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Voice Acting for Beginners: The Complete Guide

voice acting

Voice acting is an art form that breathes life into characters, narratives, and advertisements across media platforms. From the fantastical realms of video games to the captivating storytelling of podcasts and the persuasive allure of commercials, voice acting plays a vital role in entertainment and culture. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you into the world of voice acting, exploring its nuances, techniques, and the steps to get started in this exciting and expressive field. Let’s get started!

What is Voice Acting?

Voice acting, also known as voiceover acting, is the art of using one’s voice to bring characters, scripts, and narratives to life. It’s a versatile and dynamic form of performance that encompasses a wide range of applications in the entertainment industry and beyond. Voice acting can be found in:

Video Games: In the world of gaming, voice actors give voice to iconic characters, helping players immerse themselves in the game’s storyline.

Podcasts: Podcasts often rely on voice actors to narrate stories, host shows, and perform various roles in audio dramas and scripted content.

Commercials: Whether it’s a catchy jingle or a persuasive narration, voice actors play a crucial role in making commercials memorable and effective.

Audiobooks: Audiobooks have gained immense popularity, and skilled voice actors bring the written word to life, making stories accessible through audio formats.

Animation: In animated series and films, voice actors provide the voices for characters, shaping their personalities and contributing to the overall charm of the medium.

Dubbing: Voice actors perform dubbing work by providing voiceovers for characters in foreign-language films and shows, making them accessible to a broader audience.

Narration: Documentaries, educational videos, and e-learning modules often rely on voice actors to deliver information clearly and engagingly.

What Skills Do You Need to Become a Voice Actor?

Becoming a successful voice actor involves more than just having a pleasant voice. It demands a diverse skill set and a commitment to continuous improvement. Below, we’ll explore some of the essential skills required to embark on a journey in voice acting.


Voice actors often find themselves in situations where improvisation is key. Whether it’s adding a touch of spontaneity to a character’s dialogue or adapting to unexpected changes in a recording session, the ability to think on your feet and deliver authentic performances is invaluable. 

Improvisation allows voice actors to breathe life into characters and situations, making the performances more dynamic and engaging.


My Top Improv Tip! 🎭 #improv #improvisation #improvised #theatre #vaactor #dcactors #sceneworkchallenge #scenework #scenepartner #improvtips #actors

♬ original sound – Isabella Lash

Acting Skills

At the heart of voice acting lies the art of acting itself. While you might not be seen on screen, your voice becomes the vessel through which emotions, personalities, and narratives are conveyed. Strong acting skills are vital for bringing characters to life and eliciting genuine emotions from your audience. This includes:

Proper Annunciation: Clear and articulate speech is essential. Every word must be pronounced accurately to ensure that the audience understands the dialogue.

Dialects and Accents: The ability to convincingly mimic various dialects and accents can open doors to a wider range of character opportunities.

Emotional Range: Voice actors must be able to convey a wide spectrum of emotions, from joy and excitement to sadness and anger, with authenticity and depth.

Characterization: Developing unique voices and distinct character traits is crucial. This involves creating voices that match the character’s personality and physical attributes.

Script Analysis: Analyzing scripts and understanding the context of the dialogue is essential for delivering compelling performances.


Voice acting, like any other form of art, requires discipline and dedication. This involves:

Professionalism: Being punctual, respectful, and easy to work with is vital for building lasting relationships in the industry.

Practice: Regularly practicing and refining your skills is essential for growth. Voice acting is a competitive field, and consistent improvement is key.

Commitment to Learning: Voice actors should always be open to learning new techniques, exploring different genres, and seeking feedback from peers and mentors.

How Do You Become a Voice Actor?

Becoming a voice actor is a journey that requires dedication, skill development, and perseverance. Below, we’ll explore the path to becoming a voice actor, including essential steps and considerations.

Taking Acting Classes

Many voice actors start their journey by taking acting classes . These classes help develop fundamental acting skills, including characterization, script analysis, emotional range, and stage presence. A solid acting foundation is crucial for delivering authentic and engaging voice performances.

Taking Voice Acting Classes

Voice acting classes specifically focus on the nuances of the craft, such as vocal control, breathing techniques, microphone etiquette, and character development. These classes provide valuable insights into the unique demands of voice acting and offer opportunities to practice and receive feedback.

Building a Demo Reel

A demo reel is a voice actor’s calling card. It’s a compilation of your best work, showcasing your range and versatility. A well-crafted demo reel is essential for attracting potential clients and securing voice acting opportunities. As you gain experience, continually update your demo reel to reflect your growth and capabilities.

Building a Network

Networking is a vital aspect of the voice acting industry. Attend industry events, workshops, and conventions to connect with fellow voice actors, casting directors, producers, and agents. Building a network can lead to valuable collaborations and job opportunities.

Potential Jobs for Voice Actors

Voice actors have a diverse range of opportunities to showcase their talents. Here are some potential avenues for voice acting work:


Audiobooks offer voice actors a chance to narrate and bring stories to life. It involves reading and interpreting the text while conveying the emotions and nuances of the characters.

Recording Foreign Language Dubs

Voice actors proficient in multiple languages can find work in recording foreign language dubs for films, television shows, and animations. This requires the ability to match lip-sync and capture the essence of the original performance.

Video Games

Voice actors in the gaming industry lend their voices to characters in video games. This includes protagonists, villains, and supporting characters. Video game voice acting often demands a wide range of emotions and vocal styles.


In the world of animation, voice actors provide the voices for animated characters. This can encompass various genres, from children’s cartoons to adult-oriented animations and everything in between.


Voice actors play a crucial role in commercials, where they deliver persuasive and engaging scripts to promote products and services. Commercial work often requires versatility in tone and style.

As you embark on your journey to become a voice actor, remember that persistence and continuous improvement are key. Invest in your education, practice your craft, build a compelling portfolio, and connect with industry professionals. With dedication and a love for storytelling through voice, you can carve out a rewarding career in the world of voice acting.

How Much Do Voice Actors Make?

Voice actors’ earnings can vary widely based on several factors. The average salary range for voice actors can fluctuate from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars or more depending on the following considerations:

  • Experience
  • Type of Work
  • Union Affiliation
  • Market Demand
  • Voice Actor’s Reputation
  • Negotiation Skills

It’s important to research industry standards and consult with peers or mentors to determine fair compensation for your voice-acting services. Keep in mind that building a successful voice acting career often involves starting with lower-paying projects to gain experience and gradually working your way up to higher-paying opportunities.

Becoming a Voice Actor: Continuing Your Journey

Voice acting is a continuously evolving craft that offers ample room for growth and improvement. To advance your career and enhance your skills as a voice actor, consider the following steps:

Take More Classes: The learning process never truly ends in voice acting. Enroll in advanced voice acting classes to refine your techniques, expand your vocal range, and explore new genres.

Find Mentors: Seek out experienced voice actors who can serve as mentors. Their guidance and insights can be invaluable in honing your skills and navigating the industry.

Gain More Experience: Continue auditioning for diverse projects to broaden your portfolio. The more roles you undertake, the more versatile and skilled you become as a voice actor.

Network: Attend industry events, conventions, and workshops to connect with industry professionals, casting directors, and potential clients. Building a robust network can open doors to exciting opportunities.

Stay Updated: Keep up with industry trends and emerging technologies, such as remote recording capabilities. Adapting to the evolving landscape of voice acting can give you a competitive edge.

Remember that success in voice acting often requires patience, persistence, and a deep passion for the craft. By committing to continuous improvement and seizing opportunities for growth, you can embark on a fulfilling and prosperous journey as a voice actor.

Oh, and one more thing — if you found this article helpful, you should consider subscribing to Toronto Film School’s industry-focused newsletter Insider Advantage. Packed with exclusive content and useful industry insights, Insider Advantage is essential reading for anyone looking to make their mark in the world of film and television.

Taegan MacLean


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