Every voice actor needs a checklist of things to consider when a script arrives. Here are some choices you should consider before recording.
PLACEMENT: BEST USE OF THE VOICE.
There are 4 main components.Pitch -
Placement in the head, mask or chest areas. In other words your high, medium, or low voice.Volume
- The sweet spot depends on the mic placement, script demands, and target audience. It ranges from louder and more energetic reads that are further from the mic to softer, more intimate reads where you "kiss" the mic.Tempo
- Fast, medium, or slow speed. This depends on the product, the technology that airs the recording, and the audience. If the audience is comprised of non-native speakers, the tempo may be ultra slow.Texture
- Smooth, sandy, crisp, bright, etc. You may already possess one of these sounds. A versatile actor may be able to layer on a texture to meet the script specifications. If layering on a texture degrades the performance, stick with your natural voice.
VOWELS VERSUS CONSONANTS.
Three rhythmic choices provide a system for playing the words.Vowels
- The openness of the vowel adds length and emotion to your speech.Consonants
- A quick tempo and rhythm are created when articulators (b, p, d, k, t) are tapped and resonators (l, m, n, v) vibrate.Combo
- Alternately selecting vowels and consonants to emphasize creates a syncopated, unexpected, and unique delivery style that has emotion and tempo changes.
Don't emphasize every word. The listener hears nothing. Instead, make one of two choices per sentence.Single word
- Only emphasize one word per sentence or phase. Gesture when you say that key word. Let the other words fall away naturally.Paired words
- Balance out a sentence by equally emphasizing two words on opposing sides of a sentence that compliment or compare to one another.
PREPARATORY STATE OF MIND.
Before speaking, prepare yourself mentally and emotionally so your positive message comes out.Think
- Decide what you're going to do based on the understanding of the script and choices you've made from the list above.Feel
- Open yourself up emotionally to deliver the message in the appropriate and expected manner.Deliver
- Speak with authority, clarity, and purpose.
Make strong and bold choices and you'll stand out from the crowd on your next VO audition.