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Voice Acting Tips, Demos / Samples, and Training A place for aspiring voice over talents to exchange tips and ideas, share stories, post demo and recording samples, and other training sources.

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Old 11-28-2013   #11
Hendercrazy
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Default Re: Improving your acting abilities?

Hello there Kelley... welcome to BTVA!

I don't think there's anything wrong with not liking your own voice. As long as your own dislike of it doesn't come through and drag down your performance... so that others can still get into it. Besides, the acting portion is what's most important. As long as the acting is good and believable... people will generally accept the voice or it'll eventually grow on them. Especially if it's fitting for the character, the personality and even the look of the character. There are so many different types of characters and personalities... I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding ones that your voice fits best.

The key, in my opinion, is to know your own voice. Learn what your voice's strengths and weaknesses are. Find out what kind of range you have. Do the right things to take care of your voice. Learn to apply your voice based upon the knowledge and acting ability you have. Experimenting and exploring those things are fun and can give you a great insight where you currently are and where you're going.
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Old 11-28-2013   #12
KelleyinPDX
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Default Re: Improving your acting abilities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendercrazy View Post
Hello there Kelley... welcome to BTVA!

I don't think there's anything wrong with not liking your own voice. As long as your own dislike of it doesn't come through and drag down your performance... so that others can still get into it. Besides, the acting portion is what's most important. As long as the acting is good and believable... people will generally accept the voice or it'll eventually grow on them. Especially if it's fitting for the character, the personality and even the look of the character. There are so many different types of characters and personalities... I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding ones that your voice fits best.

The key, in my opinion, is to know your own voice. Learn what your voice's strengths and weaknesses are. Find out what kind of range you have. Do the right things to take care of your voice. Learn to apply your voice based upon the knowledge and acting ability you have. Experimenting and exploring those things are fun and can give you a great insight where you currently are and where you're going.

Thank you Hendercrazy! I will keep those tips in mind when I am looking for characters to portray. I definitely need to get used to my own voice and find my strengths. I feel comfortable enough talking to and in front of people I do not know, since in high school I had to give a lot of speeches and this summer working at an amusement park, I had to talk in a microphone and yelling rules to people. But, I feel nervous about talking into the microphone and not have someone there that I am talking to. I guess, that is one of my major "fears" about it. I have a feeling that I'll be okay once I get the hang of it and discover what I am good at, and what I need to work on. I'll definitely will be checking these forums for additional tips and suggestions.
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Old 11-28-2013   #13
Ghostreaper
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Default Re: Improving your acting abilities?

Hey everyone,

I'm still rather new to the website but I have been doing character acting for quite some time. One thing that I do to help get a specific voice down is I will just walk around and interact with the general public as that voice. Say I want to work on an accent, I will listen to it for awhile and then I will only speak in that accent until it get developed enough to where people believe i'm from what my accent originates, same thing goes for impersonations. But beyond all that, just not being over critical of your voice is the first thing I would recommend, learn to be comfortable in your own voice like the others have said.
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Old 11-28-2013   #14
KelleyinPDX
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Default Re: Improving your acting abilities?

Ghostreaper,

That is a good tip. I might have to try and do that once I start getting comfortable. I need to work on accents, I'm not very good at them, they always come out sounding Indian.
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Old 12-02-2013   #15
PacoSlimee
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Default Re: Improving your acting abilities?

Something that really helped me was theater and improv. Which I'm sure was already mentioned. Theater helped me with delivery, whereas improv helped with developing voices on the spot. Also, having done both in front of audiences, acting alone becomes easier. Granted getting into either isn't easy. But if you can it certainly helps.
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Old 12-02-2013   #16
MilanTheVillain01
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Default Re: Improving your acting abilities?

To add to Ghostreaper, let's say it's an impression you're attempting to perfect, try & just casually improvise random lines or maybe, use part of your natural speech patterns with that particular voice & see how long you can keep it going.
(I once spent an entire day as Michael J. Caboose from the popular webseries, Red vs. Blue).
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Old 12-02-2013   #17
KelleyinPDX
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Default Re: Improving your acting abilities?

Thank you PacoSlimee and MilanTheVillain01 for your tips.

PacoSlimee: I would love to try improv one day. That is definitely one of my favorites kinds of comedy.

MilanTheVillain01: I guess once I start feeling a little more comfortable I can walk around talking like a character that I am wanting to audition for or am playing. That would be a very good idea for trying to get used to that character and getting more familiar with the abilities of your own voice.
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Old 12-26-2013   #18
sonic90127
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Default Re: Improving your acting abilities?

As noted training and classes are easily the most important part of building up your acting skills. There's things you can do on your own, but ultimately, nothing is more effective than having a wizened ear coach and direct you through a piece.

That said, here's a few basic things that you can and should do to put yourself more into the work:

1. Read and mark your script. In VO especially, there can be a temptation to "wing it", to read it cold. This is a good way to make it sound like you're just reading. Sure, we've heard the various stories of A-list VAs who walk into a studio not knowing what they're doing and walk out mere minutes later having finished, but not only are these tales somewhat apocryphal, but they miss the fact that even the best have to read ahead and get a sense of what they're saying before they say it. Read the script thoroughly and mark it for beats, for breaths (especially in long solo reads, like commercials), and anything else that helps you understand the piece better. Your goal, even in VO, is to make it sound natural, which means that it must sound like these words are occurring to you the character in the moment and being motivated towards expression via purpose.

2. Have a very, VERY specific person in mind for who you're talking to. Sure, sometimes you may be lucky enough to act/record with another actor, which is great. You feed off of their performance and vice versa. But more often than not, you're working alone, and even recording alone (like if you're doing it from home). So, pick someone very specific to tell the words of the script to. Not just the vague ideas of "a colleague" or "someone waiting in line with me". Real people that YOU know. You need to transplant a current, existing relationship of yours onto your read, so that there is a true sense of you talking to someone instead of just reading the words into dead space.

3. Make choices and stick to them. One of the easiest ways to tell bad acting from good is not by its lack of effort, but its lack of focus. Find your character's objective, and then figure out how you're going to go about getting it. This is where many actors make use of verbs, specific verbs chosen to describe the method or action the character is engaging in. And make them really particular and evocative. Don't just "ask" somebody for something. "Persuade" them. Browbeat them into submission. Cajole them. Seduce them. These verbs have great life to them and indicate very specific, very clear and notable action. And then, since nobody tries the same tactic forever, note in your script where the verbs change. You might stop seducing someone and start browbeating them. If so, why did you change? What's the moment that causes it? Did the other character do something? Did your character realize something? And when you find that, play it. Make these choices and commit to them, so that your character has the force of a person really committed to their wants and needs.

Anyway, these are a few basic actor-y things that, if you're not doing already, you should start....and if you ARE doing them already, then you know as well as I do that it never hurts to be reminded.

Last edited by sonic90127; 02-09-2014 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 12-31-2013   #19
SierraVO
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Smile Re: Improving your acting abilities?

Everytime I audition for a character, whether I know them or not, I always read the lines over a few times. To me it's less about "imitating" the character's voice but more of making them your own, unless of course, you're doing some sort of specified imitation . If you want to convey as much emotion as possible, forget about reading the lines. I mean, yes say the lines, but don't just "read" them if that makes sense...
What makes it easiest to "improve" is becoming the character, so when anyone hears it they can go "Oh yeah, that's so-and-so!" Because you won't be pretending to be another voice actor/actress, you'll be making your own unique voice in the process.
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Old 01-18-2014   #20
Bluzziku
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Default Re: Improving your acting abilities?

Sorry for interrupting the current converstation but does anyone have any tips for diaphgramic breathing? Voice acting is something I'd like to pursue as a career but breathing techniques are super important I've heard and I dont want to accidentally hurt my throat by experimenting and doing it completely wrong and end up ruining my chances at it because I destroyed my own voice, Thank you!
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