Last week we covered using Kinetic and Psychological energies in your reads. This week, we discuss voice placement when reading commercial Voice Over copy.
First off, make sure to record yourself as you’re doing the following exercise. If you remember from last week, Kinetic energy is loud and projected. (Ex: Come to Toyota-thon! Sale ends today!)
1- Let’s start by placing your voice in the middle of the mouth. Now mumble (trust me, there’s a purpose to this) with loud, projected energy: “Hi, my name is (Insert Full Name)” You’ll notice that the sound is bouncing around inside your cheeks.
2- Now let’s move the sound to the throat. You should speak as if you were clearing your throat for proper placement. Now say again: “Hi, my name is (Insert Full Name)”. You’ll notice that your sound will be raspy and unclear, which is actually a good way to age your voice to play older characters or to make it sound like you’re sick.
3- Move the sound back to the middle of your mouth (like Step 1)
4- Now we place the sound at the mask of your face. First, pretend you’re holding an apple in your hand. Then, pretend that you’re about to bite the apple by loosening your jaw. Now imagine that the sound is shooting like a laser through your teeth, piercing the apple and being projected forward in a never-ending straight line. Then say: “Hi, my name is (Insert Full Name).” You’ll notice that the sound fills the room. That’s where your sound should be 99% of the time. This is where your voice will sound the sharpest, crispest and clearest. And, as a bonus, it takes much less effort to speak because your jaw is loose.
5- Now repeat the same steps 1-4 using Psychological Energy. If you remember from last week, Psychological Energy is one that is intimate, as if you were confiding in someone who’s sitting shoulder-to-shoulder next to you. (Ex: Welcome to Visiting Nurse Service of New York. We’ll take care of your grandma).
Please let me know how this worked for your next audition in our comments section. Next week we’ll cover how to apply both these energies to your reads and transitioning between the two energies to add more color to your performances. Until next time, happy Memorial Day Weekend!
For more great Voice Over tips, info on Voice Over Coaching, Bilingual Voice Over production and Songwriting, please visit the Berne Media Enterprises page. May ‘The Voice’ Be With You, and thanks for spreading the word!