Whenever you go to an anime convention, the first thing you look for is which voice actor(s) will be on the guest list. It’s always an awesome feeling when you get the chance to meet the man or woman, behind your favorite characters on your favorite shows. Whenever they have a panel the number one question voice actors get is, “How do I become a Voice Actor?”
You guys and gals wanna know a secret about that particular question? It’s this; they HATE it! The only reason for this is that they’ve been asked it so many times at so many conventions – usually by the same people who ask the question. Doing impressions is nice and cool, but ‘one-trick ponies’ don’t get booked for VA gigs. The sad truth about voice acting is that not everybody is cut out for it, but for those who are serious about it, you must learn the fundamentals of A-C-T-I-N-G first!
Being a voice actor does not happen overnight (and the veteran VA’s will tell you the same), this type of career is a marathon – not a sprint. You have to be open to hearing the word ‘No’ more often than ‘Yes’, and you have to be able to handle constructive criticism. If you want to know the true about being a voice actor, here’s seven myths about being an anime VA from the guys at D&A!
1. Just Do Impressions!
As we mentioned before; impressions are nice and cool, but all they’ll do is land you a spot on ‘Amateur Nite’ at the comedy club – unless you’re a professional impressionist. (Yes, that is a real thing!) When it comes to voice acting, a lot of voice actors put a little more of themselves into whatever character they’re playing, in order to bring out the raw emotion within their character’s personality. You’ll have a better shot at getting VA gigs by coming up with your own original voice(s), or even putting your own spin to an exiting voice – like an accent.
2. The Pay Is Great!
Yeah, we’re gonna have to stop you right there. We’ve been to several conventions where we’ve learned the truth about how much voice actors get paid – and it’s not a lot! In fact, it’s $5-$10K less than what the average person makes a year on a full-time job. VA jobs are more contractual than constant, so maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to quit that 9-5 just yet (unless you’re in IT).
3. It’s Easy To Do, and Not Stressful At All!
Tell that to the guy who voiced Courage on Courage the Cowardly Dog. Yelling through a mic for five minutes is peanuts compared to doing it for three hours! There’s a lot that one must take into account if one makes a statement such as this, and if you though doing a war cry into a mic for three hours is bad, imagine the mental, emotional, and physical toll it takes on your body. You have to know your limits before you make the decision to become one with the character you voice.
4. It’s Done In One Shot!
No, not even close. In every anime title you’ve watched there’s at least one blooper reel included in the DVD or Blu-Ray copy. In the Panty & Stocking blooper reel one VA said that he went over the same line eight times before he got it right. So yeah, perfection in the voice acting world is not done in one take.
3. You’re a One-Man Band!
Flying solo may be good for some things in life, but not everything. The same can be said about voice acting; you can’t make it on your own without the proper guidance, people, and skill set. Every VA we know is signed to an agency, has their own social media accounts, and has both a physical and digital presence on the web, and at conventions. There’s a lot you can learn from the pros and other people who’ve been in the business for decades, so don’t sell yourself short on those types of opportunities.
2. The Character You Play is Who You Are!
When you see a sexy female character in an anime title and hear her voice, you automatically assume that the voice actor playing that role, acts like that in real life. Many of us have heard beloved voice actress Monica Rial play a few dark roles in her career, but when you meet her in person, she’s the most down-to-earth, creative, and funniest lady you’ll ever met – in life! Remember that in voice acting, it’s who they are on the inside that really counts!
1. It’s NOT Real Acting!
This is the one that voice actors hate the most, and is still a prevalent stigma to this very day; especially in Hollywood. The cardinal rule of acting is making what you’re conveying believable to your audience, and like it or not voice acting IS acting! (Only with your voice!) Enough said.
And with that, these seven voice acting myths are BUSTED!
See you guys next post! 🙂