Voice overs are an area that I have dabbled in since I was a kid. A passion of mine that I hope to launch into head first again soon. One thing I didn’t realize doing voice overs so young is the art and finesse that is needed when auditioning. When I sat in on the CAP workshop with Ivy Isenberg my mind was blown with tips that I could bring to up my game!
1) Do put in the character work. Just like any other audition it helps to be as prepared as possible. Don’t think you can just lean on a funny voice choice. Do the work. Who are they? What are they? What do they want? How do they go about achieving things?
2) Do create 3 or 4 Adjectives about your character, or characters. Use strong adjectives like Manic, Agitated, etc… The stronger the description the stronger the choice. These will help you make strong decisions about your character and their sound and cadence. In other words, make your own breakdowns for your character, even if you have to make a decision about your character, its better then coming in flat.
3) Do request the whole script if available. This will tell you why your character is doing the actions, and let’s face it, can change your whole characters direction. It will also help you know the specifics that will change your character. Where are they? What time of day? Where is it in the project? Where are you physically?
4) Do make a Decision. Casting Directors want to see you take the character in some direction. That’s what they want to see, directions can be changed, but lack of luster can’t. Making educated decisions is pivotal.
5) Do ask the hard questions. How does your character feel about themselves? How does their world perceive them?
6) Do be off book. Important lines to make sure you are off book for include: the opening line, last beats, pivotal moments, exclamations. Basically anywhere that something amazing is going on, be off book so that it doesn’t hinder your performance.
7) Do enjoy it!
1) Don’t be the person who just wants to be seen. “ The people who just want to be seen are not worth seeing” – Ivy Isenberg
2) Don’t just play the actor. Play the character.
3) Don’t just breathe anywhere. Know where to breathe and where to swallow. Nothing takes you out of a scene more than an unplanned gulp.
4) Don’t just go through the motions. Be present.
5) Don’t have a reel that sounds the same. Show your range, with dialects, pitches, cadence, tone, etc…
One thing to remember is that Voice Acting is a beast of its own. It’s a skill that is not everyone’s bag, and its hard work. But if you are willing to put in the work it can be a fruitful and enjoyable area to add to your resume!