If you find yourself saying “I can do that,” when listening to the voices of cartoon characters, you should consider starting a career as a voice over actress. As this type of actress, you are at somewhat of a disadvantage compared to other actors. For instance, a screen actor uses his entire body to act and sell a character. As a voice over actress, your voice is your only selling tool. The professional actors you hear doing cartoon voices make it sound easy. However, being a successful cartoon voice over actress requires proper training and practice.
Take a professional voice over class to learn how to properly use your voice as an acting instrument. During training, you learn the art and techniques of voice over acting. Contact nearby acting schools to find local classes. If there are no acting schools near you, take voice over classes through reputable online resources such as Edge Studio and Now Casting's online workshops.
Experiment with your voice to find a cartoon voice with which you are comfortable. Practice over and over to make sure you are able to consistently duplicate the voice. If a casting director hires you to do a cartoon voice, he wants to be sure you are capable of performing the voice the same way each time. It's OK to come up with several different voices and offering a variety of cartoon voices makes you more marketable.
Record a demo of your cartoon voice. A 30- to 60-second demo is sufficient. If you have several different cartoon voices, be sure to use each voice in your demo. Since your demo is what gets you the job, it's worth investing money for a professional studio recording. The fee for studio time can vary significantly.
Search casting call boards for voice over job postings. There are numerous casting call boards online and many are free. Others charge a membership fee. When you find a job posting that interests you, submit your voice over demo to the casting director in the posting. Often the casting director will ask you to email an MP3 attachment of your voice over demo. In some cases, he will provide a sample audition script for you to read.
Wait to hear back from the casting director. If he is interested in hiring you, he will contact you. Resist the urge to call him. In most cases, he will be too busy working on projects to take your call.
Submit your voice over demo to acting agencies for representation. Some agencies have an entire department dedicated to representing voice over actors. If the agency feels your cartoon voice is marketable, he will sign you on with an agency contract. Once you're signed, the agency goes to work for you. It will submit your demo to casting directors in need of voice over actors. Each time the agent finds a job for you, he receives a fee. This fee is usually 10 to 20 percent of the total amount you're paid for the gig.
Things You'll Need
Faizah Imani, an educator, minister and published author, has worked with clients such as Harrison House Author, Thomas Weeks III, Candle Of Prayer Company and "Truth & Church Magazine." Her dossier includes JaZaMM WebDesigns, assistant high-school band director, district manager for the Clarion Ledger and event coordinator for the Vicksburg Convention Center.