Voice over is also called voice acting. It is part effort, part art, and lots and lots of practice. In this article, we will be providing you with insights into the fun, exciting, and amazing voice acting world and how to become a voice-over artist. Please see Voice Fairy for all your voice over needs.
When we imagine what voice acting is, quite often we run into the first problem. Many people do not realise just how often voice acting is heard in their daily lives.
Voice acting is highly varied. Therefore, the first thing that needs to be established is “what is voice over?”
What is Voice Acting or Voice Over?
It is often thought that Walt Disney created the first voiceover for Mickey Mouse for the movie “Steamboat Wilie.” This short film was made in 1928. However, the first voice-over was actually performed in 1900. It was done by a Canadian inventor named Reginald Fessenden. He was very excited about the new device from Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone. So he went out looking for a way to communicate remotely without wires. So that was where “Wireless” began!
Fessenden was working for the U.S Weather Bureau in1900 and record the first voice over to report the weather.
It is widely accepted that Fessenden was the first voice over the radio. In 1906, in Boston, during Christmas, he recorded a whole program of Christmas messages, Bible texts, and music to ships that were out at sea.
So what is voice over acting?
As communications continued to develop, voice acting became increasingly common in animated cartoons, radios, etc. The public rarely knew the actors behind the voices, except for perhaps the comedian and radio personality Mel Banc. He was called “The Man with a 1000 Voices” due to his versatility and being the voice on so many cartoons that Warner Brothers made and distributed.
The public does not commonly know about one of the most prolific and influential voice-over artists in history. However, within the industry, he was very well known. His name was Don LaFontaine. In 1962 he started voice acting when he recorded voice over on a movie trailer.
LaFontaine became the sound of cinema and voice of movie trailers for an entire generation of moviegoers. He set the gold standard for the way they were voiced and written.
Although voice-over acting has developed into a widely recognised career path, it is still largely unknown and unseen by a majority of people. Classically trained actors still perform most voice-over work. They often use voice acting for filling in the gaps when they are in between jobs. Voice acting is getting more noticed and is gaining recognition as a genuine profession and true performance art.
Famous actors have been able to obtain large amounts of publicity from their successful box-office animation, like those produced by Disney and Pixar. Actors such as Liam Nielsen have basically played leading roles in movies through their voices. In the Narnia series, he played the Lion. People these days expected well-known actors to appear in animated films. There are other benefits as well. Studios are able to use the names of stars appearing in their animated films to promote them all over the world.
Well-known actors love performing in animations. In 2003 in a New York Times article, Nancy Grifften said it quite well. she said, no make-up or hair is necessary, there are no personal trainers around, and it’s a four-hour workday. Those are just some of the enticements that attract such A-list actors as Robin Williams, Will Smith, and Jim Carrey to appear as voice actor headliners in animated features.
There is a global roster now of famous actors who became voice actors after appearing in these films. Ambitious and new actors by the thousands are also wanting to know about voice acting. A voice acting career provides a challenging and rewarding opportunity for people with different skills and backgrounds. The friendliness and fun associated with the industry attract people as well.
So if you are wanting to know more about becoming a voice actor, keep in mind if you become good at it, you could become a part of voice over’s long history.