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Amateur Cast

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"They don't use actors in Italian pictures — they use people."
Jerry Biffle (Phil Silvers), Top Banana

Any movie, show, etc. (that is, not a documentary), where the cast is composed of untrained or untried actors and actresses. Directors do this for a variety of reasons, usually for the art or for the budget, and less commonly to avert potential You Look Familiar and/or Narrowed It Down to the Guy I Recognize moments.

Can become Retroactive Recognition if an actor or actress becomes famous afterwards, if not then a One-Book Author. In some cases of the latter they can become a Reclusive Artist. Differs from Non-Actor Vehicle in that the non-actors tend to be unknown to fame.

The inverse of this trope is All-Star Cast. Compare Darkhorse Casting, when a cast is comprised of big name and unknown actors.


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  • Following the "Great Anime Crash" of 2007-9 that sank several North American anime distributors, most of the ADR studios that remained afloat did this to save money…
  • Coastal, the now-defunct ADR studio in Wilmington, North Carolina that produced the dubs for Oh My Goddess! and You're Under Arrest! (among others), had casts made up chiefly or entirely of total unknowns – at best, some of them had experience in television, film or local theatre. Despite this, their dubs tended to be well-received.
  • Wolf's Rain was this in the original Japanese; the director intentionally cast unknowns for the four leads (since then, two of them, Mamoru Miyano and Kenta Miyake became famous in their own right in later series), backed up by veterans in supporting roles. Averted for the English dub, which was as close as you get in anime to an All-Star Cast.
  • The Mexican Spanish dub of Love Hina, due to the fact the dub was an innocent victim of a voice actor strike caused by The Simpsons's Mexican voice actors, forcing the studio on rely on this. The only veterans at the time were Naru (Gaby Ugarte), Mei (Georgina "Gina" Sánchez) and Mutsumi's (Liliana Barba) voice actors, and it shows.
  • Tenchi Muyo! was one of the first uncut anime dubs to use union voice actors (though it was a non-union project until partway through the second OVA). As a result most of the original cast were theater actors who hadn't had much voice acting experience beforehand, (the notable exceptions being Jennifer Darling, Ellen Gerstell, and Sherry Lynn; all of whom had prior experience in western animation productions) and they had no dub roles at all until that point. Most of them didn't have much success afterward. (Debi Derryberry is a notable exception, though she's more well known for her western animation and video game roles.)
  • Ranma ˝ was probably the first example of an uncut anime dub with union voice actors, partly because Viz Media outsourced the voice acting to the Vancouver based Ocean Studios. Like Tenchi Muyo above, most of the original cast didn't do much before hand, at least in terms of dubbing. That didn't mean most of them didn't do much afterwards. In fact several cast members still get roles to this day.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • When Funimation began dubbing Dragon Ball Z in-house after losing Saban's funding and being unable to afford Ocean Studios' voice-casting, they hired many at-the-time inexperienced people to replace the Ocean cast (for example, Monika Antonelli, the voice of Puar and Chiaotzu, was a local librarian and had no voice acting experience before, while Sean Schemmel was a French horn player who auditioned on the advice of a friend), who tried to imitate their predecessors for consistency before developing their own voices for the characters. They would all go on to become veterans in the industry, and have largely displaced the Ocean cast.
    • In another example, the cast of AB Groupe's dub of the various movies (a.k.a. the infamous "Big Green" dub) was made using American and British expatriates living in Paris, France. Many of them have since gone on to voice acting careers in the video game industry (particularly games developed by Quantic Dream, such as Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain).
  • Zigzagged with Funimation's approach to dubbing One Piece. Since the series has so many characters, casting consists of searching for actors outside of the usual bunch. The most important characters are voiced by professionals with many years of experience. However, most of the other characters' voice actors are taken from theatrical troupes around the United States, but they have also pulled from actors for indie video games, indie film, fan-produced content, and even podcasts. When J. Michael Tatum stepped down as the voice director, his successor was Joel McDonald, who himself was a product of this trope during this time.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has every protagonist voiced by either a Celebrity Voice Actornote  new to the VAs scene and/or lesser-known voice actors who haven't voiced many leading anime rolesnote . This usually turns out to be a Star-Making Role for them.note 
    • While the first anime ("Season Zero") featured several seasoned voice actors, the second anime ("Duel Monsters") featured Japanese voice actors who had either never done voice acting in anime before or had only had bit parts prior, including a boy-band singer as the lead character. Only a few veteran VAs were involved.
    • Same with Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. It's also KENN's first role in voice acting before he made it big in the VA scene.
    • The striking majority of the Japanese cast for Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is made up of relatively unknown voice actors, with only Yuya (along with Yuri and Zarc), Reiji, Mieru, Dennis and the Professor being major names. That is despite the series' huge amount of characters.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS inverts ARC-V's situation as almost all the main and some side characters are composed of seasoned voice actors. Yusaku and Aoi's voice actors (Shouya Ishige and Yuki Nakashima, respectively) are the newcomers for the main cast.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! SEVENS has Hiiro Ishibashi, who has been involved in the entertainment industry since 2014, providing the voice of Yuga Ohdo. Many of the supporting characters are also voiced by individuals who aren't big names in the Japanese voice acting industry.
  • Reborn! (2004) The main characters are voiced by relatively unknown or amateur voice actors at the time of airing, which is pretty obvious in the first episodes. Contrast that to some of the side characters, who has been voiced by seasoned voice characters like Kenjiro Tsuda and Daisuke Namikawa.
  • The Love Live! franchise has developed a trend of casting newcomer and amateur voice actresses for their later series, in a sharp contrast to the main cast of the the original series who were played by voice actresses who are mostly well-known.
    • The main cast of Love Live! Sunshine!! is made up of newcomers who, at the time the project started, had no notable prior roles and little professional acting/singing experience. For most of the voice actresses, the anime proved to be their Star-Making Role.
    • The girls of Love Live! Superstar!! are all voiced by industry newcomers; Liyuu (who voices Keke Tang) is better known as a singer and cosplayer and Naomi Peyton (who voices Sumire) is a former Idol Singer, while the rest are complete unknowns.
  • The English anime dubs by Macias Group, including Onihei and Anpanman, are comprised of voice actors who only work for dubs produced by the company.
  • The English dub of Tamagotchi that aired in Australia has voice actors that seem to have acted on no other shows, likely because with the exception of Kuchipatchi, the characters seem to be voiced by children.
  • For a time, LUK Internacional S.A. switched its European Spanish dubbing from Barcelona to the Bilbao area in the Basque Country (originally doing dubs at Mar Digital in Llodio, then switching to Domusic TV in Erandio), where the dubbing was done by relatively unknown or amateur voice actors. While other Spanish dubs have been done in Bilbao, such as Slam Dunk and Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, those dubs didn't share much of their cast members with the LUK dubs done in Bilbao.
  • The European French dub of Pokémon: The Series was done using French-speaking actors in Brussels, Belgium, many of whom had no prior dubbing experience (though some did have prior experience in theater, such as Fanny Roy and Jean-Marc Delhausse). Before 1999, Belgium had mainly been used for minor projects, following a 1994 voice actors' strike in France that forced companies to dub their material elsewhere. Belgium would later rise in popularity as time went on.
  • The voice actors for the 1965 English dub of Osamu Tezuka's The Amazing 3/Wonder 3 (known as W3 in Japan) consisted of local theater actors and college students from the Miami, Florida area. With the exception of Bobbie Byers (Bokko/Bonnie), none of the voice cast ever returned to voice acting or did anything else since the dub's original broadcast on American television during the mid 60s.
  • In the original Japanese version of the K-On! movie, Kyoto Animation hired real English people (such as Alfred Amedume) to voice the people in London. None of them were professional actors, and the movie is the only acting gig any of them have ever done. Their lines were redubbed in the English dub.
  • The cast of the second English dub of Ox Tales is an example of this. While the original dub by Saban used well-known early anime dubbing talent such as Steve Kramer and Michael Sorich, the second dub was made in the Netherlands using English-speaking actors (some of which came from the Boom Chicago comedy troupe), most of which have no other voice acting credits. The only actor from the second dub to go to do anything notable is Amber Ruffin, who's gone on to a successful career as a comedienne, including hosting her own talk show on Peacock.

  • Almost any movie from the Italian neorealism period. Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D, The Gospel According to St. Matthew—all amateur casts. Carlo Battisti, star of Umberto D, was a linguistics professor, and it was his only film appearance. The Tree of Wooden Clogs was made in 1978, well after the height of Italian neorealism, but was shot in the same manner, with a cast made up of rural villagers playing in a story that basically was about their own ancestors at the end of the 19th century.
  • On the Bowery is an American film that drew inspiration from Italian neorealism. It is a depressing drama about the lives of homeless winos in the Bowery neighborhood of Manhattan, starring real life homeless winos from the Bowery.
  • Many arthouse movies, independent movies, low-budget movies or amateur movies in general.
  • Ken Loach is known for only or mostly working with actors who are unknowns. He makes films about socially conscious issues and always from the viewpoint of the underdogs in society and feels that Hollywood stars can never portray such parts convincingly. Thus he casts real people in roles that are close to their own background. That way they can give performances based on experience.
  • Raising Victor Vargas, which makes good use of Real Life Relatives to play related characters.
  • The Afghan movie Osama did this.
  • Steps Trodden Black: The cast's only experience was high school theatre.
  • Comic Book The Movie is notable in that most of the cast consists primarily of voice actors.
  • Werner Herzog is known to do this, with Stroszek being the best example. Bruno S. made only two films, both with Herzog, and Eva Mattes was the only professional actress in it — everyone else was just someone whom Herzog saw during filming and wanted to use.
    • In Nosferatu the Vampyre he hired real Romani who appeared in their own clothes to play the locals that warn Jonathan about Dracula's castle.
    • All the Inca in Aguirre, the Wrath of God were local native Peruvian who brought their own traditional clothing. Only the archers briefly seen during an attack were costumes.
    • The king in Cobra Verde was not an actor, but a local Omanhene (a Ghaninan petty king) who brought his own entourage. According the commentary track, the lavish ceremony was completely real and simply filmed as a documentary.
  • Peter Hall's 1974 British film Akenfield used entirely non-union amateur actors (and apparently cameramen, too, by the look of it).
  • To Kill a Mockingbird did this with the parts for the children, which were filled by local kids near the shooting spot. None of them went on to have any significant acting careers.
  • Most of the Harry Potter kids had never acted professionally at the time of the first movie, in contrast to the All-Star Cast of adults; this was a reason Chris Columbus was selected as director thanks to his great track record of children-heavy films. However, the series lasted so long that the actors ceased to be amateurs simply through the process of making it.
  • Martin Scorsese cast his Dalai Lama biopic Kundun mostly with actual Tibetan Buddhist monks.
  • The Kite Runner did this, at least with the Afghan actors, using actual Afghan people.
  • Most of the cast of The Commitments (at least the actors who portrayed the band) were mostly unknowns selected for their musical talent.
  • The cast of District 9 were primarily comprised of unknown or obscure actors from South Africa and other countries. The star of the film, Sharlto Copley, was hired because he just happened to be hanging out where the director was filming footage for the effects test.
  • French director Robert Bresson cast most roles with nonprofessional actors or those with little to no film roles. He also preferred calling them "models" rather than actors.
  • More than 40% of the cast of Saturday Night Fever made their feature debuts including, Joseph Cali, Shelly Batt, Denny Dillon, Fran Drescher, Donald Gantry, Adrienne King, Ellen March, Bruce Ornstein, Paul Pape, Lisa Peluso, Donna Pescow, Ann Travolta and mother Helen Travolta (her only feature cameo).
  • The Swedish movie Show Me Love had a largely inexperienced cast.
  • In the film version of I Miss You, I Miss You nearly all of the teenage characters were played by amateurs.
  • The punks in Suburbia are, in fact, played by real punks.
  • Kids: All actors involved, both teens and adults, were unprofessional amateurs at the time. Some, like Chloë Sevigny and Rosario Dawson, have since then become more notable actors.
  • Steven Soderbergh made Bubble without any professional actors. Lead actress Debbie Doebereiner, for instance, was discovered working at a KFC drive-thru.
  • Another Soderbergh film, The Girlfriend Experience, has a cast largely made up of unknown beginners. Sasha Grey, making her non-porn debut, is one of the few experienced screen performers in it.
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild has an entirely unknown cast, many of them acting for the first time.
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate mixes Amateur Cast with Amateur Crew to produce something that has become notorious around the world.
  • Besides the lead couple, none of the cast members of Monsters (2010) had any acting experience.
  • Miloš Forman used non-actors and mixed them with rather famous actors in his Czech movies from the 1960s. Most notable of these movies is probably The Firemen's Ball.
  • Fatal Deviation, with the exception of Mikey Graham.
  • Aside from Willem Dafoe, none of the actors in The Florida Project were particularly well known or famous.
  • The director of Once originally intended to hire professional actors but decided that, as it was a musical, he'd rather have "musicians who could half-act than actors who could half-sing". Since the acting in the film is very understated anyway, it works well.
  • Dogtooth. Most of the actors haven't had much of an acting history, if at all. Director Yorgos Lanthimos has stated that he prefers working with amateurs, as he finds their performances more pure.
  • In-universe example in the film A Bunch of Amateurs: Burt Reynolds' character is tricked into doing a production of King Lear with people who may be considered close to your local book club or church choir.
  • This happened with Darlene Cates, who played Grape family matriarch Bonnie in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. She was discovered after appearing on Sally Jessy Raphael's show and was mainly cast because the director couldn't find a professional actress who was big enough to fit the role. Despite a highly praised performance (especially since she had no experience beforehand), she made just one further feature film appearance (in 2018's Billboard) before her death.
  • Most of the cast of Troll 2 were local residents who responded to an open casting call hoping to be extras. George Harvey, who played the main character's father Michael, was a dentist with no prior acting experience who showed up for fun, and Don Packard, who played the store owner, was a mental hospital patient on a day trip.
  • The cast of The Room (2003) had very little acting experience beforehand. Among other examples, director and lead actor Tommy Wiseau had only appeared in a self-made commercial for his own clothing store before making the movie, co-star Greg Sestero was a bit actor who took on the project because he was a personal friend of Wiseau's, Juliette Danielle had only previously appeared as an extra in a short film, and Dan Janjigian was an Olympic athlete who had never appeared in a film before.
  • Krisha, a No Budget Psychological Thriller, with the exception of voice actor Bill Wise, has a cast made up of the writer/director's extended family.
  • Many of the actors in Moonlight (2016) had not acted in a major production before. The actors playing young Chiron and Kevin were chosen from an open casting call in Miami and even the teen actors were relative unknowns.
  • The Mexican director Carlos Reygadas has a preference for casting non-professional actors in his films. He sees it as a way to get the most natural performances possible.
  • Almost the entire cast for Gummo was made up of locals who lived in the town the movie was shot at. The teen playing Tummler was hired after the director saw him on a TV story about children addicted to paint huffing, and one of the men in the arm wrestling scene was released from prison earlier on the day the scene was filmed. The only cast members with any acting experience prior to the movie were the ones playing Dot, Solomon, and his mother respectively.
  • The reenactment scenes from the horror docudrama The Legend of Boggy Creek casts Texarkana locals in many of the roles; some of whom being actual witnesses to the Fouke Monster recreating their encounters.
  • The cast for The Last House On Dead End Street were local theatre students the film's director/star met while attending college. A few of them later went on to find marginal success on Broadway after filming wrapped.
  • Literally the only cast member of It (2017) who was well-known before the movie came out was Finn Wolfhard, because of Stranger Things. Even then, he was cast in the movie before his show was released.
  • Standing Ovation has an entirely unknown cast, many of them acting for the first time.
  • The Safdie Brothers mix this with Darkhorse Casting. They usually prefer using nonprofessional actors performing in minor roles that are close to their real lives. Heaven Knows What features only a single professional actor.
  • Literally none of the cast of Megan is Missing were known for anything else prior. Megan's actress Amy Perkins was a bit role actress who was trying to get her big break, while the villain Josh was played by an Australian expat.
  • Clerks was made entirely with friends of Kevin Smith. When he went on to make Mallrats much of the cast had a least some experience, and by Chasing Amy by virtue of using the same actors in every movie they were all fairly experienced.
  • Swedish director Roy Andersson has used unprofessional actors in most of his films. Gilliap is an exception, but it's also disowned by Andersson.
  • Most of the cast of Maria Full of Grace was made up of nonprofessional actors. Orlando Tobón, a community leader in the Little Colombia neighborhood in Queens, played a character based on himself.
  • The cast of Hellbender was mostly made up of the members of the family that made it.

    Live-Action Television 
  • The original cast of Red Dwarf had all appeared on TV and/or film before, but none of them were "proper actors": Chris Barrie was an impressionist and voice actor, Craig Charles was a poet, Danny John-Jules was a dancer, and Norman Lovett was a stand-up comedian. Likewise, Hattie Hayridge was also a stand-up comedian before joining the cast in Series III and recurring cast member Clare Grogan had a few proper acting credits but was best known as the frontwoman for the new wave band Altered Images. However, Robert Llewellyn and Chloë Annett (who joined the cast in Series III and VII respectively) were both "legit" actors.
  • The early 90's cast of Saturday Night Live was made up almost entirely of stand-up comedians (David Spade, Adam Sandler, etc.) instead of the improv actors the series had relied on. Although Vindicated by History, the ratings were so low that the show was almost cancelled. This is often blamed on the cast concentrating on characters from their stand-up instead of doing ensemble work.
  • Peter Kay assembled the cast for Phoenix Nights from stand-up comics, personal friends from college and elsewhere, and otherwise amateur actors, because he knew them all and had a feeling they'd work together.
  • Tim & Eric love to cast ordinary people in their shows, in keeping with their trademark Stylistic Suck aesthetic.
  • Five of the main cast of Hey Dude! - Kelly Brown (Brad), Geoffrey Coy (Kyle), Jonathan Galkin (Jake), Joe Torres (Danny), and Josh Tygiel (Buddy) - were amateur actors, and none of them have had any further screen credits since the series wrapped in 1991.
  • The 1980s revival of The Cross Wits was a rare game show example: host David Sparks and co-host Michelle Roth (also the announcer) never helmed any other shows, game or otherwise.
  • All of the child actors on Stranger Things were almost complete unknowns going into the show. This is averted with the adult actors, with the exception of David Harbour.
  • Game of Thrones also used newer or less established actors for the younger characters such as the Stark children, Theon Greyjoy, and Daenerys Targaryen. The rest of the cast was made up of actors who had been working for a while, but weren't always well-known to the public, and big name stars such as Sean Bean.
  • Most of the children in the Tummy Tales segments of the original run of Teletubbies just happened to be in a location the outside filming crew were at.
  • Very few of the child actors in Barney & Friends had acted prior to the show and/or had an agent. Most of them were from the Dallas/Fort Worth area (where the show was filmed).
    • Meanwhile, Dean Wendt (the latest voice for Barney) was recruited out of the original DJ lineup of Radio Disney (at the time based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area).
  • Many of the cast members for Hip Hop Harry had no other acting credits. Among them, Harry's voice actor Ali Alimi's only other credits are for other Hip Hop Harry material and as an editor for some kids' videos. Averted slightly with David "Barney" Joyner (Harry's suit actor) and future Disney Channel star Kelli Berglund.
  • A majority of the child performers in the Kidsongs series have not acted since the show, though there are a few exceptions.
  • Many of the human actors in LazyTown were complete unknowns. Many of them were active with Icelandic theatrical troupes or had been in Icelandic films, while both of Stephanie's actresses had performed in theater and television commercials. Averted for all of the puppeteers, with the exception of Ziggy's performer Guðmundur Þór Kárason, who is more of a puppet builder/designer than a puppeteer.
  • With some excpetions, most of the side cast of Chappelle's Show had little-to-no further screen credits before or after it's run. Some of them are even one book authors.
  • None of the actors in Kindergarten have had any further screen credits to their names since.
  • Most, if not all of the lead actresses in The Baby-Sitters Club (1990) have not had any further screen credits to their names since.
  • Most of the talking head comedians in VH1's I Love The... series are not known for much else. Averted with some of the talking heads, such as Hal Sparks, best known for his roles on shows like Queer as Folk (US) and Lab Rats and doing the voice of the titular character in Tak and the Power of Juju (the cartoon, not the games).
  • Except maybe for Robert Aramayo, Benjamin Walker and Joseph Mawle, most of actors starring on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power are pretty obscure, they either had small roles in other shows or are mostly theater actors.

  • This is the norm for pinball machines, which usually don't set aside enough budget to hire professionals. Most of the companies, historically, have been in Chicago as well, a city without a large pool of professional actors to hire, though some, such as Medieval Madness, hired local theatrical actors. More often than not, though, characters would be voiced by the designers themselves, though some, such as Steve Ritchie, would become decent voice actors through sheer experience. Exceptions include The Simpsons Pinball Party, with Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, and Hank Azaria voicing most of their roles from the TV show; and Star Trek: The Next Generation with the entire main cast brought in. It says something when Stern ran dry their voice acting budget for soundalikes, uncredited and pulled off the street, for Shrek.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This has largely been the state of pro wrestling in India since 1948, or in plain terms, for as long as the National Wrestling Alliance has been in existence. It's sheer coincidence that the Pakistan split was happening when the sport was starting to cement itself in the rest of the world but since the event there haven't been any promotions able to enjoy enough longevity to establish a roster of veterans. The exceptions that prove the rule are the television show 100% De Dana Dan, where most of the veterans were from the South Africa based World Wrestling Professionals promotion or Nigeria, and Ring Ka King, where most of the veterans were from the USA based TNA. Dara, Gama and Giant Singh are also veterans with world wide fame but the latter two are better known for wrestling outside of India and, really, southern Asia altogether. Rather than go to another "big" company, Giant Singh/The Great Khali's Continental Wrestling Entertainment instead enlisted Xavier Justice, who himself runs a promotion with a largely amateur roster in Michigan, Pure Pro Wrestling, as a trainer.
  • GLOW is one of the most iconic and successful examples. Sure, it was deliberately camp, regarded as So Bad, It's Good by its fiercest fans and intended to be a tax write off that ended up dying when the promoters got ambitious and tried to go on the road, but for a pro wrestling company built around women trying to get acting deals who were put on television after just a few months of training, it lasted a lot longer than anyone expected it to. This is largely because National Wrestling Alliance, American Wrestling Association and World Wrestling Federation weren't doing much of anything related to women's wrestling while GLOW was on television.
  • The death of the territories left several companies of this mold across California, such as All Pro Wrestling, Empire Wrestling Federation, Ultimate Pro and Xtreme Pro Wrestling. The latter tried poaching talent from ECW but it's promoter ended up gaining a nasty reputation and the company stagnated. The former three benefited from the attention of much larger Japanese companies like All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling, Pro Wrestling ZERO1 and Fighting Opera HUSTLE, which flew in their amateurs and generally turned them into all stars by the time they returned to the fifty states. Though when AJW and HUSTLE died, UPW was not far behind them, despite Zero 1 still being willing to prop it up.
  • CZW, which was a given since it began as a Backyard Wrestling fed and it's close rivals XPW, 3PW, the various IWAs (Mid-South, East Coast, Vintage, Deep South, Texas), WSU(before the all women Retool) and Pro Wrestling Uncensored, as well as many indirect competitors such as Gateway Championship Wrestling, American Combat Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerilla and Chikara, all of which basically came up in the wake of ECW. Some eventually managed to move beyond the bounds of this trope through a combination of talent retention and gaining the ability to attract more veterans(most US wrestlers on the independent circuit of any regard worked with CZW once in some form, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli and Jon Moxley in particular lasting a lot longer with them than anyone expected them to while PWG's Battle Of Los Angeles became a go to event for many talent including those as far away as Marty Scurll), others never completely escaped it(Gateway had a well regarded roster but it's best known workers are known for working elsewhere, XPW's already been discussed, 3PW was trying to inhabit the same niche as CZW and the IWA feds and got crushed).
  • Combining an isolationist philosophy with a lack of budget results in this for most independent promotions and the many Toryumon branches such as Mexico, X and Dragon Gate, were no exception. However, with a little help from the established IWRG enterprise, Último Dragón was able to create a "university" type system that allowed Toryumon shows to largely bypass the pitfalls of this trope and build amateurs up to the point they were all stars. X and Dragon Door(which ironically "suffered" from this the least) died off fairly quickly but the original Mexican branch and the Re Tooled Japanese branch Dragon Gate lasted long enough for newer companies such as Chikara and the WWN family feds to come to them for veteran talent.
  • This was Enforced on Lucha Libre Femenil, as rival promoters of Monterrey against the existence of an all women's promotion tried to starve LLF of talent, but soon defied, as the promoter was already a successful businessman who decided to fly in talent from beyond the state of Nuevo Leon and beyond the Mexican boarder not long after deciding that wasn't enough.
  • Women Of Wrestling, GLOW's longest running Spiritual Successor, was/is only slightly better in that its original "run" had the veteran Peggy Lea Leather under the ring name "Thug". The 2012 revival moved further away from this trope, largely because a few wrestles such as Jungle Grrl, Delta, Riot and Loca had kept working on the independent circuit while WOW was dormant, and thus had gotten much better, and there was a fairly strong effort to recruit experienced wrestlers such as Santana Garrett, Amber O'Neal, Christina Von Eerie, Barbi Hayden and Hudson Envy. Still, these veterans had a lot of amateurs to carry. Its 2022 revival however would fit it back into this trope, as apart from a few somewhat recognizable names, its roster mainly consisted of newer faces without much experience, with easily its most recognizable name of April Mendez being on commentary.
  • Ice Ribbon began largely with teenage girls wrestling on mats. While Emi Sakura eventually whipped many of them into well regarded women athletes and Ice Ribbon into a much respected promotion on the Japanese independent circuit, it's origins are among the most humble of any promotion ever. Neo only had Ice Ribbon slightly beat in having a ring, and while some of its girls also became well regarded women wrestlers, they largely did this in spite of the sparse training Neo gave them and the Neo promotion itself only lived on in World Wonder Ring STARDOM using one of Neo's title belts as its own.

    Video Games 
  • Disco Elysium has a full cast of almost complete unknowns, with several prominent roles being voiced by non-actors. For example, the role with by far the most dialogue, that of the game's narrator, was voiced by Lenval Brown, who is primarily a jazz singer. Jullian Champenois, who voices the game's deuteragonist Kim Kitsuragi, only had roles in commercials prior to Disco Elysium. In the original cut of the game, several prominent roles were played by podcasters, but these were changed for The Final Cut edition.
  • King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! used Sierra employees to voice the CD-ROM version, with varying degrees of success. Josh Mandel's performance as King Graham was good enough that he reprised the role in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow and several Fan Remakes.
  • All of Rare's games up to and including Star Fox Adventures used studio staffers (and the occasional local actor) for the voice cast. It wasn't until Perfect Dark Zero that they started having their games voiced entirely by professional actors.
  • The latter Ultima games had voice casts consisting mostly of staff members of developer Origin Systems and local no-names, though with experienced film and TV actor Bill Johnson voicing the Big Bad of those games, the Guardian.
  • This was common in the late '90s for Japanese video game dubs, as most studios didn't have the money for proper casts, and English vocals were outright required for the PlayStation. As such, English speaking expatriates were frequently cast, very few of whom had any acting experience. By the mid '00s these types of dubs were all but dead, though a few examples of these dubs popped up from time to time.
  • Whenever Nintendo of America makes a dub, they usually cast local actors from Seattle, which is close to their Redmond offices, as well as staff members.
  • The Backyard Sports games were recorded in Seattle, before moving to San Diego, then back to Seattle, both times with local voice actors. The most notable cast members were Jen Taylor (Backyard Baseball was her voice acting debut), and Lani Minella (who has voice acted in hundreds of video games).
  • Except for a few big names, almost all of the voice actors in the Assassin's Creed franchise are relative unknowns that have little to no acting experience.
  • The cast in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn consisted of Westwood developers and staff members due to budget constraints, which gave the series a reputation for having campy FMV cutscenes; the only Westwood employee to have an extensive theatrical experience was Joseph D. Kucan, who played the role of Kane.
  • For the original Max Payne, Remedy employees posed as characters for the game's graphic novel-style panels, with Sam Lake standing in for Payne. Lake even had his mother and father play the roles of Nicole Horne and Alfred Woden, respectively.
  • The Boston-based developer Boston Animation (who developed such games as Darkened Skye and the 1999 remake of Busytown) tended to use local theater actors for voice talent.

    Web Video 
  • Economy Watch is an example of this. Every actor is unprofessional and aren't full-time actors. They're just David's friends and family.

    Western Animation 
  • Several DiC Entertainment series from the late 90s to mid-2000s, such as Archie's Weird Mysteries, Street Sharks, the 2003 incarnation of Strawberry Shortcake, Liberty's Kids, Horseland and DinoSquad used voice actors based out of Omaha, Nebraska. The large majority of them were local theater actors supplied by the Omaha Theater Company for Young People, while a few had been local or regional radio/television personalities and had roles in a few films shot in Nebraska beforehand. However, quite a few of them have no other credits. A major exception was future Broadway star (and anime voice actor) Andrew Rannells, who started his career in Omaha.
  • The majority of the credited cast and crew of The Christmas Tree has no known film or television career outside of this special. Indeed, many of the child "voice actors" seem to have just learned to speak when they were given the parts.
  • A lot of the cast of Steven Universe had very little experience in voiceover, and tend to be chosen partially for musical ability. Estelle (Garnet) is a singer best known for her Top 10 hit "American Boy" (which more famously featured Kanye West), Deedee Magno-Hall (Pearl) and Jennifer Paz (Lapis Lazuli) work primarily in theater, Shelby Rabara (Peridot) works primarily as a dancer, Michaela Dietz's (Amethyst) and Grace Rolek's (Connie) careers, barring Dietz's role as Riff in Barney & Friends, mostly consist of minor characters, Charlyne Yi (Ruby) is primarily a stand-up comedian, and Joel Hodgson (Mayor Bill Dewey) is a comedian best known for creating and being the original host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. In fact, the only veteran voice actors in the series are Kimberly Brooks (Jasper), Dee Bradley Baker (various vocal effects, most notably Lion), Crispin Freeman (Connie's dad) and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Connie's mother) though Zach Callison (Steven), Tom Scharpling (Greg), Matthew Moy (Lars), Erica Lutrell (Sapphire), Kate Micucci (Sadie), and Brian Posehn (Sour Cream) have also done some voice work.
  • 12 oz. Mouse's characters are voiced by the series creator, the producers, a couple of animators, and a musician who worked for the studio. This fits with the rest of the show's aesthetic.
  • The Children Voicing Children in Peanuts, especially in the earliest ones, often have no previous experience in (voice) acting or have any notable roles afterward. The only character that has always been played by a working child actor is Charlie Brown, as well as Sally in the '80s (by Stacey Ferguson).
  • The cast of Romeo & Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss mainly consists of various friends of director Phil Nibbelink.
  • John and Faith Hubley were known for giving voice roles in many of their cartoons, such as Moonbird and Everyone Rides the Carousel, to their children and friends in order to give a sense of realism with the performances. What actors they did hire were usually either small names or celebrities who were equally inexperienced with acting like Jazz performer Dizzy Gillespie.
  • Both the Latin-American Spanish dubs of The Fairly OddParents! and South Park (the one broadcast on Locomotion and later Comedy Central). There was another one that used professional Mexican voice actors) were done using Spanish-speaking actors in Miami, many of whom had no prior dubbing experience. Miami would later rise in popularity as time went on.
  • In The Nutshack, almost every character is voiced by one of the show's crew members while the three voice actors they did get were also inexperienced. One was a friend of the co-creators while the other was a local make up artist. The third was a stand up comedian who was trying to break into acting.
  • Most of the actors who voiced minor roles in Free Birds never actually did any voice-acting before. One you try to look them up, you'll see that this is their first time doing any voice acting of any kind.
  • Bordertown's addition minor roles are also done by people who never voice acted before.
  • The additional bit roles in both Shark Tale and Megamind are played by actors who never did voice acting before. You can even say that one of these are the ONLY time they acted.
  • Most of the voice actors for The Dreamstone barely did any voice acting (or acting in general) before or after the show. For example, Stuart Lock (Rufus) was the show's production coordinator (but had some acting roles, including a role in the British dub of The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, as well).
  • Unlike previous Care Bears installments that used professional voice actors, most of the American voice cast for Care Bears: Unlock the Magic does not have extensive talent in voice acting. Nick Shakoour (Grumpy Bear) primarily works in live action, and Justin Michael (Funshine Bear) is a writer and director.
  • A majority of the voice cast of Fancy Nancy had never voice acted prior to the show.
  • With the obvious exception of rapper Flavor Flav, the cast in the 2012 YooHoo & Friends series haven't been in much else since then.
  • Most of the voice cast of HoopDogz is comprised of people who had never voice acted (or acted in general) prior to the show.
  • Most of the child actors for PB&J Otter have little-to-no credits other than the show to their names. Somewhat Averted with most of the adult actors, such as Chris Phillips and Eddie Korbich.
  • A majority of the voice cast of the Nick Jr. adaptation of Lalaloopsy had never voice acted (or acted in general) before or after the show.
  • Most of the cast of VeggieTales, especially in the 90s videos, was comprised of Big Idea staff members. Big Idea was originally based in the Chicago suburb of Lombard, and Chicago, as mentioned in Pinball above, didn't have a large pool of professional actors to hire, so the crew had to make do with whoever they had.
  • Most of the cast of The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin had never done any other acting roles, though there were some exceptions.
  • A majority of the voice cast of Pinky Dinky Doo have virtually no other voice (or acting in general) credits to their names.
  • Much of the cast of Eckhart was comprised of local Prince Edward Island theater actors, many of which have no other film/TV credits. Don Francks, who voiced Boss Mouse, and Martha MacIsaac, who voiced Brigid, were the only cast members who had or went on to have long voice acting careers.
  • Almost the entire cast of Animal Mechanicals was comprised of local Halifax theater actors for whom this show is their only film/television credit. The one notable exception is Lenore Zann (voice of Island Owl), who is well known for her roles in many other animated shows produced across Canada.
  • The voice actors in Little Einsteins were simply local New York-based talent and haven't done much since. Harrison Chad, the singer for Leo, is the only one with multiple notable acting credits.
  • Most of the voice cast for Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Tool Belt hasn't done much voice acting. The three exceptions are Robbie Daymond (Chico Bon Bon), Dayci Brookshire (Rainbow Thunder), and Matthew Mercer (who has voiced a number of minor characters).
  • Nobody in the cast of Bluey seems to have a strong resume. In particular, Bandit's voice actor David McCormack is the lead singer of the band Custard, Uncle Stripe and Nana are voiced by the creator's own family members, and all of the child characters are voiced by anonymous children of the production staff.
  • A majority of the voice cast of Dora the Explorer. A minor exception is Harrison Chad (Boot's original voice actor) who had a few other roles, such as Cardigan the Lamb in Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure and Young Tarzan in Tarzan II. After Season 4 of Dora wrapped up in 2007, he retired from voice acting.
  • Most of the child voice actors in Peppa Pig have no other acting credits aside from the show and related material. This is mostly averted with the voice actors for the adult characters.
  • Most of the child actors voicing the babies in T.O.T.S. had never acted prior to the show. Averted, however, with the adult cast members.
  • A majority of the voice cast of Blue's Clues was made up of the show's crew and co-creator.
  • Most of the English cast of Villainous is not known for anything else. A few did have roles on Victor and Valentino as well, but that's it.
  • With the exception of John DiMaggio, not much of the cast of Middlemost Post has had previous experience in voice acting.
  • Monica's Gang: All (credited) English dubs of the show utilize talent from three Miami-based dubbing studios: The Kitchen Inc., Centauro Group, and BKS. None of the actors have done any major roles in animation, and the voice actors from the Kitchen Inc. dub were never credited.
  • With the exceptions of Jon Lovitz, Thurl Ravenscroft and Phil Hartman, most of the cast of The Brave Little Toaster was made up of friends of the production crew and some lesser-known voice actors.
  • The cast of Mumfie is comprised entirely of unknown actors and actresses that haven't voice-acted before.

  • Most voice actors for non-Disney animatronic shows fall under this trope, likely due to a large majority of animatronic companies being based in cities without a large pool of professional actors to hire. Notably, the majority of the Chuck E. Cheese voice actors from the mid-80s onward have been a mixture of local musicians, theater actors or radio voiceover artists from the Dallas, Texas area (CEC is based in the DFW Metroplex in Irving), as well as Dept. 18 Productions staff members.
  • This a common thing with Disney's more iconic characters.
    • Nearly all of Mickey Mouse's English voice actors are non-actors. Walt Disney (the original voice) was his creator, Jimmy MacDonald (the second voice) was the head of the Disney sound effects department, Wayne Allwine (the third voice) was also involved in the sound effects department, and Bret Iwan (the current voice) was recruited straight out of Hallmark Cards' illustration department. The only exception is Chris Diamantopolous, who voices him in Mickey Mouse (2013) , who's done on camera work and voice acting.
      • This even extends to foreign countries. Takashi Aoyagi, Mickey's Japanese voice actor from 1991-2018, is a scholar of Japanese literature. How exactly he wound up in the role is unknown, but it's presumed he just happened to be there as he is a Chiba Prefecture native, and Tokyo Disneyland is in the Chiba part of the Greater Tokyo Area.
    • Many of Donald Duck's voice actors are non-actors. Clarence Nash, the original voice of Donald, had been a local entertainer in the Los Angeles area at the time he was cast, and his replacement Tony Anselmo had been an animator for Disney. Daniel Ross, who's filled in for Tony on projects such as Mickey and the Roadster Racers, has a resume mostly made up of video game voice acting credits.
      • For foreign countries, this also applies. Luca Eliani, who's voiced Donald Duck in Italian since 1989, had no prior acting experience and got the role because he could do an excellent imitation of Donald. Donald's first Latin Spanish V.A. before Nash took over, Jaime Iranzo, was an otolaryngologist who was a friend of Disney's original Latin Spanish dubbing head Edmundo Santos, and all three of Donald's Latin Spanish voices after Clarence Nash's passing — Ruy Cuevas, Rafael Narváez and Leonel Ibarra — did nothing else aside from voicing Donald, Erick Salinas, Donald's current Latin Spanish V.A., is the only one of the six actors who've voiced Donald in Latin Spanish to have done other things than voicing Donald (not counting Nash's other roles in English-language projects). Peter Krause, Donald's current German voice actor, was a taxi driver before taking the role. Kōichi Yamadera, his Japanese voice actor, averts this, as he was already well known in the voice acting field before taking the role.
  • Rooster Teeth started as this. Joel Heyman was an actor, but all the other founders and for a while their shows had mostly their acquaintances and relatives who also had no acting background whatsoever. Of course, they managed to pull it off, to point that by 2020 there was a Red vs. Blue Self-Deprecation video regarding amateur voice actors.
  • With Ryan ToysReview, a majority of the voice actors have had no credited roles prior to being casted. Bradley William Smith and Julia Stockton, who voice Combo Panda and Gus the Gator respectively, are the only ones with notable past acting talents.
  • In Brazil, this is often an accusation thrown at dubs made in Miami, Los Angeles and Buenos Aires. A dubber is a voice actor, hence in Brazil only those registered with the artists' guild are allowed to work. Outside the country, there's no such requirement. Hence while the studios have many expatriate actors and dubbers, the cast also features non-actors hired only because they can speak Portuguese.
  • In Romania, there are two dubbing centers - the capital Bucharest and the city of Oradea in the Transylvanian sub-region of Crișana. While the Bucharest studios hire professionally-trained talent, the lone studio in Oradea, a Iyuno branch (formerly Zone Studio Oradea, then a Oradea branch of BTI Studios, then a Oradea branch of Iyuno Media Group), hires local theater actors from the Iosif Vulcan and Arcadia theater troupes in residence at the Oradea State Theatre (also known as the Regina Maria Theater). The Iyuno studio in Oradea also does Hungarian dubs, for which this is zig-zagged, as for Hungarian dubs they hire a mix of local Hungarian-speaking talent and actors from Budapest who commute to Oradea. While most of the Oradea-based talent come and go within a few years (for example, Carina Chereji moved to Bucharest in 2016), some have lasted longer (such as Richard Balint and Alina Leonte).

Alternative Title(s): Non Actor Cast