In recent years, I have read many articles related to the entertainment industry, which all suggest ideas for those actors and actresses looking to find work in their ‘gap years’. What are the gap years? They vary for different artists, depending upon when those individuals break into the industry. For those who start very young, the gap years can occur multiple times. There are some ages at which there are simply more casting calls. Generally, it is the “between generations” span that can be difficult. Consider that most shows and movies feature people that can fit into the stereotypical roles of “grandparent”, “parent”, “young adult/teen”, or “child”. While an actor or actresses is of an age that doesn’t allow him or her to clearly fit into one of those categories, he or she may find it difficult to find work.
These are the gap years that the previously mentioned advice-articles refer to. There are many suggestions given for those in their gap years, including getting a side job, taking more acting classes, or stepping outside one’s comfort area. However, there is something else – or perhaps a combination of these tips – that many actors and actresses have found success with.
Voiceover work allows for all of those well-honed acting skills to be put to use, but without the pressure of “looking” the part. Therefore, the gap years can be filled with paying work that allows the person to continue growing within the industry. It also keeps him or her involved with others working in the entertainment field, which means more doors may open, and fewer are shut while he or she passed from one age category to another.
There are, of course, a few differences between the type of acting done for stage or screen, versus that done before a microphone. Therefore, it is worth taking some classes or practicing voiceover acting before trying to make the jump.