Voice acting? What’s that about?

So tell me, what is your favorite Disney movie? Go on, humor me for a bit.

Or why don’t we expand our question: What is your favorite animated movie? Anime series? Cartoon show?

Picture your favorite characters. Imagine the sounds of their voices, the intonations in their speech. For every bit of dialogue, conversation, phrase, or word spoken, there is someone behind the scenes giving your favorite character a voice, bringing them to life.

Meet Suzie Yeung. As a voice actress, her dream is to be able to sustain herself purely through voiceover and contingency work.

Suzie loves voiceover work because it gives her the chance to express herself, reach people on an emotional level through her work, and have fun while doing it (sometimes without the need to change out of her pajamas).

“I think back to how Disney movies or other animated shows and games resonated with me,” she explains. “My heart felt so full from being absorbed in empathy for the characters, and it was thanks to the voice actors’ talents that brought them to life.”

Suzie grew up as an only child in suburban Maine. With her overflowing imagination, she loved playing pretend, and writing stories and poetry. Along the way, this “mix of creative hunger, childish daydreams, and introversion” led to her interest in voiceover.

There are a lot of smaller pieces that contributed to this, but she remembers, as a kid, pretending to be like Ash Ketchum from Pokémon or Sailor Moon from the anime show of the same name. As she got older and started writing short fiction stories, she would imagine how her characters would look, how they would act and sound. Later on, she saw behind-the-scenes clips of voice actors of some of her favorite movies and shows on YouTube.

“I was in awe that these weird voices could actually come out of a real person,” Suzie explains. “That was one of my first exposures to the craft. I was too shy to act in front of an audience or a camera but still liked creating characters and playing out their personas. As a result, voice acting seemed like a natural compromise for me.”

Since 2018, Suzie has been working on several video game and animation projects. Photo courtesy of Suzie Yeung.

As she moves into working professionally in voiceover, she’s faced with a new set of “deeper motivations” and a sense of purpose. It’s no longer just about entertaining the audience but about being able to fulfill the needs of those she works with. It’s about creating a mutual exchange, working with clients and directors to help make their visions come alive.

There’s a certain sense of joy she feels when she delivers the content her collaborators want and need. In her eyes, it makes for great organic relationships built on shared trust and appreciation.

Her goal for the 2019 year is to continue connecting with people and expanding her voiceover profile. In the future, if—when—she becomes more established, she’d love to be able to share her experiences and be an inspiration for others in the field.

For right now:

“Look for articles, YouTube videos, and podcasts specifically about voiceover. There’s also a wealth of casting calls that are looking for voice actors to be in their projects. Auditioning for them is great practice. It gets you used to different characters and performance styles. You don’t need fancy equipment to do this; a USB condenser mic would be fine starting out. Lastly, get comfortable with rejection. At first, it can be disheartening when you don’t get chosen several times, but if you love it, you’ll keep trying and improve over time. Do it, love it, reflect on it, and do it again. Good luck!”

Suzie encourages those interested in the field to seek advice from others through forums and social media groups, but also to do their own research. The online voice acting community is huge and it’ll only continue to grow!

“I’m sure that as I go along in my career, my goals will shift and become bigger, as they usually do,” she says. “I feel like I’m just getting started and I’m really excited to do more.”


You can follow Suzie on Facebook!

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***Feature photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

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