Wannabeavoiceactor's Blog

April 27, 2010

Marketing

Filed under: general observations — Tags: , , , , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 20:40

Had my 4th class last night. New teacher, and this time we did less script reading and talked a little more about the business of voice acting.

Just in case you didn’t realize it, this career you are embarking upon is a little different from filling out an application and starting to crank out the Crabby Patties!

At some point down the road, we are all going to be possessed of the Magical Golden Pipes (we hope), and we will sally forth into the bright sunshine with our hot little CD clutched in our sweaty hands! — Now What? (more…)

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April 26, 2010

Voice Over Practice Copy

Filed under: general observations, Links to Learn From — Tags: , , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 20:22

One of the things that you are gonna have to do if you want to get ahead in this business before AARP starts hitting you up for membership, is take it upon yourself to Practice, Practice, PRACTICE!! reading copy.

Unlike my 8 year old, who informed me that he didn’t need to practice guitar, because he gets enough practice during his once-a-week 45 minute lesson (and believe me — he Doesn’t!!) you, me, and everyone else starting out is going to have to practice at home, on the road, in the bathroom, wherever the urge grabs you! (more…)

April 23, 2010

Recording Software

Filed under: Links to Learn From — Tags: , , , , , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 01:26

If you are going to get serious about Voice Acting, you are going to have to be able to record your voice, and sooner or later you are going to have to be able to send it to people, probably as an MP3 file. That means you are going to have to get up to speed on some computer audio software. (more…)

April 21, 2010

Welcome to my Blog!

Filed under: general observations — Tags: , , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 20:35

My name is Whitney Wyatt.  I became interested in Voice Acting a little while ago and started researching it by web and by visiting schools in person.  In just a few months, I made some great discoveries;

1.  The  people in the Voice Acting community are remarkably courteous and available to newcomers wishing to learn about their field; and in fact they have placed online thousands of hours worth of training videos and tens of thousands of posts and articles relating to Voice Acting  – all out there on the web, all available to the seeker for free.  Apparently done for no other reason than to assist other folks whom they do not even know, and most likely at the cost of many, many hours that might have been more profitably spent. Now there are also many fine products for sale from some of these people as well, absolutely nothing wrong with that,  and I would suggest that you help support them!

2.  There are zillions (scientifically speaking) of commercial sites out there that want to take your money and make you a crappy demo and don’t really have any interest in you, your education, or Voice Acting in general.

3.  There is no easy way to differentiate between the two sites without going to them all and checking them out.

So as I started this blog to chronicle my adventures in the Voice Acting world, I thought it might also be nice to try to put together a gathering of sites, blogs, articles, resources, etc. from people who are genuinely interested (and that is a surprisingly large number) in helping you navigate down the road to Voice Acting Nirvana.  If you have any suggestions for inclusion, post a comment or drop me a line at Whitsvoice(at)comcast.net

Thanks for stopping by — Hope you find something useful here.

April 20, 2010

Tonight’s Voice Acting Class

Filed under: general observations — Tags: , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 06:12

Well, I had my third class tonight. 6 of us in attendance and we all worked on commercial scripts and timing and, of course, getting that conversational read.

We were working on dialogues with one or two other people, which can get tricky when some people are supposed to be off mic and some are on, and some are shouting and some are whispering, and some are sharing a mic. There is a lot of moving around and getting in each others way and laughing and missing cues, but after a while you all start to get the hang of it and it is surprising how dang professional you look!

We ended up splitting into three groups and doing fake auditions for a two-person read. We had to work out our best interpretations and then perform it with no direction or assistance, and we didn’t get to listen to the other guys go either. Then we were given some direction and did it again.

At first we all interpreted it a little differently, but mostly along the same lines and with varying levels of moderate success. We were better than we used to be, but not quite ready for prime time, if you know what I mean.

Then, after the direction, we all did it again, and WHAT a Difference!! Man! we were almost like pros! Well, kinda, sorta, almost.

It really gave us a good idea of what we are shooting for. We have learned enough now and practiced enough now to be able to see the goal and even be able to come somewhat close to reaching it, with the right direction and assistance. Problem is, you gotta be able to do it by yourself; and that, my friends, is where the long hours make their appearance.

April 19, 2010

The Conversational Read

Filed under: general observations — Tags: , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 17:04

Well, as any beginning student of voiceover will soon start to understand, the conversational approach to copy, as opposed to the announcer type read, is the Holy Grail of modern commercial voice over. There are other types of voiceovers out there that are a little different, like some movie promos, monster truck rallies, telephone answering systems, etc. but for the commercial market it all needs to be a conversation you are having with someone.

Sometimes you might be an enthusiastic spouse speaking with your other half, sometimes you might be an authoritative expert speaking with an avid learner, sometimes you might be the student speaking with an instructor. Whatever the case (and there are more possibilities than you can list) the most important aspect of the whole exercise is that you are speaking in an immediate, conversational, un-affected, style. Oh, and also you should have had just a little too much caffeine. The range of emotion in your read should be just a little more than you usually think of as normal, unless normal to you means standing outside the local Starbucks and telling everybody about the black helicopters and that nifty tinfoil hat you’re wearing.

The trick is, they tell me, that you have to dig through your list of friends, acquaintances, enemies, whatever, and tell this little story directly to them. You aren’t addressing a crowd, you aren’t addressing some nameless, faceless stereotype, you are literally standing right in front of and speaking directly to this ONE PERSON!

Now I have done this in the privacy of my own home, and I can tell you that it works spectacularly well! And it is EASY! Try this – pick up a new piece of copy and study it for a minute or so and then lay down a recording of how you think it should be interpreted. Do this WITHOUT thinking about anybody in particular.

Now read the copy again, this time pretending that you are saying this directly to your best friend. Close your eyes, see your friend, tell them exactly the way you would if you were just shooting the shit and nobody was recording you and you had never heard of such a crazy thing as voice overs.

Check out the difference between the two recordings.

For me at least, the reads are COMPLETELY different.

Oh, and now for the small print… remember how I said this was easy? Well, down in the bedroom closet with Socks the Cranky Cat as your only witness, it is really easy. Problem is, you gotta do this in front of three different strangers standing on your toes in the 2’ by 2’ soundbooth with no air conditioning, bad breath floating like a green cloud in the air, and an engineer outside yelling at you to get back on mic.

Practice, Practice, Practice.

voice over classes

Filed under: general observations — Tags: , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 14:05

Tonight i am going to my third class of six in my beginning workshop series.  I am taking these classes at a school called Voicetrax in Sausalito.

So far,everyone I have met at the place seems incredibly enthusiastic about their job and about the industry.

In the first class we just covered the basics which you have all probably picked up by now just reading things on the internet. Number one rule is, of course, It’s All About The Acting!

In fact, the quality of your voice is not real important, as long as you don’t send people running from the room with bleeding ears, SOMEBODY out there could use that squeaky, nasal whine to sell SOMETHING.

There are 6 people in my class, and all of them profess to some acting background, all of them but me, since I have never done anything in my life that even resembles acting. Although, come to think of it, my wife says I live in a fantasy world… wonder if that counts?

The really fun part of the class is the time in the soundbooth. Now that is something that you just can’t get from the internet. We do improv and copy and dialogue with other actors in the soundbooth and are just generally getting used to the mic and performing in front of other folks. I just can’t see how you could ever get relaxed and comfortable enough to actually let out a decent performance for an audition without having hours of time in a soundbooth around people who are pretty much complete strangers. You can’t create that sort of environment at home alone in the coat closet.

In addition to the practice and the butterflies you get from the class, we also have a teacher who (pretty much) gently points out the problems we are having (he must get really tired of us clods) and who is also great at directing us and pulling out incredible improvements in our practice. He is also a working voice over actor, so we all have quite a lot of faith in his talent.

The classes are great. I have read it before and I believe it myself; this is just not a career that you can master without professional training.

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