You might not think there's a connection to the heightened, poetic language of Shakespeare's work and voice over copy, but when it comes to the job of the (voice) actor, the approach to delivery is in many ways the same. The script holds the keys for you! All the clever turns-of-phrase, the use of opposites, alliteration, and rhythm that Shakespeare's work is known for can be found in the deeply intentionally crafted voice over copy, especially in commercial work. The punctuation itself informs you, the voice actor, about when to breathe and when to shift mood. Awesome, right?
In the brief interview (linked below) with Shakespearian vocal coach, actor, and director Linda Gates, she discusses how honoring the structure and punctuation of the text will give the actor cues on where to take breaths in order to impact the delivery and support the story found in the lines. Here are a few quotations:
“The main thing is to make sense of the text and have the breath punctuate the thought."
“Even people who were literate would hire people to read to them from Shakespeare.”
“Primarily, he writes for the theatre, and he writes to be performed by actors, using the words and speaking it aloud. It doesn’t exist as deeply on the printed page as it does in the mouths of actors.”
*** If you would like to get some Shakespeare practice in and learn how to apply the techniques of reading his work to voice over copy, we have a brand new class on October 31st called Shakespeare and VO: Star-Crossed Lovers, taught by Andy Alabran and Sally Clawson. See you there! ***
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