How Voice Actors Can Nail Their Next Script
By Rachel Alena, Voice Coach, Voice Actor and Singer
When I was asked by Voices to write a blog about what it’s like to be a new voice over talent, it really got me thinking and reflecting. I asked myself: “What did my own journey look like?”
Of course, I wanted to express myself and make my own schedule. I also happened to be in the studio recording music when I was asked to record an on-hold message. Thus, a career in voice acting was born.
That’s the short, ‘sound bite’ version of my story. However, the truth is, the road to my successful voice acting career, is the same as the successful students I coached. I simply worked my tail off.. End of story.
To grow my voice over business, I auditioned 3.5 hours a day, 4-days a week consistently for more than 2 years. Throughout that time, there were many tears and many rejections.
But then things started to take off. I worked 7 days a week for several years to make my mark.. I just couldn’t turn down a good opportunity and did my best to never say ‘no.’ I tried my hardest to be more versatile than others. ‘First call’ status on talent rosters was always my number one goal.
Over the years, here are 10 things I’ve learned. As a new voice actor, you must:
- Gain skill and knowledge
- Record your first demo reel
Read our definitive article on why you need a demo reel.
- Reach out to your target market
- Audition. Audition. Audition.
Read this piece on the art of the audition.
- Land jobs
- Build relationships & get called back
- Record more demo reels
Read up on how to record more than one demo reel.
- Audition. Audition. Audition
- Land new jobs and clients
Find out about the latest way to land new jobs on Voices.
- Maintain old clients
So the question that lingers is: How do you nail a script so you land auditions and get called back?
There are two main elements you must have to nail a script. They are:
- Tool Skills: The ability to execute ‘tools’ to keep the verbiage interesting. These include pitch, rhythm and dynamics among others.
- Acting Skills. Connecting with your audience is essential.
When evaluating a script for the first time, I teach my students to do the following 4-step process. Avoid picking up a script and just reading it. Take a minute to evaluate it first; This will make the difference between a ‘flat’ or ‘interesting’ read.
Here is my 4-step process for evaluating a script:
1. Determine the vibe, feeling or ‘story’ of the copy. (Acting Skills)
2. Determine how you want to make the verbiage interesting. (Tool Skills)
3. Record yourself. Listen back. Make adjustments. Re-record. (Tool Skills)
4. Return to the vibe or feeling of the copy. Re-record and submit your audition or job. (Acting Skills)
Nailing a script comes down to the fundamentals. Having natural talent for voice acting is an excellent start, and while talent may allow you to do less script evaluation and follow intuition, it’s just the start. That being said, every voice actor, especially new ones, can benefit from focused script evaluation. It’s the quickest and most efficient way to begin nailing auditions and jobs.
Here’s the bottom line: The fact that you’re reading this proves you’re searching out information and wanting to learn. You’re working to grow yourself as a voice actor.
I say, keep going! Work hard, be consistent and take the extra step of script evaluation. The road from rookie voice actor to voice over success is often paved with countless hours on the highway. Use those hours wisely by being consistent, focused and kind to yourself. The job of being a voice actor and storyteller is worth the extra effort.