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Vocal presence involves using one’s voice with purpose, passion, power, and strength. Effective content delivery and creating a connection with the audience are key. Some important qualities and features to monitor are tone, timbre, resonance, pacing, rhythm, phrasing, articulation, emotional content, and melody. A good vocal presence projects confidence and elicits an emotional response from the speaker’s listeners.
There are several tools and applications to help enhance the sound of a person’s voice in a recording. However, it’s vital that the performer apply their voice acting abilities and use effective recording methods. Maintain good posture and use a pop filter for proper mic distance. Warm up first and stay hydrated. Be sure to record in a space that's optimized for audio.
Royalties are not a part of an independent voice actor’s compensation, but they are sometimes included in contract renewals for unionized performers. This allows the client to continue broadcasting the actor’s work past the established end date. Commonly called residuals, these payments are based on how often the product airs. Residuals are paid in addition to the actor’s standard fees.
Developing an authentic, permanent deeper voice isn’t possible without surgery or medication. But equipment, exercises, and various techniques allow actors to mimic a lower pitch for performances. Start by recording yourself and listening objectively to your voice. Then apply these practices to help lower your pitch. Stand straight, relax the muscles in your neck, jaw, and throat. Control your breathing and speak from the chest, not through the nose.
When hiring a voice-over artist, consider the company brand and look for an actor whose voice and techniques reflect the qualities and personality of the business. Look to match the age range and gender of the target audience, when applicable. Review the voice styles of the applicants to ensure they can deliver what you require, be it friendly, casual, formal, humorous, or something else.
There are many notable voice actors. One famous example is James Earl Jones, known for his deep timbre and portraying the voices of Darth Vader in Star Wars and Mufasa in Lion King. Seth MacFarlane is well known for his voice acting work as well. Some other big names in this field are Mel Blanc, Nancy Cartwright, Billy West, and Laura Bailey.
Known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” Mel Blanc’s voice acting work was extensive. He did voice work in over 3,000 cartoons. But the actual number of character voices that Blanc developed was a bit lower at 400. Some of his most famous work was the voices he did for Hanna-Barbera and Warner Brothers. Blanc was the iconic voice of Bugs Bunny.
James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman certainly come to mind when answering this subjective question. Freeman was named “Most Iconic Voice” of all time in 2018. Other actors who have received recognition for their commanding, velvety smooth, or otherwise memorable voices are Orson Welles, Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins, Sidney Poitier, Tim Curry, Lauren Bacall, and Kathleen Turner.
Professional training is the first step to becoming a voice actor. Follow that with lots of practice. Study the pros for tips and guidance. After honing your craft, record demos of the various voices and characters you’ve developed. Start with pro bono work to gain experience and get your foot in the door.
Dubbing is more common in English-speaking anime work than voice acting alone. Precise timing and mastering phrasing to match the on-screen characters are crucial. Study and familiarize yourself with the anime medium and pursue training. Then start auditioning. Apply your own style to the character.
A degree isn’t necessary for voice acting. Although formal training or a bachelor’s degree in acting can be helpful in mastering this skill. Acting training may offer an advantage over competitors and help find potential job opportunities.
Voice acting income fluctuates greatly. The amount depends on various factors, such as reputation, experience, skill, the type of voice acting work performed, and the stature of the professional’s clients. Entry-level voice actors start at about $14,000 annually. Established professionals in the field can earn up to $90,000.
Many budding voice actors get auditions through online voice work sites. These sites recruit clients who need voice actors. Applicants pay a membership fee for access to voice work. Motivated candidates can also network and reach out to advertising agencies and local businesses to make lucrative contacts.
This type of voice work usually requires narration. A voice actor records the voice-over piece to be used as an off-screen voice in a film, ad, tutorial, or other content. A VO is informative, educational, or explanatory.
Acting is an essential part of voice work. So breaking into the acting field first can be helpful. Acting classes, workshops, and other training can help develop essential experience. Plus, learning how to audition is a critical skill for getting acting work. Online sites are a good way to present your acting profile and find work.
Training with a voice acting coach can provide many valuable exercises, techniques, and guidelines for voice training. Voice-over classes are also helpful. Practice often by reading out loud and imitating famous actors. Concentrate on diction, articulation, and character. Learn proper breathing techniques for optimal tone, timbre, projection, and control.