Introducing Your Child to Voice Acting
Acting is a broad category, full of many different avenues to pursue. If your child has acting aspirations, chances are they may not be clear on all the options open to them. One of these possible areas of focus, with its own ups and downs, is voice acting. Though it may seem that voice acting is a simpler alternative to theater or film, it requires character, focus, hard work, and skills, just like any other form of acting.
Child voice actors are just as sought after as adults and have similar opportunities available to them. If your child has an interest in branching into voice acting, then here is an explanation and guide of what they can expect to encounter.
Children and teens are more likely to be exposed to voice acting than adults, since the media marketed to them often does not involve physical, on-screen acting. The cartoons they watch and the video games they play all depend on strong voice acting to create an immersive, successful experience.
One important concept to note is that regardless of what character or role is specifically involved, all forms of acting involve embodying a certain character or persona. Voice acting is no exception. Even when a fictional character is not involved, an actor will always be asked to portray a certain tone or personality. With voiceover work, the only resource available to create this persona is an actor’s voice. In that way, voice acting poses a specific challenge, especially if your child is transitioning from film or theater. Body language and facial expressions are resources to help actors feel more comfortable in their roles, but will have no bearing on how an audience views their characters.
Nonetheless, traditional acting training is still a great boon to any actor in any field. Anything that helps you broaden your horizons and develop new techniques is of value and should be pursued. But, if you are just breaking into the scene, voice acting classes and coaching are the perfect place to start.
Even if your child shows talent in voicing characters, the best course of action for them is to continue to practice their craft. They should also be aware of the importance of taking care of their instrument. To prepare for voice acting opportunities, your child should become familiar with voice exercises and work on them daily.
A demo reel is also vital for breaking into voice acting. A demo reel is often your child’s introduction to agents and casting directors. While professional assistance is recommended, a demo reel can be made at home with some careful planning and organization.
Despite voiceover work involving less visible activity, the idea that it is easier than regular acting is not accurate. Starting out requires acquiring many technical skills that must be learned. Your best bet for having a strong start to a voice acting career is to seek out as many learning opportunities as you can, and to never stop practicing.
A career in voice acting will allow your child to reach and affect many people, especially kids their own age. It is a rewarding and fulfilling avenue that can complement opportunities in theater and film or serve as a standalone career.