VAM 098 | Q & A Session 18 – How Does Stage Acting Help with Voice Acting & What I Did to Improve My Skills

VAM 098 | Q & A Session 18 – How Does Stage Acting Help with Voice Acting & What I Did to Improve My Skills

Welcome to episode 98 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

In this episode, I continue answering questions from my podcast audience! For those who may not be as familiar with the podcast, in past episodes, I’ve given out a phone number where you can call in and leave me a question about voice acting as a voicemail. From time to time, I’ll pick the most relevant questions I receive and answer them here on the podcast.

For this round of Q & A, I answer questions from Gatlin from Midway, GA and Dan from Los Angeles, CA.

Gatlin has heard from many voice acting professionals that most voice actors have a background in theater. He’d like to know why theatrical training seems to lend itself to voice acting. He’s also currently working in his local community theater and would like to know what he should focus on in order to prepare himself for a career in voice acting.

Dan has a follow up question to my interview with Scott Menville which took place in episodes 84, 85, and 86 of the podcast. In that interview I recounted to Scott that upon my arrival in Los Angeles, I was cast in two very high profile anime shows and was subsequently let go from both of them. Dan would like to know what steps I took after that setback to hone my skills and become more competitive as a voice actor.

 

I hope you find the answers to their questions useful in your own voice acting endeavors!

 

If any of my listeners would like to call in with your own thoughts, thank you’s or questions, the number is:

323-696-2655.

Please don’t forget to include your first name and what city in the world you’re calling from. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #98 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 097 | Interview with Phil LaMarr, Part 5

VAM 097 | Interview with Phil LaMarr, Part 5

Welcome to episode 97 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

This is the fifth part of my interview with the amazing Phil LaMarr.

Phil has played major roles in such animated shows as Futurama, Justice League, Star Wars: Clone Wars and Samurai Jack.

In the last episode Phil outlined the unique challenges that any minority actor has to face when trying to build a career in the entertainment industry. It can be difficult to know how to present oneself as a minority actor in a primarily caucasian storytelling environment like animation. Phil has learned to succeed in this environment with skill and grace, and I can’t thank him enough for sharing his experiences and insight with all my listeners.

In this, our final episode together, Phil actually describes the thought process he went through when making decisions about how to portray the voice of the Jon Stewart version of Green Lantern for the Justice League animated series. This is a rare look inside the head of a talented voice actor as he determines how best to bring a character to life. I personally find it fascinating and enlightening to hear what character traits Phil blended in order to get the voice of Jon Stewart just right.

Get ready for some priceless words of wisdom, ’cause here they come!

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #97 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 096 | Interview with Phil LaMarr, Part 4

VAM 096 | Interview with Phil LaMarr, Part 4

Welcome to episode 96 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

This is the fourth part of my interview with the amazing Phil LaMarr.

Phil has played major roles in such animated shows as Futurama, Justice League, Star Wars: Clone Wars and Samurai Jack.

In the last episode, Phil shared with us the experience from his childhood that inspired him to become an actor. That fascination has fueled his pursuit of an acting career ever since.

In this episode Phil talks with me about his experiences working as an African-American actor in Hollywood. There are unique challenges that any minority actor has to face when trying to build a career in the entertainment industry. In order to give this topic the attention it deserves, I’ve decided to dedicate this entire episode to the subject.

No matter what your ethnic background may be, exploring issues of minority casting and producer expectations can be incredibly helpful in charting your own acting career.

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #96 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 095 | Interview with Phil LaMarr, Part 3

VAM 095 | Interview with Phil LaMarr, Part 3

Welcome to episode 95 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

This is the third part of my interview with the amazing Phil LaMarr.

Phil has played major roles in such animated shows as Futurama, Justice League, Star Wars: Clone Wars and Samurai Jack.

In the last episode, Phil and I discussed how his passion for improvisational acting helped shape the trajectory of his early acting career. We also discussed how the difficulties he faced during that time helped him face and eventually let go of the judgements that were holding back his progress towards becoming a professional actor.

In this episode I ask Phil what inspired him to become an actor in the first place. This is a very important question to ask, especially of one’s self. Often people have a vague notion that they’d like to try acting because it looks like fun, or maybe they’re interested in getting attention or in becoming famous. However, pursuing acting as a career can be a very challenging road to travel, and during times of adversity, one’s conviction can really be tested. I have found that when the going gets tough, when the hardships increase, when it’s not clear what can help you continue on in the face of difficulties or discouragement, it is very important to have solid reasons for what you are doing so you can remind yourself why acting is so important to you.

In this section of our interview, Phil is generous enough to share with us the single, fascinating experience he had which drove him to pursue an acting career. I think you’ll find that hearing what inspired Phil to pursue acting will help you discover your own inspiration as well.

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #95 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 094 | Interview with Phil LaMarr, Part 2

VAM 094 | Interview with Phil LaMarr, Part 2

Welcome to episode 94 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

This is the second part of my interview with the amazing Phil LaMarr.

Phil’s roles in animation include Hermes Conrad in Futurama, the John Stewart Green Lantern in Justice League, Kit Fisto in Star Wars: Clone Wars and the title character in Samurai Jack. I’m incredibly grateful to Phil for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to my listeners.

In the previous episode, Phil discussed some of the challenges he faced during the first year he decided to pursue acting as a full-time career. Those experiences made him really take stock of his situation and decide if acting was something he truly wanted to do. He realized that he actually had some personal judgements about how one should pursue acting and those limiting beliefs were keeping him from progressing. Once he let go of those judgements, he started to see things change.

In this episode we discuss the details of how those changes began to take shape. Phil’s enthusiasm for improvisational acting had a profound affect on the trajectory of his career. It was the opportunities that his improvisational skills opened up for him that eventually gave him a chance to start working as a voice actor. We begin this segment of our chat with me asking him to give a quick recap of how his acting career began.

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #94 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 093 | Interview with Phil LaMarr, Part 1

VAM 093 | Interview with Phil LaMarr, Part 1

Welcome to episode 93 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

Today, I have a very special treat for my listeners!

Welcome to the first part of my interview with the amazingly versatile voice actor Phil LaMarr.

Phil’s roles in animation run the gamut from Hermes Conrad in Futurama, to the John Stewart Green Lantern in Justice League, to Kit Fisto in Star Wars: Clone Wars to the title character in Samurai Jack. I’m so grateful to Phil for taking the time to share with us his unique perspective on voice acting.

In this first episode, we focus on his very early career. Phil talks with me about some of the challenges he faced after college when he made his first serious attempts to break into the entertainment business as an actor. While he did not feel like he made much progress initially, it turns out the challenges and frustrations he faced ended up helping him focus his attention on what he truly wanted to achieve and on what it would take to accomplish his goals.

But I’ll let Phil tell you about that.

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #93 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 092 | Acting vs. Demonstrating: Bringing Yourself to the Character

VAM 092 | Acting vs. Demonstrating: Bringing Yourself to the Character

Welcome to episode 92 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

In this episode, I’d like to talk about the difference between acting a character and demonstrating a character.

At first, it may not seem obvious why it’s so important to make this distinction and to understand its implications, because no one ever talks about “voice demonstrating”. We talk about “voice acting”, and rightly so, because that’s what we’re all here to do, right? The truth is that people get these two concepts mixed up all the time. What’s worse is that when many people believe they are acting, they are actually demonstrating.

This can be a fatal mistake, because while sincere acting is inherently believable and engaging, demonstrating a character is not. This misunderstanding is especially common among beginning voice actors, and I have observed many of my students struggling with it, even if they’ve never quite used these words to describe it. The symptoms of “demonstrating” are obvious: performances feel affected or “put on”, dialogue sounds forced or unnatural, and characters seem more like “caricatures” than real people. All of these symptoms contribute to one inevitable outcome: the performance is not believable and the audience does not engage.

So how does one truly act a character and not fall into the trap of simply demonstrating that character? How can you know if your performance is actually believable, or whether you’re just going through the motions? Let’s solve this conundrum together.

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #92 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 091 | Voice Acting Is a Physical Art, Not Simply a Mental One

VAM 091 | Voice Acting Is a Physical Art, Not Simply a Mental One

Welcome to episode 91 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

In this episode I’d like to discuss the vital importance of incorporating one’s physicality into a voice acting performance.

This is a challenge that comes up often when I am teaching my students, both in my group classes and during individual private coaching sessions. Often, I will be working with a student who is quite capable, knows how to listen and take direction, and may even have wonderful natural acting instincts, but their performances consistently fall flat because they do not engage their body when acting. Their mind and even their emotions may be fully engaged, but something is still missing, and it affects the believability of their reads.

What is this mysterious missing something, and why is it so important to put your physicality into your performance when voice acting? After all, you’re in a small padded room with a mic in front of you. How physical can you really be anyway? Because voice acting does happen in a booth and not on a stage or in front of a camera with sets, props and costumes, it can sometimes seem less like a physical performing art and more like a mental exercise. There is a common misconception that if you speak the words correctly and understand the emotions in a scene, your acting should be believable regardless of what your body is doing.

I’m here to set the record straight and to explain that all acting, even voice acting, is actually a physical artistic craft. If your performance is not rooted in your body, and if the character you are playing is not influenced by your physicality, your acting will never sound believable on a professionally competitive level. Allow me to explain to you how this works in this episode.

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #91 Here (MP3)

 

%d bloggers like this: