"Please use your confident librarian voice." Honestly, the first thing that pops into my head is Van Halen, but I get it…instantly. When I am working on a voice over, I will ask my client, WHO am I here? WHat’s happening? So last week, I heard, “you are playing a confident librarian.”
I’m transported there, to the library. What is this confident librarian wearing? How is she sitting? What is her specialty? What fires her up? Who is she talking to?
If she’s talking to a student, she might slow down her speech, point when she talks, write it down or draw a diagram for the student? If she’s talking to a coworker, she’ll probably still be a bit quiet (because we’re in a library here), but she’ll be less formal, more laid back. Is that same confident librarian presenting to her department? Is she now in power suit mode?
So once I know WHO the character is, I like to next find out WHAT am I doing? WHO am I talking to?
At this point, I am pulling from all my past experiences in my life. Movies I’ve watched, books I’ve read, actual meetings I have been in, actual conversations with confident librarians I have had, actual power suit moments. All the things.
It’s like I am accessing all my memories in my brain or data base…like Neo in the Matrix or something, I’m putting all the pieces together, taking only what I want to access and use, then boom, it comes out of my voice.
This is why I am a HUGE fan of having past jobs in corporate, in higher education, (I was even a TSA agent for awhile) so I can pull actual real life situations to translate them into real voice overs, so they sound real. (How many times did I write the word "real"?)
That is why I always want to know who I am playing when I get a part or an audition. Or if I am hiring another voice actor, I give them a brief about the project so they can deliver.
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