Voice Over Talent

The History of Voice Acting & the Voice Over Talent Business

Have you ever wondered what the voice over business is exactly, or where it came from? It’s been around longer than you might think. It’s common for voice actors to be asked things like “How did you get into that?”, but it’s far less often that thought is given to when, how and why the voice over business came to be.

For most of its history the voice over business has occupied the more obscure shadows of the acting world. Not so long ago actually, voice jobs were what working actors did in-between what many would call more “real”, “proper” or “respectable” work i.e. that done for television, film or stage. All that started to change in more recent times however, with the onset of digitally animated films featuring characters voiced by celebrities, also the Web making trying out for some types of jobs possible for legions of new hopefuls. Nowadays voice work isn’t something actors keep on the down-low anymore. The trade has become a point of heightened curiosity, even if not heightened understanding, among consumers.

To understand where voice over has been, is, and where it’s going is to note milestones in the development of commercial acting, business, technology, media, politics and culture. The following infographic, while by no means comprehensive, is offered to help address that. Enjoy!