Guide Timeline For Voice Acting
Actress for FUNimation and Sentai Filmworks. Over 350 video game roles including Warframe, Smite, and Paladins. Along with on Camera Disney Chanel Actor
The Names used here are for clarity and organization help only. They are not terms used commonly or official terms for steps in your career. These steps do not actually have names but I am giving them names to help give you a better understanding of the flow of voice acting.
If you find yourself stuck at one particular level, the goal of this is to help you see steps you might have skipped that are holding you back. It's not advised to try and move to level 4 from 2 and skip steps in 3. You may also be in between steps and this should help you figure out what youre missing.
While these are not the only way people can make it in voice acting, it's easier and odds are better if we think of ourselves as the rules, not the exceptions. This is to help you who may be stuck or looking for "What do I do next"
You don't know what you don't know.
As someone who has worked in this field for almost a decade, Ive seen a LOT of actors come and go. Here's a list of how I've seen people come and stay.
Classes are recommended along every step. They are not required but just there in case you find yourself stuck at a certain level. Each one of you is at a different level and I can't possibly cover everything for needed for each level in just 2 hours. So if you'd like more detail at a certain level, that's what I would recommend.
Just because you FEEL you are struggling somewhere the most, doesn't make that the actual area of struggle. Using for example Demo Reels:
A common mistake I see actors make is instead of focusing their attention on other facets of their career: Acting training, marketing, social media, website design, ect.
They instead UPDATE their demo every few months- two times a year.
While I think updating a demo when you have the time is very important. This time would be better allocated to the previously mentioned aspects.
So why do they continue to stick with that?
Because at some point, if worked for you or them! But remember, "Old Keys Wont Open New Doors" So while repeating the steps that gave you help prior CAN work out well (Ex: When I go to the gym in the morning, I have enough energy to record after I get home because it wakes me up) Something like "I spend 7 hours a day cold calling because 2 months ago it got me one job so maybe if I just keep doing it, it will get me more" Often does more harm than help and waste a lot of time many don't have.
Don't turn to others that aren't where you want to be. While this isn't a bad idea all the time and you will find some amazing people at the same level as you or completely unrelated to the field having good advice, it works best to look at the people in the level you want to be at?
Now let's get started!
Level 1 is someone who is JUST starting out. From this being the first class they've taken in voice acting, to maybe having never recorded an audition, to not having a clue where to find auditions, Maybe having a USB microphone like a blue yeti or snowball, headset mic, AT 2020, ect.
Where you need to focus on:
-Getting Better Recording Equipment (Or some at all)
- Finding Auditions on CCC, VAC discord, My Discord, BTVA, and twitter
-Lots of competition but:
- Audition, audition, audition. Numbers and experience level is what you are looking for!
Little- Some Experience: 3-6 months voice acting.
By this point, you should be booking some work albeit smaller rolls. Things like fan dubs, abridged, mods for games, or what I call "Fall Out Projects"
Fall Out Projects are projects that have a very
low chance of seeing the light of day. Often
projects with no artwork
design or only sketches,
no previous project
completion, and very
vague character description
and lines. They often waste the actors time
Steps of Level 2:
- Work On Advancing Your Recording Studio, sound proofing, a good DAW, interfaces.
-Start thinking about a demo
- Start connecting with other actors, support groups, making friends. You can use my discord for some of this.
Level changes to experience based and not time. Enthusiasm wears off and curve slows down. These next two levels are where I see MOST people get stuck, feeling burn out, and most quit voice acting.
This is where the "I plan to" Or "I'm going to" Comes in. This is often because a schedule is too messy or the task seems too big comes into play. There are some rare exceptions like "I've gotten really sick" "A family member is in the hospital" ect. can happen. These latter ones are completely okay. Put family and friends first. As well as with burn out, mental exhaustion is a very real thing and needs respected! Do not try to push through that one, but rather study burn out, the cause of your burn out, or what is causing it.
This is also where the Dunning Kruger effect shows up.
What's the Dunning Kruger Effect?
So as an actor begins to decline from the mount, where they start to hear and learn about all they don't know, this can cause them to quit. Its easier at the start because you've got that drive and ambition. It also sometimes seems like the steps are few (And I may not be helping with that by adding only 5 levels, but trust me, there are many milestone in between and these levels can take years.
What's important, and very hard to achieve at this level is to change your mindset to stay positive. To get excited about all that you have before you and what you can learn! It's so important to note that there are steps and levels beyond this because this is often where you're brain will say "Well I got as far as I could and I guess it wasnt meant to be"
What defines Level 3?
Thinking of making the move into somewhat self employed with voice acting, wanting to be able to work and make money doing this.
Most often "Feeling Stuck" people are at level 3.
Steps of Level 3:
-Normally at 6 months- 2 years of voice acting experience
- Get a demo
-Get a website and understand why
-Start Reaching Out to Clients
-Start getting your auditions to 30-50 per week (I'm currently at 40 a day when looking for new clients)
Class Recommendation for this level:
Marketing for Voice Actors (Digital Download)
By now,, you should have built up a steady client list. The gap from level 3 to 4 is the biggest one here and will take the longest. This is where you start to have steady clients but want more.
Steps of Level 4:
- Email lists
-Pay to Play?
- Promo Work (So people can hear you)
-Agent/Agency (If you want to, Not needed)
By the time you complete level 4, you should be up to your neck in roles and work. However, level 5 is for those who want more.
Steps of Level 5:
- Contact Studios
-Marketing in Other fields
-Class Recommendation: Private Lessons
Or -Advanced Bootcamp