Last weekend I attended a conference dedicated to voice over in video games called Get Your Game On Los Angeles. Presented by the Voice Over Network, the conference was an all-day event with incredible presenters who are well-established in the video game industry, including voice actors, casting directors, and voice directors. Suffice it to say, the day was jam packed with content and impossible to unpack in a single article.
The final panel of the day featured an array of the day's speakers who were all asked "What's one piece of advice you'd give to aspiring voice actors?" Here are their responses:
Simple, yet powerful, and something we all probably need to hear from time to time. And coming from the Senior Casting Director at one of the biggest video game companies in the world, I think it's safe to say this advice is universal and needs to be heard by everyone from the beginner to the seasoned VO veteran.
Dave urges us to remember that "our characters don't have scripts." We, the actors, get to read our lines over and over again, but each time the character says it, it must be as if for the first time. And playing a character honestly comes down to strong acting.
You should love the learning process. It is full of self-discovery and personal growth. The actors who best connect with their characters are those who have learned to connect with themselves.
Focus instead on what you can control:
Everything else is out of your hands. The performance that you bring to the table is just one part of the larger puzzle.
Don't make the mistake of trying to be who you think other people want you to be. When you do that, you leave behind the one thing that sets you apart from everyone else - yourself.
In addition to letting go of what you can't control, do yourself a favor and stop dwelling on what isn't happening for you and shift your focus to the positive, to the little things you achieve every day. Okay, so maybe you didn't book the part, but you got the audition! Celebrate that!!
The perfect quote to button up this list. Just... wow.
Andrea Toyias also revealed the number one thing missing from auditions right now (drumroll, please)....
Let that sink in. Acting. Storytelling. Truth. Among the hundreds of auditions she receives, less than 10% have good acting! And you'd be sorely mistaken if you think that only applies to the lead roles, she says, "because even if you're an orc, troll, demon, or goblin, video games are about the human experience."
Well, there you have it. Good voice acting, it turns out, requires good acting.
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