VAM 126 | Speech Problems that Might Be Holding You Back

VAM 126 | Speech Problems that Might Be Holding You Back

Welcome to episode 126 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:

In this episode, I’d like to spend some time discussing how important it is to be aware of what you sound like when you’re speaking. I have watched too many of my voice acting students struggle because they are unaware of what their own voice actually sounds like. Unbeknownst to many, what you hear inside your head when you’re speaking is not what others hear. If you haven’t taken the time to get to know how you actually sound to the rest of the world, you’re missing out on crucial information that can make or break your voice acting career. Not only do you need to be aware of the tone or timbre of your voice, but you also need to become intimately familiar with your habitual manner of speaking and how you articulate words. Like a musician playing an instrument, it’s vital that you understand exactly what kind of sounds you are producing and how they are perceived by others. Without such self-awareness, you will not know how to modify your delivery for different characters you’re asked to play, or how to make precise vocal adjustments in order to communicate effectively to your audience.

For some actors, their habitual manner of speech might be fine for portraying certain characters. These actors may have a sound that is marketable or popular at the moment, so they may not feel the need to spend much time thinking about how they sound. After all, it’s working so far. Meanwhile, other actors may struggle to be considered for parts because they may have regionalisms or enunciation problems which make it difficult for producers to cast them. Regardless of whether you are blessed with a currently marketable sound, or have some speech challenges that you need to overcome, at some point nearly every actor will be asked to play a character who speaks with a different intonation, accent, or vocal quality than the one you use in everyday life. In those situations, you need to be able to modify the way you speak in order to suit the character you’re being asked to portray.

While at first it may seem obvious that a voice actor needs to know what they sound like and how they speak, you might be surprised at how often I work with people who seem completely unaware of either of these things. If someone on the outside points out that they might have regionalisms or limiting speech patterns, they can often become quite defensive. In this episode, I want to explain why this is and help share some useful tools to help you overcome any limitations you might be facing due to habitual speech patterns. Changing how we speak is actually an incredibly emotional topic and can make many people feel uncomfortable. Hopefully by the end of this episode, you’ll not only understand the underlying issues at work here, but you’ll have a far better grasp on what you as a voice actor can do to avoid any speech problems that might be holding you back.
Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #126 Here (MP3)


VAMFR 021 | Theme Park Voice Over, Part 3


VAMFR 021 | Theme Park Voice Over, Part 3

Welcome to episode 21 of the Voice Acting Mastery: Field Report podcast!

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:

This is the third and final part of a special report on Theme Park Voice Over jobs by our special correspondent, Tom Bauer!

If you haven’t listened to the first two parts of this series, we highly recommend that you do so first. In this episode Tom will be referencing many of the ideas and concepts he covered in part 1 and part 2. In the previous episode, Tom discussed at length the auditioning and casting process for voice over work in theme parks. He started by telling the story of how he broke into working as a voice actor at Disney California Adventure on the “Turtle Talk with Crush” interactive show. He shared his experiences of what the auditioning process was like and how it took him a total of six attempts over multiple years before he finally landed the role of Crush.

He also talked about the different ways Voice Actors can look for theme park VO auditions in the previous episode.

In this episode, Tom will be discussing some of the challenges one may face as a theme park voice actor. He’ll also be focusing on the importance of maintaining a sense of professionalism in a Theme Park setting. We’ll be using the term ‘professionalism’ as a way to describe what is commonly understood in the entertainment industry as ethical and responsible behavior. An actor who is able to maintain a sense of professionalism will inspire confidence in their collaborators, whether they’re working with booth directors to create pre-recorded narration or with fellow cast members bringing characters to life in front of an audience. Conversely, if an actor behaves unprofessionally, their negative attitude can end up reflecting badly on them, damaging their relationships with collaborators and any prospects for future work.

If you’ve been following this special report so far, you’ll be delighted to hear that Tom’s five special guests have returned to share with me their thoughts on overcoming challenges and maintaining one’s professionalism in a theme park environment. We’ll be hearing from Rebecca Lumianski, who is an experienced actor and Consulting Director at Disneyland for shows like “Turtle Talk with Crush”. We’ll also hear from Joe Hernandez, who is the head talent and show trainer for Turtle Talk and a gifted voice actor who was recently featured as the character of Daruk from the video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Later, Tom will speak with the husband and wife team of Bill Rogers and Camille Dixon, who provide the official announcement voices for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, respectively. Finally, Isaac Robinson Smith will also be joining us in our discussion. Isaac is a versatile performer for Universal Studios Hollywood and a former Turtle Talk actor. He provides the voices of Megatron and Optimus Prime from the Transformers film franchise as part of a character meet and greet that Universal Studios audience members can interact with. Tom found a lot of his guests’ insights and stories fascinating during this round of interviews and we think you will too!

The VAM Field Report will be released on the 1st Wednesday of every month so stay on the look out for it!

Download VAM Field Report Episode #21 Here (MP3)


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