When you first meet another voice actor, what is the first thing you notice about their voice?
I asked a number of professional voice talent their thoughts on the matter and some of their observations are really quite intriguing!
What sort of things are you listening for?
How might your peers be hearing you?
Join the conversation in today’s VOX Daily!
I Hear You!
Being in the business of sound, it’s interesting to note how other people speak, particularly other voice professionals. This afternoon, I put a call out to friends on my Facebook page to see what their first observations were upon hearing the voice of a colleague for the first time.
Maybe you can relate!
Take a minute or two to read through the following and then add your thoughts as a comment.
“I notice that their voice is very different than what is normally heard in a production.”
“I almost always notice their projection. In other wards, loud talking leads me to believe that Voiceover is just announcing or screaming like Gilbert Gottfried to them. But for those who pace themselves and speak at a normal range, I feel like they can really interpret copy.”
“I often notice how there is NOTHING unique about their voice! Much like mine…”
“If their everyday voice sounds like their recorded voice.”
-Laura McFadyen Brown
“I tend to notice whether they’re someone who feels the need to “talk in character” as though they’re reading copy (i.e. inflection, pace, pronunciation, etc) while just shooting the breeze or if they talk without sounding like a VO artist. Here in LA, I meet a lot of both when networking – I hear someone talking casually but when I meet him/her for the first time or I’m introduced to them and we speak for the first time, they suddenly turn into Shadoe Stevens…”
“The richness, smoothness and uniqueness.”
“The voice I use in personal interaction is a little different than the one I use when narrating audiobooks, which is different than what I sound like when narrating military ceremonies. I’ve noticed that when I meet someone who’s a veteran broadcaster, they tend to be ‘on,’ sort of like what John just said. Like they’ve been doing it so long that it’s impossible to turn it off.”
“I really think each case is individual. I usually don’t look for any qualities. It’s more fun to speak with fellow voice veterans about their unique experiences in this ever changing business. But, for the most part… professional voice actors seem to know how to carry themselves in a conversation. There’s a confidence and air about them – it takes all kinds and all kinds of voices to be successful in the industry!”
“If it’s a voice I would enjoy listening to, which could be in audiobooks, airport terminals, on-hold messaging, etc.”
“Upon reflection, I realize now how much I enjoy listening to my fellow voice actors. Sitting around at a booking or an audition, just how lovely and appealing everyone’s voices are. I get so spoiled by these rich voices that it can be quite jarring hitting the streets outside and hearing all the shrill, unsupported voices out in the real world! LOL!”
“I listen for any accents that I might later use.”
“If they have a regional dialect or not. I am from the south, and when most people first meet me they have no idea I am from Texas because I worked hard for twenty years to be non specific.”
“Whether they are forced or genuine. Centered, unaware and ready to tell the story. It is SO much more than the voice.”
“Texture of the voice, most definitely.”
“Sincerity. No matter the voice, this is what draws me in, or adversely if not present, what pushes me away. Drama, comedy, animation, corporate narration, eLearning, or even a voicemail; if there’s real feeling supporting the voice, I’m hooked.”
“Honestly, some are born with ‘pipes.’ But, for me, there needs to be a ‘real human’ giving life to those words. Ours is a relationship business, and if you can’t relate to or trust that voice, it doesn’t work.”
What About You?
Let us know what you first notice when you hear a fellow voice talent’s voice!
Looking forward to hearing from you,