By James Herd
While voice acting may be a niche form of acting in the real world, it thrives on the internet with such websites as the Voice Acting Alliance and the Voice Acting Club.
On the Voice Acting Alliance website, users can become a member of an interactive community where not everyone has to be talented with their voice. There are writers, actors, producers and musicians with a common goal to have fun while doing what they love. When you become a member, you can choose to audition for original audio or visual productions, or projects that are associated with a pre-existing medium of art, often called fan productions.
On the Voice Acting Club website, which is quite similar to the Voice Acting Alliance in many ways, a different Web server hosts it. Both websites offer its users the chance to delve into voice acting and to simulate the experience of being a professional. There are countless projects to try out for, but like in the real world, sending in a recording does not guarantee you a spot in the project. Such projects include Palasiel Quest, an independent role-playing game created by Jeremiah “McTricky” George, or “Kaigan,” an anime-inspired animation series created by Derek “Derekotsu” Crawley.
Unlike acting offline, the experience of online voice acting is limited only to your computer screen. All you need is a microphone and a free audio mixing program off the internet, and you are set to begin trying out for projects created by people all over the world.
More recently, projects with notoriety have been utilizing people who began their career on the Voice Acting Alliance and the Voice Acting Club, such as a downloadable 2-D fighting game entitled “Skullgirls,” and the Xbox Live Arcade download, “Dust: an Elysian Tail” (which was reviewed on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block recently.)
If acting isn’t really your fancy, or if you prefer a mixture of competitive singing and/or acting, you can try out Voice Hollywood or as it is commonly abbreviated by its members, VH.
VH is another interactive community that is more attuned to the competition aspect, and includes interested parties submitting recordings of singing and acting to the judges of the competition. Generally, each round will have a particular theme that competitors must meet or else risk elimination, which comes into play for at least one person each episode. Think of the televised singing competitions. That is generally how things are run, just online instead of in real life.
In the general scheme of things, the work done on these websites may open the path for one to do professional work in the voice-acting field. Such work may include work on English-dubbed anime, video games, Disney films or American animated series.
Now that the Internet has become a leading form of entertainment, it only makes sense that certain parts of the entertainment industry are moving to the digital waves. Good things will come to those who work hard and stay inspired.