Below is a letter from a voice acting fan. I have removed his name to protect his privacy. He asked some great questions about my voice over career so I thought I would share my answers. Enjoy!
Hello, my name is (unnamed). I have been a fan of all things animated cartoons and video games since the age of 2. I never understood why I enjoyed them at first. But then, as I got older, I began to notice the voices of the characters and how they managed to grab my attention whenever I sat down to watch them.
I was always curious about who did what voice of which character. I never knew that there were so many gifted people (like you) behind the character’s voices and the amazing amount of talent it took to bring them to life.
This was just one of the many reasons why I fell in love with it all.
In any case, I do have some questions:
Was being a voice actor something that you’ve wanted to do?
When I was in high school and college I studied acting and wanted to be a movie star. I always had this kid voice which was good and bad depending on what I was auditioning for. I always appeared to be much younger than I was. However, my voice was rather special and proved to be great for cartoon work. I accidentally got involved with dubbing anime films and found I was good at it. It takes a certain type of rhythm to be able to sync the words and mouth movements.
The fun thing about voice acting is that it doesn’t matter how you look or how old you are. You can still do it if your voice is what producers want. Plus, you don’t have to stand around and work 15 hours a day. The average time at the mic for a job is 2-4 hours. An ADR job may be all day, but usually you aren’t at the mic the entire time. For some jobs, such as a TV commercial, you get paid the same rate as those who may have spent the entire day on the set.
Where do you see your career going in the next 10-20 years?
I’m not really sure. I’ve been a voice actor for over 30 years already. The business has changed drastically since I first started. With the Internet, almost everyone can be a voice actor if they want to be. There is more and more non union work. That means a ton of competition. You also need to be a recording engineer which was not true when I started. You would go in to a studio or agent’s office to audition. It is very intimidating for many people.
More importantly, what is your hope for Voice-over talent?
I hope we don’t all get replaced by electronic robots.
Do you see such talent becoming more accepted in the American mainstream as time goes on (much like how your seiyuu counterparts in Japan are)?
Voice acting for the most part is respected. Look at all the celebrities who are suddenly doing it. Anime (or dubbing) is not as respected as original animation but is much harder in many ways.
How did you get your start as a Voice Actress?
I saw an ad in an actor’s magazine and started working on dubbing projects. I also got an agent.
and finally, What would you say is the best and/or most favorite part of being a voice actress?
It’s mostly a lot of fun. The people in it are great and very funny as well. They don’t seem to be as competitive, as far as trying to get a part, as on camera actors.
Before I end this letter, I would just like to say that I do enjoy the work that you have done(even if my only exposure to it was through Tenchi Muyo).
Thanks so much and thanks for writing.
I look forward to hearing from you and hope to meet you in person, someday,
Very truly yours,