Fri, 24 May, 2024


Voice Acting


By Shambhav Acharya

Ever wondered how Super Mario got his voice? How is it that we are able to communicate with Google and Siri and ask them the silliest questions? The voice that popped in your head when I mentioned Super Mario or Siri is someone’s voice. These people are known as voice actors. What they do is basically, they record their voices for different characters for videogames and cartoons, for audiobooks, for movies or movie trailers and so on.

So, how do they do it? Most voice actors go on auditioning for different roles. The jobs can be found on the internet. So, they audition for the jobs .They put up clips of their voice doing the parts and if they get selected, then they have got the job. The jobs are not typically long. Voice acting in movies may be a long-type of job but other than that voice acting jobs are pretty short. They audition for roles like jobs for websites or food commercials or some documentary narration or some video game character’s part. Just know that 90% of their time is spent on auditioning and 10% is where they do the actual work. 

It's a pretty cool job. Using your own voice and playing parts for characters or doing a commercial or even a movie trailer is pretty exhilarating. The voice actors seem to have fun doing their jobs. On an interview with the Great Big Story, Charles Martinet, the voice of Super Mario, expressed how much he loved his job and how fun he had doing it. He finds that people often send him messages saying how thankful they were to him for making their and how they play it with their children now. In another interview with Redd Pepper, the guy who did the voice over for the trailer of Jurassic Park: The Lost World (1997), Mr. Bean’s Holiday and Men in Black I and other trailers, he said “I don’t really look at it as a job. I’m having fun! It’s got to be there in top with the coolest jobs.” 

Voice actors have a lot of fun but the job is not as easy as you might think. They can have to do voice overs for a long period of time i.e. 3-4 hours in the extreme and practice a lot even after that. Even 1 hour would be pretty hard considering you’ll be playing a character’s role with their specific voice and character in mind and you’ll be constantly adjusting your vocal cords doing re-takes and occasionally shouting and creating sound effects with your voice. Voice actors are in risk of losing their voice or damaging their vocal cords overdoing their work. Most keep that in mind and are careful. Not considering the length of the job but considering how the voices keep the audience engaged, or make them feel happy or make them feel low is a tough job on its own. Imagine making someone feel calm and safe when they are anxious or imagine making someone feel an array of emotions with just their voice – it definitely is not a walk in the park.

Making the character’s come to life or making the audience feel a plethora of emotions is definitely taxing but it is more the reason why they opt for it. If you had to do the same kind of job again and again it would get boring. Taking on challenging roles not only pays a handsome price but it is also more engaging for the voice actors. Collaborating with video games and looking into their characters, working with a huge team is very engaging. You would feel exicted to go to work everyday and if you’re happy doing it ,nothing else matters. Voice acting definitely is a cool job and it pays you well too. So, if you’re interested go for it , although it does require tonnes of practice.

Voice acting rates for different things ,according to the are:
$35 – for a small market radio spot
$ 150 – for a 15 to 1 minute recording for a small website
$ 250 – $300 – for a 30 second major market radio commercial
$ 2000 - $5000 – per audiobook

It may range more depending on the requirements of job and depending on your portfolio as well.

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