Voice over is really voice acting!
Learn more about how in the end, it’s all character work from voice over talent, DC Goode, our guest blogger today on VOX Daily.
Voice Acting? It’s All Character Work!
By DC Goode
I’ve got news for ya folks… it’s ALL Character work.
After attending many great workshops over the years, one on one coaching and coaching students of my own, I find that a LOT of VO folks (whether newbies or veterans) get into VO because they want to do “Characters”.
Most often quoted is “Cartoons” and or “Animation” work… I’m not really sure if there is a difference between the 2 unless you’re talking about Anime but I digress, the majority, still seems to be drawn to this genre of VO.
And why not?!
It’s way fun, you get to be someone else in full blown character mode and you can usually count on the fact, that the work is going to be truly appreciated by the audience… and Oh Yeh, there’s the money.
The magnificent Harlan Hogan says “I have 2 voices, Harlan Hogan and Harlan Hogan with a cold.” Harlan, Dirty Harry would be proud. “A man’s got to know his limitations” but with all due respect, I’d be inclined to disagree with you a bit.
In that, as Harlan and many other greats of the industry know too well; a bit (or a bunch) of “Character” is involved in every piece of VO work.
Even if it is an Industrial Narration for (let’s say) a new medical device. The Director (be they the client, the writer, the producer, whomever) usually already has an idea of what kind of delivery they want. Be it “Authoritative”, “Conversational”, etc, etc.
Enter the “Character”
Let’s say the direction is “A 35 to 50 year old, Conversational delivery with an air of confidence but not arrogant”.
Other Serving suggestions in descriptions, may be Alec Baldwin, Morgan Freeman, Ryan Seacrest, or if you’re old enough to know who he is, Walter Cronkite.
As you approach this, what Character reference comes to mind for you?
Maybe, it’s that boss that you never really liked, a soft spoken drill sergeant or that
science teacher in high school that was dull but always accurate and articulate.
Then comes the Character’s agenda, motivation and all that other Stella Adler stuff…IE “The Acting”, if there needs to be any.
You will need to develop, preferably ahead of time, a Character of YOU that fits the request at hand. You may already have someone in your “Bag of Tricks” that fits the bill.
Pat Fraley’s instructional CD’s and workbooks can help you with that if you don’t yet have a “Bag of Tricks”.
I would presume that by now, you’re seeing my point. It’s ALL character work.
Whether it’s the example quoted above or you’ve been asked to create the next Sponge Bob Square pants, there’s character in all of it. Maybe a little, maybe a lot.
“Thanks” to Pat Fraley and Dave Sebastian Williams (although he doesn’t teach any more, he can tell you who else does), for being some of my major influences and teachers in this department.
There are other fantastic teachers, coaches and mentors that I have had the privilege of working with… and I will name drop you folks in my next writing. 😉
Go forth, be great and have a GOODe time.