What Is Voice Over?

Also referred to as voice acting, a voice-over, is in part, part sweat and several hours of practice. In this article, we’re going to provide you with an insight into this fun, exciting, and amazing world of voice acting and how to be a voice-over actor.

When the phrase voice acting comes to mind, we usually encounter the first snag. Individuals don’t know how often they listen to the voice acting in their lives.

There’s a lot that goes into voice acting, but first, let’s establish: what is a voice-over?

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

It is a popular belief that the initial voiceover was made by Walt Disney for Mickey Mouse’s “Steamboat Willie.” While it was in 1928, in truth, the first voice-over was done in 1900! The original voice-over can be accredited to a Canadian inventor called Reginald Fessenden. He was inspired by the new device, the telephone, which was Alexander Graham Bell’s, and set out on a path of creating a manner people can communicate without needing wires. Thus the start of “wireless!”

While reporting the weather for the United States Weather Bureau, Fessenden logged the first voice-over in 1900.

It is widely accepted that he was the first person to do a voice-over on the radio. If you would like to know a bit more about voice over artists then see here.

What is voice-over acting then?

Well, as communication advanced, voice acting became a common phenomenon in animated cartoons, radio, etc. The people behind those voices were largely unknown among the public with the exemption of Mel Blanc, an eponymous comedian, and radio personality. He was renowned as “The Man of 1000 Voices” thanks to his versatility and is the main voice for most of the cartoons that were produced by the Warner Brothers.

Among the most prolific and influential voice-over actors of all time, although not widely known by the general public, is Don LaFontaine. He is distinguished in the industry and began this profession in 1962, recording VO for a trailer.

He would grow to become the voice behind movie trailers and the sound of the film industry for a generation of moviegoers, setting the standard for how they were voiced and written.

Although voice-over acting has increasingly gained traction as a viable career option, it remains on the periphery and is generally new to most individuals. The majority of voice-over acting is conducted by seasoned actors who usually do voice acting to make ends meet. Nevertheless, voice acting has grown into its element and has come into the fold as a profession and true performance in its own right.

Renowned actors have expounded their success from major box-office animation blockbusters like the ones produced by Disney and Pixar. Actors such as Liam Nielsen have had the pleasure of playing leading roles in movies by just voice acting, in the Narnia series, he voiced the Lion. These days, people expect famous actors to feature in animated films. There are obviously other advantages. The production companies can use the stars’ name(s) to promote their films globally.

Famous actors prefer performing their roles in animations! In her NY Times article in 2003, Nancy Griffin said that when it comes to Television/Fil, A-List actors are more than happy to hide their faces. She continued to write that there is no need for hair and make-up, no need to enlist a personal trainer and the work-day typically lasts four hours. These are among the enticements that lure A-list actors, including Robin Williams, Will Smith, and Jim Carrey, to do voice-overs in animated films.

Because of such films, there is a roster of well-known actors who do voice-overs all around the world. Moreover, new and determined actors in their thousands want to learn more concerning voice acting. This is why voice acting offers a challenging and rewarding opportunity for individuals from all walks of life. The friendliness and fun in the industry are really what attract enthusiasts.

If this is your passion, you should think about venturing into this profession.