Have you ever considered that Voice Acting is a healing process? In fact acting of any kind usually lends itself to a sense of healing for those that seek it. There are many types of personalities out there that dabble into the VO market. Some are actors, broadcasters, and more while others are lawyers, doctors all the way to garbage men on the street.
The point I’m trying to make is that all walks of life enter this profession, but many of us have common needs. Namely - the need to be heard. For some it's about appreciation, while others it's a need to be the centre of attention, for others it's hiding behind a mask/character and letting our hidden personalities do the work for us.
Depending on your background and what you gain from taking on this incredible journey, your reasoning will help you decide where you might fit in the industry. Your personality has a lot to do with what you'll be best at in this field. If you really like to let go and be super silly, animation, video games, and audiobooks might be a great place for you. If you are more reserved and confident - perhaps more commercial, narration. It just really depends on your desire. What is in it for YOU??
There are many of us who just like to get lost in character work- many of us with a theatre background or a serious love for NOT GROWING UP! This is one of my favorite places to be. A child who is responsible but doesn't really ever feel the need to stop playing! The one thing that children do, more than adults, and why they are worth studying, is that children don't hold back. The just LET GO. For a better term "They let their inner freak out." It isn't until we start judging children or teaching them to judge that they stop letting go. This is where much of my coaching comes in. I spend a lot of time teaching many of you how to let out your inner child. The one who made silly sfx, the one that irritated your mom/dad/family members when you were a kid, or the funny creature sounds you would make when reading a story. You remember - the time in your life when you didn't feel judged.
Perhaps you laugh when I say that. Many of you may feel that there is NEVER a time you are not judged. We as adults judge all the time and this is what stops us from letting our inner freak out! We worry so much about what people think about what we are doing, that we don't take the time to NOT CARE and just get lost in the feeling.
I strongly encourage this - if you are feeling angry, sad, happy, mad etc. - go into your Audio Recording set up (whether pro or make shift), and create a character suiting that emotion. Allow your frustrations to come out as if it was a cartoon character dealing with your situation. Many of you have heard the term, "Get Drunk in your Character." This is very similar to what I'm describing. Perhaps you're super excited about something....either make up your own script - write down a comic book scene, or voice a commercial or copy you already have - or just plain ad-lib...but record yourself in another world. ESPECIALLY when you lose control and you have NO idea what you just did. That's usually when you truly let your freak out and are lost in the character. I just can't tell you how good this feels - but make sure and listen back - you will be surprised I'm sure. The raw you can be an incredibly humbling experience to embrace.
We can go too far and get too lost. Even though we have to be lost in the character and comfortable to let our Freak out in front of complete strangers, we still have to make ourselves directable and we should NEVER, NEVER, JUDGE - as soon as you are thinking about someone judging you - you are now the one truly judging.
I challenge you to "GET YOUR FREAK OUT" session in your home studio. Especially all you stuffy shirt types. It's time to let go and get out of your own way and GET YOUR FREAK ON! MAKE SURE YOU LISTEN BACK THOUGH! Enjoy. Now create a name for this character and start adding them to your rolodex. This will work for cartoony characters as well as the regular guy/girl next door,
Until next time
All my best
VO Chef Deb