Voice over, which is also referred to as voice acting, is part art, part hard work and a great deal of practice. In the next few paragraphs, we aim to provide insight into the fun, exciting, and amazing world of voice acting and becoming a voice-over artist.
We usually encounter the first problem when we think about what voice acting entails. People don’t seem to realise just how prevalent voice acting actually is in their daily lives. Voice acting is actually extremely varied, so, it is important to first start with a definition. See Voice over services.
What is Voice Acting or Voice Over?
It is often believed that Walt Disney created the first voiceover for Mickey Mouse in “Steamboat Willie.” While that was back in 1928, the reality is that the first voice-over was performed much earlier in 1900.
The historical first voice-over is credited to Reginald Fessenden, an inventor from Canada. He was thrilled with the new device, the telephone, and set out to come up with a way of communicating remotely without wires.
Fessenden who was working for the United States Weather Bureau recorded the first voice over in the world in 1900 reporting the weather. It is generally accepted that he was the first voice on the radio.
During the Christmas season in 1906 in Boston, he recorded an entire program of Bible texts, music, and Christmas messages to ships out at sea.
What Is Voice Over Acting Then?
Voice acting became more common in animated cartoons, radio, etc. as communications developed. The public rarely knew the actors behind those voices with perhaps the exception of Mel Blanc, who was a comedian and radio personality. He came to be referred to as “The Man of 1000 Voices” due to his versatility and is the voice on numerous cartoons made and distributed by Warner Brothers.
One of the most prolific and influential voice-over artists of all time isn’t commonly known by the public but is very well known in the industry. His name is Don La Fontaine and he started voice acting back in 1962 recording a voiceover for a movie trailer. He ended up as the voice of movie trailers and the sound of cinema for a generation of moviegoers and essentially set the gold standard for how they were written and voiced.
Today, voice-over acting has transformed into a recognised career path, but it is still largely unknown and unseen by the vast majority of people. Classically trained actors are still the ones that do most voice-over work and use voice acting to fill in gaps between jobs. Voice acting, however, is increasingly being noticed and recognised as a true profession and performance art in its own right.
Famous actors have enjoyed a lot of publicity from successful animation films such as those produced by Disney and Pixar. Actors such as Liam Nielsen have actually played leading roles in films courtesy of their voice, he was the Lion in the Narnia series. Today, people expect famous actors to appear in animated films. Obviously, there are other benefits. Studios can leverage the names of those stars to promote these films to a global audience.
Popular actors love performing in animations. After all, hair and make-up are really not necessary, you don’t need a personal trainer, and you only work four hours a day. These are just some of the enticements that lure A-list actors such as Robin Williams, Will Smith, Jim Carrey, and many others to headline as voice actors on animated films.
Currently, there’s a massive list of famous actors that have turned into voice actors due to these films. New, ambitious actors are also looking to find out more about voice acting. It is hardly surprising since a career in voice acting provides a rewarding and challenging opportunity for people of all skills and from all backgrounds. Moreover, it is the industry’s fun and friendliness that attracts people.
So, if you are considering becoming a voice actor, keep in mind that if you get really good at it, you could find yourself being part of the long history of voice over.