Training Your Voice for Voice Over Work

Training Your Voice for Voice Over Work

Actors are able to indwell a variety of roles and the best ones are extremely convincing in those roles. One of the critical cues to the audience is the voice of the character. In order to properly give voice to a variety of characters, the actor’s voice must be flexible.

Combine this with the requirement to project varying vocal nuances that the audience can pick up on, it’s clear that a good voice over program is one of the most important practices you can take up.

Here are some tips to help you:

Give Up Bad Habits

If you are a smoker or a heavy drinker, it’s a good idea to quit both. After all, smoke and alcohol can do some serious damage to your vocal cords. Plus, smoking messes with your ability to take deep breaths and to maintain control of your breathing.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Start by lying flat on your back and inhaling slowly and deeply from your diaphragm. Then, slowly exhale, pretending there’s a candle right in front of you that won’t go out. You should do this approximately 10 times when you get up in the morning and 10 times before going to sleep at night.

Practice Proper Diction

In order to ensure that you will be understood, you must practice clear and precise pronunciation. You might want to consider working with a voice coach or practice with some tapes to be sure you are keeping your consonants clear-cut and vowels distinguishable from each other.

Once you have developed your voice with these tips, you are ready to record your demo reel. Following, you will find the steps to record your demo reel.

Recording Your Demo

When you’re interested in getting into voice over work, you are going to need a demo reel that you can submit to your agent so that he or she can get it out to the producers who look for voice over work.

This will give them an idea of what you can do. This is especially critical for the animated industry, as the character range is broad and you’re likely to find lots of different roles.

A demo reel is a short and sweet sample of what you can do with your voice, including your range, vocal sounds, types of copy, and voices you can do. There are some people who only do voice acting. There are others who act on and off screen. A demo reel is critical when it comes to the voice over industry.

In order to create a voice over demo reel, you are going to need the following:

  • Sound editing program
  • Computer
  • Voice recording equipment
  • Blank CDs

Take some time to go through radio scripts and commercial copy to find work that fits in with your vocal type and range. In addition, you can write your own scripts of look through magazines or online to find ads to pull copy from. You might also consider finding some scripts from animated shows/movies that you can play with.

When you find the scripts and/or copy you want to work with, go through and pull out your favorite 5-10 items. Then, grab a handheld recorder and practice them in a variety of accents and voices.

Play the recordings back and listen carefully to see how you can improve them. If you find that one is not working for you, then you should forget about that one and work with the ones that do work for you.

Now, it’s time to set up your equipment. You may have something as small as a microphone you plug into your computer, or an actual studio-type set up. Record yourself as you read the copy.

You should take the time to do a few takes of each one- and make sure to record an intro that tells who you are and the agent you work with, if you are working with one. It is advisable to work with an agent.

Once you have everything recorded, you can import it all into your sound editing program and figure out which is the best take of each of the scripts/copy you read. Then, edit them together, making sure you leave a 2-second break between each one.

You want to be sure your intro is at the beginning and the end. Now, you can export the file and burn it to a CD. You should label the CD with your contact information. Now, you have a demo voice reel that you can send to your agent and/or to production companies.

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