What if you haven't got a character to play? What if you're voicing a commercial or a corporate and you need to deliver a performance that sounds real but there is no character?
What they need is YOU. Actual you, as you.
When you start out in Voiceover, it's tempting to try and sound "like a voiceover artist". This isn't a very sustainable way to go.. they need you.
I'd rather buy from someone who I trust that someone pretending I can trust them - wouldn't you?
This can be scary.. cue the existential crisis of "who am I and how would I say this?"
How you "be you" is not a question I get from the brand new VO, or obviously, those who have been around for a while. This is the subject area of people who have been voicing for a short while and have just got to that point where they realise they need authenticity.
Where to start?
I'm inspired by people who are properly themselves. Yes, it sounds daft - surely we are all this.. but I'm not so sure. We play many roles in the day to day.. the parent, the breadwinner, the friend, the wife / husband etc etc.
Strip this all away and who is there?
It might be handy to ask yourself a few questions and note down the answers in maybe a spider diagram with "authentic me" written in the middle. Here's a few to get you started..
1. If I could chose exactly what I could do today, what would I do?
2. What gets me enthusiastic?
3. What have I done recently to make myself happy?
4. What colours inspire me?
5. How do people describe me? Are they correct? If not, why not?
6. When do I feel strong and empowered?
7. In what ways am I different to other people?
Read a recent piece of copy as you would normally "as a voiceover" then come at it again with your notes about being you at the back of your mind..bring this with you to your performance and now deliver it as you - as if nothing else about the script matters apart from you saying it as you - with all your baggage! No one will judge you.. just have a go and see if you sound different.
Obviously, you'll need to nuance this to deliver the VO correctly (GET TRAINING if you haven't so far - Nancy Wolfson is unbeatable IMHO), but start to incorporate who you are in your reads.
You are totally the best person there is at delivering a voiceover as you.
People who stand out in arts are often people who are different and that is because they are authentically them.. think Bjork, Bowie, Grayson Perry, Tracy Emin and more.. there's a freedom there to open out and enjoy being you. It takes work and funny enough, practice...
Have the confidence in YOU, who you are and that people want to hear THAT
Clare trains hard to sound authentic and works at it constantly! Pop over to the home page to hear some of her latest work
Voice over talent and broadcaster, speaking out.