By Stephanie Ciccarelli
January 31, 2006
Working in your pajamas... welcome to one benefit of voice acting, Hollywood!
If you're an actor that works in the film industry (on-camera), have you ever wondered if the grass is greener on the other side?
Some of Hollywood's leading actors have discovered the hidden benefits of voice acting and eagerly jump at voice acting roles every chance they get.
Why are they doing it?
Less Preparation Time
Actors find that preparing for voice acting sessions is much easier than for roles where they are filmed. For instance, Cameron Diaz (Princess Fiona) didn't have to go in for hours of make up and hair appointments for her roles in Shrek and Shrek 2. Imagine if Mike Myers had to actually suit up as Shrek... The make up and costuming would have taken hours to apply and his acting wouldn't have been as convincing as a big green ogre with a Scottish brogue 'in person' as it was with an animated hero tailored to fit the physique of Shrek.
Scripts at Sessions
Many voice actors read from scripts. There's another bonus for the actor that usually memorizes all of their lines before shooting a scene. This is not to say that voice actors don't memorize their lines. It's just that when you aren't in front of the camera, the audience will never know that a script was present if the voice acting is spectacular. That, and a script can serve as a security blanket for busy actors on the go with multiple engagements and projects.
Achieve the Impossible
Now, let's look at Eddie Murphy's role, Donkey. Aren't there scenes where Donkey flys and... talks?! Picture Eddie dressed up as a donkey down on all fours trying to convince you that he is a magical donkey. If you had to pick yourself up off the floor from laughter or disbelief, you've just given another brownie point to the ability of animated films to achieve (and make you believe) the impossible. Cameron has proven herself in the Charlie's Angels series for her phenomenal butt-kicking, but could she have pulled off the Matrix-like engineered fighting scenes without her animated Princess Fiona self?
* Ok, we left out the fact that Donkey and the Dragon become sweethearts - this has been done in King Kong too, but I hazard to say, it's a bit easier to contemplate animals that fancy each other than it is to believe the same of a gigantic ape of prehistoric proportions and a beautiful young woman.
Freedom to Be Themselves
A voice actor is not likely to run into the paparazzi in a professional studio or recording from the privacy of their own home production facility. For celebs with a need to getaway from the glitz for some working R&R, voice acting may be the best antidote. It's not that these celebrities are becoming camera shy, it's just that they're normal people like you and I who need to feel valued for more than just their physical attributes - that, and they also like showing up to sessions in attire that wouldn't be acceptable on the set of a film studio. Some come to work in their pajamas, may not shower every morning, wear hats, and if need be, their reading glasses.
Have you been convinced? Perhaps some voice acting could do the trick!
Stay tuned for more information on how you can find a voice acting coach to help you train as a voice actor.
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