Looks Can Be Deceiving
Some VO artists can bring life to funny, wild cartoon characters, seemingly on the spot. Some have a natural gift for dialects. Some are great at impressions. Make no mistake, these are true gifts for any performer. But don’t mistake the term “gifts” as something that comes effortlessly. Many people underestimate how much work it takes to get to this creative place that seems like second nature from the outside.
These “gifts” don’t come as easily as they appear. Every successful VO artist works extremely hard to find that freedom of expression and dedicates most, if not all, of there lives to the craft of learning every facet of the work of voice over. It’s a lot more than funny voices.
Box of Tools
Like any skill, voiceover requires practice. It’s a muscle like any other. A violinist who stops playing for a few months is going to get rusty. Picking up that instrument after a long time away may feel awkward and uncomfortable. For my own practice, over the years, I have acquired a handful of daily habits that I highly encourage you to use. If you aren’t out auditioning daily it is a great way to keep those chops in shape and prepare yourself for any tricky VO script that may come your way.
I’ve listed below some easy exercises that you can practice just about anywhere. Or anytime. And start simple! Sometimes, in the morning, I read the news feed – out loud! And I practice tongue twisters while sitting in Los Angles traffic or on my way to record an audiobook or audition. I tend to check in on my breathing while I wait in line at the bank and grocery store, taking a shower, cooking, or sitting in my car.
And before I let you dive into a hopefully helpful box of tools, I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “You can’t make it happen, you can only prepare for it to happen!” If you don’t practice, train, study hard and do your research, unless you are incredibly lucky, you may just remain mediocre. So, when the time comes for that big audition, be prepared, be confident and be ready! Practice makes perfect! [Read More… ]
It may seem silly to write an entire blog about one tiny, little pet peeve. However, what I am about to tell you happens all the time. And in running casting sessions myself, I run into this one a lot. Booth etiquette is important and it starts the minute you step in the studio for and audition. I mention all this only to make it clear that the talent who stand out do so because of their professionalism, providing themselves with a leg-up in the audition that follows!
Lots of interactions occur as talent steps up to enter the VO booth. Some want to shake my hand vigoruously and introduce themselves like I’m Queen Elizabeth, (no need). Some ignore me, rush straight into the booth with no eye contact and immediately set to adjusting the microphone themselves (rude, don’t ever ever adjust the mic!). And some find it in their best interest to make heavy conversation about some topic that serves to simply waste valuable time. Then there’s my preferred performer: the patient, quiet, focused, and polite entrance, awaiting my direction toward the microphone so they can get started on their audition. Ah, a professional! [Read More… ]