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Having a great-sounding voice is both a blessing and a curse. If you start to rely on the sound of your voice to book work, you'll find yourself struggling. In this video, Anne gives you tips on how to rise above the pretty voice.
Fighting the pretty read.
I'm always talking to my students about this. It's so important that you bring yourself to the read. Your actual self, not your pretty self, because you're pretty self is a very disingenuous, possibly fake self, or at least it sounds that way. So every time we read pretty, we're actually spending that extra time listening to what we sound like, and it takes away from our intent to tell the story.
So for instance, I just want you to hear how pretty I sound. And when I do that, I take all my focus and my energy, and I put it on to making my voice sound a particular way. You want to fight that and it's such, it really is a job. It is really a chore because there are so many times when we're tired. We just gotta go in there and knock out an audition.
We're trying to get that audition done fast. And we go in and we take a look at the script and we start off, like we're talking, you know, naturally and organically and, and being an actor, and then maybe about, oh, maybe a sentence or two. And, uh, you know, from the first sentence we start just reading and we start listening to the way we sound instead of actually continuing that story and listening to ourselves.
Which we don't want to do. We want to actually be in the story. So to be in the story, you have no time to listen to what you sound like. You just have to be engrossed in telling the story, like right now, I'm, I'm hopefully telling a story, trying to, you know, get some ideas to you guys so that you understand what I'm saying. And so I'm not really thinking about what I sound like. I'm just expressing myself.
Next time you go in the booth. I want you to just not listen to yourself. Sometimes you can do that by don't wear headphones in the booth. Maybe take one ear off. Maybe don't wear any headphones in the booth and really just tell the story and not listen to how you're telling the story.
So that means after every sentence, I want you to revisit the person that you're talking to. Or revisit the scene, like did something happen in the scene that you can react to differently, or you have a different emotion about, think about that scene. Think about that person that you're talking about and apply the emotion that you would apply. If you were telling a story to someone instead of, I think I should sound happy now. After you finished recording, I want you to step out of the booth. And I want you to give it a little bit of time before you submit that audition. I know sometimes auditions are time-sensitive when you can step away for a moment, step away for a half an hour, an hour, a step away for a few hours, if you can, and then go back and listen to it again.
Listen for you trying to make it sound pretty, or are you telling the story? And a lot of times this is probably one of the most difficult things you can do as a voice actor. And when you're self-directing is to actually listen to yourself again, because sometimes you'll go back and say, oh my gosh, what was I thinking?
Well, that just sounds completely not the way I thought it sounded. In order to do that successfully, I want you to consider, going to a mentor, going to a coach every once in a while to get that feedback, because sometimes we can get ourselves stuck in a rut. Where we're sounding pretty and we don't even realize that that's what's happening.
So every once in a while, I want you to go back to your coach, go back to a mentor. Um, maybe get some feedback. I want to suggest a coach or a mentor rather than a peer, because that's what coaches do. That's what they listen for and ask them, you know, be honest, am I sounding pretty? Or am I actually telling the story?
And I think you can get a lot out of revisiting that on a monthly basis. And it will really help you in the end to self-direct better fight the pretty sound you don't need to sound pretty. As a matter of fact, I know for a fact that you are amazing just as you are telling me the story.
Thanks so much guys for watching. See you next time.
Thanks for reading!
Keep on rocking your business like a #VOBOSS
Anne Ganguzza is a professional voice actor and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voiceover and business skills - including voice over Coaching and Genre-based Demo Production. She specializes in conversational Commercial & Narration styles, including Corporate, eLearning, Technology, and On-Hold Messaging. Located in Orange County, California, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students via ipDTL and Zoom.