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What Makes a Character Special?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

February 13, 2014

Comments (1)

Older child actor holding a white theatre mask, smiling.When you develop a character, what do you do to really give them a life of their own?

The best way to draw an audience in is through good storytelling and believable characters.

Sometimes, the script gives you clues that you can work with and other times, you need to create a backdrop of your own.

How do you infuse authenticity into a character?

Find out in today's VOX Daily!

A Voice Becomes Special When...

Every January, I speak at the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology on the topic of how to work with voice actors. Part of the lecture includes sections on analyzing the script and character development. I love this aspect of voice acting and take note when others highlight the work that goes into defining a character and building their backstory.

Dave Fennoy, animation voice actor and Prime Time Voice.Recently, I watched a video produced by voice actor Dane Reid where he interviewed Dave Fennoy, pictured at left, the voice of Hulu among others.

There were a number of topics that caught my attention, but one in particular really struck me as something worth sharing with you here. This comes from the part of their conversation where character development was discussed.

"Anybody can do a funny voice but what makes a voice special is when you give it life, when it has a history, when it has a worldview, there are things that it's afraid of, there are things that it wants, there are things that it's trying to hide. We all have a history and any character you do should also have a history. It's really Acting 101. You really have to start with the character before you've met that character. All those things colour who you are, what you do and how you do it."
-Dave Fennoy

How Do You Make a Character Special?

Be sure to comment with your tips!

Best wishes,

©iStockphoto.com/Kevin Landwer-Johan


    Hi Stephanie,

    I saw the same interview and what Dave shares is priceless, even if it is only acting 101. Even those of us who have been acting can learn from each other. What I also share with folks who ask me, I tell them that you may be able to do funny voices, but can you sustain that voice for a long period of time, and if so, like Dave is saying you have to bring out those qualities and maintain the character's voice.
    Thanks again for sharing with us Stephanie,
    Gene Dixon

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