In one of the first drama classes I had ever taken, a phrase was drilled into my head: “99.9% of acting is Reacting.” This means one should always be paying attention to what is actually taking place in the scenarios, the moment and lines before, and every little thing that contributes to the reality of performing a scene. For every anime convention I attend, there is always one question that is asked: “How do I become a voice actor?” This weekend at Ikkicon in Austin, was no different. However, my favorite thing about this question is that the answer from the voice actors is the exact same, every time.
“In order to be a voice actor, you must first be an actor.”
Acting is a long under appreciated art form. For those that don’t understand it, they think it’s easy and “Oh, I can do that!” People also believe that it’s an easy business to get into, when its quite the opposite. Acting and the acting industry has a certain flow and culture.
In voice acting one does not simply “throw your voice around.” To properly perform with believable sound quality, you must involve their whole body as the character they are playing would. Each body position or movement has the slightest bit of differentiation on the vocal chords.
As a dramatic media major, this information seems second nature to me, however the world of conventions brings all walks of people that haven’t had the extensive study and focus that I. So it’s understandable why they wouldn’t automatically assume acting is involved with voice acting (aside from the fact that it’s the second word).
My only word of advice is if this industry is your passion, do your research. Learn everything you can about the industry and pursue every opportunity you can to hone your craft.