Updated: Mar 16
So you're a Voice Actor or at least you want to be one if you've made it this far...
We are all looking for the Holy Grail ... that 1 tip that's going to make your voice go from Amateur to Pro.
There may not be one singular Holy Grail, in fact there are many tips that will set your voice free... you just need to find the Holy Grail that works for you.
Don't Get Harsh, Get Human!
One of the most vital parts of human life is connection - like Donna Piscano Brown says "Human connection is an energy exchange between people who are paying attention to one another."
This human connection is what you have to exchange... to your microphone.
I know, it sounds strange but it's vital to connect with your audience. You want the listener to feel like they are with a real person, instead of some robotic monontous voice that has the same inflection every time. It must feel organic and natural, it can be hard to master at first, especially if you're not an actor.
How to improve this?
Take an acting class! It will massively improve your VO's and get you speaking to the microphone like it's your best friend.
Good To Know: Online classes are a viable and easy way to learn at the moment.
Here's some helpful links:
- The Actors Cafe (This one's FREE)
2. Record yourself!
If you're just starting out, the thought of having to listen to yourself speak is cringeworthy, but don't worry, you get used to it!
Why is this important?
Because you may not always know when you are missing ends of words or have a problem with a particular letter.
For me, T's were my enemy back in drama school - Being a woman with an Estuary Accent my 'Water' sounded more like 'Wa-er' and 'Thing' often turned into 'Fing'. It may not be 'T' for you, it may be your P's or your L's or your M's.
Whatever it is, it needs to be addressed - no one wants to strain their ears trying to understand what you are saying on a VO Recording.
You can record yourself on free DAW's such as Audacity and Garageband, an easy and cheap way to record, analyse and improve your voice without having to leave your house!
3. Keep Hydrated
It may sound like a pretty simple one, but it's vital to keep hydrated with the right liquids. Water is the obvious choice, but fruit juices and squash (not just for kids!) also work well if they are non-carbonated.
Whatever you do... AVOID coffee, carbonated beverages, and milk products before recording.
4. Add some sparkle.
Do you sometimes feel like your recordings are little dull, dry or lack lustre? Maybe it sounded better in your head than it did when you played it back?
This is so common for Voice Actors, especially if you are going for the more natural, human feel, it can quickly turn into a piece of toast without butter... dry AF.
And while the natural, human quality is great to have in a VO as per point No.1, it can lead you down a dangerously boring path. You need to find that fine balance between 'Dolly Parton's Glitter', totally over the top and fabulous, and 'Judi Dench's understated yet completely real performances', natural, light and personable. The only way to do that is to practice.
Practice over the top, practice boring, practice slow, practice fast - Listen back to it and find YOUR balance.
5. Always Warm up!
Something so vital, yet so easy to forget... I know I do! But my voice sound 10x's better when I do warm up. So why would I not do something that could mean I land that job I want? All because I couldn't be bothered? There's no question really, do your warm up's religiously!
Lip Trills, Vocal Sirens, Breathing Exercises and Tongue Twister's - make it a habit, just like brushing your teeth - do it everyday without fail.
Don't just take my word for it, hear it from other professionals.
Try them all out and find your holy grail!
Good luck folks, and let us know in the comments which holy grail works for you? Or if you have found your own, we'd love to hear them!
Is that not enough?
Want to take a deep dive into your voice on a 1-1 tailor made course with a professional?
Get in contact with me here .