VAM 002 | 7 Most Common Questions About Voice Acting, Part 2

VAM 002 | 7 Most Common Questions About Voice Acting, Part 2

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

As always, 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 second in a series of episodes I’ve entitled the 7 Most Common Questions I get asked about voice acting. If you haven’t listened to Episode 1, I highly recommend you go back and check it out! Here’s the link to the blog post with the first episode:

Voice Acting Mastery, Episode #1

In Episode 2, I’ll be answering questions 2, 3 & 4 which are:

2. People tell me I have a good voice. Should I get into voice acting?
3. How do I know if I have enough talent to be a voice actor?
4. What recording equipment do I need?

I get these questions a lot, and the answers to them may surprise you! So listen using the player above or download the podcast below!

If this episode sparks any thoughts from you, please let me know by leaving a comment on this blog post!

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #2 Here (MP3)

 

29 Responses to “VAM 002 | 7 Most Common Questions About Voice Acting, Part 2”

  1. Nicole Obrey says:

    Thank you so much for addressing my earlier question and for doing this podcast!

    One thing that concerns me is location of studios. I know that it’s important to be close to where the recording takes place and that it will be easier to get a job if producers can call on you short notice. Where exactly are the studios located? Where is the best place to ‘put down roots’ so to speak?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      So glad you enjoy the podcast!

      As to location of studios, I’m probably going to address this question in greater detail in a future podcast, but the short answer is if you’d like to work in animation and video games, you need to be where those things are produced. Los Angeles is obviously the big one for animation and also for games. Vancouver also records a lot of animation and games. Dallas is a big place for anime because of Funimation. Those are the first few places off the top of my head. Check the credits for your favorite shows and games and track down where those studios are, that will give you a good idea.

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed the podcast so far! Some of your points are things I pointed out years ago in my own little amateur-voice-acting tutorial years and years ago. Makes me happy that I wasn’t talking completely out of somewhere that doesn’t have vocal chords.

    I will definitely be applying what I learn here in voice-over classes in the future, and hopefully from there into some interesting professional work.

  3. Bryson Baugus says:

    Very nice podcast so far Crispin! I just thought I’d let you know that I’m only 16 years old and have been voice acting for online productions for about a year and a half with hopes of going pro in the future! This is some really helpful information! I’d love to com to one of your classes, but I live in the Houston, Texas area, so I’ll have to do some research on what kind of classes they have available here!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Thank you so much! Good for you for working on online productions! That’s very resourceful of you. Are there any areas you would recommend to others to look for online opportunities for voice acting?

      Good luck with researching classes in your area!

      • Bryson Baugus says:

        Well, I’ve just been doing a lot of amateur productions but I would recommend sites like http://www.voiceactingalliance.com and http://www.voiceactingclub.com which I’m sure you’ve heard about. I think it’s a great way to meet a lot of people interested in voice acting as well as a good way to get practice.

        • Crispin Freeman says:

          I have definitely heard of those! And I bet there are probably many listening to the podcast and reading the blog that haven’t heard of them as well! I’m sure they appreciate the links. Thanks!

  4. Maurice Cooper says:

    This was a great podcast, and it brought some weight off of my shoulders. I was just thinking about buying a professional grade mic and pop filter, but they’re around in the 1k department, and I barely have enough space in my home to work with that type of equipment and I’m pretty much a beginner in the VOA field. I’m very happy knowing what I need to buy for the type of level I’m in, and when I get comfortable with my voice work and find a bigger area to live and to work at, I’ll start getting the higher grade equipment. Thanks Crispin, this podcast really helped me out.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m so happy to hear that you found my podcast useful! It’s true, if you’re just starting out you don’t need to be spending $1k on equipment. My first professional microphone cost $300 and that was 13 years ago, long before the age of USB microphones and the drop in the price of recording equipment. Later I upgraded to a better mic and that worked out fine. Glad to help!

  5. Sarah says:

    Your podcast is great! It’s wonderful to get the information I’ve been looking for for so long. It’s also good to know that I’m ahead of the game. I even bought “Adventures in Voice Acting” so that I could learn more.

    I have another question! What should I be practicing? Are there scripts available that I can read from?

    Thank you so much for this podcast! I look forward to them!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m sure if you do some google searches for animation scripts, you’ll find all sorts of animated screenplays that are up online and available for free download. I know many times studios offer their scripts online to help promote their films.

      Hope that helps!

  6. Terance says:

    Thank you so much for creating this series of podcasts Mr. Freeman. I’ve become very interested in the field of voice acting ever since I watched “Adventures in Voice Acting” a couple of weeks ago. In that documentary I recall it being stressed how important it is to be available whenever you’re needed to record. Keeping that in mind I have some questions. Is it okay to have a job/career (like a regular 9 to 5) while pursuing voice acting in the beginning or is it best to keep your schedule as open as possible in case you’re needed? Also what about having a job within the animation studio and pursuing voice acting eventually at that studio? I’m currently in college majoring in public relations and I would love to work for an animation studio and pursue voice acting somewhere down the line. Thanks in advance!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m glad you enjoy the podcast! Thanks for listening!

      As to your question, It’s very difficult to have a 9 to 5 job and be an actor. The reason being is that studios will want to book you for acting jobs that work during the day. They can’t work around a 9 to 5 schedule. That would mean they could only record you at night or on the weekends. That’s why so many actors wait tables or bartend or do other jobs that have more flexible schedules. A job with a flexible schedule allows you to be available during the day for auditions and voice acting jobs.

      Now I’m not advising you to quit your day job. You can totally keep your day job while you practice and improve your voice acting skills. But as you get deeper into the voice acting world, you’ll begin to understand the schedule requirements of being a voice actor. Then you may want to look at getting a job with more flexible hours until you can transition into being a full time voice actor.

      If you’d like to go work behind the scenes at a studio and you have an opportunity to do so, and feel inspired to do that, by all means go for it! That could definitely be an avenue to getting in to voice acting.

  7. Kalyn McCabe says:

    Thanks for the podcast! It’s always awesome to hear advice from a feild operative.

    I was thinking about upgrading my recording equipment because I’ve had the same set up forever. RockBand mic (whoo… professional…!) and Audacity to record lines/auditions for online projects.

    One question though. Will it affect you as an actor that, say comes into FUNi and said, “I’ve done a lot of fandubs/covers/radioplays, you can look on Youtube to see my work.” ?

    I’ve heard from a friend that you could get “Blacklisted” from the company and not allowed to work there.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Well, technically fandubbing projects and releasing them online is copyright infringement. If you then go to the licensor of that show (say Funimation) and ask them to check out your work, they will probably not take kindly to your piracy. It might be better to give them audio-only demos and tell them that you’re skilled at matching lip flap.

      Just my 2 cents.

  8. Aubrie Noland says:

    Another great episode. I admit, for the past couple years I’ve been nervous about pursuing a career in acting, because in every single career assessment I take, the results say I’m not “creative” enough to be an actor. It’s kinda encouraging, knowing that you’re rather successful in your VA career when you didn’t always have the “acting skill-set.”

    I’m curious, if you hated public speaking at first, what made you want to act?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Glad you enjoyed the episode.

      The worst grade I got in college was in sound design and audio engineering. I became a professional sound designer for theater and I do nothing now but play with high end audio equipment. Don’t let a silly test or grade tell you what you can or cannot do.

      I wanted to act because even though I had terrible stage fright and was a very introverted child, I fell in love with being backstage and being a part of making an illusion come to life for an audience.

  9. Alicia Ruberto says:

    Your advice about having desire to achieve one’s goal is excellent. It is the perfect base for doing what you want. If you have the desire and passion you will work hard to get what you want. For example, practicing, and getting proper training. It also give you the strength to keep going at it when things get difficult. As for the voice acting practice, I myself read new books into a recording device doing voices for what I feel the character would sound like. Yes it’s not perfect and it doesn’t always sound right because I’ll be doing voices for men/older people ect but helps me figure out how to emote regardless. I also figured out what types of characters I sounded best as, and it helps me with cold reading. My question is do you think that this is a good approach? Is there anything better you would advise doing?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Your approach sounds good to me! After all, if you were reading a book on tape, you’d have to do all the characters, not just the ones that match your gender. It’s always great practice to read things into a microphone. The more mileage the better. Especially when it comes to cold reading!

  10. Patty Leigh says:

    Another great and insightful episode! Thanks again.

    Something I thought of awhile back, that I’m a bit curious about… Does it improve chances of getting jobs in the voice acting field (outside of, say, Disney) to be able to sing as well as voice act? I know there are a few animes, such as K-ON! that include the characters doing some singing, but there aren’t many. Would it be beneficial to throw that out there during an audition?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Singing is always a good skill to have. There have been auditions that have called on me to sing. They don’t come terribly often, but it’s nice to be able to pull that rabbit out of your hat when they request it.

  11. Crystal Nieves says:

    I was wondeing what if you’re a minor. My parent support me on wanting to become a Vioce Actor at my age. But we also live a day drive from Huston and a lot longer drive to Los Angles. I love your Podcat it’s really good.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m so glad you enjoy the podcast!

      There are many voice actors who are minors. For example, the boy who played Alphonse Elric in the original Full Metal Alchemist was a minor when he got cast in the role. If you are a minor, are an accomplished actress and are ready to jump into the professional voice acting world, you will need your parent’s support. They will need to take an active role in your career. You will also need to live in a city where voice acting is done. Right now it sounds like you don’t live in a city where there are recording studios for animation. That’s fine. That just means you should spend your time improving your acting skills so that when you do have the opportunity to move to a city where there is a larger entertainment industry, you’ll be able to hit the ground running so to speak.

  12. Oliver Lo says:

    Hi Crispin,

    I find your podcasts interesting and helpful, especially this one. In this one you mentioned how you need to approach some as if it’s a conversation and that you also don’t get a chance to memorise scripts and have to act right off the bat. What I’d like to know is how do you achieve the conversational style to a script when you don’t have a chance to go over it to get some form of grasp of the character? Would you need to research about the character before you’re about to play to get a better understanding?

    Thanks again for uploading your podcasts

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the podcast!

      When it comes to doing conversational reads, that’s a skill you need to develop through practice. Many people call it “cold reading” meaning that you get handed a piece of copy, you get to look it over for just a few minutes and then you need to perform it as if it’s your own words. That’s why I call voice acting “instant acting”, just add water and go.

      You almost never have time to research a character ahead of time, unless it’s anime. Otherwise, the way to get faster at cold reading is just to practice it.

      Hope that helps.

  13. Christine says:

    Hi Crispin,

    I first heard you as Kyon, and you’ve been the person who has made me give anime dubs a second chance (seven years of watching subs).

    To be honest, I really don’t have a thing for voice acting, but I do have a thing for classical singing. Would you happen to have any tips about that?

    Also, I remember watching a video on Youtube of you at a con. You mentioned that you liked to play the darker, slightly crazy villian characters. In this podcast, you mentioned that you were a baritone. My music professor last semester told our class that the baritone is commonly set as the villian character in (primarily Romantic?) operas.

    Anyways, thank you so much for doing what you do. I’ll get back to watching Chobits now 😀

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Glad you like my work as Kyon! Thanks so much.

      My advice would be to study with a fantastic vocal teacher. Learning how to sing classically takes sustained physical training, like ballet or tap dancing. The only real written advice I can give you is to find someone who can train you in what is known as “legit” vocal production. Steer away from the rock and rollers and head straight towards opera and legit-style broadway musicals like Rodgers and Hammerstein. Best of luck!

  14. Lillian Wong says:

    Hello,

    I only recently joined this site to learn the details of voice acting and to see if it is worth dedicating the extra time and effort towards turning my hobby into a job I love to do. I understand this is a rather old post, but I wanted to listen from the beginning. If you have already addressed this topic, it would be great if you could direct me to the podcast!

    My question is “Does personality have a huge impact in the job itself?” Now, I understand being cooperstive, well-mannered, and confident will make one better in terms of business. What about other traits such as being outgoing? Introverted v.s Extroverted? Perhaps one can take direction well, but they aren’t as creative.

    Personally, I am rather introverted and shy but am slowly trying to push myself out of my comfort zone by taking communication classes. Hopefully, next semester I can take an acting course.

    Thank you so much. I look forward to catching up on all your old podcasts while listening to the newly released ones.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Hi there Lillian. No worries about posting on an old topic. Happy to answer your question here.

      My question to you is, “Doesn’t personality have a huge impact on life in general?” One’s personality shapes a lot of the way that other people interact with you. So I would say yes, your personality will affect the trajectory of a voice acting career.

      If what you’re asking is do you have to be a certain type of personality in order to succeed, that’s a more complicated question. I’m very much an introvert, but that hasn’t stopped me from pursuing voice acting. I’m not terribly outgoing, but I am passionate about storytelling and animation and I am happy to share that enthusiasm with other creators.

      If you feel that your shyness is keeping you from collaborating well with other artist, then I think your plan to take some communication and acting classes is a good strategy for expanding your ability to work effectively with others.

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