Thursday, 23 September 2010

Do’s & Don’ts In Voice Over Techniques do these things

When you do a basic internet search for training techniques for voice over talent you will find a slew of recommendations to deepen your voice, raise your voice, sustain your voice, or change the character of your voice altogether. If you are new to voice acting, it's natural to follow the advice of the voiceover sages who have made it big in the industry.
Voiceover techniques that are safe shouldn't make you feel uncomfortable or strain your physical abilities.

While the pros have great pearls of wisdom to bestow on us all, don't forsake your common sense to enhance your voice and your career! Not all advice out there is worth following, and many pieces of advice can actually hurt you.
·         Drink whiskey and smoke. Duh, right? Maybe not. DJs used to be [and probably still are in many places] advised to drink and smoke on the job to give their voices resonance. The effects of smoking and drinking help them gain resonance, but they lose their range of pitch at the same time. What most people don't know is that this process happens naturally as you get older. Meaning, the person who drinks and smokes frequently loses the "young sound" so that they get the "old sound" when they're young, and when they are older they have no sound.
·         Drink a shot of alcohol to calm your nerves. During the hours before you record, you shouldn't be drinking anything other than water for your vocal cords' sake. If you are actually doing a live recording session with the client, it's definitely a bad idea to drink before you meet them. Even if that one drink let's you relax enough to get a couple good takes, it looks (and smells) unprofessional. You might get through the recording session without a hiccup, but the client will likely call another voice over talent for future gigs. Forget about the mouthwash -- instead, invest in yoga classes or a stress ball.
·         Vocal cord surgery. This one baffles me. There must have been successful operations in the past, otherwise no one would even think about it ... The bottom line is vocal cord surgery is likely to be expensive, and there is no guarantee what your voice will sound like post-op. If you are unhappy with the quality of your voice and want to work in a different niche, consider taking voice over training classes to enhance your technique. Especially because more and more clients are opting for voice actors with good natural speaking voices to market their products, there's simply no reason to mess with what you were born with.
·         "Test" your range to the breaking point. Finding your vocal cords' breaking point will just break your voice! If you aren't able to comfortably work in a low or high range that means you probably shouldn't be doing it. Stressing your vocal cords won't round out your voice, but it will change the sound of your voice. And you probably won't be happy with the result.

The Voice Over Talent industry isn't always as glamorous as it sounds the work is harder than it looks. It's undoubtedly not for everyone, no matter of how good ones natural speaking voice is!

Voice acting, like other professions in the entertainment industry, often requires long hours for not a lot of money or recognition.
There's no quick fix in this industry, and there's no substitute for hard work.

. Are you willing to work more than a 9am - 5pm job? If not, you might have a hard time as a full time voice actor! Some of the most talented and successful voice actors I know are up before dawn and can often be found recording work for clients well into the night. Sure, there are breaks throughout the day, but you should expect periods of feast and famine.

Have you been passionate about voice acting for a long time? Even before you knew what a voice actor was, did you pay attention to how a good orator speaks? Did you tend to analyze how something should be read aloud, even if it's an excerpt from a book, the back of a cereal box, or a newspaper article? I like the wisdom, "The key to life is finding something you love doing, and then finding a way to get paid for it." Essentially, if you weren't paid to do it, would you still want to do it?

Do you require a lot of face-to-face interaction throughout the day? The life of a voice talent can be a lonely one at times! We joke that voice actors are most comfortable in a padded cell, but there is truth behind that. Unlike working in an office setting, you are often only interfacing with clients via phone or email. A funny student of ours once told me, "I don't mind it at all -- I've got all my character voices to keep me company!"

If you can't take a risk. Voice acting takes training, just like "regular" acting! Investing in voice over training is a prudent decision if you are pursuing a professional career as a voice actor. If you aren't willing or able to take both the financial and career risk, then consider a backup plan. The market for voice over jobs is ever growing, so don't let me discourage you. Just remember to treat voice acting with as much respect as any new career -- it takes time to build it up!

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