VAM 001 | 7 Most Common Questions About Voice Acting, Part 1

VAM 001 | 7 Most Common Questions About Voice Acting, Part 1

Welcome to the first episode of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

You can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. Additionally, I’ll be submitting the podcast feed to iTunes in the near future, so you’ll be able to subscribe through the iTunes Music store if you’d like. I’ll let you know when that’s up and ready to go!

This is the first in a series of episodes where I’ll be addressing the 7 Most Common Questions I get asked about voice acting, starting with the most obvious:

“How do I get into voice acting?”

In this episode I’ll be answering that question by discussing the 6 criteria that all successful voice actors have in common. Then I’ll move on to the remaining 6 questions in subsequent podcasts.

I have big plans for this podcast, so stay tuned for more info!

Also, if you have any topic you’d like me to address in the podcast or here on my blog, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #1 Here (MP3)

 

92 Responses to “VAM 001 | 7 Most Common Questions About Voice Acting, Part 1”

  1. Andrea says:

    Thank you so much for doing this Crispin!!! I fall into the category of “Wanting to attend your lectures but not living close enough” so this is a perfect way to still learn without actually having to be there.

    While I do not wish to pursue Voice Acting as a career, I do feel that certain acting skills, such as cold reading and public speaking, can be applied to many other career paths which can become quite valuable. For instance teaching, which is what I have chosen. I love listening to insider information when it comes to the Voice Acting industry and I look forward to hearing more. Plus, you can’t beat free. 🙂

    Stay Awesome Sauce. Hope to attend a lecture in person one day.

  2. Nicole Obrey says:

    Thank you so much for making this podcast available! I do have a lot of questions, but the main one I’m concerned about at the moment is the recording equipment. What exactly does that all include? Do you have a recommendation for programs to get and how much do they cost?
    Thanks!
    Nicole

  3. Sarah says:

    I know Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York are huge places for voice acting work, but is there one that is perhaps better for a beginner? Also, do you have suggestions for high school students planning for college?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      That’s a great question for a future podcast! I’ll put that down on my list! Right now I’d say just study acting wherever you can. I’m sure they offer acting classes at whatever college you’re planning to attend.

      I don’t think any city is a “beginner” city, they all have working professionals in them. Nothing will serve you better than having solid acting skills whenever you decide to move to a city to pursue voice acting.

  4. Patrick says:

    This is much appreciated Crispin. I feel your dedication to this podcast and it seems like you really want to help others get in to the professional field of voice acting. That is why it bothers me when I am a person who is simply trying to make a hobby out of amateur voice acting but still be competitive in my category.

    Nonetheless, whether you are an amateur or an aspiring professional being able to play and pretend is a VERY useful skill. So any tips regarding the ‘acting’ of voice acting would be much appreciated.

    For a more specific setback I am having I would like you to address what can be gone about problems with annunciation. In my case my palate is simply to high. Often when when you speak your tongue makes contact with your palate to improve your annunciation. Mine simply can’t do that and it is the top reason why I can’t pursue VO/VA professionally (along with the industry simply being to isolated in Denmark). But for an amateur hobby, simple tips to hide my setbacks would be more than helpful.

    Once again, I thank you for doing this (completely free of charge too). If you decide to let the podcast be more dedicated to aspiring professionals I will not want you change that. I should be able to improve on my own if it is but a mere hobby. That being said I would not turn down helpful tips from a top name in the industry.

    I hate when my post get too long but it all needed to be said. Take care people.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m not really a speech therapist, so I’m not sure what specific advice I can give you about how to handle your palate challenge. However, I know that many speech impediments can be overcome or at least minimized by practice and retraining the muscles in your tongue and throat. I wish I could give you more detailed advice, but you seem very aware of your challenges and I have a feeling you’ll find a way to overcome them!

      There’s nothing wrong with wanting to pursue voice acting as a hobby. Hopefully my professional insights will help you enjoy your hobby even more!

  5. Patty Leigh says:

    This kind of thing is exactly what I needed, and just like everyone else I appreciate it very much!

    I just have one question I would like to present at the moment: I, personally, have a huge problem with improvisation. Not so good at thinking on my feet; never have been. Any tips or tricks that could help me, or is this something that nobody can help me with aside from myself? ANYTHING would be appreciated!

    Thanks again! Not often you see a pro looking to help the amateurs improve of their own free will, much less for free!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I had a huge problem with improvisation as well! I was terrible at it when I was an actor in high school and college! I was fortunate enough to take classes with a wonderful woman here in LA who really taught me how to improv better. I will definitely be doing a podcast on improv in the future! Stay tuned!

      In the meantime, just realize that you may be being too hard on yourself. Fear is usually what shuts us down and keeps us from thinking quickly. Give yourself a break and realize that you will find your path to being able to improv well if that’s what you’d truly like to do.

  6. Joseph Leone says:

    I’m really excited about this podcast/blog setup that you have because I have always wanted to do voice acting for video games or anime. I’ve grown up with anime and video games being a major part of my life and I have auditioned for many different roles in minor anime or video games, but I have been rejected many times because my voice is “too neutral” as it has been put by different casting agents. Do you think you can explain what that means and perhaps give some suggestions on how to fix this problem?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m not sure what they mean by the term “too neutral”. It may mean that your reads sound flat or emotionally disengaged. If that’s the case, you’ll need to start deepening your ability to play pretend. That’s also something I’ll be addressing in future podcasts.

      In the meantime, try imitating other actors and see if that can break you out of your normal speaking habits. You may find that useful for finding new and different ways for interpreting text.

  7. Kalyn McCabe says:

    Thank you so much for this podcast! I’ve been in the amateur voice acting biz for coming up on 5 years now, doing fandubs and songs. I did learn a lot about the professional business of voice acting along the way.

    A few things that you said really struck a cord with me. I did know about 98% of what you said in the podcast before I heard it from you. I’m really glad you’re doing this because I want to be a professional voice actor, and I know I don’t know absolutely everything about it. I’m still willing to learn more.

    I guess one question you could answer is how you find out about jobs, where to look for them in major voice acting cities, how much an agent will help you in finding jobs, and how belonging to guilds will affect your jobs.

    I am majoring in theatre at my college with a minor in film. So, addressing college degrees in theater affect you as an actor getting jobs would be another question for the general population.

    Just a few suggestions for the inquiring audience I thought I’d plant. Looking forward to hearing more from you!

    Always do what you love and love what you do!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I will definitely be doing a podcast on finding voice acting opportunities and discovering new ways to market your skills to those who need them. My primary avenue is through my agent, but there are places like Actor’s Access and Backstage where you can find out about auditions. There’s also voice acting websites like Voices.com and Voice123 where you can find opportunities.

      But I’ll be addressing this in detail in the future!

  8. Eric Silva says:

    Excellent! I really liked both quite a lot. Some great tips that I will take to heart and try my best to learn from. You’ve also reminded me I need to go and try some Theater. I honestly have no acting background and it’s made me hesitant about whether or not it’s possible I could actually get into Voice Acting. I’m out of High School but whenever I read about a Voice Actor they have had some kind of acting in school or a band or some such. So that’s a big hurdle in my way that I’m hoping I can surpass. It’s not like I can’t learn right? So I plan on doing all I can to make it in.

    Again thank you very much and….I don’t know if I have any questions actually.

    I have much to learn but you answered quite a lot in fact. I will definitely be listening every time you put one up so please keep it up! I’ve always wanted to go to one of your classes but living way over on the other side of the US (literally) doesn’t help haha.

  9. Connie says:

    What commercials and trailers might I have heard you on. That’s the area I’m most interested in, as anime jobs are scarce even for professionals and I’ve heard they don’t pay very much at all. Thank you.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      The majority of my work has been in animation, video games and anime. I’ve done many commercials doing celebrity voice matching, especially for the Madagascar commercials where I voice match Ben Stiller’s Alex the Lion. I’ve done those for McDonalds, Intel and Carnival Cruise lines. i’ve also done a trailer for a TV show called Night and Day starring William Fichtner.

      I’ll definitely be bringing in other voice actors who work in commercials and trailers if that’s what you’re interested in.

  10. Mr. Freeman, if one is to portray a character that has only one, but very important scene, are the expectations any higher? (I was thinking of your role as Mathias/Dracula in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, where I feel you gave it your best at 170%)

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m glad you liked my work!

      As far as expectations go, I think expectations can be high in general in the voice acting industry. But worrying about people’s expectations can be paralyzing. It’s better as an actor to just focus on playing pretend.

  11. Dylan Spencer says:

    A biweekly podcast hosted by my favorite voice actor? Excellent! This episode, and the bonus from the newsletter, are great.

    One question I’ve got is, how do you deal with poor direction? I remember kind of addressing this during your Voice Acting in Anime workshops back in March, but the only solution was to “make it work.” I was wondering if there were some tips as to how to deal with poor direction, other than just kind of guessing and hoping it’s what the director wants.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Short answer: you do your best and pick your battles. In the end, you are there to give them what they want, and sometimes you just have to follow the director’s lead, even if you disagree. If they want you to do Hamlet standing on your head, you can still play pretend and believe what you’re saying, even if the circumstances are not of your choosing.

  12. Maurice Cooper says:

    I am loving this bi-weekly podcast. I always thought I knew everything and all I needed to know on being a professional voice-over artist from various sources, and just by listening to your blog/podcast, I discovered about 3 to 4 things that the other sources never discussed. Thanks Crispin and I can’t wait for the next episode.

  13. Alex Keithley says:

    Thank you for making this website, thankfully my sister saw you post about this on your Facebook, and knowing I was interested in voice acting, directed me here. Your podcasts have been inspiring as well as informative, I can’t wait for the next one!

  14. Thomas Elrod says:

    Hey there Crispin. First off, I’d just like to say, thank you VERY, VERY much for finally creating a podcast. I’ve been waiting eons for something like this!

    I have a slightly more technical question, regarding recording rigs, since many of us (not to be overreaching or condescending), except those of us who are involved with sound editing (like me), probably might not even know what a preamp is. This is a field of VO that I’ve always found to be a very blurry area even when asking other voice actors, because there are frankly so many different options for creating your own setup, and so many different configurations. Tell us what is absolutely required if we want to practice in our own home. Could you break down what kind of microphones we should be using with certain pickup patterns, and what we need to be able to use it effectively(cable, preamp, editing software, etc)? This has been the biggest roadblock for me, I’ve found, because the audio quality of a meager USB mic just doesn’t seem to cut it. For practice, I’m sure it doesn’t matter at first, but later on, one definitely needs to acquire a good solid setup for professional auditions sent out from home. I realize this is a pretty broad question. If you could address this in another one of your podcast episodes, I would FOREVER be in your debt. Again, thank you for creating this all for free! I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate this!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      You can find my list of recommended audio equipment in the Toolbox section of the website:
      http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/toolbox

      At home I use my MBox Mini 2 with my Neumann condenser microphone for auditions. That’s also how I record my podcasts. You can use either the CEntrance MicPort Pro that I recommend or you can get a ProTools rig yourself if you’d like.

      I will get into the details of pre-amps and the like in a future podcast.

      • CJ Adams says:

        I was looking over the toolbox section snd researching headphones and was wondering something. The ones you suggest are not closed backed. I am in a 4x 4 vocal booth and would be worried about spill into the mic. Would you have a recommendation for closed ones?
        Thanks

        CJ

        • Crispin Freeman says:

          It’s true that normally when tracking it is important to have closed back headphones in order to avoid spill from the mix in your headphones being picked up by the microphone. If you’re actually tracking to a mix, then I would recommend either the Sennheiser HD 280 or the Beyerdynamic DT 770. These are the most common closed-back headphones that I see in studios day in and day out. Some might recommend Sony closed back headphones, but I find their mid-range far too “scooped out” to recommend for true tracking purposes. The Sennheisers are less expensive than the Beyerdynamics, so they’re probably a better place to start. Also, if you do get the Beyerdynamics, make sure to get one that matches the impedance of your headphone jack. I’ve recommended the 80 Ohms version because it strikes a nice balance of being able to work with both pro gear and consumer gear. I would avoid the 250 Ohm version unless you’re going to be using a proper headphone amp.

          However, if you’re using your small studio just for auditioning purposes, there’s almost never a “mix”. It’s just your voice. Hopefully your voice is far louder coming out of your mouth than coming out of your headphones. That’s why you can get away with open-backed headphones for voice over auditions. In that case, I recommend the AKG 240’s because they are far and away the most comfortable to wear over long periods of time. They also do not fatigue your ears.

          Hope that helps.

  15. Aubrie Noland says:

    Thank you so much for starting this up! I plan on pursuing voice acting, and, even though I plan on majoring in Theatre when I get to college, and have been watching VA panels concerning the topic of starting one’s career, I was kinda lost and didn’t know exactly what I needed to do to get there.

    I have a quick question: how do you figure out which voice to do with a character?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’ll do my best to address that issue in a future podcast. If you download my Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Voice Acting, you’ll discover the importance of starting with your own, natural voice.

  16. Stacey B says:

    Hi Crispin,
    It’s funny how what was once a small blurb in the back reaches of entertainment space, has evolved. When I was younger mimicking people and voices of characters on TV was just a fun thing to do. As I grew up I has no idea, there was a world dedicated to this type of media. So I missed my opportunity perhaps back then. But through my life’s experiences and a huge resurgence in Voice Acting. Perhaps I have not yet missed the boat. I look forward to more of your podcasts.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      If it’s what you’d truly like to do, you’ve never missed the boat. We need all types of voices in voice acting.

      • Stacey B says:

        Thanks for the encouragement. I was going through my many voices recently and should we be cataloging all these voices by giving them names or keywords? In order to quickly pull them from our repertoire.

        Thanks,

  17. Azure says:

    Really interesting and helpful podcast, thanks for this 🙂

  18. Paula says:

    Hello, Mr. Freeman. I’m a youngster and I was wondering how I can be like you — a famous anime voice actor. I want to say thanks for the advice in your podcast.. really helped me. I just want to know how did you start out this way? You know, to become so well known and begin voice acting?

  19. Jim says:

    Greetings, Mr. Freeman. I was wondering if there were any other speech impediments that you would classify, other than the standard stuttering and slurring? Also, would you have any advice along the lines of speech pace and patterns, or would that vary depending on the character you are portraying?

    I’d love to give this voice acting thing a shot given my public speaking, podcasting and amateur sports announcing background, but I don’t live near the work. Any advice for people like myself who are on the other side of the nation?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Stuttering and slurring are obvious problems. Less obvious problems would be regional dialects that you can turn off when you need to. I don’t really have a catalogue of speech impediments. It’s more that you need to be able to sound like the character and anything that will get in the way of that needs to be removed or overcome.

      If you’re a public speaker, a podcaster and a sports announcer, chances are you aren’t suffering from any major speech challenges.

      I’ll be addressing how to go about finding voice acting opportunities in your local area in a future podcast. In the meantime, I suggest downloading the Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Voice Acting audio report where I talk about getting acting training to help you further your voice acting career.

  20. Andrew White says:

    Hello Mr. Freeman,

    First off I would to thank you for creating this website and the podcast for those whom have a desire to pursue the career of VA seriously and that you are willing to share your experience with us and guide us. That aside, I am fairly young, and have been wrestling with the idea of becoming VA for awhile now and I’m curious as how to get an actual job/career in that line of work. I have yet to pick a major and am waiting to sign up for the VA course that is at my University, but I would prefer to know to get a job before taking the plunge.
    On aside note, I’m also a writer and have been writing for nearly ten years now and I’m curious if by pursing VA, that I could also perhaps get into the writing aspect of it Ex: The dub scripting.
    I wish good luck with your courses too since I am unable to be there to attend (Is Canadian). Sorry that this has dragged out to long!
    Anyway, thank you for taking your time and dedication for making the podcast and willing to reply and address us fans. I look forward to your future installments. And thank you as well for taking the time to read this.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad you appreciate my website! It’s been a labor of love and I’m glad I finally get to share it with people!

      If you take a listen to my Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Voice Acting audio report, you’ll hear me talk about how voice acting is not a job, it’s a business. I suggest you check that out.

      It is true that I got into dub script adaptation by being a voice actor first. I actually used to write dub scripts for the original season of Pokemon back in the day. So yes, that is definitely a possibility.

      • Andrew White says:

        Hello Mr. Freeman,

        Thank you for replying to my comment! Anyway, I can empathize with the hard labor it comes with developing and running a website.

        I did take a look at the Top 5 Mistakes for Voice Acting, and it opened my eyes to that world, and has ignited my determination and my interest even more. Lately, I have been practicing my voices as of late and studying accents while being coached by a friend of mine, while a master of voices, has retired from theatre.

        Well that’s good then, thank you for answering that. And I’m sorry that this has come out rather long again, I apologize. Also, I have actually in the making of a YouTube Channel in which I hope that you will check out in the future.

        PS: I read that you will be attending Montreal’s Convention on your website, I highly advise to purchase a Canadian French Dictionary and ALWAYS, ALWAYS attempt to speak in french first while staying there, I cannot stress how important this is. Once again good luck with your podcast, I look forward to the next one.

  21. Despite the quality being bad, is this good for the equipment I have? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqkUCAewfkc

  22. Emily Cl. says:

    I can’t begin to tell you how ecstatic I was when I found this website. I listened to your first episode and learned a lot. I can’t wait to listen to episodes to come so I can learn even more about the voice acting business.

    I do have some questions. Will you be talking about demo tapes in upcoming episodes? And if you are, could you tell us what exactly to put in a demo tape? Especially if we don’t have any prior experience with voice acting. Because I always wondered about that. Since I haven’t done any voice acting work should I just get myself some recording equipment, take lines from anime scripts and put my own twist on them? Or is there another way to do it?

    And once again thank you so much for your time.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Thanks for your wonderful comments! I’m glad you’re enjoying the podcast!

      I will definitely be talking about demos in upcoming episodes. Thanks for letting me know what you’d like to hear! I want to make sure I’m covering topics that are important to everyone!

  23. Lex says:

    Thank you so much for doing this. I’ve been a fan of your work since the 7th grade and always wanted to hear you explain to us how to be a VA.

  24. Allon S. Keller says:

    how does a person’s physical condition (weight, health, fitness) affect one’s voice acting?
    i’m a bit overweight. and i’m sure it helps me hit the vocal range i’m at… but would losing the weight, and getting fit help my voice, or harm it? i’m afraid losing my weight might lighten my voice, or take away the ‘gravel’ you’ve described that i have.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      The timbre of your voice is not determined by your weight. The timbre of your voice is determined by the size and shape of your vocal cords, how you use your soft palate, vocal training and the size of your sinus and nasal cavities in your skull. Weight will affect your breathing, however, which can make you sound like a bigger person because you may wheeze or have other labored breathing habits that most of us associate with the sound of a larger person. But whose voice is deeper: mine or Kyle Hebert’s? Probably mine even though Kyle is a much larger fellow than I am.

      You should never sacrifice your health to try and achieve a vocal sound. If you lose weight, you’ll be able to keep your sound.

  25. Haruko says:

    i want to become a voice acter but i have a very big accent and i am shy to talk what do i do?

  26. Haruko says:

    ahh darn it!! this is alot and i am scared my accent is big and i never try loseing it before

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      It’s all right. This is a lot of information. You don’t have to learn and internalize it all at once. Voice acting is a skill and like any skill it takes time and practice to truly master. Take it easy, give yourself a break and learn at your own pace.

      There are people who can help you work on your accent. They are accent reduction therapists. I’ll see if I can interview one for the podcast so you can see how they can help you.

  27. Helen says:

    HI!! my names Helen! ^^ I”ve been told by a few people that I would really suit voice acting, I have had alot of acting experience in plays inside and out of school, and while I have won no persona awards, my group and various plays I have been In have. I have been told im good at serious, and funny plays and am versitile, but while this may be all good, I have a big problem, that I live in Australia Central Queensland Emerald to be exact, and there are no voice acting Companies or places in Austraila, and I cannot Afford to fly to America.
    Do you have any addvice other than to save up? perhaps Distance or something, would be willing to go to America if I got a job there though.
    Thanx kindest regards, Helen!! ^^

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      As I say in the Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Voice Acting, you can start acting almost anywhere. I’m not familiar with where you live, but chances are there is someone in the vicinity who does either community theater or possibly a school nearby that has a theater department. There’s also online groups that do amateur voice acting projects. Those are all great places to start.

  28. Helen says:

    by the way, thankyou very much for your podcasts, they have been very helpful

  29. Reinnya says:

    i was scared when i herd that i need to be able to read well out loud but will they just give me a script and tell me read it then and there or will they give me time to read it?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Most of the time you will need to be able to quickly read something to understand it and then start performing it very soon after. Voice Acting is a very fast paced industry. You usually do not have time to take a script home, read it, and then come back and perform it. You have to be able to perform on the spot. That’s why I encourage actors to take improvisational acting classes. Improv teaches you how to be able to make quick decisions and commit to them fully.

  30. Anthony Barbieri says:

    Thank you so much for developing this! It’s probably going to become my home page, XD. I’ve been looking for something like this for so long! Inquiring at cons, and the like as well. The only thing I’m worried about is I lack theatrical experience. I believe myself to be a decent actor, but I’m a very shy person when it comes to preforming on stage… I hope to change this with the upcoming school semester when I start college, and again, I appreciate this blog SO MUCH. Thank you!! Especially with it all coming from such a great voice actor!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      You’re so welcome! Thank you for your comments! It’s okay if you lack theatrical experience. Not everyone comes from the theater. Steve Blum has never taken an acting class in his life as far as I know. We all have our different paths. I’m confident that you will find yours. Best of luck with your theater endeavors when you get back to college!

  31. Anthony Barbieri says:

    Sorry! Almost forgot! I wanted to ask you about the current microphone I have! I believe it to be clear, but also, if you agree I figure others might want to know about it as well! It’s a Samson C03U. This was recorded with the mic in my room on a laptop. If you don’t mind putting up with my singing? Heh. It was around $100 I believe.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      The quality sounds very good. There’s also no room echo or reverberations which makes a big difference. I’ve not used the Samson mic myself but if it works for you then great!

  32. Charles Ziese says:

    About speech impediments, is it a good idea to try if one only stutters when thinking too fast, but have no problem with reading a script?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Are you asking me if it is a good idea to try and become a voice actor if you have the type of speech impediment you just described? I think the question should be, do you really want to be a voice actor? If you do, then you can overcome whatever speech impediments you might have. James Earl Jones certainly overcame his speech impediments to become an actor. There are also plenty of people who don’t have speech impediments who never succeed at voice acting. Having a speech impediment or not having a speech impediment is not an indicator of success. Your desire to become a voice actor is the only way to guarantee success.

    • Crystal Jean says:

      If you really want to act you can get rid of your stuttering, it will not be easy and it will be hard work, but anything is possible if you want it bad enough. I have Cerebral Palsy, I walk with an awkward gait, but I go to auditions for parts and do acting. But it’s not impossible to get rid of it.

  33. Hello crispin freeman, thank you for the this I am going to study this well enough so can help me get to be propper voice actor. thanks so much for this.

  34. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for this! I love your voice acting, and I think i truly want to be a voice actor now when i grow up now! So these are SUPER cool and helpful. once i become more developed or into this, i’ll see if i can email you and other voice actors for more advice 🙂
    Please keep being awesome and helping people like me out!!

    btw i love you as kyon i can only picture him when you talk 🙂

  35. Ben says:

    crispin I am not bad at lying (i know it’s bad) but is that a trait in voice acting

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m not quite sure how to answer your question. Some people consider acting to be lying. I don’t. I consider acting to be sharing your thoughts and emotions truthfully in the moment.

      If by saying you are a good liar you mean that you can play pretend well, then yes, playing pretend is an asset to acting. However, I’ve never thought of acting as “lying”.

  36. Nicole says:

    I know you were in Australia last week for AVcon, but unfortunately I missed your voice acting panel (very disappointing, I was looking forward to it!). Anyway, my question is – living in Australia, is there actually any possibility of becoming a professional voice actor? Also, I’m in uni studying Finance and it’s really difficult to find time to do the things I like and study. Voice acting is something I really, REALLY want to do but I’m so scared that I’ll never make it and be stuck doing nothing. I also have my parents on my back who want me to have a successful career and make lots of money. I just want to do something I love..

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Sorry you missed my voice acting panel in Australia.

      I will be honest and say that I’m not familiar with the voice acting industry in Australia. I’m not sure what opportunities there are “down under”. You will probably have to do your own research on that front. I know there is an Australian film industry, but I don’t know much about it. I’m sorry I can’t give you a more definitive answer but the Australian market is outside of my bailiwick.

      As far as making a career decision about voice acting versus some other path, that’s not something you have to decide right this minute. I realize you’re probably very busy with your financial studies, but hopefully you could find some time to take an acting class or join a student run theater program. That could give you a taste of acting without needing to abandon your studies. Then you could see if you truly enjoy acting before making any further decisions about your life path.

      Remember, many famous artists got full degrees in certain academic areas of study before they ever started their professional careers as artists. Both Tezuka, the god of Manga and Anime as well as Micheal Crichton, the author of Jurassic Park, went to medical school and graduated as M.D.s before working in earnest as creators.

  37. Kristen Patton says:

    Crispin! I’m an aspiring voice actor from Texas, and I really appreciate what you’re doing to help the people who really need it. Me being one of those who really needs it.

    I’ve loved to act all my life and have, personally, wanted to become an actress since I was very young. I worked hard in my drama classes, and I write stories professionally, I’m still working on getting better, of course. But I have been told that I’m very good. I do need to work on character development, so I’ve recently been told. But acting has always been the field where I’ve been very good at. In a play once, I slipped when I wasn’t supposed to, and played it off so well that no one noticed, apparently. I was proud of that! I’m planning on actually taking your online course as soon as I can get the income. Funimation has a place here in Texas for VA, don’t they? As I’ve actually done a little bit of research on Funimation, but not enough to know for sure whether or not they still have a building here for that.

    I’d surely appreciate some feedback from you when you have the time and am getting to the next podcast right after this post!!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Yes, Funimation is still located in Texas. I don’t know what their policy is for accepting submissions from new actors. You’ll definitely need to get your skills up to a professional level before you approach their casting department. You’re more than welcome to take my voice acting class if you’d like some more feedback on your skills. You should also take some acting classes or find an acting community in your area.

  38. Jesse says:

    Hello Crispin.

    I suppose my comment is more of a question and concern.
    You see, I am legally blind, so just picking up a page and reading it outloud isn’t a possibility.
    I was wondering if you could give me any advice regarding my situation. I have been acting for a very long time and I am a very accomplished vocallist, having been performing for a very long time, I have always wanted to persue it as a career, but it seems that my vission problems may be a very big issue with a career in voice acting.

    Sorry, I know that this is a long and quite possibly annoying comment, but I would really appreciate the advice.

    Thank you.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’ve thought long and hard about your question. I never want to say that something is impossible, since I’m a big believer in out-of-the-box thinking. However, being able to read copy and scripts quickly and being able to “cold read” a script is one of the primary criteria for being a voice actor. I can’t think of any solutions myself that would help you accommodate your blindness. There are text to speech reading programs, and you could certainly try those, but then you would need to memorize the text being spoken. When you’re dealing with large blocks of text, that may not be feasible.

      Is there a text to braille program that would allow you to quickly transcode normal text into braille? That’s the only thing I can think of that may be able to help you be able to keep up with the pace of voice acting and voice over.

      Do you have any ideas? Does anyone else have any suggestions?

      • Jesse says:

        Well, I do have sight enough to read text on a computer screen, what with magnifier programs and changing the contrast to white text on black backgrounds.
        If there were some way for me to get texts/scripts ahead of time digitally, or if I get them enough ahead of time, I could have them scanned into digital format. “I’m not much of a braille reader.” The capability to look over it ahead of time would bennifit in that situation.
        The real problem is that I couldn’t just pick up a piece of paper and read it out loud.

        I imagine this is a difficult question to approach. This is something that is difficult to explain to people because I am legally blind and people don’t really understand what that means.

        I don’t know of anyone who is visually impaired and in the voice over industry, so I don’t really have a reference to work off of.

        • Crispin Freeman says:

          The majority of auditions I get from my agent are sent via e-mail that I need to record from home. Obviously in those cases you can set up your reading environment however you’d like and as long as you get your audition mp3 back in time, you’re good.

          However, there are other situations where they will not give you the copy ahead of time. Sometimes the show or commercial is very high profile and they are unwilling to give out the information ahead of time for fear of information leaks. Sometimes a director wants you to come in so they can work with you directly. It might be possible to develop relationships with these directors where they might be comfortable giving you the text ahead of time because of your situation, but often they may change their mind in the moment and want you to read a different character than they had initially thought of. You are expected to look at the new sides briefly (a couple of minutes max) and then do your best at auditioning for that role. You would have to have some sort of portable system, I guess with a tablet computer, where you could conceivably get a digital copy of the sides and then read from that. Would it be possible for you to use a tablet computer to work around your situation?

          Voice over is a very fast paced industry so it can be difficult to get things “ahead of time”. Commercial copy is often changed up until the very last second and also changed during the actual recording gig. Do you think you would be able to work under those conditions?

          I don’t want to discourage you at all, but I do want to be honest with you about the expectations in the industry so you can go in well aware of what directors and producers will be looking for.

          • Jesse says:

            I think that only trial and error can really tell whether or not it’s going to work out for me, but you have certainly given me a lot to considder when thinking about persuing voice over.

            If it turns out that it’s not the best path for me, I suppose I will just have tofind another way to chase after what I want. As a “former” Thespian, I know that you can understand how important acting feels. I suppose that the very idea of being a part of telling a story to people, is the most exciting thing that I have ever done.

            Anyway…
            Now that I am done rambling. I really appreciate that you’ve taken tha time to talk to me like this. You are really doing a lot for people who want to become professional voice actors and I think that is really awesome.

            So again, thank you and I hope that we can talk again some time, you seem like a really cool guy. You and Steve Blum have so far been the most pleasant professional actors I have “met”

            Cheers!
            Jesse Curtis
            http://jesse-curtis.webs.com
            http://www.youtube.com/actjessecurtis

          • Crispin Freeman says:

            I had another thought. As I described in an earlier podcast, I break down voice over work into narration-based and character-based voice acting. Narration-based is voice over that does not require you to work with other actors, such as industrials, audiobooks, some commercials, etc. Character-based voice acting requires you to record at the same studio with other actors. This includes Animation, Video Games and Anime.

            It is possible to have a voice acting career as a narration based voice actor from home. Many people are now pursuing that path from all over the country. If you were interested in that path, you could make sure to set up your home studio exactly how you’d like it to be. Plus, you would always be getting the scripts sent directly to you since you’ll need to read them from your home computer. That might be a viable route for you if you’re interested in working on audiobooks, industrials, etc. However, if your dream is to work on animated series, video games or anime, you’ll still have to overcome the hurdle of dealing with the “sighted” way of doing things in the entertainment industry.

            Hopefully that gives you some more options. Audiobooks might be a good way for you to explore your thespian nature under acting conditions that are more hospitable for you.

            Thanks also for you kind words. I’m flattered and honored to be put in the same category as Steve Blum when it comes to manners and attitude. Steve is one of the nicest guys I know.

          • Jesse says:

            Actually, yes.
            That does certainly sound like an industry I could work my way around very well. Thank you very much for those suggestions.

            And you are very welcome.

  39. Andrew Kukulka says:

    Hi Crispin! I want to say thank you for putting up this podcast! This is the second episode i listened to next to the five mistakes freebie and i am learning a lot and taking notes!

    I do want to express my gratitude by thanking you for making this podcast so thank you very very much for doing this!

    I cannot tell you how many times i’ll watch an anime series or a cartoon series with people and will blurt out voice actor names left and right and start naming series that those voice actors were in and people will look at me as if i have two heads, hahaha!

    So once again thank you so much for putting this podcast together and i eagerly look forward to listening and taking notes down as well as try to get into my local community theatre.

    Which brings me to my questions since i am looking into joining a community theatre should i look into taking acting classes before i join or will the theatre supply the classes?

    What would you suggest i do first?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      You’re very welcome! Glad you’re enjoying the podcast.

      I’m not sure how your community theater works, but chances are they do not offer acting classes, they expect you to come with some acting talent. However, every community theater is run differently so your best bet is to ask them.

      Hope that helps.

  40. Crystal Jean says:

    I am an actor, been acting for about 6 years. I do everything, and I have done little of voice acting had took a small class in it in Tacoma Washington. I understand that voice acting different from acting on stage and film and I know they don’t give you the time to studying the script, most the acting world is like this which annoys me.

    How different is script for voice acting than typical script? I have listen to your other podcast and you talk about understanding how to bring the character to life, by understanding the immediate circumstances and that stuff that one should study, but how can you portray a character if you don’t understand the relationship, the world, the means? If they just throw a script at you expect you to portray a character without studying it????? I know you say there isn’t a correct way to say something, which is true to an extent, but how the world affects us, the situations that we find ourselves in and the relationships we have with people affect how we say things, and how we act.

    I didn’t mean to make this sound like rant, but it mind-boggling to me to be, to come into work be throw script that you have not read or study and bring character to life. I am a professional I don’t like to give a crap performance nor do I like falling into telling (just speaking the words and not understanding why the character says the things they say), but rather convey what you say. How does Alucard know what kind relationship he has with Seras or how to say something if you don’t have the time to look at it?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      A script for American TV animation looks like any normal screenplay script. Video game scripts and Anime scripts are usually done in a spreadsheet format. Video game scripts rarely have the other character’s lines. Anime scripts always do.

      You’re right. It is challenging to bring specificity to a character if you don’t understand their relationship to the other characters or the world they are in. That is why I like to call voice acting “acting paleontology”. They give you a single tooth, and they want you to recreate an entire T-Rex from that one tooth. The only way you can do that is by making a lot of educated guesses about what they’re looking for. You have to fill in the gaps of the information they’ve given you to the best of your ability. Voice actors are the short order cooks of the acting world. They usually don’t get much to work with, but they can still whip up a meal when asked to.

      That is why improv is so important a skill to have. In improv, you also have no time to “study” a character. You are creating a character on the spot based on the information you have at hand. The process is very similar to voice acting, even though in voice acting you’re not necessarily creating your own dialogue as is common in improv.

      You’re rant is understandable. I too am a professional and don’t like to give a crap performance. That is why I do my best to bring as much of my experience and knowledge as I can to every project I work on. Fortunately with Alucard, I was able to study the show before we went in to record. However, with a show like Eureka Seven or my Male Wizard in Diablo III, I had no prior knowledge before I went in to record.

  41. I am absolutely so happy I stumble onto this! I’ve wanted to be a voice actor for so long now and I’ve sort of lost my way over the years.

    This has given me so much inspiration, and it’s only the first episode! I’ve always wanted to go to one of your classes but my location in Canada makes that basically impossible.

    This is a perfect tool for aspiring voice actors, thank you Crispin, thank you!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      You’re welcome! And I’m glad you think it’s such a useful tool for voice actors! That’s really wonderful to hear. Thank you.

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