This is TOTALLY subjective! A decision like this depends on your specific needs, preferences, and goals. That being said, here are some factors to consider:
Access to opportunities: Cities with large entertainment and media industries, like Los Angeles, New York, and London, tend to have a higher demand for voiceover artists and offer more opportunities for work.
Cost of living: Living in a city with a high cost of living can be challenging for a freelance voiceover artist, as it may impact your ability to save for the future and invest in your career. Each city offers a unique set of opportunities and challenges for voiceover artists, & the demand for voiceover work in animation can vary depending on the specific market and time period.
Quality of life: Consider factors such as the local culture, climate, and overall quality of life when choosing a location. A comfortable and supportive environment can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance and be more productive in your career.
Access to resources and community: Consider the availability of recording studios (although not AS important of a resource as we now have the benefit of home studio bookings being much more commonplace) , voiceover workshops, and networking opportunities in the local area. Joining a local voiceover community can provide valuable support, guidance, and opportunities for growth. But remember, many voiceover specific acting classes & coaches also offer their services online!
In terms of work each city offers, it runs the gamut!
Los Angeles is known for its flourishing animation industry, and many notable animation studios are based in the city, making it a hub for animation voiceover work. New York is a major center for the media and advertising industries, and there's a high demand for voiceover artists for commercials, corporate videos, and other projects. London has a vibrant media industry & is home to many animation studios, making it a prime location for voiceover artists as well.
Then there’s Chicago & Atlanta. Both can be good places to work as a voiceover actor, as both cities have active entertainment industries & offer opportunities for voiceover work.
Chicago is known for its theater scene, and there are many opportunities for voiceover work in local productions, as well as in advertising and commercial work. Plus, Chicago is home to several production studios and agencies that specialize in voiceover work, which can provide additional opportunities for actors in the field.
Atlanta, on the other hand, is a hub for film and television production, and many productions filmed in the city require voiceover work for things like narration, animation, & commercials. Atlanta is also home to several casting agencies and production studios that specialize in voiceover work, which can provide actors with a variety of opportunities.
Finally, consider the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the entertainment industry, including the voiceover industry, creating both challenges and opportunities for voiceover artists.
One of the biggest challenges that the pandemic has created for the voiceover industry is the closure of recording studios and production facilities, which has forced many voiceover artists to set up their own home studios in order to continue working. This has required a significant investment in equipment & technology, but it has also allowed many voiceover artists to work remotely & expand their client base beyond their local area. Opportunities exist outside of major cities, including regional work. In fact, many voiceover artists choose to work from home studios located in smaller cities or rural areas. Regional voiceover work can include local commercials, corporate videos, e-learning modules, and other projects that are produced outside of major cities. Some voiceover artists specialize in regional accents and dialects, making them a valuable asset for projects that require a specific local flavor.
While the demand for voiceover work may be lower in smaller cities and rural areas compared to major cities, many voiceover artists have found success by networking with local production companies and advertising agencies, building a strong online presence, and leveraging the benefits of remote recording technology.
Ultimately, the best location for a voiceover artist will depend on a variety of factors, including personal preference, career goals, and financial considerations. Regardless of where you end up, it’s up to you to develop your skills, build your portfolio, and network with industry professionals to find work and advance your career. You got this!