If you’re new to the world of voiceover, welcome to one of the most fun and competitive industries to be in. The people you will meet on this adventure will be some of the best people you’ll come across in your life. I don’t think there is another industry that is as collectively giving of its knowledge and wisdom. If you have a question or need guidance, no matter the specifics of it, it’s only a few clicks away. You could just Google your question and there’s a solid chance you’ll find something, but always consider the source. A great resource to consider when you do have questions or just looking to stay up to date on the industry, in general, is VoiceoverExtra.com.
I’d bet that whatever your question is, someone has experienced it, wrote a blog about it, and it can be found on VoiceoverExtra.com! Also, don’t be afraid to engage with other voiceover artists who are where you want to be. I’ve found that 99% of the time the message is well received and if that person can’t assist they are happy to point you in the right direction.
There are a lot of different terms that define who we are; voice talent, voiceover artist, voice actor, and I’m sure there are others. Call yourself whatever feels more like you. I consider myself a Voice Actor because each read is a completely new perspective, talking to a completely different person, about a completely different topic. Your job as the actor/talent/voiceover artist is to create the scene around the copy and paint that picture with your performance. That’s acting!
Now, there’s a lot that goes into breaking down copy that will aid in creating the scene that we will not get into here. Take a class. Take a lot of classes. If you’re in North Carolina, if not I think they have a zoom option, a great weekend of classes is coming up at Groundcrew Sound in October. The same classes I took to first get started, still attend to this day, and would love for you to join us! Continue to push yourself. You, I, or anyone for that matter, will never be at a creative point that we can’t still grow into something more!
However, at the core of everything we do in the booth, there are three things you cannot lose sight of in your performance:
Have you ever heard a singer sing off-key and then try to find the right key in the middle of a note? It doesn’t mean that the singer is a bad singer it just means they were just off at that moment. Still doesn’t sound great though, does it?
That is what a voiceover sounds like when it’s missing one or more of those elements. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in the booth and felt great about a read, only to come out to edit and hear myself “searching” for the right note throughout the read. When that happens, I have to be honest with myself and admit that I didn’t do the necessary work to create the scene and identitfy with it as a performer.
This goes back to what I wrote about a few weeks ago, that I come from a broadcasting background that focused less on performance and more on getting it out the door. So, I have to really focus to create that scene in my mind so that I can be authentic, sincere, and speak with conviction.
Without those three elements being present in your read, it doesn’t matter what creative choices you made in breaking down the copy, it won’t be heard through your performance.
As you move through your career as a Voice (Fill in the blank) and you learn amazing techniques from amazing coaches, make sure you’re adding them to the foundation of Authenticity, Conviction, and Sincerity.