Monthly Newsletter
Number 113
     June 2014   
Upcoming Classes
All 2014 Classes  


Stepping Out  -  6/8


Creating Characters  -  6/8


Successful Auditioning  -  6/10


Long Form II: Documentary  -  6/11-25


Narration Simple  -  6/13-14


Small Group Workout  -  6/17


Articulatory Flexibility  -  6/19-20


Dialects I  -  6/21-22


Dialects II  -  6/23


Home Recording I  -  6/23


Nailing The Audition  -  6/24


Acting On-Camera for Kids  -  6/28


Voice-Over for Kids  -  6/29


Home Recording II -  7/8


Small Group Workout  -  7/10



July 12 - Aug 3 


Many classes sell out. Register early.

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Perfect Pitch, Accents, and Characters 


You know those actors who can just switch from one voice to another without taking a beat: people who play four voices on a single cartoon or game, impressionists and sketch comedians? Are they musical prodigies with perfect pitch? Is there any hope for me if I was not born that way?


Well, some people certainly seem to be natural-born mimics, but psychologists are still debating the nature/nurture question. That debate is similar to the debate about 'perfect pitch' - the ability to recognize and reproduce a tone in isolation without also having to hear a reference note. There is a lot of misinformation out there about perfect pitch, just as there is for speech talent. First, few great musical performers have perfect pitch. Second, there is no strong evidence of a genetic basis for perfect pitch, though it seems to be found even in people who do not have the training to name notes used in traditional terms. Some recent studies have suggested that infants normally start out with perfect pitch, but that some lose it along the way. Although there is no strong evidence that perfect pitch can be restored once lost, there is some evidence that phonetic training, especially articulatory training, may improve an adult's ability to master a foreign language accent. Phonetic training appears to be very effective in helping actors hone accents and impressions in their own language. Given that, talent at imitating voices appears to be trainable, unlike perfect pitch.


Certainly, we have all seen great character performances with full-blown accents. We have all also seen great impressions of politicians and celebrities. However, when you measure impressions against their target voices acoustically, it turns out that the impressions are usually not perfect replicas of the original voice, but primarily exaggerations of the most recognizable aspects of a voice.


I deal with these issues in my dialect workshops. We start by building a phonetic 'toolbox'. Then, we work through phonetic imitation of every aspect of the voices of real speakers - imitations that are much more true to the original than a typical comedic impression. From those imitations, we build voice types (accents), and create novel characters that are vivid, consistent and fun to play. This technique works great for people who are already good at doing voices, but also for actors who have previously hit a wall when trying to morph their voice in any consistent way, especially with dialect parts. The voices that come out can be very believable. In fact, many actors have walked out of five days of intensive dialect training with new, demo-ready voices, even actors who always thought they could never pull off dialects.

Doug Honorof teaches a series of classes on Accents & Dialects at Voice One between Thursday, June 7 and Monday, June 11.
Look Who's Talking
Mic Small
* Ed McCloud signed with Stars, The Agency for voice-over, on-camera and print representation.

* Victoria Shepherd continues to gallivant all over the US as an on-camera host and blogger for She could be the new Rick Steves

* Gladstone Taylor appeared on camera and did the VO for a spot for the NCAA.

* Bella-Lisa Teeling recorded a spot about online safety for kids for McAfee. She is also working with Steven Eisley on an animated comedy short, Storybook Racket.

* Sharon Huff recorded an industrial for Mobile Iron, a testimonial promo for a retirement manager, and a spot for a depression drug.

* Gretchen Van Horne recorded a VO at The Sound Studio in London for a corporate awards ceremony.

* Jonathan Murphy performed Dorktales Storytime live.

* Adrienne Grechman recorded some character voices for 3lateral.

* Sara Matsui-Colby recorded the voice-over for an online promo video for Gogobot.

* Sujata Shrivastav narrated a video for Cisco.

* Noam Smooha narrated a second video promoting tourism is San Francisco.  


Congrats to all who've recently landed agents and jobs. Send us your good news and we'll add it to next month's Newsletter.  
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Voice One
Voice-Over > On-Camera > Improv > Casting > Audio Production 
665 Third Street, Suite 227  San Francisco, California 94107   
Tel: 415-974-1103  Fax: 415-974-1105