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Are you in love with your voice?


It’s not about your voice! Well, maybe a little, yet I can assure you that most voice over artists lend far too much weight to how their voice sounds. This craft is much more about how you tell the story of whatever you are talking about.


I witnessed this firsthand this week. It was during an amazing group session with a well know agent who was directing 2 reads from each talent. There was a gentleman in the group who as soon as he started to talk, you just couldn’t help but think wow! His voice had a low timbre that shook the room and probably the adjacent buildings. It was rich, full and sounded pretty darn amazing.


Then he started to read. And don’t get me wrong, his first reads were OK. They just weren’t great. The first thing the director said was “you are in love with your voice, aren’t you?”. What she meant by this was that the person was putting way too much emphasis on making sounds with his voice rather than telling the story at hand.


Wow! After that direction, the guy gave another read that was simply amazing. He just lost himself in the copy and forgot about his voice. It was a read that would have definitely booked the spot in real life. In fact, the director said it was the best she had ever heard that copy read.


And there lies the lesson. Forget about the voice and get lost in the script. Even if it is a corporate or eLearning read. If you just immerse yourself in the read and forget about the world and trying to make sounds with your voice, you will connect with the copy and more importantly, with those who are listening. And if you can make those who are listening feel something because of what you said, then you have done your job.

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4 Comments


Jon Gardner
Jon Gardner
May 19, 2021

I find not wearing headphones while I record will help to break me out of this. As can pre-reading the script in an oddball cartoon voice or in an emotionally divergent way before doing my "real" read. It breaks my mental preoccupation with how I sound rather in favor of communicating.

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Joshua Alexander
Joshua Alexander
May 19, 2021

Couldn't agree more. There are people who, when they talk, have only ONE voice: the podcaster voice...or the radio voice...or the DJ voice...they think that they MUST engage this voice anytime they talk with another voiceover artist. It's kind of disappointing because you would hope that their humanity and their REAL identity would shine through. I'm sure that isn't their pillow talk voice with their wife. Why should it be in everyday conversation. Be REAL, and let that genuine REAL-ness shine through.

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gary
gary
May 19, 2021

It's why "You have SUCH a great voice, you should do voice overs!" is such a misleading statement. I wonder how many people started their VO career with this phrase, only to find out that having a great voice is only about 10% (or less) of what makes a great VO artist? On the other hand, I wonder how many potentially awesome people DON'T get into VO (even though they may want to) because they think they do NOT have a great voice. Performance is king! Thanks for this reminder...timely.

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Voice of Shaun
Voice of Shaun
May 19, 2021

This is something that SO many voice actors either don't know they need to do, or they forget to do it (I've forgotten to do that many times). It's so easy to forget the story your telling and start focusing on how you think you sound. This is such a regularly needed reminder. Thanks for sharing! :)

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