"So you wanna be a voice actor? Well let the cliched-untrustworthy-politician tell you how."
Welcome to a rather quick bite over here at Food for Thought. No good series is complete without a skeevy councilman, and The Legend of Korra does well with leading-suspect-politician, Tarrlok, who is voiced by none other than Dee Bradley Baker. Mr. Baker has had other roles in other popular shows ranging from Young Justice (Wolf — consequently he also plays Korra’s polar-bear-dog companion, Naga), Adventure Time (Cinnamon Bun who you may recognize from this awesome clip), and even in Portal 2 (Atlas and P-Body – I mean who knew haha).
With nearly 20 years as a professional voice actor under his belt, Dee has become the “go-to” guy for creating realistic monster, alien, and animal sounds and is truly passionate about what he does.
So passionate, in fact, that he’s launched a website designed as a resource center for aspiring voice actors, pointedly titled: I Want to Be a Voice Actor
His words of wisdom range from what to expect money-wise, how to present yourself, and what to expect as a starting voice actor. Notably, he relates voice acting to training to be an olympic athlete:
There is a path to it for those few who are right for it, but it’s much more involved and difficult than most think. It is a sustained project that demands considerable focus, resources and time– in addition to talent. Some may be “born to do it,” but don’t really care to. Others may want it so badly but really just don’t have the goods. – Dee Bradley Baker, I Want to Be a Voice Actor
Essentially, one has to respect the career they’re getting into if they want to legitimately pursue voice acting. It is more than a hobby, or a side-job, and it is as demanding as a quote-unquote “real” acting career. To Mr. Baker, a voice actor is an actor, and actually has to bring more to the table, because voicing a character requires giving life to that character, to make an animated something-or-other seem real.
He also understands how hard it is to start up in the industry, and offers all the tips and tricks he can to make setting up “shop” as a voice actor possible.
So to wrap up this quick bite, in the words of Mr. Baker:
My take is ultimately this: No matter what you’re going for, if you’ve got the right stuff, do your homework, pay your dues, and enjoy the ups as well as the downs, I believe you’ve got a good shot at earning a living doing something you love to do.