Podcasts Voice Over Experts Finding Your Authentic Voice
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Finding Your Authentic Voice

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Stephanie Ciccarelli
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Join Voice Over Expert Phyllis K. Day in her interactive lecture “Finding Your Authentic Voice”. In this podcast, Phyllis shares how she was able to help a client of hers whose background was in radio make his voice sound more natural, getting past ingrained Walter Cronkite voice styling to realize his own authentic voice.

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Phyllis K. Day, Voice Coaching, Voice Overs, Voice, Voice Acting, Visual Coaching, Finding the X

Links from today’s show:

Phyllis K. Day
Phyllis K. Day on Voices.com

Your Instructor this week:

Voice Over Expert Phyllis K. Day

Phyllis K. DayPhyllis is a freelance technical writer and voice professional with over thirty years experience. A Broadcast Journalism graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Phyllis became an anchor a few months later on the North Carolina News Network. She has also anchored on Business Radio Network and American Forum Radio Network in Colorado. Her voice has been heard nation-wide and she was also the narrator for a show heard daily on NPR and Armed Forces Radio in the 1990s. Phyllis was part of a mentoring program for several years at North Carolina State University for the students in NC State’s radio program. She currently runs personalized coaching workshops, in addition to narrations for e-learning and business presentations.

Did you enjoy Phyllis’ episode? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

Julie-Ann Dean: Welcome to Voiceover Experts brought to you by Voices.com, the number one voiceover marketplace. Voiceover Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom and techniques from top instructors, authors and performers in the field of voiceover. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voiceover talent. It’s never been easier to learn, perform, and succeed from the privacy of your own home and your own pace. This is truly an education you won’t find anywhere else.
This week, Voices.com is pleased to present Phyllis K. Day.
Phyllis K. Day: Hi. I’m Phyllis K. Day. Last time we talked, you learned that I hear and see sound. I was born this way. It wasn’t something I learned. However, the good news for you is that it helps me to enable voiceover talents to quickly improve the way they use their voice. This is because to me, each voice has an authentic sound that in some cases has layers that hide that sound. I peel back the layers with the VO talent and it improves everything they do.
I am not an acting coach and I don’t teach acting, but what I can do, I call knowing where the X is. No matter how great an actor you are, if you’re not using your authentic voice, you will struggle. Take Joe Bob, for example. Joe Bob grew up in Amarillo, Texas. He played football, basketball, baseball, (ran track), and the list goes on.
You could say he had the jock gene. He grew to be over six feet tall but he had both jock genes that is he also wanted to be a disc jockey. Little Joe Bob spent many hours of his childhood imitating how one TV news anchor in particular sounded along with many other announcers that influenced him back in the day. When he was old enough, he got on the air, paid his dues and up the ladder he went.
Now, like many other radio guys, he’s working less in auditioning more to little or no avail. Joe Bob has a great voice. He just needs to peel back a few layers. After hearing my last podcast, he contacted me. I listened to all his current demos. I asked him to send me an mp3 of his voice unprocessed talking about his past, present, his hopes for the future, what makes him happy, sad, and so on.
For almost all of his mp3, he was not using his authentic voice. Here’s a little bit of it.
Hi Phyllis. Just want to say thanks so much for spending time with me on the phone the other day and I hope your shoulder is healing. I also want to say how funny I still find it. I’m smiling and laughing every time I think about it when you say I was …
Phyllis K. Day: He was on for almost the whole thing until toward the end. He sneezed and said, “Excuse me.” Without thinking, he used his real voice to say that. Something he’d never do on the air, sneeze, that is. So after sneezing, he didn’t shift his voice back to his radio voice.
(sneezing) Pardon me.
Listen to it again.
(sneezing) Pardon me.
The next plays his authentic voice showed was when he stopped to think about something. Also forgetting to be on and that’s producing a different sound.
She would have been a junior senior as I started. And our games were across the street and all after school, you know. So it was …
So what is Joe Bob’s X? First of all, he’s a growler.
Somewhere between dusky gray and pale green.
Growling was a very popular use of a man’s voice at one time. It gave them sort of a strong but intimate yet manly sound. Sort of. Nowadays, it just makes them sound like they’re saying, “Hey, listen to me and be impressed.” Now, most women can’t do the growl, me included.
Now, Joe Bob is a nice guy. He’s not some puffed-up egotistical fellow. In fact, he was concerned that he couldn’t seem to sound more real and he wanted to. People would tell him, “You sound like you’re trying to impress me. You sound like you’re trying to impress me with your voice.” He wasn’t trying. He just was stuck in a rut.
The second X, little Joe Bob watched way too much Walter Cronkite.
What you include more than 600 papers and 40 books. Place them among the greatest figures in the history of Cardiovascular research.
Now, here’s part of an audition he sent me but don’t listen for the acting. Listen to the sound of his voice and the growl.
The battlefield. There is no other place or such an outpouring of intense human emotion is displayed, from courage, camaraderie, and exhilaration to fear, hatred and agony.
I smacked him around a little bit after that. No, no, no, no, no I didn’t do that. But, after our second session, he sent me this redo of the same piece. Again, listen to how much clearer his voice sounds and not the acting. Not that the acting is bad, it’s just not what we’re focusing on right now.
The battlefield. There is no other place or such an outpouring of intense human emotion is displayed, from courage, camaraderie, and exhilaration to fear, hatred and agony.
Joe Bob will have to be diligent and try to stay authentic and not go back to growling or using the Cronkite effect.
These lavish homes included libraries, ballrooms, billiard rooms, and much more. Homes during this time were built to last to stand the test of time.
He must use what I call his sneeze voice.
These lavish homes included libraries, ballrooms, billiard rooms, and much more. Homes during this time were built to last.
He’ll have another two or three sessions with me and then he’s on his way to make the use of his authentic voice a habit. We’ll wait another month or two and then see how he’s been doing with the tools he now has to keep his sound true. And he’s got a lot of demos to redo in the mean time.
Would you like to work with me? E-mail me at voicecoach@phyllisk.com. That’s voicecoach@phyllisk.com and we’ll set up a free evaluation of your voice. Then if you’re ready to move forward, we’ll move forward. I promise. I’m Phyllis K. Day.
Julie-Ann Dean: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this Voices.com podcast, visit the Voiceover Experts show notes at Podcasts.Voices.com/VoiceoverExperts. Remember to stay subscribed.
If you’re a first time listener, you can subscribe for free to this podcast in the Apple iTunes Podcast Directory or by visiting Podcasts.Voices.com. To start your voiceover career online, go to Voices.com and register for a voice talent membership today.

Stephanie Ciccarelli
Stephanie Ciccarelli is a Co-Founder of Voices. Classically trained in voice as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. For over 25 years, Stephanie has used her voice to communicate what is most important to her through the spoken and written word. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, Stephanie has been a contributor to The Huffington Post, Backstage magazine, Stage 32 and the Voices.com blog. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.
Connect with Stephanie on:
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  • Joe "Bob" Geoffrey
    July 19, 2008, 3:20 am

    Phyllis IS the real deal. I was stuck in a habit of what I thought was “my real voice”. Once she got me to “hear the light” I was more comfortable, confident, and relaxed with my ability. I’ve re-worked my demos, even producing an Audio Book demo with Bettye Zoller, an amazing producer. Bottom-line; I’m getting more work!

  • Bob Jordan
    July 27, 2008, 6:18 pm

    Hi Phyllis,
    I really enjoyed you podcast episode ‘Finding You Authentic Voice’. As a teen growing up in the 60’s I to listened to a lot of ‘Boss Jocks’. In the late 70’s I began a 20 year journey in radio working every format that there was. It wasn’t until I was forced to host a Big Band show (15 years into my career) that I really found out who I was (that X factor). I hated my delivery at the time because I had to talk so s- l -o- w and grown up (no more top 40 delivery) but afterward my GM came into the studio and said she was afraid she was going to have to fire me before I began the show, but after hearing the amazing difference I had a job for life. In that one instant I grew by leaps and bounds. I’ll always be thankful for that Big Band show !

  • Tom Matthews
    August 1, 2008, 5:50 am

    I appreciated Phyllis’ candor in the podcast. I’m sure I am very guilty of making my voice what I think it should be rather than centering in on the qualities I normally have that can be put to good use. I sent an e-mail to Phyllis in hopes an evaluation can be set up. Thanks for quality podcasts that are very much on-line with the challenges of doing voice-over.

  • Vicki Amorose
    August 6, 2008, 7:47 pm

    Phyllis–Thanks for that analysis of Joe Bob’s ‘growl’–something I’ve noticed in far too many male voice talents. It always has that ‘I love listening to myself’ feeling.
    Will you please consider doing a similar podcast about a female voice? I’d like to hear what you have to say about the ‘non-authentic’ voice as performed by women.

  • nigel hanbury
    September 9, 2008, 1:02 am

    Thanks Phyllis,
    found your advice interesting and true. All you experts give similar advice on these issues. The problem I find and I am wondering if some others might also,is that when directed by a voice coach with auto cue scripts in a studio when inexperienced like myself, they always want to get the best projection and inferences from your voice. When being asked to perform like this one can feel it is a little like it’s over acting and I am slightly uncomfortable with it. There seems to be a place in the middle of the two that you need to be to record. For me my normal everyday voice varies in quality throughout the day for lots of reasons. Therefore when in the Studio the voice coach really finds that strong voice and brings it to life for me. When at home recording I find it hard to find that right place!!! Any ideas please anyone
    PS really enjoy the site YEH
    Nigel UK