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Thread: Getting a Job in Japan #3 ~ Voice Acting/Idol

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    anti-semantics Pub Quiz Champion tsurara may be famous one day tsurara may be famous one day tsurara's Avatar
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    Getting a Job in Japan #3 ~ Voice Acting/Idol

    + CAREERS IN JAPAN: Voice Acting/Idol +

    While thousands of anime, j-pop and game nerds proclaim their intention to "grow up and work in Japan", most of them never make it past the checkout counter at the local grocery store. Why? What does it take to get the job of your dreams? Does the job of your dreams even exist? Can you live on the pay? Will you be prepared to go out and get it when the time comes?


    Job Profile #3. The Voice Actor/Part-Time Idol

    Have the disconcerting experience of hearing your own voice from a tiny purple-headed cartoon!! Annoy millions with your nails-on-chalkboard squealing! Thrill chubby middle-aged shut-ins with your fake orgasms! Appear to sign stuff at winter events in dresses the size of most socks!!

    Demand: Very low. But that said, there is definately a "novelty" appeal to foreigners (especially cute ones) in more visable industry roles. While most jobs in this field obviously require those with ability to speak Japanese fluently, read it flawlessly and act convincingly on top of it: there are a few extra roles (low or non-paying, one-line-wonder jobs) periodically recorded in English that will get your name in the credits if that's all you're after. Just keep in mind that voice actors in Japan work in all fields ~ from radio, public transportation announcements to commercials and emcee-ing tv shows. As a foreigner, you will obviously be in far more demand to record announcements and catch-phrases in English than to appear in the Japanese-language roles you've probably got in mind.

    Longevity: Most long-term professional voice acting usually requires being retained by an agency... your career will last as long as that agency chooses to retain you or you choose to part ways with the agency. If you manage yourself, you will likely do as many odd temp jobs as you can accumulate for as long as you can stand to live that way ^^;

    Average Pay: everywhere from free to USD$500 an hour. As most work is rate-based temp work, you will likely never have a steady paycheck...

    Workplace: All over the place... but assuming you actually do manage to bounce into voiceovers, a majority will be in a booth or in front of a microphone recording or announcing in some context.

    Requirements - Fluency and literacy in Japanese. A fresh face helps, as does a rack (sorry guys, you're kind of screwed here). You will likely have to exploit your looks and novelty value as a foreigner to get every single job you come across. Many young VAs act as "companion girls" (mascot girls) or model on the side to suppliment their incomes. Radio or live DJ-ing is also probably a good option to look into. You will probably want to attend a "Voice Academy" in Japan (there are half a dozen in Akihabara alone), that will give you a basic orientation of what the job entails and familiarize you with the process/equipment. The big advantage of attending these schools is networking and job/agency placement. It may be your only way to meet someone who will get you the audition you need. While you're working on your Voice Academy certification, it's probably not a bad idea to go to some open auditions, take up cosplay, interpret at anime/industry events, or set up an act on Sundays in Akihabara--- all those things can help you get noticed.

    Breakdown: It IS possible for a FEMALE foreigner to make some money voice acting in Japan (guys can get into voiceovers and DJ-ing but will probably have much more trouble finding a place in the "fandom")... it's probably not very likely that anyone could make a career out of it though. You're more likely to become a jack-of-all-trades/professional fangirl of sorts. You'll need to pursue all kinds of temp work, money-making schemes, and creative manipulation to get by but it will probably be a big adventure for someone who is resourceful. You will need to be AMAZING at Japanese to wow the right people. You'll also need to deal with a very limited time in which to pursue all this (your chance is probably only going to last as long as you're young and cute). While no certification or degrees are required: it's to your advantage to have a background in voice, singing, and modelling. You will need to be fluent and literate in Japanese, versed in Japanese manners, and smart enough to manage yourself in just about any social or business situation.

    How you can prepare: Study Japanese with every extra waking moment. Start making friends with Japanese "nerds in high places", especially folks who make doujin games or express interest in voice acting themselves. Take some singing or speech lessons. Study abroad. Take up cosplay. Stay thin and cute at all costs. Don't let your head get away from you: a big ego can quickly DESTROY all chances you have of being a rocking successful person.

    NOTE: This is not a "career", it's not even really a job. What's I've just described is the fandom equivalent of what Paris Hilton does. You can live on it for a short time, you can get a lot of really bizarre and wonderful experiences from it, but it isn't a career. Any time you devote to it is effectively time you could have been doing something more useful to society or your future.

    Have a backup plan (it's a good idea to be going to university for something ELSE while you're doing all of this)

    Links:

    Nichinare Voice School (Japan) -
    º—D—{¬*@“ú–{ƒiƒŒ[ƒVƒ‡ƒ“‰‰‹ZŒ¤‹**y“úƒiƒ Œz‚͐º—DE”o—D‚ð—{¬‚·‚ 鐺—D*wZEº—DƒXƒN[ƒ‹‚Å‚·[ƒjƒ`ƒiƒŒE‚É‚¿‚È‚ê]

    Amusement Media Academy (Japan) -
    ƒAƒ~ƒ…[ƒYƒƒ“ƒgƒƒfƒBƒA‘‡*w‰@

    Voice123 (voice acting auditions in the US)
    http://voice123.com/s/voice_acting_auditions.html

    Voices.com (dispatch/finder agency in the US)
    #1 Voice Over Marketplace for Voice Overs, Voice Over Talent and Voice Actors - Voices.com
    Best of luck!!

    Up next - #4 ~ The Translator

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    God's Little Girl blue_rebel may be famous one day blue_rebel may be famous one day blue_rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a Job in Japan #3 ~ Voice Acting/Idol

    Mmmm yes. One of my ambitions when I was younger - actually it still kinda is, but it's not something I'm majorly focused on. I just think it'd be fun to actually be involved in voice acting. I've done a few roles with friends, for little animations and drama CDs we made ourselves, and honestly, I think I sound really sh*tty. It always seems like I'm doing the emo bit properly live, but the playback always sounds crappy. +__+

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    Newbie Deadsy Doll is off to a good start Deadsy Doll's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a Job in Japan #3 ~ Voice Acting/Idol

    I've always wanted to do this too. I have plans to go further when I graduate college. (1.5 more years to go) yay
    Your every whimsical desire brought to life

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    Grouchy Old Anime Otaku LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a Job in Japan #3 ~ Voice Acting/Idol

    Grumble Grumble Grumble

    To quote the Forum Rules...
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    Please read the Forum Rules located here... Anime Online - FAQ: GENERAL RULES:

    Closing...
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    Rantings of a Grouchy Old Anime Otaku

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