Hello there! How are you doing today? Struggling to get discovered on Twitch, you say? Mmmm… My, That seems to be a fairly common issue these days… Have you considered learning the art of Voice Acting to improve the value of your content?
Well, I suppose you have, else you would probably not be here. I digress, Welcome! Over here (The disembodied voice of Mr. Goodhand points towards the helpful resources section) I have a number of free online resources designed to teach you the basics of voice acting. These resources are typically in the form of YouTube channels. But not just any YouTube channels, but those of prominent Voice Actors with excellent tips & tricks they employ to excel in the field of voice acting.
Of course, like any magician, not all the tricks are covered in one place. And even if you have all the book smarts, there are some things that you simply can not consciously know you’re doing wrong without a mentor to point it out.
A Quick challenge: Re-read the first three paragraphs in a condescending tone aloud. You know, the typical Know-it-all nose to the sky Rich guy stereotype. The idea here is to convey emotion.
Finished? Do it again, Recording yourself this time using reaper, then play it back to yourself, and repeat 20x times, each in slightly different ways. Choose the best version and BAM, Voice Acting in a nutshell. Don’t forget to have water handy!
Why should you pick up Voice Acting as a Streamer on Twitch?
Technically, you don’t really have to do anything of the sort to be a successful streamer on Twitch. However, this skill can be an extremely valuable asset, and can help improve the entertainment value of your stream by a large factor. And Value, my friends, is the key factor in retaining your audience.
You don’t believe me?
Rolls a D20, Scoring a Critical Role.
This is an absurdly popular Dungeons and Dragons stream on Twitch, spearheaded by…You guessed it! Professional Voice Actors. Their ability to embody the characters they play adds a level of realism to their worlds that mere words alone can paint vivid and, sometimes violent pictures.
The level of entertainment is much higher in something like this than say…
“Got one…..” Gameplay for 1 minute, zero talking.
“Hey, man, how’s it going?” “Good, just playing some….” Boooooorrrriiing!!!!
Not that you can’t see success with chill streams like that, but when you can just add a bit of spice to your stream by adding some Raw Unfettered emotion to it, why wouldn’t you? In addition, streaming uses the same equipment that voice actors do, more or less, so you won’t need to purchase any specialized equipment.
You can sell voice clips
Another thing that voice acting can do for you earn you money! Again, because a lot of the equipment that streamers use is essentially repurposed voice acting gear, like an XLR Microphone & Audio interface, you don’t need to buy any new equipment that won’t benefit you outside of the stream itself!
Simply record yourself saying some random thing, like “YEET!” or “POGGERS!!!~” or whatever you can think of really.
There is a severe lack of resources available for streamers to utilize in their streams in the department of sound effects. Then post these clips on a site like Sonniss, or Pond5, and start earning some income from even recycled material from a Livestream Highlight!
Bear in mind, if you do this, ensure there is no music playing in the background that you do not own the rights to use. If you do need some music blocks for your clips, there are some you can use over at Audioblocks, just remember to ensure it is okay for use in Commercial applications in the license!
Helpful resources for the Novice Voice Actor
Voice acting resources are plentiful if you know where to look. YouTube is one such platform, but when was the last time you actively looked up “Voice Actors”?
Some of the channels listed below are excellent resources for learning the art of Voice Acting. In fact, some voices you find may even sound familiar, if you’ve got any video games with voice actors in them.
As good as these amazing free resources are, it only takes you so far. After all, there is no professional critic who can listen to your copy and give you advice on things to change or work on. It’s difficult to face your flaws, and you will subconsciously ignore some, or focus on the wrong thing to practice.
It is for this reason that we recommend taking lessons from professional voice actors with certifiable credentials. That is, proof that they are good at what they do.
However, if something like hiring a personal voice acting tutor is outside the range of your budget, perhaps there is an alternative available. Check your local area for any sort of “Voice Acting Clubs” or Acting in general, as these are great places to learn how to embody a character. It could serve to be a place to find new friends & improve a skill that will help you in your streaming endeavors.
Why should I pick up classes when all these free resources exist?
You should take Voice acting classes specifically because you are being taught how to speak properly into the microphone in a home studio environment. This is why, ideally, getting training from a professional voice actor is the best route to take. But as we just stated above, if this is not financially viable, there are alternatives.
Being able to speak properly into the microphone is only the first step, however. You also need to entertain your audience, or provide some other value to them that will convince the individuals behind the screen of the viewer metrics to stick around and become the fabled “Regular!”
A Professional Voice Actor tutor will address both the proper technique to speaking into a microphone and how to add emphasis to what you are saying in an entertaining way. These two factors, coupled with the ability to ask for advice on things you can do for your audience on Twitch or any other platform is well worth the cost of the lessons.
Acting out a scene that unfolds:
Let’s say you just got a Pentakill on League of Legends. How do you think you will go about expressing your hype to your audience?
- Start laughing at the end and shout “PENTAKILL BOIIIS!!!”
- Build excitement leading up to that Penta kill by shouting “ONE DOWN, TWO DOWN, THREE DOWN, C’MON DIE!!! FOUR!!!! OMGGGG PENTAKILLL EEEEYEAH BOYS LETS GO! Follow me etc. We got em!!”
- Stay silent, like its no big deal?
Ask yourself from that example is the most entertaining to watch from the audience’s perspective.
It would easily be number two; You are keeping your audience on the edge of their seat and building excitement leading up to the last kill.
Even if you should fail miserably, you can recover that with something like, “WHAAAAT! No way. Well, we got three, CLEAN UP THE FIELD TEAM, THERE ARE ONLY TWO LEFT!!” It is your responsibility to seize the moment!
With a voice acting mentor, you could run these hypothetical scenarios off them and see what they think about it. Remember to be passionate about your example, do it as best you can as if it were happening live. And be ready for rejection or distaste from the mentor. Rejection is a good thing, prompting you to ask, “how do you suppose you’d go about doing this then?”
Remember, the mentor’s advice is merely advice. Your stream is your own stage, and you’re in charge. Perform however you feel is the best way to retain an audience.
Mumbling is the bane of many streamers.
With our ever-growing reliance on technology to connect, we’ve lost the ability to enunciate our words as a species. I’m guilty of it, and MANY, MANY new streamers are too.
We’ve grown used to talking with minimal mouth movement, so as to not blow the ears off of people using headsets. It’s unfortunate because if you just open your mouth all the way, the sound gains a depth that you may not even realize you could do.
It’s to the point where it is completely sub-conscious, and a difficult habit to break. Have you ever noticed how wide professional singers open their mouths?
With a voice acting mentor, this habit can be broken, along with other small nuances that you have that inhibit you.
Where can I get voice acting lessons?
Unfortunately, I do not currently have any mentor recommendations on who can teach you at this time. If you are a mentor, you are welcome to leave a comment or email us, and I’ll update the post with your info. Let us know!
What can I expect to pay for voice acting lessons?
From my initial research, I’ve been quoted anywhere from $30 an hour to over $120 an hour, based on the mentor’s experience and location(Mentors in NY tend to charge more from what I’ve seen) You are definitely going to want to do your own research to get the best deal you can afford; A word of advice, NEVER take the first offer immediately. You never know if someone with a better deal will offer a few days later.
Lesson.com has a voice acting section for mentors, I’d recommend trying that site out to see what you get for offers. Remember, do your research on whatever mentor offers you lessons!
Also, they are usually willing to haggle; I managed to talk someone down from $50 to $20 a lesson, simply shorter lessons as the trade-off. Just don’t give an insulting counter-offer and you’ll be fine in that regard.
Let us know if this helps you out, and who you go with (Or have gone with if you are ahead of the game) with for your mentors!
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