Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

How Well Do You Know Your Voice?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

December 8, 2009

Comments (4)

Woman laying in the grass listening to audioHave you ever really listened to your own voice?

Do you take time to soak in the work of others in the voice over field?

I'd like to try a little experiment and hope that you'll get back to me with your findings. Take part now... instructions are in this VOX Daily!

Focusing on the Voice

Isn't it amazing how one sense can be heightened with the absence of another?

Try closing your eyes and momentarily removing the sense of sight.

When you close your eyes, listen to what you hear on TV, specifically voice over in commercials.

Try listening for the voice talent's use of:

  • Nuance
  • Choices
  • Texture
  • Tone
  • Cadences
  • Breathing
  • Phrasing
  • Comprehension
  • Adjustments
  • Accents
  • Voice age

Jot down your impressions and commentary, making note of what you heard and how effective you thought the voice overs were.

Did the voice over tell a story? Did it engage you in a friendly manner? Were you moved to action?

Now, Listen to Your Own Work in the Same Way

A tough assignment, eh?

Being conscious of your voice is very important. Hearing yourself perform may take some getting used to before you can become completely comfortable and embrace your instrument.

Similarly, it's of equal importance that you are aware of your acting abilities.

Just like you did before when analyzing the work of others, write down anything that stuck out to you about your own performances. Where did you shine? Is there a spot where you may have held back?

What Did You Hear?

Listen again to hear your artistic choices. Did they sound informed, deliberate, and committed?

Were you able to identify any areas, whether technical or artistic, that you'd like to further develop or explore?

Let me know if you tried this exercise. I'm curious to learn of your findings! Comment here on the article or reply via email to share your observations and insight.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Neustockimages

Related Topics: Accent, analyze, audio, hearing, listen, listening, senses, talent, TV, vocal, voice acting, voice over, voices


Comments


    I do this all the time. I always learn so much by listening to others. Recently I heard how I should take my time when trying to sound stately. I just used it at an audition this morning.
    Thanks

    Posted by:
    • Roderick Garr
    • December 9, 2009 2:15 PM

      Stephanie...

      One thing I've ALWAYS done in a recording session when playback is happening, is to close my eyes. One engineer thought I was bored or tired when I closed my eyes and jokingly commented on it. I told him that closing my eyes helps me concentrate on how I sound. If I've missed the endings of any words, or didn't give each word its due. I've gotten so used to doing that it has just become a natural thing for me. When new people entering into the v/o field ask me for advise, this is one of the things I tell them to DEFINITELY do. Eliminating all distractions helps you pay full attention to what you are HEARING. It's a great way to pick out those things you want to re-do in a session and be more alert about in future recording sessions.

      Thanks for allowing me to add something.

      Paula Burke

      Posted by:
      • Paula Burke
      • December 9, 2009 2:51 PM

        Hi Stephanie,

        Great post! I make a habit of closing my eyes while listening to television commercials on national programs to focus on the voice. (I'm particularly partial to car commercials) Any voice actor who is doing a national commercial is pretty good to say the least! We can all learn a lot from listening to the best as they practice their craft. I try to be very aware of the nuances of spacing and emphasis. The vo's for Lexus and BMW just blow me away. This business requires constant learning for sure. Thanks again for a great post.

        Michael Lenz

        Posted by:

          Such an important post from Vox Daily! I find that one of the biggest problems when coaching people is their complete ignorance of the way they actually sound. There is no awareness of delivery or even dialect/accent. I'll say they have a strong regional sound, and they'll say no, they just sound "normal"! Awareness and ear training are the first things I tell clients they have to develop before they can even think about getting the most out of their voices.

          Another great topic to think about, Stephanie. Well done. (Just wanted you to know that your emails ARE read and appreciated.) :-)

          Best regards,

          Mirren

          Posted by:
          • Mirren Lee
          • December 11, 2009 9:50 AM

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