By Stephanie Ciccarelli
May 30, 2010
If you're like me, you might enjoy watching home renovation shows because you like to see the before, the during and after. Observing a property go from one stage of development to another can be exciting and rewarding.
While you aren't personally involved in the task, you may feel as though you've accomplished something just by watching it, right?
After viewing programs of this nature, it is easy to feel inspired and live vicariously through the successes and achievements of others without doing a thing yourself and therefore not making an inch of progress in your own household projects.
Similarly, if you are studying voice over or watching other professionals do their work in the booth, it's easy to feel as though you are also moving forward by watching them work or improve... this is where we begin.
The great American inventor Thomas A. Edison was famously quoted as saying "Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration," followed by the lesser known "Accordingly, a 'genius' is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework."
I feel that this very same quote can be applied to voice over and voice acting. Voice acting is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Aren't the most practical strides made when behind the microphone?
Plopping down on the couch to watch a YouTube video of Kevin Conroy in session being directed by Andrea Romano won't suddenly make your Batman voice or interpretation any better. Watching what Conroy does, studying his choices, interpreting them and rehearsing those choices on your own as the caped crusader will.
The doing itself is necessary to achieving a goal or progressing. If you aren't 'doing' voice over or voice acting, how can you expect to master the art or further improve your skills?
This article comes at a timely interval and it struck me that I should write this as a means of encouragement to those who are attending industry conferences and workshops designed to inspire and educate.
These events can lend themselves to a lot of sitting, listening, jotting down of notes, socialization and comparatively less 'doing.'
Remember what Edison said? 1% Inspiration, 99% Perspiration!
Don't let yourself fall into the trap of hoarding educational nuggets of wisdom to be drawn upon for another day. Even the most inspiring of moments can slowly evaporate if not seized upon in a timely manner.
Take notes, absorb what you're hearing and put what you took from each session into practice as soon as you can! Do this and you'll get the most you can out of educational experiences such as conferences, workshops, books and teleseminars.
If a genius is only a talented person who achieves that status by doing their homework, surely we are surrounded by geniuses in this industry!
When you're trying to figure out what homework means for you voice over wise, consider the following:
à¹ Understand your instrument
à¹ Respect your instrument
à¹ Warm up your voice
à¹ Keep your cold reading skills sharp
à¹ Exercise the range of your voice daily
à¹ Listen to your voice
à¹ Be aware of what's going on in the industry
à¹ Train on your own, among peers or with a coach
à¹ Challenge yourself
à¹ Set attainable goals
Time for a little analogy.
What good to a team is a pitcher who spends his time idling in the bullpen and twiddling his thumbs? When called upon, he is rusty and his performance is lackluster.
Conversely, a pitcher who spends his time wisely when off the field will be prepared, sure of himself and is able to step in at a moment's notice.
In the same way, a voice over artist who exercises his or her instrument and improves their skills on a daily basis is ready to step up to the mic with confidence at the time of need.
Do you have anything to add to what has been shared?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
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