Voice over is also referred to as voice acting. It involves art, perspiration and a lot of practice. Here is what you need to know about the exciting world of voiceovers and what you need to do to become a voice artist. When you think about voice acting, you might not know how many times you have come across it as part of your daily life. Note that, the voice acting industry is quite varied so here is what you need to know.

What Is Voice Over Or Voice Acting? – A Potted History

It’s a common belief that the first voiceover was created for the character Mickey Mouse in ‘Steamboat Willie’ by Walt Disney. It was done in 1928. However, the first voice-over can actually be traced back to 1900. It belonged to Reginald Fessenden who was a famous Canadian inventor. He was excited about the new device invented by Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone. Therefore, he started working on a way for people to communicate remotely without wires. That’s where wireless came from.

In 1900, Fessenden was working for the United States Weather Bureau where he recorded the first voice-over when reporting the weather. It is historically believed that he was the first voice on the radio. In 1906 in Boston around Christmas, he recorded a complete program of Bible texts, music and Christmas messages that were heard by ships at sea.

What You Need To Know About Voice Over Acting

As communication developed, voice acting became popular in animated cartoons and radio. The actors were rarely recognized in public, except Mel Blanc, a renowned comedian and radio personality. He was later called ‘The Man of 1000 voices’ due to his versatility. He is the voice of numerous cartoons produced and distributed by Warner Brothers. Another renowned voice-over artist is Don Lafontaine. He is an influential and prolific voice-over artist who is not quite renowned by the public but popular in the industry. He began voice acting in 1962 and recorded voiceovers for movie trailers.

A generation of moviegoers loved his sound and he actually set a gold standard on how movies are written and voiced. Currently, voice-over acting has become a renowned and recognized career path. However, most people still don’t know about it. Most of the voice-over work by actors who are classically trained and rely on voice acting to fill gaps when they are in-between jobs. However, the voice acting industry is gaining a lot of recognition in the modern-day. It is now recognized as true performance art and profession.

Numerous famous actors have gained a lot of publicity from box-office animation successes, especially those produced by Disney and Pixar. For example, Liam Neeson has played numerous leading roles as a voice actor. He played the Lion in the Narnia series. Actually, people expect renowned actors to feature in animated films but there are a lot of other benefits. Studios actually use the names of stars in these animated films to promote and market their films. Renowned actors love performing in animations.

For example, in the NY Times Article written by Nancy Griffin in 2003, ‘Film/Television; When A-List Actors Are Happy To Hide Their Faces’, she discussed how they don’t need hair and make-up. They also don’t need to hire a personal trainer and they can enjoy a 4-hour workday. A lot of A-list actors enjoy voice-over acting, especially Will Smith, Jim Carrey and Robin Williams.

Actually, a lot of voice-over actors have become famous because of these animated films. Also, there are numerous ambitious and new actors who want to find out about voice acting. As a career, voice acting provides a lot of rewards and challenges for people with different skills and backgrounds. The industry is also fun and friendly thereby attracting a lot of people. If you want to become a voice actor, you should always remember that you could be part of the long history that made it what we know today. Find your path in the industry and join the legends to become a renowned voice actor.