Voice Acting – It’s about making a choice!

I guess this spawns from previous conversations.

“How do I play a character this way… that way??”  “How can I be like Mark Hamill’s Joker?”

People have asked things like, “How do I Iaugh correctly?”, finding how to laugh AS a certain character. “How do I voice as a child??”. You’ve heard the same answer almost all the time.. “Acting”.

I know that’s vague for some, but it’s just about being truthful in the decision you make and being emotionally REAL with it. Don’t concentrate on how you sound, or if you’re sounding like Mark Hamill… because you are not Mark Hamill (Kevin Michael Richardson sounds totally different the way he laughs as “Joker”.. but it’s not WRONG, why?? because he keeps to the character’s emotions and does it 100% his own way). Do the character your own way, psychotic, loud. You have to pull that emotion out, make the choice, and let it out. Even if it doesn’t sound 100% the way you want… guess what, you just made a character from that, as long as it was emotionally truthful.

Laughing, Crying, Being Scared, Being Excited.. in movies these emotions aren’t fake, they are authentic and real. If they weren’t, the actor would not be on camera. Same for being behind the microphone, if your emotions are not real, you WILL sound contrived, your laughs will sound fake, your crying will sound fake, your sarcasm will be pale. It’s just bad acting.

Doing this behind a microphone can be harder than working with other actors because NOW you have nobody to work off of. When somebody is yelling at you in real life you either instantly feel weakened and vulnerable emotionally, pushed into tears.. OR you get angry and fight for whatever it is you’re defending/motivated toward. It’s all supported because the other person is HELPING to push you into the correct state of mind. Now do that same thing with nobody there.

Keep this in mind… Voice Acting is EXACTLY the same, if not harder than regular on-camera acting.  It’s not making funny voices… It’s ACTING.  So, if you’re a Voice Actor, the next time someone ever asks you as a “Voice Actor”… “Man, you’re really good!  When are you ever gonna do REAL acting..?”

You can correct them… …first gently let them know about what they just said and that it’s insulting.  That you KNEW ‘what’ they meant… being on camera… but the way they delivered the question, was .. bad.  Because Voice Acting, -IS- REAL ACTING.

Biggest way for someone to start making their characters authentic…? Don’t be self conscious about your own emotions, learn to live with them comfortably. Make your character’s desires YOUR desires. Once you believe in those desires WITH your character, the emotions will pour through, ESPECIALLY if something is in the way of your objective and goals.


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