If fame and celebrity are what drives you, then becoming a voice over actor might not be the best career path. Even some well-known voice over actors are hardly household names, however, we bet they wouldn’t swap their jobs for anything. They’re well paid, have highly sought-after skills and love their jobs.
In this post, we’ll a look at just a few voice over actors that have had successful careers. You might not have heard of many of their names, but it’s highly likely you’ve heard their voices.
(Almost) famous voice over actors
Mel Blanc was a well-known radio actor who became known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices” because of his voice overs. He is one of the most famous and influential voice over actors to ever get behind a microphone. He provided the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Barney Rubble and literally more than a thousand others. An important lesson from Mel’s career was his versatility and ability to modify his voice to suit the character.
How does a middle-aged female become the young male voice of one of the most famous animated characters of the last 30 years? While it happened practically by chance, it didn’t happen without a lot of hard work. When Nancy Cartwright was asked to audition for a show that eventually became The Simpsons, it was for the role of Lisa Simpson. However, she was allowed to audition for the role of Bart and The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening was so impressed he hired her on the spot. The rest is history!
When it comes to movie trailers, Don LaFontaine is the grandfather of voice over actors. It’s thought that he’s done more than 5000 film trailers, leading to monikers such as “The Voice of God” and “The King of Movie Trailers”. While working in the industry, Don’s career as a voice over actor took off by chance, when he filled in for an unavailable voiceover actor for a 1964 western.
Gary Oldman, Sameul L. Jackson, Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart are household names due to their acting, but they’re also well-paid voice over actors in video games. Gary Oldman, for example, was in the Call of Duty video game, while Samuel L Jackson was in San Andreas.
If you’ve ever been to New York, chances are you’ve heard the voice of Charlie Pellet. He’s the guy behind the voice of the New York City subway system. Charlie was a veteran news anchor and reporter before he became the “Stand clear of the closing doors, please” guy. Interestingly, when he first came to New York he applied for a job as a subway driver. He didn’t get the job then, but we guess the New York subway finally got their man!
In Australia, voice over actors that you may have heard of include Pete Smith and John Deeks for their voice over work in television and Caroline Craig, the voice behind the Underbelly TV series. Other well-known people who have also had successful careers as voice over artists include Michael Caton, Samuel Johnson and Gyton Grantley for their work in a multitude of TV commercials.
Become a voice over actor
Becoming a voice over actor might not lead to fame or celebrity status, but it is still a great job. If it’s a career you’re keen on, one way to improve is to listen to some of the best professionals in the industry. So, Google some of the names above and listen to their work.
When you’re ready to further your career, email a production demo and your resume to Abe’s Audio. Abe’s Audio is one of Australia’s leading audio production companies, providing voice over services to media, agency, eLearning, video production and creative clients around the world.