Why is Voice Work Important? What Actors Need To Know

Words - Use you voice

Voice acting is one of the most exciting and rewarding professionals available today, especially if you consider the diverse range of clients, flexible work hours, and the ability to audition and work from home ! 

We will start by answering the question “ What is Voice ?

Voice is a medium of communication where we express our ideas, emotions and personality, in doing so creating a personal connection between people. 

WHAT IS VOICE ACTING ?

Voice acting is the art of providing voices to represent a character or to provide information to an audience or use.

Voice acting is like acting, but you’re just using your voice. 

The goal is to bring the written words to life with a human voice.                                           

IN WHAT INDUSTRY DO VOICE ACTORS WORK ?

  • Fims
  • Animation films 
  • TV
  • Commercial
  • Video games 
  • Award shows 
  • Gps systems 
  • Phone messages 
  • Radio
  • etc…

The human voice is the primary means to tell stories in a theatrical setting. 

The tone, timbre, inflection and resonance make an impact on the audience, meaning ; having your words heard clearly is very important in the entertainment industry. 

VOCAL ELEMENTS

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Master these elements and your well on your way to becoming a successful actor. 

  • Pitch : What is your optimal speaking pitch ?, The best speaking pitch isn’t the lowest or highest note of your range; it’s somewhere near the middle voice range for women and the chest voice range for men. 
  • Tone : this implies character of sound. It is important to know how to project your voice and how to be flexible with it when needed.
  • Pace : is speed at which someone speaks.  
  • Intonation : is when you emphasise individual words that make them stand out by raising the pitch and making it sound like a questioning tonality, or by lowering the pitch and ending the phrase.
  • Pause : a well timed pause that helps the effectiveness of the message.  
  • Volume : implies how large or soft your voice is. Eg. powerful or nervous voice.
  • Accent – is a distinctive way of pronouncing a language in relation to a particular country, area, or social class. 

TYPES OF VOICE ACTING 

1.  Character voices

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Convincing character voices are crucial to any production. This is because iconic characters can leave a legacy for the film, movie etc…

Character acting requires creativity and a full embodiment of the role.

Character voice actors/actresses create a voice along with a personality. 

They ask themselves questions like 

  • Who am I ?
  • Why do I do what I do ?
  • How do I feel about myself ?
  • How do I feel about my situation ?
  • What is my attitude ?
  • They also imagine the characters’ history, physical being and quirks they might have.

2. Commercial Voices 

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In your campaign, you can use different mediums to communicate your message more effectively.

Rather than playing a character, you have the chance to express yourself using TV, radio, youtube & podcasts.

Your voice is the most important factor in brand marketing because it tells people about the tone or personality of a product.

The voice-over artist is not seen in the video, but their role is to do the dialogue or narration for the commercial, either to build excitement about a service or product or try out the wording of how a new product might work.

3. Audiobooks 

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These days voice actors are hired to play different characters in a story, this makes listening to an audiobook more enjoyable and dynamic.

Thanks to companies like Apple Books and Audible, Voice actors have other avenues/opportunities they can pursue.

According to Business Insider, artists who are just starting out can expect to earn $100 for an hours work of finished audio.

For industry leaders, those figures can reach up to $500.

4. Video Games/Interactive

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Video games provide voice actors employment opportunities.  

Video game voice actors can make $20,000 –  $100,000 a year.

This depends on their experience,skill, talent and reputation. 

Well known voice actors include : 

  1. Troy Baker
  2. Steve Blum
  3. Lex Lang
  4. Robin Atkin Downes
  5. Hellena Taylor
  6. Joanna Roth
  7. Camilla Luddington

VOICE TRAINING EXERCISES

As a voice actor, your role is to converse, instruct, inform, persuade,  entertain, captivate, narrate, or tell a story. These exercises will help you meet those goals.

1. Breathing

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Good breathing starts with good posture. So always be aware of your posture. 

If you run out of breath, your words will lose their impact and your volume will be wishy washy. 

Breathing supports your sound and inevitably makes it strong.

The best breathing exercise you can practice as a voice actor is diaphragmatic breathing also known as belly breathing.

This breathing exercise helps strengthen your diaphragm, an important muscle part that helps you breathe as it represents 80% of breathing.

How to perform diaphragmatic breathing exercise :

1. Lie down with your knees bent. 

2. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your belly.

3. Breath in slowly through your nose, towards your lower belly. Your hand on your upper chest should remain still.

4. Tighten your abdominal muscles and let them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips. The hand on your belly should move down to its original position.

2. Resonators

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Resonators can be found in the head, chest or abdomen.

They are designed to make vibrations in the voice.

Unfortunately, resonance isn’t always present. When it is absent our voices seem “thin” and sometimes even lacking energy.

Exercises that help you resonate :

  • Massage down the sides of the face and at the jaw hinge
  • Massage underneath the chin, whil you gently loosen your tongue muscles
  • Yawn
  • Relax the jaw : The jaw is a hinge, and when it relaxes, it opens up space for the tongue to move freely. This allows for better jaw articulation and improved speech. Relaxing the jaw also helps to decrease tension in the lower face.
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3. Practise sight reading

Sight reading is a skill that has been around for centuries. It is a skill that can be developed with time and practice.

The practice of sight reading is one of the most important skills in the modern world. The ability to perform a piece of song or read any text quickly and fluently, without having to look at the text first, is an essential skill in today’s world.

Sight reading can help you improve your memory, increase your speed and accuracy in reading, as well as your fluency in speaking.

It will also make you sound convincing and overall make you a better performer.

4. Read 

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Reading is essential in any profession. 

Practices :

  • There are dozens of children’s books on the market and each one can be read in so many different ways. Reading aloud and creating different voices for each character is a great way to make any story special.
  • Read articles from newspapers and blogs, and practice changing your tone from informative to conversational.
  • Sometimes when you don’t feel like writing anything down, or may not have the energy you need to get started, one of the best things you can do is read a personal journal entry. It can help you get there and will remind you that it’s ok to be yourself and write through your struggles in life.
  • When doing all these you should record yourself and listen to the playback.This way you will know if your pitch is high or low and it will also tell you if you sound unnatural.

5 . Learn and attempt the 5 basic types of characters 

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Please remember to always record yourself while recording your voice over performances.

This will help you to develop an acting style that will help you become a better voice actor.

1. The Instructor :

This voice can be intelligent, informative or technical. 

This voice is extremely informative and provides detailed information & breakdowns of complex theories, making them easy to understand.

The instructor voice is more suitable/comfortable for people who are running a class or workshop.

2. The Real Person :

This voice is associated with people who are known as the ‘guy/girl next door’ or those who want an approach with a casual touch.

You will begin to trust the character because of how familiar they are.

3. Spokesperson : 

Can be on-camera or off-camera.

This role is often played by a person with persuasive skills and the ability to promote their cause, product or service.

Usually these roles are easier for sales personnel but you can play the part just as good if you learn more.

Some of the traits that can help include:

  • Being assertive 
  • Being amiable, this means Pitching a vision, not a product.
  • Being Expressive
  • Being Patient 
  • Providing insight 
  • Being focused and honest 

4.  The Narrator :

A narrator is one who has a voice that is unique and powerful. Narrators bring the written word to life, guiding us through a story.

The job of the narrator is to create tension, suspense and emotion through laughter, sympathy, fear, anger, and so on for their audience by revealing the story in their own words.

Narrators can be male or female and a narrative can be factual or fictional.

Narratives are very varied, but they share several common features such as ;

  • The sequence of events in a plot
  • Characters, the person/people ( even animals) the story is about, which may include the storyteller as well
  • Conflict or struggle in the story
  • Details, or descriptions such as sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.
  • Reflection of events around a theme, or unifying idea, for telling the story
Best narrator voice talent of all time

5. The Announcer :

The announcer voice has evolved over the years to adopt a more friendly and conversational tone.

As opposed to old media announcers who would read through a script in one breath, modern voice actors are able to adapt to sudden changes in subject matter so that the listener can feel a sense of connection with the speaker.

The announcer voice is a common sound in the world of radio and podcast.

The announcer is the on-air personality who introduces the program, tells listeners what to expect and make a call to action at the end of a commercial.

CONCLUSION 

People who have found their voice are more relaxed and focused.

Voice acting is great for strengthening your career.

It also adds value to your work as a whole and can be seen as a supplement to your income.

If you’re looking for Voice acting jobs, we recommend you check out this website

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