Chris Edgerly voice actor is back again with the thirteenth video in the #VONotes series and today he’s talking about voice acting in animation! The #VONotes series is a video series designed to answer questions that you may have about the voice acting industry and it offers some great tips and references for aspiring voice actors everywhere! If you missed the previous videos in the #VONotes series you can catch up on those here.
Voice Acting in Animation: Animation Voice Over Work #VONotes
Today on #VONotes I’m gonna talk about animation!
Animation may be the best-known part of the voice acting industry. A lot of it has to do with those characters and the voice actors behind them. The thing to keep in mind about animation is when you’re auditioning for a show or a movie, there’s a lot of leeway.
They may give you a specific breakdown – the breakdown is the description of the character and it gives you a pretty good idea of what the casting director and the producers are looking for – but a lot of times, you can take a different direction and surprise that casting director or producer, and maybe that’s how you get through. BUT it is a good idea to keep that breakdown in mind! Sometimes they want something specific and if it’s for a show that’s known for that specific tone, it’s best to stick to that.
Here are some examples of shows that I’ve done guest starring roles on that have had a pretty specific tone and character…
[Chris Edgerly as Gobber]: “You may think these dragon killing weapons have no more use, but think again! This longsword is now a lovely butter knife! [Chris Edgerly as Elfred]: “Oh, Sofia, your Royal Road Crew wants to chop down the silver tree in the Whispering Woods! If they do, we elves won’t be able to leave Elvenmore and you won’t be able to get home!” [Chris Edgerly as Eeth Koth]: “Get yourselves to the escape pods, I will deal with Grievous here!” [Chris Edgerly as Eeth Koth]: “Your reputation precedes you General…the reputation of a coward and a murderer!” [Chris Edgerly as Peter Potamus]: “So this one [points to Harvey] blasted this one [points to Murro the Maurader] blasted this one a couple of centuries ago and now he’s looking to cash in. What’s it going to take to make this go away?”
There’s nothing wrong with throwing in an extra take if they allow you the room to do so and give them a different version! This is a chance to really show those acting chops because animation, as much as any facet of the industry, is about performance!
Now, once you’ve actually booked the part, you might find that you’re gonna read with the other actors on the show, or you might end up reading on your own. For example, many of the shows I’ve worked on are “in the round” and you get to read with the rest of the cast – “Celebrity Deathmatch” was like that, “The Simpsons” is like that… But there have been other shows like “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” when I had to read separately from the rest of the cast simply because I wasn’t available until later. In that case, Dave Filoni read with me and we pretty much fleshed out the character right there. And very often they’ll throw an extra animation character at you because they want to flesh out other characters in the script.
In animation, versatility is always a very big asset because you will frequently book one part and then be given a couple of extra parts that are smaller characters in the script just to fill out the roster. And you need to be able to come with a different voice for each of them!
So, animation, in addition to having some of the coolest storytelling in the business, also demands a lot of versatility and imagination. It’s also one of the most rewarding types of jobs you can get in voice acting and I truly hope you’re able to experience that!
Hope this has answered some questions for you if you have more put them in the comments section below and hit that subscribe button so you can see more #VONotes as I make them!