Category Archives: Welcome

The Healing Voice

I had to write a post today because I was so moved by what happened during a recent workshop here at Soundswrite.  We had a group of students in class who were working on a program to learn about filmmaking, editing and photography.  The goal was to give them some skills in the booth and to find out more about the sound end of things when making a movie.  We were told that in the group there was a very quiet girl and that she probably wouldn’t participate. She was too shy. She barely spoke at all.

We started out voiceover workshop talking about the industry and quickly got the students in the booth to voice commercials in pairs. I knew this would be terrifying for this girl so I gave her a small part in a funny spot.  She did it.  A slight smile came across her face and you could tell she was surprised that she had actually tried it.  The big shift came when she came out of the booth and heard her usually tiny, almost inaudible voice sound big and rich and full.  It had power and strength. It sounded like a “real” voiceover artist.

As the day went on this shy girl took part in improv exercises and tried so many more things. Her voice got stronger and stronger.  The rest of the class was great, offering her encouragement.

She found her voice.  She heard herself through our giant speakers and the voice she heard was strong and clear and confident.

Days like that remind me of why we teach.  We give a lot but we get back so much.

I am so grateful for that experience.

Find your voice.

So You Wanna Be a Voice Actor?

We love teaching at SOUNDSWRITE. It’s such a rush to watch students make the move from “announcers” to “voice actors”.  What’s the difference? Script interpretation. Letting go and becoming the character. So many people come into our classes saying “my friends keep telling me what a great voice I have so I thought I’d do voicing.”  But a great set of pipes isn’t going to make a great performer.  And that’s what every single 30 second spot is…a chance to give a great performance, to find the essence of the piece, to figure out who you’re talking to and make it real.  It has to sound like a conversation and that’s so much harder than it sounds.  The key is to figure out your character’s objective for the spot…just like you’d do on stage or in film when creating a character. What does your character want? Then, think about who that person is talking to. Who is your audience of one, because you are only speaking to one person.  For intimate spots one little trick is to speak from my heart, literally. Imagine that your voice is in your chest and that the sound is actually coming out of your heart. It sounds corny but it works!  It helps the audience to feel a genuine connection.  For lively hard sell spots, think of think speaking through your eyes.  Sounds weird, right?  But try it.  You’ll find that your eyes sparkle and you’ll grin like a cheshire cat.  Smiling is something that comes right through the mic and right through the radio, so always remember to smile with the sponsor’s name and any product.

There we go again… trying to teach two days worth of classes in one blog post. OK…Next Intro to Voiceover class at SOUNDSWRITE runs October 23rd and 24th.  Come on down! We always have a blast…and lunch and give away demos and give away tons of practice copy and so much more. For more details visit: www.soundswrite.ca. Hope to see you, I mean hear you there!