Acting is a passion much like music, painting, race car driving, skydiving etc…we are for some reason drawn to it and long to take part. Many of the lessons, techniques, tips, and tricks I have learned over my 30 plus years in theatre, film, television, radio, and voice over I now share with my students to make them the best they can be and Voice is a big part of that.
As a person just getting into this business or someone who has been acting for years your voice plays a BIG role in how far you go. Did you know having the ability to change your vocal register from low to high, speak in an accent or even something as simple as clear diction may actually get you the part? I am hired frequently to assist actors with these problems on theatre and film sets. I train lecturers, CEO’s and even pastors and priests to speak in public. Like most people, even actors haven’t given their voices much thought to this point.
I began in Theatre worked my way into Radio, Television, and Film and then Voice Over work. It took a lot of training and time spent in multiple colleges and 100’s of shows to hone my craft. What was paramount to my success was that I remained flexible yet focused? I took as much training outside of school as I could. I attended all kinds of workshops and seminars, acted in all kinds of plays and student/indie films and to really focus on for my voice work I hired a private coach. I believe we can NEVER know too much as actors. It should be a constant growth and learning experience. If you think you don’t need to train any further to move forward then you are kidding yourself.
One of the most important lessons I learned over the years was my how to use my VOICE. I never really gave it much thought starting out. I took training, I could project with the best of them but that was where it ended. I had no idea how to truly use my voice to make me a better performer. It wasn’t until I was in Radio broadcasting I realized just how awful one’s voice can sound. Poor diction, lack of clarity, pacing, popping and obnoxious mouth sounds…I was horrified.
An actor who had trained for years and this was what I sounded like? WHY had no one ever said anything before? None of my teachers, directors, not one single person I worked with. It wasn’t until I heard a playback of my own voice on air that I realized I needed some help. I guess to everyone else I was good enough but to me, I need more help so off I went to find it. From that point on there was no turning back. I became a better performer. Someone who understood just how much my voice could be a BIG asset to my career.
While an actor is taught to use their emotions and body language to play to an audience, they are rarely taught how important their voice is or how to bring emotion, body language and voice together to be the best they can be. Even Voice Over actors behind the mic needs to use physical acting along with voice to produce the best vocal performances.
Learning voice techniques and switching on your brain to be aware of voice goes a long way in your training to become a great actor. Our VOICE is such an important part of who we are, how we communicate and how others perceive us. By training yourself to understand and use your voice to its full potential it becomes a Key part of your acting arsenal and that extra boost that gives you the edge.
So What About Your Voice? What are you going to do?