Nice to see you again. This is the part of the story where you decide your path, or at least, your focus. If you aren’t sure where to begin; do two things. Read the post a few weeks back on the different styles of voice acting out there, and, listen to your heart. You probably heard something great once, and it inspired you to go down this road. It could have been Morgan Freeman’s perfect blend of Southern accent and wonderous pipes, Mark Hamill’s insane portrayal of the Joker, or even just a really natural and transparent delivery that left you feeling refreshed– *ahem* ;).
Now here is how to practice voice acting.
First you’ll need to find a script. If you are thinking of doing character work, a scene from a movie could be a great start. An excellent free resource is IMsDB. Monologues are obviously good choices, but if you have someone else to practice with, there are a lot more scenes to pick from. This person can either be your “reader”, just feeding you the lines that aren’t attributed to your character, or it could be another aspiring actor who wants to practice and you could share a scene together. Why not join our Facebook page and see if someone wants to practice with you? You can even connect with someone anywhere in the world and do this over Skype!
Other options might be something similar, like an audiobook. I’ll let you figure out where you can find the materials for audiobooks (hint: it’s a book). Even something as simple as picking up the shampoo bottle and reading the instructions on the back can get the job done here, if that is the kind of work you’d be happy to do.
My favorite option is the one where you don’t need any resources but your imagination/inspiration. Just go about your day, and when you hear something really cool, like a slick Apple commercial, or a Dodge RAM ad, transcribe it. It doesn’t even have to be word for word, and I highly recommend changing it around a bit and making it your own. This can apply to video games, TV shows, anything really.
Now the key difference between a dedicated actor, and amateur hour, is analysis. Get your phone out, and record EVERYTHING. Later, you can transfer the files to your computer, and play it back using software like VLC. VLC plays EVERYTHING. If we got an incoming transmission from an alien life form, VLC could probably decode it.
Just by simple repetition, you’ll start noticing improvements. Mostly how comfortable you are, which is a BIG deal for newcomers. If you can get into studio without being shaky (voice included), you have a much better chance of doing a good job. It’s important to be able to criticize yourself, and to take constructive criticism as well. If you are going for a heart wrenching monologue, play it for someone who you know is in tune with their emotions, or if it’s a soldier commanding his unit, ask the resident Call of Duty expert in your group, and just simply ask them if it sounds “good”. They might not be able to tell you why it does, or doesn’t, and that’s ok. Just make sure they are a good judge and understands the genre. After all, you wouldn’t take diet advice from a fat person, would you? Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent. So make sure you’re doing it the right way.
I would be more than happy to offer you honest criticism if you take the time to practice. Just don’t ask me the best recipe for abs. Follow us on social media, send me a link and I’ll do my best to get back to you in a timely fashion.
Got any other ideas of where to find scripts? Please comment below and help each other out.
All the best,