Tips for Creating a Character Voice (Part 1)

When you get a voiceover script for a character voice, there could be several things going through your head about that character.  That’s great.  The more you try and understand this character, picture it, imagine its likes and dislikes, its appearance, its quirks, the more it comes to “life.”                                         

·          You get a script.  Go through the script several times and really focus on the word choices made by the writer.  Focus on any descriptive words or strong words with an undeniable personality.  For example, “We went straight to the most crowded room there, snuck to the stereo, found the volume control, rocked it to the 10, and got that party blazin!”  Words like snuck, rocked-it, and blazin speak to a more brazen personality in my book.   This character perhaps speaks a little louder, is really emphatic, exudes confidence, and has a zest for life.  Compare with this, “I wasn’t sure which room to choose, so I found a chair in the corner of a small room where only one person was sitting, and waited quietly for my friend to show up.”  Here seems to be a person who isn’t confident, and kind of wants to be invisible.  Words or phrases like wasn’t-sure and small and waited-quietly speak to me as clues to this.  Continue with this train of thought and give this character a background story based on the little bits of personality you have already gleaned from the word clues.  Perhaps the “zest for life” character was the class clown and was always getting sent to the principal.  Perhaps the “invisible” character was ignored by her older siblings.  Create.  The more you do, the more this character comes to life.

There’s much more to examine, but tune in next week for the rest.  Chew on the above for a bit, as it is a big part of understanding and developing your character.  Don’t forget to have fun.  A lovely article written by voice actress Randye Kaye expresses the concept and necessity of having fun in voice acting and manages to inspire even the most overwhelmed student.  Enjoy.

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