Voice artists are incredibly talented and flexible. One second, they’re announcing PSAs (Public Service Announcements); the next, they’re bawling their eyes out as they read the lines of their character, who’s a wife who just found out that her husband is cheating on her. Recording voice-overs for TV and radio commercials and AVPs are challenging as it requires voice artists to prepare and read the script numerous times and even check the technical aspects if they are recording from home. However, voice acting is another level of challenge for it delves into the profession of knowing and being another character.
Some people in the showbusiness have what you call ‘inborn talent’ where they can instantly be in character the moment they step into the stage or a camera points at them. But for most people, they need the discipline to follow the required steps in getting into their character.
Voice artists and actors/actresses have their own customized regimen into transforming into their roles; some of those routines can be a 5-minute facial expression exercise and vocal warmups or a 30-minute meditation where they need complete silence. Here are 5 acting techniques that you can adopt in getting into character more smoothly and quickly:
1. Do Your Assignment
Before entering the studio, as a voice artist, you should’ve done your assignments: read the script thoroughly, learn about your character, and immerse yourself in the life of your character. Sounds simple, right? But once you actually do this, you realize that it’s more complicated. A professional voice artist would read the script first just to understand what kinds of emotions and motivation his character has, and in the next reading, he would then gradually practice it with the proper sentiment reflected in the speed, intonation, pitch, and loudness/softness of his voice.
2. Leave Yourself at the Door and Focus
To be someone else, a voice artist must temporarily forget who he is.
You have to go the extra mile and show that you are committed to playing your character’s role by setting aside your beliefs, preferences, and personality. Once you’re inside that studio, focus on your routine in getting into character and immerse yourself into your character’s perspective. This means that you don’t interpret the emotions using your experiences and standpoint in life, instead look at it as the character you’re playing.
3. Visualize Your Character
To understand the character more, voice artists try to imagine the character they’re playing. They find it helpful when they envision the character’s physical looks and how they interact, as this allows them to generate the most suitable voice for the character.
Another helpful tip in visualizing one’s character is to move like them. Don’t be shy to test different body movements, hand gestures, and facial expressions in reading the script and giving your all inside the recording booth. These motions will add that zing to your delivery and complete the act of reflecting your character’s actions just by using your voice.
4. Pay Attention to the Words and Where They are Going
The words in the script are the literal reflection of the character’s motivation in moving forward. Understanding this will allow you to be critical of your character and their actions. With this in mind, you can navigate the objective in the scene (Acting 101). But in doing so, remember to reflect like your character and not like yourself to stop yourself from thinking about other unnecessary things that are not associated with your character. Just focus on the lines and deliver them with consistency with which your audience can identify and connect with.
Pocholo “The VoiceMaster” Gonzales once said, “voice artists are the voice of god”. It is voice artists that dictate you what to wear, what to buy, what to eat and many more. If you don’t believe in your own voice, how can you make other people believe in it?
Read your lines and believe in yourself that you are the perfect voice artist to voice your character. Confidence is key in making your character alive and genuine enough to sway the audience off their feet. Believe in your voice and your LCD — Love, Commitment, and Dedication as a voice artist.