What to Think About When Looking for Voice ActorsFeb 07, 2023
As you’re looking for voice actors to hire, you want to consider several factors that will help you determine whether a particular artist is the right fit for your particular project. Because 80% of Americans listen to audio on their smartphone, well-made audio is more important than ever for reaching your target audience. You want to bring their ears to the most compelling voice content possible.
You might be creating an audiobook, advertisement, scripted podcast, or some form of video or gaming content — so you want to be sure you’re looking for voice actors with experience in that particular arena. Here are some key points to remember when searching for the right voice actor.
This is perhaps the first and most obvious factor to assess. You have to ask yourself who you want your audience to hear as they’re consuming this piece of audio material. Does the speaker or character possess a comical demeanor that calls for a high-pitched voice, or is the narration something serious or thought-provoking that requires a deeper voice?
Once you understand the tone and personality of the speaker character you’re trying to bring to life, you can find a voice matching those qualities. Some voice actors specialize in a particular voice type, like children’s voices, and this is often a relevant consideration for animators looking for voice actors.
While looking for voice over actors, you know you want to work with an artist who demonstrates strong, established acting skills. These abilities are integral to bringing a character to life, but how do you recognize good acting? In many cases, it’s an intuitive quality that’s easy to identify but hard to describe.
To make it simpler, listen for voice actors who bring a recognizable depth to their performance — someone who understands what they’re saying, who they’re speaking to, and the reason for their words. Listen to samples of their previous work and see if you can hear a range of inflections and emotions tailored to the individual projects. Above all, ask yourself, “Is this performance honest? Do I really believe them?”
Of course, you want to work with actors with good voices — but you also want to work with actors who know how to conduct themselves professionally, particularly when working under tight deadlines or striving to meet precise project requirements. As you’re looking for voice actors, make sure to inquire about your actor’s availability, the project’s turnaround time, and their ability to meet the unique needs of the assignment.
Accent and Language Skills
In looking for good voice actors, depending on the project, you may need to collaborate with someone who is proficient in a specific accent or language. For instance, if you’re creating an audiobook in Spanish, you’ll need a voice actor fluent in Spanish who can deliver a natural performance. Spanish speakers listening to the performance will find it jarring and distracting to hear an inauthentic accent or an abundance of mispronounced words.
Similarly, if you’ve created a character who speaks in a British or Australian accent for English-language narration, make sure to find a voice actor who can accurately produce that accent.
Style and Personality
We like actors with good voices. But we love actors with good voices and good personalities. As you speak with voice actors and talk to them about their experience and artistic philosophy, you’ll quickly get a sense of who they are as a person. These informal exchanges often tell you a lot about what you can expect from their performance.
The voice actor’s style and personality will play a major role in the final product, and you want them to bring all their individuality to the character they are voicing. So as you’re auditioning or interviewing prospective collaborators, look for voice actors you gel with who come with a positive attitude and easily grasp the project's vision.
Academy Voices knows you’re looking for voice actor talent that will be the final ingredient in a long creative process. We want to give you plenty of options to make the hiring process as simple as possible. We encourage our clients to take the time they need to carefully peruse and find the right voice actor for the project at hand — we know it can make all the difference in the final product.