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)

 

VAM 090 | The Myth of Talent: Can Anyone Be a Voice Actor?

VAM 090 | The Myth of Talent: Can Anyone Be a Voice Actor?

Welcome to episode 90 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 address a common misconception that I find many people have about the nature of acting.

Sometimes I feel like acting is one of the most misunderstood of the performing arts, mostly because it seems so invisible when someone is doing it well. A truly believable acting performance can seem so transparent and effortless that it feels as though nothing is really going on and the actor is just naturally self-expressing. The illusion of transparency applies doubly to voice acting, where even the actor giving the performance is unseen by the audience.

This invisibility can lead many listeners to infer that either the actor giving the performance is just naturally talented, or that voice acting is something that anyone can do without much effort. To some it seems like the actor is doing something unattainably magical and this means that acting must require some sort of mysterious inborn ability. To others it sounds like the actor is just talking, and since talking to other people is something we all tend to do in our everyday lives, how artistically demanding could voice acting truly be? So which is correct?

Does it take natural talent to become a voice actor, or can anyone just step up to the mic and talk their way to fame and fortune?

Let’s find out!

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #90 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 089 | Better Voice Acting Through Critical Listening

VAM 089 | Better Voice Acting Through Critical Listening

Welcome to episode 89 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 a skill that is crucial to becoming a better voice actor: Critical Listening.

I touched on this topic briefly in my interview with Edward Bosco and Kimlinh Tran back in episodes 33, 34 and 35 of the podcast. When I asked Kimlinh what advice she would give to aspiring voice actors, she explained that the best thing they could do is to develop their Critical Listening Skills. I agreed.

If you’re going to pursue voice acting professionally you need to be able to listen to an actor’s performance, understand what acting choices they made, and then decide whether or not those acting decisions are the best ones to serve the character and the story. Until you develop the ability to listen to performances critically in both other actor’s work and in your own acting, you won’t know what you need to do to improve your performances. So let’s spend this episode talking about what it takes to develop your critical listening skills.

 

I hope you enjoy the episode!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #89 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 088 | Q & A Session 17 – Reducing Sibilance & Practicing ADR and Anime

VAM 088 | Q & A Session 17 – Reducing Sibilance & Practicing ADR and Anime

Welcome to episode 88 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 Yvonne from Oakland, CA and Emily from Tampa, FL.

Yvonne works in the audiobook industry. He’s been having trouble with his recordings being too sibilant.

First, let me define sibilance for those of my listeners who may not be familiar with the term. Sibilance is the sound one makes in the English language when one makes an “s” sound. In the world of voice over, sibilance usually refers to someone whose “s” sounds are too pronounced or hissy.

I give Yvonne some tips on how to reduce the sibilance in his recordings, both in terms what he might need to change in his performance as well as numerous technical solutions to the problem.
 
Emily is aware that in order to work as a voice actor in anime, a performer needs to know how to match the lip flap of characters on the screen. She’d like to know how to practice matching lip flap on her own.

Matching the lip flap of characters on the screen is a challenging skill to develop.

The practice of dubbing your voice to preexisting video footage is known as Automatic Dialogue Replacement or ADR. Not only is ADR work challenging for an actor, but because the technical requirements to set up an ADR recording session are complicated, it’s challenging for a recording engineer as well.

While running your own ADR setup is possible it requires manipulation of audio and video on a professional level. I share some of the software one can use to run ADR sessions on your own, but learning how to use such software effectively still requires a significant investment of time and energy.

Emily’s time might be better served by taking classes like my Anime Voice Acting Workshops where all the technical challenges are taken care of.

 

I hope you find the answers 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 #88 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 087 | Q & A Session 16 – Shadowing vs. Internships & A Day in the Life of a Voice Actor

VAM 087 | Q & A Session 16 – Shadowing vs. Internships & A Day in the Life of a Voice Actor

Welcome to episode 87 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 Justin from San Diego, CA and Tina from Chicago, IL.

Justin wants to know if it’s possible to shadow or apprentice under working voice actors in order to learn about the industry.

I understand and applaud the idea of apprenticeship. I think it can be far more educational to work with someone who actually makes a living in your field of interest than to simply study that career from a distance.

However, there are some unique challenges that arise from trying to shadow people who are working as voice actors, especially in the world of animation and video games. I explain those challenges in detail and offer an alternative that might be more productive: internships.
 

Tina wants to know what a normal schedule for a full-time voice actor would be on a daily basis.

Tina asks a great question. The problem is there is no simple answer. With most traditional professions where you are required to go to an office or some other place of work day after day, it is possible to describe what an average work day might be like. This is not the case with voice acting. Voice actors can have very inconsistent schedules, which makes it difficult to describe a “typical” workday for a voice actor.

While I don’t know if I can tell her what a typical voice actor’s day might be like, I can share with her how variable my schedule as a voice actor tends to be.

 

I hope you find the answers 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 #87 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 086 | Interview with Scott Menville, Part 3

VAM 086 | Interview with Scott Menville, Part 3

Welcome to episode 85 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 and final part of my interview with the wonderfully talented Scott Menville.

Scott is probably best known for his portrayal of Robin in the animated series Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!, but Scott has been working both as a voice actor and an on-camera actor since he was 11 years old! Scott brings a wealth of experience to our discussion as well as an amazingly positive mindset, and I’m thrilled to have him on the podcast.

In this episode, Scott and I wrap up our discussion by talking about the times in voice acting when things didn’t seem to go our way. However, in the midst of such adversity, Scott and I both learned powerful lessons. Often you learn and grow more from your “so called” failures than your successes. After all, a failure is just an opportunity to learn something new on the way to your future success.

At the end of our interview, Scott was kind enough to share his advice for aspiring voice actors. His insights are useful and encouraging, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them.

In the next episode, I’ll continue answering more questions from my listeners. For those of you who don’t know, I provide a call-in number where any of you can leave me a voicemail with your own thoughts, thank you’s or questions. Then, when it’s time for me to do a Q&A episode, I choose the most relevant questions and answer them for you here on the podcast. The call-in number is 323-696-2655. Please remember to state your first name and what city in the world you’re calling from before leaving your message. Thanks again for listening, and I’ll see you in the next episode!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #86 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 085 | Interview with Scott Menville, Part 2

VAM 085 | Interview with Scott Menville, Part 2

Welcome to episode 85 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’m excited to present to you the second part of my interview with the wonderfully talented Scott Menville.

Scott is probably best known for his portrayal of Robin in the animated series Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!, but Scott has been working both as a voice actor and an on-camera actor since he was 11 years old! Scott brings a wealth of experience to our discussion as well as an amazingly positive mindset, and I’m thrilled to have him on the podcast.

In the previous episode, Scott and I both emphasized how important it is to have passion for the career you decide to pursue. While this is true in almost every field, it is especially true in the world of voice acting where there are so many people who are deeply committed to becoming professionally competitive as voice actors.

In this episode, we explore exactly what steps Scott took once he made the decision to pursue voice acting, not just as a hobby, but as his vocation. Here’s a hint: improvisational acting training played a vital role in Scott’s development as an artist. Improv still informs Scott’s performances today, as he is often called upon to use his improvisational skills during recording sessions! Hearing about his experiences, and the experience of other actors using improv to explore new possibilities in the booth, is both enlightening and inspiring! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #85 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 084 | Interview with Scott Menville, Part 1

VAM 084 | Interview with Scott Menville, Part 1

Welcome to episode 84 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’m excited to present to you the first part of my interview with the wonderfully talented Scott Menville.

Scott is probably best known for his portrayal of Robin in the animated series Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!, but Scott has been working both as a voice actor and an on-camera actor since he was 11 years old! Scott has performed in such high profile shows as Ben 10, The Avengers, Scooby Doo, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Avatar the Last Airbender, the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and many more!

Scott brings a wealth of experience to our discussion as well as an amazingly positive mindset, and I’m thrilled to have him on the podcast. What makes things even better is that Scott is actually an avid listener of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast, and I was honored when he approached me one day to thank me for making it. That great interaction was part of what inspired this interview, and we spend some time recounting it for you in this segment. Chatting with Scott was a great pleasure, and I’m excited to share his insights and experience with all my listeners.

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #84 Here (MP3)

 

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