Ask the pros with the sister team, Lileina Joy and Lucy Capri! They share their journey on how to become a voice actor as a kid, what is voice acting for kids, some of the challenges they’ve overcome, and how they succeed at voice acting jobs for kids.
Welcome Lileina and Lucy; can you start by sharing with us what is voice acting for kids?
Voice acting (aka voiceover or VO) is awesome! It’s a style of acting where only your voice is heard, and it’s exhilarating. For us, it’s mesmerizing and joyful.
From a child’s perspective, voice acting brings all kinds of media to life. It’s also a great way for kids and teens to get involved in the voice artists community from a young age.
How cool! But how old do you have to be to voice act?
We started when we were six (Lileina) and four (Lucy), but we know some kids who started as early as two years old!
Sounds fun! So, how did you become a voice actor as a kid?
I started acting in on-camera commercials when I was five. When I was six, I booked an on-camera commercial that also included a voiceover. I had so much fun in the studio, and I became hooked. My Mom told my agent, who encouraged us to learn more about voice over by taking classes and doing research online.
I started auditioning for projects, and my little sister, Lucy, who was four at the time, also started auditioning. We each did a handful of commercials and then booked our first project together. It was an animated series/dubbing project. We had so much fun.
I remember working on that show and laughing a lot. I had so much fun in the studio! The engineer there still tells us that I was the youngest voice actor to ever record in his booth.
I remember that he had to move the microphone really low that first time because I was so little. I laugh now when I see those photos. I just had so much fun and wanted to keep doing it, just like Lileina!
What an incredible experience! Could you explain how child voice acting auditions actually work?
When you receive an audition, we recommend reading over all the details more than once. It’s always good to double or triple-check details so you don’t miss anything. If the company or product is mentioned, look up some of their past projects to check out their usual style and tone. This gives you a good idea of what they may be looking for. Once you’ve practiced, record and select your best takes. Make sure your file is clean and sounds professional, and then upload it.
Excellent steps to follow - what kind of options are there for voice over jobs for kids?
There are so many options for voice over jobs for kids. From animation to commercials, eLearning, audiobooks, narration videos, toys, apps, PSAs, promos, dubbing, ADR, and even voice messages and in-store promotions. We’ve been extremely blessed to record in each of these genres over the years.
Very useful options! So, how do you find voice acting jobs for kids on Voice123?
The best way to start is to create a profile for yourself.
You must have a demo though (it can be of any genre – animation, commercial, etc). Once this is created, you will start receiving auditions.
Super tips! But what are some of the challenges you've faced, and what helped you overcome them?
When we were little, we used to get disappointed when we didn’t get booked for a project we really wanted. As we have gotten older, though, we have come to understand that just because you didn’t book it that doesn’t mean you didn’t do a great job. It just means your voice wasn’t quite what the client or director was looking for that day. It’s easier to understand this now that we are older.
That's very sensible. Is there any advice you'd like for those who want to learn how to become a voice actor as a kid?
The best advice we can give is to believe in yourself, don’t give up, and study hard. That includes taking classes and watching and listening to the different types of media you want to voice. Also, connect with other voice actors in the voiceover community. It’s so important to encourage one another and cheer each other on. Some parents and young actors look at everyone else in their age range and gender like they are competition, and that’s not the case. Everyone has their own unique sound.
Like we said before, you never know what the creative teams have in mind when they are casting a project. It’s always important to do your best. Then put the audition out of your mind and prepare for the next potential opportunity. Also, if and when you find out who was booked for the role you really wanted, cheer them on – they worked hard too!Your wins will come someday, and when they do, that person will support you.
Awesome; any final advice or thoughts on voice acting for kids?
We’d love to share one of our past social media posts, reflecting how Lucy (8 years old at the time) felt. It gives a glimpse into a “Day in the Life of a Young Voice Actor,” and we hope it encourages you too:
‘Voice over. It’s an acting genre Lileina and Lucy have been working very hard at for many years now. Looking at pictures of talent in a booth can be deceiving. “Wow, how easy. They just sit down and read.” Think that is all there is to it? Think again. What you really see is a young actor who has auditioned for so, so, so many VO projects. Who has studied with coaches and watched countless hours of kids’ media to learn trends and techniques. If you have a goal, remember that you have to run the race to get to the finish line. And it has to be the runner’s goal, not the coach’s. Parents invest, but the kid runs solo when performing in this business.
Whatever their goal is, support them and then watch them thrive. #TheyWillShowYou
A special thanks to Lileina Joy and Lucy Capri for sharing their journey on how to become a voice actor as a kid.
Check out their website here and Voice123 profiles below.