Monday, July 27, 2009

Bring The Whole Bag! is important in voice acting. Even though we all work to establish our "brand" voice...there should be enough room for experimentation and discovery when considering any voice over career.

How many characters have you--or can you--voice? Only one? Not to worry! Experts like Pat Fraley have proven through technique and instruction that one character can become many when using 'The Critical Compound'...character voice+acting+accents.

Many of us have voices or characters that we can perform strongly and so are very comfortable with them. This can lead to two things--some branding and maybe a little stagnation! I've never met a serious musician who didn't PRACTICE! To get sound hit that riff that you coudn't hit last year. Maybe it's my Lon Chaney/Mel Blanc influenced early childhood, but I think the greatest compliment any voice actor can receive is..."Was that YOU?"

Lon Chaney, Sr. early in his career had to rely on his own self-taught makeup skills and even his athletic ability to create emotion and character without the benefit of dialogue.

Mel Blanc, on the other hand, gave life, voice and personality to rabbits, ducks, cats, dogs, birds, martians, malevolent mammals and other things that don't know dialogue from Dial soap!

Can you be a duck? Have you tried? Why a duck...why not a chicken?

Felix the Cat used to have a 'bag of tricks' that he would use to get him out of any tough scrape and he had everything--including the kitchen sink--in it and wasn't afraid to use it!

What's in YOUR bag of tricks? Here's how to expand the bag:

Improvisational skills are important. Joe Thomas, video game actor extraordinaire, suggests taking improv classes to stay fresh and flowing. Visit his site at http://joeactor .com for details and give a listen while you're there. Talk about versatile!!

Also, many of the original pioneers in animation lived well into their later years and I think this had a direct bearing and relationship to their sense of humor. The Bible calls laughter "Good medicine" and there is truth to that statement. To establish and (maybe) discover your sense of humor I have a brief exercise that anyone can try. Simply go to the nearest mirror and take a good look. See...? Isn't that the funniest thing you've ever seen? It ALWAYS works for me!!

God Bless...

Happy voicing!

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