Kw-logo-smaller

Becoming a Professional Voice Actor

Become a voice actor and you could do voices for X-Men, Dragon Ball Z, Inu-Yasha and more animated TV shows!
Courtesy of Warner Bros

Have you ever thought about the peeps behind the voices of your fave cartoons like X-Men or Dragon Ball Z, and what it's like making funny voices for a living? We scored a chat with Mike Kopsa, a voice actor who was the voice of Beast on X-Men Evolution and has also been in InuYasha, Mega Man, Mobile Suit Gundam and more! Here's what he had to say about being a voice actor.

Getting Started as a Professional Voice Actor

All you have to do is show up, make a funny voice and get paid, right? No way! There's a lot of work and skill involved in voice acting. First, make sure you have a good background in acting and a good voice with very clear diction. "You have to be able to transfer [everything] through voice - you can't use body language or anything else that works on camera," says Mike. Then, make a collection of voice samples that's 2-3 minutes long, put it onto a CD and start dropping it off, with a resume, to all the places you can find that hire voice talent. "The production houses will produce your demo tapes for about $100-200 US. They'll help you make a slick voiceover demo," suggests Mike.

What Kind of Voice Acting Work Can You Get?

Voice acting work breaks down into two different kinds of jobs: Additional Dialogue Recording (ADR) and Prelay.

  • ADR is when you are re-doing the dialogue for an animated show that has already been created - usually dubbing it into a new language. ADR is hard because you have to act out the lines and match your voice to the character's mouth movements (called "flaps" by most voice actors).
  • Prelay is easier because your voice is recorded before the animated cartoon is drawn, so the artists can match the character flaps to your lines. Prelay work is much harder to get, as there are usually only a few Prelay projects available in a city.

What is it Like Working as a Voice Actor?

Working in the voice-acting business is a lot of fun if you can get the work. "It's competitive and there's a lot of rejection, you have to be able to get along with people," says Mike. One of the best things about working as a voice actor is, "The people in the industry are really friendly and easygoing; everybody respects everybody else. It's very different from the film/TV acting business, which has a lot of politics," says Mike.

Can You Make Big Bucks Doing Voice Acting?

The big money in voice acting comes from doing Prelay work. If you're good, and lucky enough to get more than 10 lines per episode, you'll be able to make about $700 US per episode. With 22 episodes per series, you can make about $15,000 US doing one series that will take you about a month.

However, getting Prelay work is very hard. Most of the time you'll get ADR work, which pays about $140 US/hour and can get you about 5 hours of work per series. That will earn you about $700 US for a day of work. "It's better than a poke in the eye!" says Mike.

That sounds like some big bucks, but don't forget that you won't get a lot of acting projects. Very few actors are strictly cartoon voice actors - most of them also do regular acting projects to help pay the bills.

Final Words From a Voice Acting Pro!

"Voice acting can be great - the more fun you bring to it, the more fun you'll have. If you want to do it, do your research. Find out who's hiring, take voice and acting courses, work hard at it. Make a game out of figuring out how to get what you want and it can be the most rewarding thing you do. The first few times you do it, it can be really intimidating, but if you really want to do it, follow your dream and give it a shot."

Related Stories:
>
>

readers voted!

Comments

21inkiepielover
I would be one when I get older...I maybe make my own movie. WereSonic and PAS anime st...
commented: Thu Aug 08, 2013

JennyD

JennyD wrote:

I'd like to be one
commented: Thu Aug 08, 2013

Midapops

Midapops wrote:

IF SOMEONE HIRES ME... MY MOM WOULD ET ME AND I WOULD BE RICH!!!!!!!! O.O
commented: Tue Jun 11, 2013

there are 6 more comments

Please login or register to add comments

share with your friends


Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

F1109019271062

Voice Acting - Cool Profession or Lame Job?

  • Totally cool - I'd love to be the voice behind cool anime characters!
  • Totally lame - who wants to talk for a living?
  • I'd do it as a part-time gig.

related stories

Want to turn your artistic talent into a well-paying career? Then become a cartoonist or animator...
Micro_disney mascot_micro
Do you love the magic of Disney World or Disneyland? Are you looking for a summer job? Then why n...
Do you love game shows? Well, find out how you can become the host of your favorite game show!
Do you watch your favorite reality TV shows and wish you could be a contestant? If you meet the r...

Dear Dish-It in the forums

wolfiegal
wolfiegal posted in Style:
Just your personality should be fine.
reply about 3 hours
Cadena
Cadena posted in Style:
White shirt with a skull on it and some text on the back that I can't remember, dark blue jeans, black socks, and a wristwatch.
reply about 5 hours
KittehFace
KittehFace posted in Style:
I'm wearing a hot pink shirt with a cat in a floral boot, and very skinny jeans, and some green, orange, and blue, striped socks. If you want me to include my hairstyle, then, I have 2 adorable buns, with a bit of hair sticking out. ^_^
reply about 6 hours
Not_So_Perfect_
Not_So_Perfect_ posted in Style:
I don't mind My school Uniform tbh. Mine Is Light blue and Black, We don't have to wear ties or Blazers  Quite Simple
reply about 6 hours
-Demonic_Oliver
I think you should try to get to know both guys first! A crush only lasts no longer than four months. Take that time to get to know them. Then you'll see how you feel about them c: Don't rush into a relationship. It's never good and someone always ends up hurt or unhappy!
reply about 7 hours

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

157262_(2)

When you go back to Candyland, you’ll wonder why you ever left in the first plac...

100x100_ra_logo_girl

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

_thumb_100x100

Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...