I love being a voiceover artist and one of the things people forget is that this is a business. Working in entertainment and owning a business means that we are entrepreneurs; with that, interacting with the press is essential! I love media, and I adore press, so not only have I had several articles written about me, but I have also had the opportunity to author articles with other talented professionals and on some of the industry’s finest. Addressing one of my reaching articles, ‘Connection, Training, Networking, and New Opportunities’, I wanted to share a bit about how this article came to be and hopefully share some nuggets with you on how YOU can start learning more about anime voiceover. Haven’t seen the article? Check it out here: https://www.alanshires.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/New-Opportunities.pdf
Networking in Anime
Anime is one of my biggest loves in the voiceover industry. It invites massive theatrical characters not bound by the laws of normality or physics. Pretend, storytelling, and fun are fundamentally the core of any voice actor, and Anime encapsulates that like no other. Over the past five years, I have connected with as many Anime actors as possible. I have authored articles on them, which you can find within the media tab on my website home page. I have worked with many of these people in workshops, webinars, and in the press too. Over the years, they have become valued friends, many of whom I now call colleagues. Relationships are so essential, and meeting new people, I believe, is vitally important. Everyone wants to collaborate with talented, likable, dependable, and friendly people, so the connection is super important.
The article above was birthed out of a workshop with one of the world’s finest Anime actors, Sean Schemmel, one of the world’s most well-known Anime voiceover artists because of his role as Goku in Dragonball Z and Dragonball Super. So how did I, in the United Kingdom, come to know and work with Sean Schemmel, who is in Los Angeles?
Simply put, a mutual friend introduced us and suggested we work together. Someone I met at an event introduced me to that mutual friend. Let us take a step back here… I was at an event; I made a new contact, who later introduced me to one of his contacts, who then introduced me to Sean. Connection, making friends, and helping one another are so vitally important in voiceover, and that is how this article was birthed.
Training in Voiceover and Anime
When introduced, I shared with Sean that one of my clients, ‘The VoiceOver Network,’ regularly hosts free and paid-for training content. This was an excellent project to collaborate on and was solely focused on voiceover training in Anime. We hosted a 1-hour free webinar a few weeks later called ‘The Voiceover Hour,’ a free 1-hour webinar hosted by The VoiceOver Network. During this webinar, voice actors worldwide tuned in to learn more about Anime. It was a casual interview-styled webinar with the opportunity for people watching to ask questions. From that, a workshop was birthed where Sean took ten voiceover artists under his wing for a three-hour coaching session. The actors were provided scripts where they would audition for Sean, and he would critique their performance. After the critique, they would perform again and conclude their audition. This process was repeated with all attendees, so all the voiceover artists had the opportunity to watch and learn from each other too.
Anime Voiceover is Making a Difference
This workshop was reviewed by voiceover artist/voice actors Gerard Caster and supported and endorsed by me. Gerard was a new artist when he attended the workshop, and I was happy to be there to support him on his journey. Gerard later co-starred in an anime with me just over a year later. Gerard is exceptionally talented as a voice actor, but what did he do to be effective? How did he go from being so new in voiceover to staring in a world-class Anime? He simply threw himself into his business, trained, gained skills, and finally, networked. Gerard connected with me, worked with the world’s best coaches and gained the skills he needed to book the job. I was involved with the casting process on this project too. After being cast, the company ‘Okratron5000’ asked for my input on the best English accents for their upcoming FUNimation Project ‘Moriarty the Patriot.’
Voiceover Talent and the Press
We regularly think that press is for on-screen actors, but this is not true. As a business, the press is vital in whatever part of the entertainment industry you work in. Gerard wrote an excellent review of Sean Schemmel’s workshops, and from that, he got published in a worldwide publication, ‘The Buzz Magazine,’ for which I am privileged to also be an editor. In a future blog post, I will write more about the casting process and working inside of anime as a voice actor, but also about the series in general.
Workshops & Press Voiceover Anime Tips
To close, these are my top tips for working in anime.
- As a voice actor, ask yourself what genre you want to specialise in.
- For Anime, start networking with companies producing anime, actors working in anime, and people who engage in anime.
- Like with everything else, be a good, honest, and caring person – it’s not about what you can get from them but how you can serve and help them! Come into the industry with selfless ambitions to help and give, not to take and absorb.
- Train in voice acting and specifically anime voice acting.
- Train some more!
- Network with all the pros you have just made connections with.
- Write a blog, send an article to a publications company, and write reviews for the Anime voiceover coaches you work with.