Voice acting: What’s your favorite genre?

excitedFor many voice-over actors, having a career in voice acting is one of the most enjoyable ways to make a living. I mean, with so many genres to choose from, who could ever get bored? But honestly, some genres are more fun than others. It all depends on what gets you excited and your own personal level of “yeah, I can do that” for certain jobs that fall outside of your comfort zone.

In this post, I’d like to talk about what I think are the high points of some voice acting genres as well as my personal favorites. When all is said and done, I’d love to hear about your favorite (or not too favorite) genres as well!

Radio and TV commercials

These are the bread-and-butter jobs for most voice actors because there are always new ones being created. I enjoy pulling the story out of these short, sales-oriented scripts — taking the black text on white paper and turing it into a flowing conversation full of life. The challenge comes from reading scripts for products that you may not necessarily have any interest in. But it’s our job to make sure that the interest is there in our voice!

Animation

Breaking into this field of work is a tough one. Competition is high and you really need to have mastered this genre of voice over work. But if you are a wacky, high-energy person like myself, then you can never seem to get enough! I get a kick out of the back-and-forth play when two or more characters do a scene together. The energy that each person gives to the performance just makes it that much better!

E-learning / documentaries

If you always love to learn new things, then e-learning or documentary voice overs are for you (I put these two genres together because they are sort-of similar in nature: you learn new stuff!) You’ll always have a chance to expand your own personal knowledge when you do these kinds of jobs. As always, the challenge is to be truly excited or interested in the topic. Hence, if you don’t really like learning new things, then this job might be a little more of a pull on your strength and stamina.

Audiobooks

Audiobooks (a.k.a. long-form narration) is one of my personal favorites because you actually get to tell a story. There is character development as the book progresses and scenes painted by the sound of your voice. Since I love novels, this is a perfect match to my personality. It can be a challenge, though, because you must sit for long hours of reading and be just as energetic at the end of a session as you were at the beginning. As a father of two, I’m always reading books out loud to my children. I love to see their reactions — the “Ooo”s and “Ahh”s as well as the laughter and eyes wide in anticipation.

Video games

Consumers spend more money every year on video games than on any other form of entertainment. It’s a billion-dollar industry! Recently, video games are becoming more and more dialogue orientated, which means there is more and more work for voice actors. The idea of being the voice of a video game character may be appealing to you. But sometimes the scripts for a video game are nothing more than a collection of simple, one or two sentence utterances, so you may not feel the interaction. But the thought of millions of people hearing your voice saying “Get down! Shots fired!” or “Take that you filthy bastard!” may put a smile on your face.

Your turn

I’d love to know which voice-over genres are your personal favorites and why. And if you have any that are particularly taxing on your abilities, I’d love to hear about them as well! Let the commenting begin…

6 Comments

  1. Interesting post! I like the e-learning genre. I am a perpetual student so this line of voice acting is the one I try to audition for the most.

  2. As a beginner to vo I’m still learning about all the types out there. But I guess so far my favorite would be the TV and radio commercials. Maybe it’s because I hear them all the time so it’s exciting that I’m actually studying how to do them myself. 🙂

  3. I love them all, and each for different reasons.

    Commercials can be challenging, one sentance or the way you say one word, can either make or break that commercial, or hook them in.

    Tutorials are fun, you HAVE to make sure you sound like you know what you are talking about, and keep your emotions in check, especially when you run into technical words that will force you to re-do sentences a lot. . but the challenge those present is what makes them fun!

    Voice ANiamtion, well, that is just OPURE Fun, you can go do TOWN when you do your voices, and I find standing up to do them, getting your BODY involved will bring out the voice even more!

    USE everything, and the audience will hear it 🙂

  4. My friend Emma and I REALLY want to become voice actors ASAP so we are trying our best to learn as much as we can about the business.

    The genres I enjoy are mainly Action and Fantasy.

    I think those are the genres that Emma likes too, but, I’m not quite sure you might be able to tell by the animes we watch though.

    Fullmetal Alchemist, Kekkaishi, Tsubasa Chronicle, DN Angel, Dragon Ball Z, Inuyasha, and Naruto.

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