Interview With a Professional Voice Actor
We know this might be hard to believe, but we at Voicemod are major fans of the voice–no, not the show. The actual voice. Aside from the fact that it’s what inspired basically everything that we do at Voicemod, the voice is one of the most powerful tools we have to communicate with others and express ourselves. The smallest details can completely change what you’re trying to say and what message you want to share. From tone to pitch to inflection, mastering your voice and its many elements can give you a major advantage both in the real world and online. And that brings us to the topic of the day: Voice acting 🙌
What comes to mind when you hear “voice acting?” Is it an actor on stage reciting monologues? Robin Williams as the Genie in Aladdin? Is it the movie trailer guy narrating all your favorite epic trailers? Yes, yes, and yes. All the above!
Voice acting is the art of doing voice-overs to portray a certain character or performance to an audience. Sounds awesome. But how is voice acting relevant for you? We recently sat down with Golden Drago, a professional voice actor and one of Voicemod’s very own voice doctors, to learn more about voice acting, why people should try it, and how they can start.
When asked how he started voice acting, Golden Drago says, “For voice acting, I simply grew up watching so many cartoons and video games and seeing how a character acts and responds to different situations. I saw how different the voices can be. I started doing my research and even watching behind-the-scenes clips of how voice actors do it. I knew I wanted to be part of it.”
For those of us who maybe aren’t planning to go on to be the next Don LaFontaine, there are actually many ways you can use voice acting to your benefit online. For all you content creators and streamers, we’re talking to you now. Voice acting is an incredible way to shake things up in your streams and videos. What better way to boost entertainment and audience engagement than by embodying different characters or acting out scenes?
At the end of the day, no matter what your channel is about, it’s safe to say any content creator or streamer shares the universal goal of wanting to entertain their viewers. You want your audience to have a good time and to return to your channel again and again. To put it simply: Voice acting is a competitive advantage that you might be missing out on to reach your channel’s full potential of entertainment. And we haven’t even told you the best part… ANYONE can do it–well, almost anyone, but still. Anyone.
Yes. Next question. Kidding 😆Here’s Golden Drago’s answer:
“Every single person in the world has a certain level of acting they can do. That being said, of course, there are people who are born with certain aspects of their voice that make them more equipped for voice acting. But still, even if you have an average voice, you can teach yourself how to voice act. Take me for example, I never took any theater or voice acting classes. I completely learned on my own accord and figured out little by little all the important steps people should take.”
Still not sure that this is for you? Here’s the thing, if you really don’t think you have the voice to do this or maybe you think it’s just missing that special “oomph,” there’s always Voicemod to help give you a leg up and enhance your sound. Just sayin’. But more on that in a bit. Let’s take a look at some tips from Golden Drago on how you can get started with voice acting. 👇
Once you take the leap and finally decide that you want to try voice acting, you need to do the necessary research. “It’s all about learning the industry secrets,” explains Golden Drago.
In this step, Google is your best friend. Watch videos of the actors who voice your favorite characters. Get your hands on all the behind-the-scenes videos and secrets from voice actors and take notes. And if you want to try your hand–or rather, your voice–at an actual voice acting job, research auditions and open casting calls.
The most important tool when it comes to voice acting is–you guessed it–your voice. But… you do still need some equipment to help bring the magic to life. Speaking into a poor-quality mic, for example, could be the difference between landing a job or not. You don’t have to break the bank to get a good mic! There are plenty of amazing mics out there that will do the job (Golden Drago uses a Samsung C01U Pro).
After that, you’ll want to look into all the other tools and accessories available to you. As one of our own voice doctors and a hardcore Voicelab user, Golden Drago is a big fan of our Echo and Robotic voices “to help re-create a sci-fi or fantasy character.” But if you just want to play around with an easy-to-use, high-quality voice changer, try our new Custom Pitch effect. This voice effect uses next-gen pitch-shifting technology so that you can do things with your voice you would’ve never thought possible. Head over to the Voicebox in the Voicemod app, search “Custom Pitch,” and give it a go!
It’s super important to do exercises and a warm-up routine before you spring into voice acting. Whether it be an audition, a live stream, or a podcast, it’s essential that you prepare your voice to help clear your throat and prevent damaging your vocal cords. Try some stretches, breathing exercises, tongue twisters, lip trills, anything that feels good for your voice and mouth.
When it comes to voice acting, your voice, mouth, and entire jaw are working overtime. “Make sure you don’t strain yourself,” says Golden Drago. “You need time to relax. Drink water or tea to soother your voice and always have a water bottle with you when doing a session.”
As we said before, your voice is the most important piece of equipment here. So make sure that you’re taking care of it as such.
Practice always makes perfect, and that’s especially true with voice acting–and even more true if you’re planning to teach yourself how to do it, like Golden Drago did. “It’s important to understand how to move your entire mouth and throat, since that’s where all the magic happens,” he explains. Understanding your unique abilities–and also your limits–is essential to hone your craft and gain full control over your voice.
Once you get over the initial shyness or apprehension you might be feeling right about now, all that’s left to do is to have fun with it. Remember, you’re doing this to entertain! Whether it be entertaining others for a job, while streaming, or maybe just entertaining yourself and your friends during a gaming session, it’s about having fun. Experiment with your voice, play around with it while using Voicemod, and see for yourself all that it’s capable of.