I know you’ve been a member of Voiceover Universe for some time, but I wanted to introduce one of our groups to you.
I hope you'll check out and join a group called MARKETING FOR FUN AND PROFIT. It's a group dedicated to discussing ways we can market ourselves - what works; what doesn't. You’ll find some very interesting ideas and concepts there! And we would appreciate your input. Click here for the link: MARKETING FOR FUN AND PROFIT!
Thanks for your time! I trust our paths will cross soon!
You're so right. Some studio guys goofed up before they talked to me about using my long narration into a radio spot! They've promised this will not repeated.
Hey, do you have facility to record VOs & send them via the internet? If so, do send me your 60-sec audio demo to feature on my site. Oh yes, you might be required to record an unpaid demo before the final recording.
A friend of mine, a veteran voice actor, in the business for over twenty-five years, went to a party at Don's house not too long ago. Not a shy guy, he asked Don point blank what his secret was. Don pulled him into his study and closed the door. He sat him down in an armchair and pulled another one up to him. Looking straight at him, Don took his hand and put another hand on his forearm and held it there, gently.
Within ten seconds, his eyes moistened and welled up a little. "It's in here," he said, pointing to his heart. "That's my secret. Connect to your heart and you've got it made."
As to volume - just enough to eliminate the airiness of your voice should be plenty. It's the breathiness that softens the tone.
Practicing - it's usually best to stand to give yourself the proper breath support - however - when you're reading for effect - that is, the Poe, Cyrano, Poetry etc. - be relaxed - or move about, as the spirit takes you. The key is, you are a voice ACTOR - and that requires some physicality. Don't be afraid to emote - even over act in the beginning. You can always pull it back.
It shouldn't matter where you work - outside of places with extraneous noise that distracts you from your work. I like to read in places that are a little"live" - like a bathroom - just for the slight echo effect. It helps me hear myself a bit better.
You "Listen" with your heart. When you are on - really on - you will feel it - you'll feel it in your chest. It will have a "rightness" about it. You will have sung the notes pitch perfect. Done correctly, you can move yourself to tears. This is the highest form of voice acting. It is not easy to achieve, because most people go at it too hard. Just let the words flow through you. The honesty - that which causes the tingle - will come through as long as you stay out of it's way.
I just listened to some of your work. I think we're talking about a matter of simple volume in some cases. If you speak louder, you will lose a great deal of the whisper quality in your voice. Don't be afraid to project. You have a potentially wonderful instrument. I get the sense that you're concentrating too much on the quality of your voice.
You voice will serve you well as long as you feed it the proper delivery. Let your relationship with the words dictate the delivery. Trust your instrument to do it's part.
To "Sharpen" your voice - try projecting more. It should make a difference.
I understand the passion for the art of Voice Acting. I know how it feels to respond to the music of words - it's a symphony that most people never hear, and that's why it's sometimes so difficult to get others to appreciate it.
I have in the past, suggested a few specific pieces to voice actors upon which to sharpen their skills.
For a great range of emotions, Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"
will challenge you to move from deep melancholy to mild bemusement to rage to depthless sorrow.
The Brian Hooker translation of "Cyrano de Bergerac" is truly operatic in it's use of the English language. If you don't identify
with Cyrano, you're missing a critical piece. I think you'll find reciting his glorious speeches very moving.
Now - as to"sharpening" you voice. It's difficult to make an estimation of your instrument without hearing it, but - in general, what you're looking to find is the "edge" of your voice. The best way I can describe it is to start with a low growl, concentrating on making the sound "hard" When your growl get's to that point, try to speak in that area of your voice. Not everybody has this "Chainsaw" quality, so don't be disappointed if you fail to achieve it.
Another technique is to add a cushion of air to your voice. This is speaking just above a whisper, about one third air - two thirds voice. Of all my techniques, I think this is the one that is most imitated. Done properly, it can be very effective - depending upon it's intensity, to convey romance, mystery, drama - and - with the proper amount of madness overlaid - horror.
Above all, remember this - it's not the quality of your voice that matters - it's the quality of your read. Ultimately, if you succeed in pleasing yourself, you will succeed in pleasing others. Find ALL of your voices, and don't be afraid to let the music of language carry you.
Just don't over sing. Keep it honest. You'll feel it inside when what you're putting out there is real.
Ocassionally, I have the same problem. When I do, I refer to my tongue twisters video (check the video section of my home page) and I do the exercises in several keys. Different pitches. It works everytime.