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VoiceOvers Beware of the One Mistake That Could Ruin Your Read



Man in Voiceover booth too involved with his own voice.
Voice Love


Critical Mistake Many Voiceover Artists Make


Did you know that even the most seasoned voiceover artists are prone to an error that could be undermining their reads ? It's true, and it’s something incredibly simple yet often overlooked: listening to their own reads.


Oh gosh, I never do that. But honestly you do. Everybody does, but the best of the best have learned NOT to do that. It takes a lot of experience, like years. And it takes a ton of confidence. Let go. Easier than it sounds, but critical to letting your voice sound real, and not like a robot.


You might think that constantly monitoring your performance is beneficial, you might be shaking your head, but it's actually the opposite. Here's why.


Why Listening to Your Reads Can Be Detrimental


When you're constantly listening to your own voice, you're not really engaging with the script. You're too focused on the sound of your voice, not the feeling or emotion behind the words.


This hyper-focus on auditory feedback can make your delivery sound mechanical or uninspired. What you need to do is shift your focus from listening to feeling.


And I'm about to give the #1 secret no v/o wants to hear.


Ready?


Your voice is either right or wrong for the job. Trust me on this. If you never read any more advice from studio jijiji remember this.


I've listened to hundreds of thousands of VoiceOver auditions. No matter how many VoiceOver reads cross my desk on a project, I listen to them all. I do it out of respect for the talent people have generously shared with me. And I am a voiceover actor as well. I know what it feels like to be behind the mic. Listening to people read is part of my gig and I take my gig seriously.


But there's another reason I listen. There's only one voice I'm looking for. The right voice. The best voice for the copy, the script, the character. Only one. It's my job to find it.


If you think about it through, it takes the pressure off of you. I'm not looking for a or cadence, or interpretation, or any of that. That's my job has a director to reveal. I'm looking for a VOICE.


Is it yours?


When I find a voice I like I only ask the casting director one additional question. Do they take direction?


Your voice is either right or wrong for the job, so please, show me your voice, not your interpretation of your voice.


The Studio vs. Home Setup


In a professional studio setting, it’s essential to have headphones on. They're your lifeline to the engineer or producer, who might need to give you directions or feedback. But when you're recording from home, the game changes.


You have the freedom to ditch those headphones and liberate yourself from the confines of the seductive sound of your own voice. Voiceovers love the sound of their own voice.


Let's be real.


You wouldn't be a v/o if you hated your voice. I get that. But ultimately your job is to let your voice be your voice. Your authentic voice. You want to focus on the authenticity, not the sound.


Embrace the Power of Feeling Your Performance


It's time to change your approach: stop listening and start feeling. Embrace the emotion, the tone, and the energy of the script. When you feel your read, you connect more deeply with the material. This connection translates into a performance that's more authentic, more engaging, and ultimately more successful.


Here's another pro tip: Stand up. Hey, even a 1000-page audio book will sound better if you stand. There's a physicality to this work. Body language speaks. If you're slumped in a chair, you're slumped in your read.


You need to stay focused and on-mic, but that doesn't mean you can;t add body to your read. Stand up! Be proud! Feel the read!


Unlock Your True Voice


By making this simple change in your routine, you can unlock a level of performance you didn't know was possible. It's about letting go of the technicalities and embracing the artistry of voice acting. Feel your read, and watch as your performances transform from good to extraordinary.


Okay, you think I'm over stating things? I've spent my life in studios with the best V/Os on Earth. I've seen it all. Hey, I've even seen V/Os reading from a chair and it sounded FANTASTIC! So, wtf, Chris?


Here's the truth: The seated V/O was James Earl Jones. If you have a voice like that do whatever you want.


In fact, you DO have a voice as unique as James Earl Jones, because you have something he doesn't --YOU!


Your life, your experience, your point of view, your 'you' that is your unique voice! Get out of its way.


Don't listen, FEEL your way to your next great V/O performance -- the one that gets booked.


Conclusion: A Small Change for a Major Impact


It's time to take off those headphones, push aside technical distractions, and truly immerse yourself in the emotion and energy of your script. Remember, it's not just about how you sound; it's about how you feel.


If you've ever had the privilege of watching the pros read you'll notice many keep one headphone off. The voice you want to hear is not your amplified voice but your natural voice. That's where you find your nuance and conversation dynamics that make your read connect with listeners.


And some of the great ones I've directed, ditched the headphones all together and only put them on to hear directions from the control booth. They disconnect themselves from the entire technical process and FOCUS.


Make this change. It'll lead you to more winning reads.




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