How Do I Get My Child Into Voiceover?

So your kid wants to be a voice actor! What does that mean for you and for them? As children begin to develop their unique personalities, their interest in entertainment, commercials, animation, and video games might just give them the idea to pursue voiceover work. If this is an endeavor that you want to support, it will require an investment of time, energy, and some money in order to get up and running. Let’s go over some of the basics of introducing your child to the world of voice acting. 

I’ve been working with kids and teens in voice over for years, and I still enjoy coaching them and watching them grow into independent and creative performers. For parents, it can be helpful to know and understand the many aspects of pursuing professional work in the voice over industry. The following breakdown should help you to become better informed and more prepared to support your child.

Coaching is essential:

Voiceover is very different from theater and on-camera work, and it requires learning skills specifically related to this area of the performing arts/creative field. Connecting with a coach to help your child develop their skills on the microphone is crucial. Knowing how to read commercial and animation copy is an essential skill. A coach is also not only a resource for the child or teen actor but for the parent as well.

Be prepared to do your own audio editing:

Getting involved with voiceover also means learning some new technical skills, one of the most important being audio recording and editing. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, most voiceover work has gone completely remote. Being able to record and edit on your own is a skill that all casting directors now expect. Developing these skills can tremendously increase your child’s ability to compete with others in the industry.

A tech savvy parent can make all the difference:

If you are recording from home, it’s important to be at least somewhat tech savvy, whether that be navigating sessions over Zoom or Google Meet, or utilizing new programs like Source Connect. When your child records from home, they (or you) will need to be able to smoothly connect with creatives and professionals via these platforms. This should be done in a timely and efficient manner for each and every session.

Upgrade that home recording setup:

Working in voiceover will often mean having a great recording setup at home, so you’ll need to replace that USB microphone with a more professional setup, including an XLR microphone and audio interface. Often, talented voice actors don’t book work because their home setups are lacking in quality. Some folks in the industry would say that matching audition specifications is important, but it’s the equipment that really books the job. 

Availability is desirable:

Voiceover moves at an extremely fast pace with tight turnaround times, so being able to submit auditions quickly, respond to availability checks, and be available for sessions with just a day or two of notice will be extremely important. Of course life is busy, and many children have other activities that they participate in, but it’s important that families know and understand that creative teams won’t schedule around you. If your child isn’t available, they’ll move to the next candidate.

A quality demo reel is your ticket for entry:

Children and teens don’t necessarily need big, expensive demos especially when their voices are changing quickly, but having some quality examples of your child’s acting ability AND recording setup will be extremely helpful for agents and casting directors. You’ll want to have your child record on good equipment and have some samples in a few styles or genres. 

Become familiar with finding audition opportunities:

Auditions can be found through agents and managers, casting sites, and production companies to name a few. It will be important to understand rates and be able to negotiate when needed. The more familiar you are with how the industry works, the more informed you’ll be about how to support your child through the audition process.

If you are interested in seeking further guidance and coaching, I offer several services for children, teens, and even parents. My youth coaching clients have booked work with Disney, Lego, Walmart, Target, Nintendo, PBS, Nickelodeon, and the U.S. Postal Service to name just a few. Learn more about my youth services by visiting my Kids Voiceover Coaching page or my studio’s site, Positive Voices Studio!

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