Ask a Casting Director


Ask a Casting Director

I've cast hundreds of computer games and directed thousands of actors. Voice acting is much more demanding than voice overs. Happy to help anyone interested.

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Latest Activity: Oct 29, 2018

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Get Skype, Yousendit and FTP

Started by Lani Minella. Last reply by Lani Minella Jan 31, 2012. 2 Replies

Character demo for games, cartoons etc

Started by Sini Manner. Last reply by Lani Minella Nov 15, 2011. 5 Replies

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Comment by Paul Burke on May 29, 2008 at 1:37am
Got your invite to join... thank you. I'm gonna spend some time reading and learning... Paul
Comment by Dave Courvoisier on May 28, 2008 at 9:32pm

Great inside information on Fi-core, which is akin to an impossible maze, made worse by tight-lipped union reps. Thanks for throwing open the book.

Comment by Lani Minella on May 28, 2008 at 8:24pm
Make sure you spread the word about my discussion forum above featuring Financial Core versus Union info. Thanks all.
Comment by Lani Minella on May 28, 2008 at 5:22am
Below is a link to a silly file for a podcast I did about the weird English language. Have fun and feel free to add your own observations about our native tongue. :)
Comment by Lani Minella on May 28, 2008 at 5:21am
Comment by Sharon Garrison on May 27, 2008 at 2:07pm
Wow! This is great, Lani! Thanks for sharing your expertise with those of us who love to do this work. I haven't done much in this specific field, but hope to soon. I'm a highly trained and skilled stage actor with many years of VO experience and TV work. Just your first post gave me a ton of food for thought. Can't wait to get into more discussion on this topic.
Comment by CHRIS GRANT on May 26, 2008 at 6:22am
Dear Lani , your advice is spot on , thats almost the same advice that I give to young voices just starting out. Your work speaks for itself , I hope the new ones head your sage advice, and maybe even a few of us older ones , as once we jump off the learning curve , it's Goodnight Sweetheart !.. Do you you know something ? you aint half bad , you could do this voiceover Lark for a living !
Be well and treat yourself with loving kindness clever Lady.

Regards , Chris Grant .
Comment by Lani Minella on May 24, 2008 at 5:17pm
Hello everyone and thanks for joining. I need to answer a few of the questions put out there so here goes.
How do you practice "acting" reads? You need to visualize yourself on stage or in the scene while doing the lines. Using body gestures, nodding your head ---act it out with exaggerated moves. It's always fine to use those exaggerated gestures while doing the VO work, but those gestures need to lead your voice so the voice itself contains the action.
Example: "Look who's here!? You disgust me! Get out of my sight!"
Try tilting your head to the left on "Look" and to the right on "here" as though you are in the 'neener neener condescending mode.' Then give your face the 'stinky nose' lip curl on the next line like you smelled something bad. Then clench your teeth, sneer with the corners of your mouth turned down and do an arm gesture of a backhand fast swipe on the word "sight."
I'm not big on the school of training which goes through a lengthy process of finding your motivation and backstory. That's ok to do, but there are quicker ways to put acting in gear...remembering how important it is to visualize yourself doing the action while talking.
To answer J.S. about not having context...most of the time we do game voices we don't have context so we have to presume a lot of things and hope we're right. As a director, I sometimes have gone over confusing script lines with a producer prior to the session asking about how loud we should be talking, if we are in stealth mode so as not to be overheard, or how far away the person is we might be talking to.
This is precisely why I direct all my auditions, unlike what we're up against when we have to guess without communicating with anyone and send our files to our agents or other online casting sites.
So to answer your question J.S., I would say that if you don't have context or someone like me directing your audition, do it more than one way and you can even slate the beginning of the take with "Not knowing the are 3 different ideas."
Keep those questions coming and I hope you find my suggestions helpful. Feel free to disagree as nothing is set in stone and I'm always wanting to grow and be a better communicator and actor.
Have a great Memorial Weekend all.
Comment by Dave Rivas on May 24, 2008 at 11:44am
Mom, I'm home...
Comment by James Clamp on May 23, 2008 at 8:00pm
Hi Lani

Thanks for starting the group and offering your helpful advice


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