If your child is an actor, summer is a great time to reevaluate and update by getting new headshots, refreshing online profiles, and even learning a new acting skill. It’s the perfect season to diversify your child’s skill set so why not dive into voiceover?
There are a multitude of voiceover opportunities in the marketplace, and the demand for authentic kid and teen voice talent is on the rise. If your child already has acting experience, that’s an added bonus in the voiceover world!
This summer, consider some of these voiceover genres for your child and possibly using this time to learn the skills needed for each.
Animation voiceover encompasses ongoing series or cartoons, feature films, animated shorts, and webisodes that you may watch on broadcast TV, streaming and on-demand services, YouTube, or other social media outlets. Animation voiceover calls for great acting skills, the ability to break down a script, analyze a character, and understand a scene. Animation voiceover may include character voices, accents, singing, and even some improv—all skills that translate really well between being on-camera and behind the microphone.
Commercial voiceover work includes advertising spots for TV, radio, on-demand streaming services, and social media outlets for everything from products to services. For child actors performing commercial voiceover work, the delivery style most desired by casting and creative agencies is natural, real, and conversational.
READ: Voiceover 101
Podcasts and Audiobooks
Podcasts and audiobooks are increasingly popular and cover a range of entertainment and educational topics. Often producers seek kids and teens who represent the demographics of the target listener to voice a podcast or audiobook. Child actors with great storytelling ability, clear diction, acting skills, and unique or engaging delivery are a great fit for these voiceover opportunities.
There are tons of singing and talking toys on the market. Press a button, squeeze a paw, turn a dial, and out comes a talking or singing response. This voiceover genre is a fit for kids who can deliver A-B-C takes (the same line three different ways) with high energy, a friendly tone, and extremely clear diction. Also, singing and performing fun sounds like cheers, giggles, and other emotions are extremely helpful skills for this genre.
Video game voiceover calls for high-energy delivery, endurance, and great acting skills. Bonus skills for this genre include great improvisation and the ability to perform a range of effort noises like grunts, falls, sighs, yells, and cheers. Kids who represent the actual demographics of a character are sometimes a good fit to voice a video game character.
Singing voiceover opportunities arise across many voiceover genres. Kids with voiceover skills and singing ability are well-suited for voiceover singing projects. Commercials may have a product jingle. Animated series may have theme songs or a character may sing in part of an episode. Toys, games, and apps may teach kids to sing the alphabet. Key attributes helpful for singing voiceover projects include the ability to learn music quickly, synchronize with production, and sometimes the ability to sing in character.
So, where can your child start to learn these skills? Coaching is always key when learning a new skill and the same goes for voiceover. The best place to start is with an introductory workshop or class. Major markets offer voiceover classes and specialized workshops for kids and teens. Many coaches and professional studios offer online voiceover classes and workshops too. Not only is specialized voiceover training an excellent step to learn specific industry techniques, but the skills learned can be helpful in the on-camera world too, furthering your kids overall acting foundation.
Plus, the nice thing about voiceover work is that it’s in demand throughout the year, not just during one busy season. So if your child actor goes to “summer school” to add voiceover skills to his actor’s toolbox, it’s a benefit you may be able to use all year long!