Disclosure: Disney provided me an all expense paid trip in return for my coverage of the event and movie. All opinions are 100% mine alone.
15 minutes on the job and I think I know it all. Rather presumptuous of me.
If you are a serious voice over actor or are looking to get into the business, I apologize in advance for my rather simple tips worth a half-grain of salt. Although, if you’ve never been in a studio and you get the chance to audition then take my tips for a whole grain instead.
At last months Disney Planes Event I got the (crazy awesome) opportunity to try my
hand voice at being Dottie, Terri Hatcher’s character in the movie Planes. I have zero previous experience unless you count the various tones my voice makes when I’m trying to get my kids to bed.
“TIME for bed!”
“time for BED!”
“time FOR bed!”
So as you can see, I was well qualified to being a Disney voice over actress. I’ve had years of training.
7 Tips for Wanna be Voice Over Actors
1.Take it seriously.
Ok, maybe YOU will take it seriously but I didn’t at first. I laughed, smiled, joked with George Thompson the engineer. George wasn’t having it. He’s worked with the best and frankly, I was not one of them. This is serious business, treat it as such.
2.The engineer knows better.
I’m trying to drive this point home. Listen to George, or whatever your engineer’s name is. Follow their lead. You know nothing, they understand sound, tone, pitch, on point, off point left field (not real terminology). Bottom line, trust them they know better. If you need to be louder, you better raise that voice boy!
3.Keep a sweater.
Studios are cold. If you’re cold, your voice will shiver. If your voice shivers, you’ll do bad. If you do bad you’ll never work in this town again. (This may or may not be true). Just listen to your mother and take your jacket.
Coughing and acting don’t mix. This is not the time to try and be Mr.Tough Guy. Drink the water and like it! Water is your friend in this voice business. Be kind to your voice and your voice will be kind to you.
The energy, rush and excitement will all contribute to talking faster. Your speech will become rapid and that’s no good. No one will understand what you are saying. If you already talk fast, or know that you do, take it down a bit. Voice over acting is not natural talk, it’s acting. S-l-o-w it down.
You didn’t get hired because of your natural voice, you got hired because you can make your natural voice funnier, happier, angrier, basically, different. Play with the tones and nuances of your voice. Try imitating the different people you meet (not in front of their face). See what voice works with the character and go with it.
7.Watch the movie and don’t.
The scene that you are in is playing in front of you. It’s cool to see the facial expressions and movements of the character, but watch it for learning; not to really watch it. It’s easy to get caught up in what you are seeing. If it is too distracting look away for a bit and just say the voice after you get a feel for the timing of how it flows.
So I’ve said all this. Let me put my tips where my voice is. Check out my recording session. The first clip is just me in the booth and the second is me..in character!
I clearly had a lot of fun doing this. And yes I’d be in Disney Toon Studios tonight if they asked me to come back.