Sitting in my seat, silently mouthing the words on the script, knowing that my turn at the mic is next, and starting to tremble - tremble like my Chihuahua, Lola, when the garbage truck stops at our house. This is how I spent many of my first voice over classes.
I’ve been a performer most of my life, so I managed those first nervous months under the familiar guise of entertainer, which meant that I focused on character voices - no matter what script I was reading. If it was a commercial, I chose a character voice, if it was a narration, same thing. A character voice gave me the false sense of being hidden and safe behind something that wasn’t actually me.
One day in a class with a talent agent, the agent stopped me mid-script and said “please, just read it as yourself, don’t do a character voice”.
I hesitated. I did NOT want to do it. I felt so vulnerable. I thought people wouldn't want to hear me. But... I tried it as myself. No character. No hiding. And, to my surprise, no nerves.
And that was the day that my voice acting took off! I tried something uncomfortable which opened up a desire to explore different classes in all the genres of voice over as the real me. Trying, failing, succeeding and trying again all became part of the process and helped me find my strengths, reinforced my talent, and gave me the courage to commit to my choices. Now I bring me to a character, rather than the other way around. And if any character I portray needs to tremble from nervousness, I’ve so got it.
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