Tuesday, September 27, 2011

20. Finding Your Voice

“The least strained and most natural ways of the soul are the most beautiful; the best occupations are the least forced.” – Michel de Montaigne

As many of you know, I have been studying voiceover at Edge Studio in New York for a little over a year. The studio popped onto my radar via my very talented friend and voiceover mentor Kristin Price, who also teaches at the studio. 

I had very limited experience in voiceover, but was intrigued by the medium. It seemed like so much FUN, getting to use your voice and your imagination to create a character or jazz-up a tag-line! And the best part about voiceover is… it doesn’t matter what you look like. Your physical appearance is not a factor. As your tools, you have your voice, your heart and your mind to communicate your message.

I am an auditory learner. So hearing and listening and speaking are the ways that I primarily process the world. Therefore, naturally, voiceover is a medium I enjoy. It’s been a fun journey studying at Edge over the past year+ and has helped me to learn the following:

  • The voice doesn’t lie. When I am not breathing, or tense or disconnected, you can hear it… IMMEDIATELY.
  • If I don't believe me, the listener won't believe me.
  • I can think outside the box and expand the scope of characters that I could imagine myself playing.
  • Everyone’s voice and interpretation of copy is unique. There is no one “perfect read.” Embrace the uniqueness.
  • Choose one person to speak to. It will always be more interesting (and specific) than talking to a crowd.
  • There’s a place for everyone in some genre of voiceover… actors, non-actors… everyone has a voice.
  • Achieving a natural/conversational sound seems easy, but is actually very difficult.
  • Voiceover is challenging, but it can always be fun... if you allow yourself to play.
  • Don’t be a talking head. Use your body. Move.
  • Listen.
  • Breathe.

Studying voiceover has helped me feel more confident in expressing myself as an artist. I have found Edge Studio to be an incredibly supportive environment for growth and learning. And when I launch out into the (very competitive) voiceover  market to start building my career professionally, I will definitely feel more confident having prepared myself and having been trained to represent myself as a professional. I am honored to have been mentored by some real pros! Some of my favorite Edge coaches include: Kristin Price, Linda Jones, Jay Snyder and Carol Monda... all amazingly talented, great communicators and good people. 

I will be recording my Narration Demo in October (with Jay). I got to choose all my own narration copy, so besides it being a professional studio-recorded demo (fancy!) it will also be a bit personal… because the words are all chosen by ME. Wha-ha-ha!!!! It’s like a little 90-second Virginia Wilcox PSA (Public Service Announcement). I'll have it available online before the year is out... just you wait. :-)

It’s been way fun and super empowering to embrace my own voice and realize that it’s perfectly imperfect… And I am looking forward to more learning and vocal-awareness in the future. I wanna continue training and get reeeeeallly, really good at voiceover recording… ‘cause I LOVE it.

Next stop… Animation Demo… then Commercial… then Audiobook... then who knows? A job maybe?  :-)

Thank you, Edge! Speaking my truth through voiceover copy has contributed greatly to my building-up the courage to be able to write my truth to you all here. It’s all connected.

And in preparing for my grad school auditions this year, I hope that I can retain the lessons that I’ve learned at Edge and translate them into my audition experience.

Breathe. Listen. Speak your truth.


Discretion is the better part of valor. Spontaneity is the better part of brilliance. And imagination is the better part of making dreams come true. – Mike Dooley, Tut’s Universe

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