Ever wonder what it’s like to be the voice behind an animated character? How about the voice behind a commercial pitch or the lead character in a video game? Look no further. Veteran voice actor Greg Chun, known for voicing George Roberts in “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures,” Ike in “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” and Takayuki Yagami in “Judgment,” shares a typical day in the life of a voice artist and offers insights for those considering a career in the field.
What’s a typical day look like for you?
“I wake up and see what auditions are due in the morning, and I’ll jump in my home studio by around 8 o’clock to hammer those out. Then I’ll leave to go to my recording sessions for jobs I’ve already booked for that day. Afterwards, if I have more auditions to do, I’ll try to run home and record them in my studio. But if I don’t have time, I’ll literally do them on my phone in the car. Once I’m back home, I knock out any remaining auditions that need to be completed by the end of the day. Sometimes I have to pass on auditions because I run out of time, but obviously, you try and do every audition that you can because that’s what keeps your business going. And then everything starts all over the next day.”
That sounds like a lot of opportunities coming your way. Have you always been that busy as a voice actor?
“I booked the first thing my agent brought me in to read for when I was just starting out, and it was an amazing feeling. I was thinking that it was going to be super easy, and I was going to be all set. Then I didn’t book anything for like a year and a half. But you persevere. If it’s not the kind of thing that’s in your bones and you just love, you’re not going to withstand those moments of massive dry spells. You’ll just give up and move on. But if it’s something you just have to do, then you stick with it.”
What other advice would you give someone interested in starting his or her own career in voice acting?
“I think it’s really important to know that the voiceover business is not about doing funny voices. There’s an understanding, much like on-camera work, that it’s about what you bring and who you are because you’re the only person who’s doing you. Most often, we’re being hired to be more or less ourselves, so you don’t need to be able to do a thousand different crazy voices to be able to make it. As far as practical tips, there are two sites that are invaluable for voice actors who want to learn and grow more: ‘VO Buzz Weekly’ and ‘I Want to Be a Voice Actor.’”
So, if people decide to take the leap and pursue it, what can they look forward to in their own days ahead as voice actors?
“One of the things I love most about this business is the community. It really is a community of wonderful, supportive people. I mean, we will refer each other for jobs. If we are asked to do a certain voice in an audition that we’re not capable of doing, we’ll say, ‘Well, I don’t do that very well, to be honest. But you know who does?’ And we’ll refer the other voice actor. That is unheard of in the on-camera world, to say, ‘I’m not really right for this part, but I’ll go ahead and tell you someone who is.’”