When I started my career as an on-air personality in the 90’s. I had a hard time with working in four white walls, a microphone and myself. I felt like I was in a padded cell. Internet hadn’t taken hold yet, no second talent to banter with, just me and the microphone and empty space. I didn’t know if I my jokes were funny, or if I was engaging etc. as there was no feedback. I discovered that I liked talking to people, reading and talking out loud, not time with myself. Interestingly my world hasn’t changed much except now I am in four purple walls (that are padded LOL), except this time I am reading copy and eventually I get feedback.
Your signature voice, (your unique personality) should shine through in everything you do, but you need to adapt to other personalities to suit project needs. They don’t have to be drastically different, or cartoony for that matter, but your teacher voice should be different than your mom/dad voice, vs your announcer voice, etc. I call it “Multiple Personality on a Stick” but you are in full control. Lets face it, to make that happen you need to be a bit out there! You have to be a creative thinker. Most people in the arts are creative thinkers, so they think out of the box. It’s just a natural fit.
You can book jobs voicing in the one style that you do as a default, but you can make a substantial growth in your career by having multiple personalities in your back pocket. Think of it in professions. For example you want to have a salesman, teacher, energetic character, the real you, the authoritarian, the confident personality, a calming or soothing character, a sultry personality etc. These are all different types of personalities that you should know how to bring to life and each one should be distinctly different. These types of characters are a great fit for most genres. Your version of that character will be different than mine. You will base yours on your life experiences and familiarity, as will I. That’s what makes each of our reads unique and brings out THE REAL YOU!
I’m sure to the common mind; we might be a bit out there. We talk out loud to ourselves, we break into weird voices for no reason, we are playful (usually), we like to be heard etc., we work our butts off and hear more no’s than yes’s. Perhaps they are right…but we are in full control and we are having fun doing what we do! We are just blessed that our insanity can pay the bills. The arts industries are full of Lefties, ADD, ADHD and more. We are a fun mixed up bunch with some commonalities.
So EMBRACE YOUR INSANITY and love your multiple personalities on a stick. They pay the bills and are a ton of fun. Start watching people. Record them, mimic them, make notes on them, find ways to become all of those around you as they are all a worthy character that has not yet been done.
If you need help adding to your VoiceBox of personalities, I’m happy to give you a hand. It’s easier than you think
Until next time
All my best
VO Chef Deb