to replace the old guard right?

There will always be aspiring actors willing to do voiceover. They just might not be otaku. Honestly, that may not be a bad thing. The current crop of young VAs has a lot of fan girls and fan boys in it. It's great that they bring enthusiasm to their work, but many of them sound "samey" because they were raised watching anime and mimic certain performances styles to an unnecessary degree.
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Gemnist



Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 995
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:27 pm Reply with quote
Well let's see:

1. I'm in college, so I'll probably join some drama clubs.

2. I'm already a Houston native and have relatives in Dallas. No problemo.

3. Not ready for a website - yet - but a reel sounds good.

4. I know of ways to make contacts, but for the sake of privacy I won't say them.

5. and 6. Will have to see if/when things start up.


Last edited by Gemnist on Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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