Reading is at the center of what voice-actors do. Being able to read well, add vocal color, and apply the right amount of emotion is what makes words pop from the page. Not everybody has this talent, but most people appreciate somebody who reads well. Here are five local possibilities to share what you love to do professionally with people in your community who will truly appreciate it.
1. Community Theater
Shortly after I made the decision to be a full time voice-actor, I joined a community theater. The cool thing about this particular troupe is that it’s all audio. We perform original material monthly in front of a live studio audience and once a year, we reenact old radio dramas. The performances are recorded for later broadcast on the local radio station. Being involved with community theater is a great way to stretch your voice-acting abilities. Check out your local theater and audition for their next play. Start with a small part and make it your own.
Libraries are constantly looking for talented volunteers to enrich the experience of people who use their services. Most have story hours for young readers and I’ve heard of a few that offer readings from best sellers and newly arrived titles during the evening. The next time you visit your local library, ask the librarian how you can get involved. The key here is to use your voice, so make it clear that’s how you want to volunteer.
If you have children, you know the joy of reading to them and watching their face in amazement as they listen to every word. Show your support for children’s literacy and take that reading opportunity a step further by reading at your local school. Youngsters who don’t have parents that take the time to read to them will truly appreciate your time. Talk with your kid’s teachers or the school principal to find out how you can become involved.
Take your enjoyment of church from the pew to the pulpit. Offer to read from the good book or deliver the sermon. Find an opportunity to engage the congregation in your delivery of the spoken word. After service classes are also a good bet. Sunday school and adult Bible classes may be great opportunities for you to get involved.
5. Read for Those Who Can’t
My grandma lost her eyesight to Macular Degeneration. Before that, she was an artist, seamstress, quilt maker, a lover of crosswords and an avid reader. After losing her sight, she appreciated having somebody read to her. The newspapers, magazines and books that she previously loved to read became available once again. Bedridden patients in hospitals, hospices, and long or short term care facilities will appreciate your willingness to read for them and find your visits enjoyable.
I’m sure there are other opportunities for you to get involved with your community, using your talent as a voice-actor. I’d love to hear about your experiences.