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Any Tips for Voice Actors Tackling On-Camera Work?


By Stephanie Ciccarelli

August 15, 2007

Comments (4)

Television StudioAre you a voice actor who also does on camera work for a living?

Having good on camera skills is a plus and many people who do voice overs do not live on voice over alone.

If you fall into that niche, share some trade secrets here with your potentially camera-destined colleagues about how voice actors can make a splash on the screen as well as off.

When you're used to being behind the scenes it is a big stretch stepping up in front of a video camera.

Sitting in your comfy home recording studio and letting your voice do all the work is one of the most beloved aspects of the voice acting profession, so it's understandable to think that there are many people in voice over who have never been seen on TV or in film let alone cast in a role where they have to literally dress the part.

From what I've read on the subject, there are a few items that you'll want to observe while on-camera.

1. Wear solid colors
2. Don't wear any noisy or dangling jewelery
3. Be able to maintain a presence (and control your reflexes / body!)

Those may be commonsense suggestions for appearing on camera, but are helpful all the same, particularly if you are an announcer, reporter or news anchor.

For those of you who regularly perform on-camera as part of your career, how do you do it?

Do you have any tips to share with your peers on what to do should they end up in the limelight?

Looking forward to hearing from you!



©©©iStockphoto.com/Steven Miric

Related Topics: TV


    Wow... tackling on-camera work is a WHOLE different thing! I did on-camera work for quite a while when I was a bit younger, and it's a completely different art form. While it's fun and certainly puts you in the limelight, it's usually much harder to succeed (believe it or not) with on-camera. If you DO decide to do that, you'll need a completely separate website where you DO show your picture (don't on your VO site!) and a completely different set of training.

    Of course, as VO talent, we all should have a strong ability to act well in general either way, but performing for an audience that sees you is certainly different than performing for one that subconsciously hears your voice.


    Posted by:

      Here in the Carolinas, I often host infomercials for car dealers, credit bureau's, etc. My most important rule is to not shout (which is easy to do when all the car exec's around you are getting excited). I do my best to preserve my voice for VO sessions when I get home.

      Also, since I am outside during shooting, I am careful during the cold months to protect my throat, and not breathe in the cold air too hard.

      Other than that, I find it's the same personality that gets you cast for VO that gets you cast for TV... just be yourself!


      Posted by:

        I do on camera work on a regular basis, but of course it is only part of my business. Simply, there is tons more voiceover work. In comparison, I voice one hundred or so projects weekly and I only do about two on camera spots a month. I have an agent that gets me the work nationally, and locally, I work with advertising agencies who know that they can get a quality teleprompter read or interview.

        Being non-union, I accept buyouts on the spots, even the national ones. If you can read well, you don't need to have movie star looks to do on camera, in fact, there are many jobs for people that DON'T have the standard look. Being a former actor and part time news anchor, I have become very relaxed in front of the camera, just like if I was in front of my mike, with no one in the room, and that is how one should approach on camera work. Relax. Even when I am hosting on the Home Shopping Network, remember that no one is out there scrutinizing you just to do it... but just do your job.

        Get 8 by 10 head shots delivered to a local agent and make some auditions. Make sure you have a couple of good dark suits and you can make on camera work a good percentage of your business.

        Look for me on the current national spot for Merit Financial and the host for A Better Life on MY TV... but hear me everywhere.

        Thanks and good luck.

        Dave Mann
        Dave Mann Inc.

        Posted by:

          Boy, I do tons of on-cam and it really is an entirely different animal... sort of.

          All of the things you know about being conversational and real in an audition? Those still apply.

          But there are a million things that are different. And far too many to include in a comment. More like a book!

          But I would say the most important thing is learning how to relax once that camera is rolling. I used to get headaches (!) from acting and I learned that it was probably because I was so tense. Lots of yoga and breathing work later, I no longer get headaches and I work all the time.

          For more info, check out http://www.darbiworley.com or http://www.everythingactingpodcast.com. And break a leg on all of YOUR auditions!

          Posted by:
          • Darbi
          • August 21, 2007 7:57 PM

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