Is A Degree Required To Be A Voice Actor?
While it’s easy for us to assume that unlicensed professions under the creative industry are generally taken without a degree or a formal education, many of us still wonder how exactly to become a voice actor and hence, we still come to ask, “Do I need a degree in acting to be a voice actor?”
The question is meant to be answerable by yes or no, but it demands to include a gray area to explain as to why. And the answer is no. Technically, you don’t necessarily have to hold a degree to become a professional voice actor. While this type of work requires a high, non-negotiable standard for your voice over deliverable, no standard education is a pre-requisite for you to try the pursuit. The career of voice acting is not like a career of a web developer or a business analyst where your diploma or certification can save you in the job interview when you run a little short in the hands on. No film production has ever hired an actor solely because they have a certification. Certification is an advantage, but it is never your ultimate key to enter the industry because voice acting is not about your credentials, it’s all about your auditions.
Also, a degree is not a guarantee of career. It works for some, but not for most. In fact, many successful voice actors got their amazing career without having to undergo a standard path of training at a reputable drama school for 4 years. Instead, private coaching or private acting classes are what honed their skill and earned them the high paying gigs.
So if without the degree, how do you actually get into the field? Getting started in the voice acting arena is both easy and hard. Easy because you create your own timeline. Hard, because it involves many steps to be taken and those include a serious investment on money, time, and effort just like any career with a promising income.
Here’s a guide on how you can become a voice actor without having to enter that drama school and commit many years of your life.
Educate yourself about voice acting
There are many ways to learn at your own pace. This would involve a lot of reading. Because you’re not taking a degree, it is your toolkit to get yourself as many good reads as you can that will give you the gist of how the voice acting industry works. There are books about acting craft, voice lessons, and methods and techniques to combine the two. The web is also an endless source of information where voice over articles, forums, and online books are sprinkled all over.
However, you cannot learn acting from books, but knowing the ins and outs of the voice acting business is huge step taken that gets you ahead of other novice actors.
Taking a degree on acting is optional, but training be it the cheapest is not skippable. In fact, this is the most important phase – where you get to enroll yourself in acting and voice acting classes and soon employ a private professional voice over coach to give you a private training. Courses in voice acting are available both online and in-person. In addition to learning voice work techniques, most courses also discuss self-promotion and teach students how to create a demo.
Now this is where everything you need to know and do before taking on projects takes place. With a voice over coach, you actually can ask them nearly anything about the industry. In training is where actual recording of your voice takes place. This is the time you should take advantage of to hone your voice acting skills by practicing until you feel equipped enough to go the next step.
Prepare yourself to get in track
Now that you know how the industry works and have undergone some acting training, it’s time to create your profile online. This task requires you to have strong networking and marketing skills because you are the one to promote your craft. Create your resume, prepare your one-liners, take a nice head shot, and get your voiceover demo done. Then of course, setting up your recording equipment or building a home studio is a thing not to mention. You should have anticipated the amount of money you will have to sacrifice to get into this rewarding career.
Once these things are existing, one excellent move is to get if not a premium, a regular membership or subscription on a voice casting site. Casting sites can help you get booked for jobs easier than having to physically go to a voice over agency. With your equipment, knowledge, skills, network, and marketing tools all set up, you can now audition to as many projects as you see coming that interest you and take every job opportunity no matter the pay rate to get you a lot of experiences. At this point, you can now call yourself a voice actor. You may not be earning big bucks yet, but you’re out there, equipped with training and experience, thriving to get your journey far.