voice acting for teens

New faces, new people, new stories — this is New Voices.

Here, you'll find in-depth interviews and insightful exploratories with new voice actors who’ll nourish the future of the creative industry. We're chatting with Dacey Else, who shares more about voice acting for teens as she's known in the industry as the voice of Millennials and Gen Zs.

How long have you been focused on voice acting for teens and when did you decide to enter the voice over industry?

I’m 18 years old and I was 12 when I did my first audition, so it was probably five or six years ago that I started doing voiceover work.

It started with theater, as an outlet to meet people when I was homeschooled in fifth grade. I quickly fell in love with it and decided, “Okay, I want to be an actor and theater film director.”

Then I met someone in the industry that I worked with and he told me I could do voiceover work. And I remember I was standing there with my dad. Like, “I don’t know what that even is. I’ve never heard of that.” And he said, “yeah, and you can do it on the internet on freelancing platforms.” I’d never heard of anything like that because what everybody tells you is that there’s only one way to be an actor. And it’s the traditional path with an agency for 10 plus years to maybe get booked. So hearing that there was another way where I could do it myself was really exciting for me. I went home and a couple days later, I signed up for all the freelancing platforms.

teenage voice actor

It is hard to enter an industry as big as this one, especially as a young woman. What's the hardest challenge you’ve found about voice acting for teens?

I would say, probably finding your niche and what your specific voice is suited for. Because when you first start out, you just try everything. I’ve learned I can do some character voices, but I’m not very cartoon-y. I’m much more into commercials, but there’s some people that are just amazing at doing impressions.

That’s why I always tell people I meet, if you have a skill with your voice, any quirky quality… that’s all good for voiceover. 

So yes, I think it would be just knowing yourself, what your voice actually sounds like, and finding your path in a specific area in the industry.

What's your favorite project that you've done, or the one that you are most proud of?

voice acting for teens

When I started, I met this lady named Linda who had a book series called “Confessions of a nerdy girl” and the books were super funny. She’s an amazing writer.

It was 2017 and I had just gotten started doing voiceover work. I didn’t come from an acting family, so I didn’t know anybody that was doing voiceover work. At that time, my recording space was a cardboard box that had hot glued foam on the inside. And that’s where I recorded for over a year.

So imagine my surprise when I meet Linda over the internet and she tells me that I would be perfect for her character Willa, which is the character that’s writing the diary. Of course, I said yes. And it’s funny because a couple of weeks ago I finished up my third book with her, playing the same character. 

I’ve been playing Willa since I was 13, so it’s really fun to go back into the mind of a pre-teen and really become that character, because she has a very specific voice. That’s definitely my favorite project. I feel like it’s the one project that’s grown with me.

What equipment do you have now?

I have a home studio as I got a booth after a couple of years, when I was sure this is what I wanted to do full time for the rest of my life. It’s basically just like a custom sound booth for music, people, or voiceover artists. I call it my big blue box.

Cause I got it done in bright blue, which I don’t know why I did that, I was just 14. And so now it’s still up here and I have it all connected to an iMac with Adobe Audition and that’s what I’ve been using from the beginning. I own a Neumann TLM 103, that’s what I use now.

voice acting

Do you have any voice acting role models?

In the voiceover industry, definitely Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson. Just the way that she sees voiceover work is very unique and she really has a lot of fun. That’s why I’ve always admired her, how much she enjoys her career. Cause I don’t think you should do it unless you enjoy doing it.

What are some secrets that people never told you about voice acting for teens that you wish someone had told you? Can you share a secret for the younger generations to come?

My biggest advice for anybody that’s starting out would be to stick to the basics. Instead of over-complicating things and trying to grow your business by doing all these really hard, over the top things, literally just make sure your response time is really fast and get your voice overs over to your client as quickly as you can. 

Just make sure to always stay active when you’re freelancing. And that will push you forward, even if you’re just brand new.

What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself long term?

voice acting for teens

Well, I just hired my first editor. So that was a really big step for me. I think continuing to hire people that can help me edit and respond to people so that I can just be in the booth as much as possible is what I want to do in the next couple of years.

It’s been a really exciting process, having another person and training them about audio and how all that works. My next goal is to keep expanding our team and that way, we can put out work faster and more of it, and make sure it’s the best quality that it can be.

I was a one-woman show for so long and there’s only so much you can do, so If you really want to grow, you kind of have to reach out to other people and grow your team!

Special thanks to Dacey for sharing her thoughts on voice acting for teens.

Check out Dacey's profile here! And listen to her most recent voice acting work:

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