Welcome to episode 80 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 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 Andrew of Indianapolis, IN and Ryan from Piscataway, NJ .
Andrew finds that when he is reading a script that he tends to rush his acting resulting in a monotone or emotionless performance. He’d like to know how to solve this problem.
The challenge Andrew is facing is that he has a misconception that acting is about “performing” a voice or character other than oneself. This is a common misconception, especially in voice acting where people expect voice actors to be able to perform many different types of character voices.
I explain to Andrew what it takes to make sure you are speaking with your own authentic voice and how to a voice putting on a performance that an audience will feel is inauthentic and unbelievable.
The question that Ryan asks segues perfectly from Andrew’s. He finds it difficult to play characters that are very sad or are having intense emotions.
I assume that Ryan is comfortable acting in more casual or everyday circumstances, but when someone asks him to play something more passionate or dramatic, Andrew feels uncomfortable and unsure of what to do next. He may try to increase the intensity of his performance, but it always feels pushed and inauthentic. What’s going on?
The root of the problem is that Andrew is not giving himself permission to go to the emotionally dangerous places that the story is requiring of him. This is a common fear of actors, but it also a necessary aspect of great acting. If you’re playing pretend on a deep level, and you are asked to be believable in some horrible circumstances, the audience will not be satisfied unless they feel you go through that extreme experience. They want to hear you cry or sweat or scream as if you really are going through what the character is going through.
While such emotional vulnerability may seem unappealing or even irrational, I explain not only how important it is in order to create a captivating performance, but also how satisfying it can be to the actor if they commit to it fully and generously give to the audience an intense emotional experience.
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:
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!