A good voice-over is not just about giving a remarkable performance. It also requires learning to get into character and the tools a voice over actor can use to say more with less.
Being a Commercial voice over actor requires getting into the character and feeling the character’s emotion to deliver the best quality voice-over. Getting into character means immersing yourself in the character’s thought process and bringing the character to life. Only then will you be able to convey the real emotions and meaning of the characters and the voice-over script.
Commercial voice over actors begin by learning every detail about their particular character and the relationship with other characters in the script. Once you have set yourself with this information, you will be able to put yourself in the shoes of their personality.
This article helps you dig deeper into the techniques that will help you take on the persona of a new character.
Close-reading is the first crucial step for commercial voice over artists towards understanding their character. Read the voice-over script several times before you begin to figure out how your characters will sound and how you will interpret who they are. While reading for the first time, just read through the script like a casual reader. The second time, read the script more carefully and take notes of any critical points in the dialogues. The third time you may read the script while looking at the character’s picture to help relate the dialogue.
The next step as a commercial voice over actor is to build a life for the character you are portraying. What was the character doing, and what will the character do next? Why is the character doing a particular action? Try to get answers for the placement of the character during the dialogue.
These questions help you go deep into understanding the character and give the right voice-over. Do your homework and research the character before getting into the recording booth.
Every action word is interpreted differently depending on the vocal tone. To understand your character better, pay attention to the action words in the dialogues. Try to assess the situation before, during, and after the dialogues of your character. Figure out the action behind this dialogue. Understand if the character is accusing someone, demanding an answer, or simply inquiring.
Envisioning the character’s looks helps you voice them more convincingly. If possible, keep a picture of the character while reading the script. As a commercial voice over artist, you can stand or walk like the character to get the exact feel of the situation. Become the character by making the same facial expressions. You may use gestures, poses, and other body motions to help get into the character. Using your whole body for the voice-over recording lets you get a realistic feel of how the character would move or react to a particular situation in the script.
As a commercial voice over artist, you must leave your personality traits outside before entering the voice recording booth. Your nature of expressing a particular feeling might not fit well into the situation and character of the script. You need to forget who you are temporarily and immerse yourself in character. Only then will you be able to completely get into the character in the script and do justice to the character’s expressions.
Your voice-over script will come with some artistic direction to provide you with references to characters who are similar to the character in your script. Using these popular archetypes, you can understand how the character will sound and their motives. Play some music to help you get into the mood and mindset of the character. If the character has gone through some tragedy or loss, play some slow and sad music. Try to picture yourself in the character’s shoes; their feelings, their mood, and how their voice would sound in such tragic situations.
As a commercial voice over artist, you can influence the audience’s decision. Your voice is your biggest strength. To be able to dictate and affect the audience, you first need to believe in yourself and your voice. Only then will you be able to deliver a convincing voice-over. The character in the script is under your control. Your self-confidence plays a crucial role in bringing the character to life and convincing the audience through the character.
Commercial voice over actor must do multiple characters for different genres during their careers. Hence, it is essential to develop flexibility in your voice-over. Apart from the techniques mentioned above, following your daily routine, such as vocal warm-up exercises, meditation, and controlling your food habits, can help you get into the character.
With an open mind and dedication, read the script, visualize the character, feel the character’s emotions, and imagine yourself in the same situation. Now you are all set to take control over your voice and depict the character in a relatable manner that would be appealing and influence the interests and decisions of the target audiences.