Being part of a "loop group" is a coveted gig in the voice-acting world. Feature films and TV series alike use such performers.
"It's like an audio puzzle -- it's so fun!" says actor Erin Matthews. "We all pile into a large sound studio with the sound editor and the director. They have all the scenes cued up that need looping. Party scenes, restaurants, street scenes -- basically we're voicing the background artists in a given scene. They play the scene and use a laser pointer to point out any noticeable mouth flaps that they need, and the loop group coordinator 'casts' according to the various voices available."
Improvisation skills are important, but loop-group actors may also be called on to do preparatory homework, according to actor Tara Platt. "Certain directors will have you watch the material in advance while others tell you the types of scenarios that will be looped."
Groups vary in size but average five-to-eight people. They can be "insular," according to Platt's husband, actor Yuri Lowenthal. The sessions pay well, he says, and often also provide residual payment. "Because of that, they're hard to get into," he says. "Once people are in, they tend to stay in."