Get Out of Your Head

You hear that perfect delivery in your head. Maybe it's an echo of something you heard on the radio or TV as a kid, a character in a cartoon or a personality ingrained into your mind. But is it you?  This can be an odd industry to navigate. You can be told, by the same person in the same breath, that you need to find your one true "money voice" and also that you need to be as versatile and far-reaching as possible. And they're both correct statements. However, those qualities may apply more to one area of the industry than another. For example, in animation and video game work, the further away from your own voice you can get and the more truly original, different styles of voices you can make, the more useful you'll be. But, in commercial work, you really only have to be yourself. And be as "yourself" as possible.

But, being yourself doesn't mean "don't try". It means being able to really let your personality shine through in any read, with bold choices that only you would make. I look at voiceover training like karate: you work on the mechanics (script analysis, inflection, diction, posture, and on and on) and when it's game time, you put it all out of mind. You don't want to get in your own way when you step up to the mic. Your money voice is easier to find than you might think. It's really a matter of training yourself up then letting it all flow naturally when it's time to do the work. The next time you read a spot, think to yourself, "Am I reading this as me or as a voice in my head?" The casting directors want to hear you, not you doing an imitation of what you think they want. It may feel weird at first, but trust me: it'll feel more natural, genuine, authentic, and believable in the end. And guess which direction keywords show up way more often than any others?

-Rex