I’d like to discuss the three biggest myths in voiceover, because they really distract from the main focus of a truly successful performance. Before that, I’d like to explain where these myths ALL came from. Understanding this will instantly help you understand why they are no longer relevant.
Much of where voice acting began was in tv and radio advertising. Some film narration. The style back then even in film was similar to the style of voice acting. It all connected. It was all – perfect. Polished. Sterilized. Professional. Announced. Perhaps film acting wasn’t exactly like this, but there was certainly a theatricality to it that we now only really associate with stage acting. Film acting, like voice acting, has transitioned into a much more realistic style of expression and behavior. We are in the age of realism in acting now. And, hallelujah to that! We can finally suspend our disbelief properly!
Myth #1: Always stand up when doing a voice over performance.
This one stems straight from those old-school announcers of course. The goal was the booming strong chest voice read. It was all about the celebrated diaphragm! Once again, we are in the age of realism now, and we don’t talk that way ever in our normal conversations. Another factor to support the dispelling of this myth for good is that in real life we talk standing up, sitting down, lying down. The way we should position our bodies while reading a script and doing an audition should reflect the emotional energy of the text. Is it excited? Stand up! Is it warm and sincere? Try sitting. Position your body to feel what you’re supposed to feel energetically, not for fuller access to your diaphragm. This is called voice ACTING for a reason.
Myth #2: Make sure you articulate really well, and sound professional.
Once again, this is an unfortunate carry-over from the days of announcing. When we talk to friends, even coworkers really, we don’t ‘aim’ to sound professional. Our goal in everyday conversation is to convey our thoughts and emotions, period. We are not focused on what we sound like. Therefore we are relaxed. If you want to sound believable in voice acting, you want to sound like you’re not ‘doing’ voice acting the way we used to know it. Just connect with the message. Be there.
Myth #3: You must warm up your voice before your auditions.
Nope. Once again, we talk all day long and from the moment we get up…or at least from the moment we’ve had a few sips of our coffee. Either way, the point is that we are not aiming for a well-oiled machine from which to operate from. We are aiming to service the WRITING. Warm up by reading the script MANY times in your head first. Understand the message. The keywords that emphasize the message. The emotional perspective you have that supports this message.
Acting certainly makes use of “tools”, but let your real focus be on feelings and you will instantly see a greater connection to every script you audition for.