Voice actors (or voice artists, depending on pretentious you are) are the people who lend their voices to commercials, movies, TV shows and audio books. They do this by either dubbing a character or by being the original voice of a character. For example, let’s assume that a Bollywood film needs to be dubbed in Marathi. The production house will then approach a voice actor to this job.
As for the second case, animated tv shows are the first thing that comes to one’s mind. This is not dubbing; the voice actor associates his or her voice with that of the character.
For the purpose of writing this article, the team at CareersIndia interviewed Sanket Mhatre, one of the top voice actors in India. He provided us with detailed information about how to become a voice actor in India:
Step-by-step guide to become a Voice Actor in India
- Honestly speaking, there is no one way to become a voice actor. Many people who entered this field have made it because of sheer accident, or through recommendations.
- But there are ways you can prepare yourself. Start reading aloud and working on your emotions. Voice acting is acting after all.
- Do a theater workshop. They help you with breathing, they help you with your volume, they help you with projecting, and they also help you with changing your emotions which is very important.
- And generally to be a better a voice actor, you have to master the language in which you plan to voice; whether it is English, Hindi , Marathi, or some other language. You have to be able to read it and write it.
- If you want to be a good Hindi voice artist or English voice artist, then you also have to work on getting rid of regional accents so that you can speak neutrally.
- Hire a studio local recording studio and work on some sample scripts and make a few demos. Mix and master them well; maybe ask them to lay down some music to enhance the effect even further.
- You can then send out these demos and samples to studios in your area; you can either approach them physically or you can find their email addresses of google.
- Ask them if there is any way that they could call you in for auditions, or if they could add your samples to their voice bank. Start networking; it will help you a lot in this field.
Salary of a Voice Actor in India
A theater film would probably pay you anywhere between ten thousand to two lakh rupees depending on how big you are as a voice artist. However, this is just a ballpark figure as the money depends on a lot of different factors.
For audio books, it could range from anywhere between three to five thousand rupees per hour. Some experienced voice artists even charge ten thousand rupees per hour of recorded output.
Commercials could go anywhere from three thousand to thirty thousand rupees.
Job Profile (A Day in the Life of a Voice Actor)
Depending on what you are voicing for (books, movies, commercials, etc.), your day is going to be pretty different as a voice actor.
If it’s a film, you would go to the studio and the director will then brief you about the film, the plot, the emotional graph of your character and some other things that you would need to keep in mind while recording. This procedure takes about fifteen to twenty minutes.
Generally speaking, films take around two to three recording sessions, depending on how much the character that you are voicing for has spoken.
Animation episodes take about an hour or two. Audiobooks take three to four weeks depending on the length of the book. Commercials are usually wrapped up under an hour or so.
For films and tv shows, the videos and the script only come once you’re right there in the studio due to copyright reasons. It requires a tremendous amount of preparation on an artist’s part to to be able to adapt to whatever is in the script or whatever the actor is performing on the screen.
To start dubbing for a book, more often than not the manuscript is provided beforehand. So you can end up doing a little bit of reading and a little bit of homework before you start recording.
You don’t need a degree in order to become a voice actor.
One thing to love about being a Voice Actor
“You can help in making important stories reach a wider, more diverse audience.”
One thing to hate about being a Voice Actor
“It takes some time before you can get your foot inside the door in this business.”
Resources and Tips
- Look up the recording sessions of your favorite voice artists on Youtube; you would learn a lot by doing this.
- Apps like Udemy provide online courses for voice acting that one can do at his or her convenience.