Voiceover: Without the Net

by | Acting, performance skills, Training, Voice Acting, Voiceover

Continuing educational efforts have taken me to a new place…and have taken me by surprise. (A pleasant surprise)

I’ve been attending a very wonderful working pros voice acting class for the past month at Kalmenson and Kalmenson in Los Angeles.

Words to describe it don’t even begin to cover it all: Dynamic, challenging, fun, exhilarating, fast-paced, and rewarding. First of all, Cathy Kalmenson reminds me of a childhood friend. And such an amazing ear and instincts this woman has! She zooms immediately into what you’re doing in the booth and presses all the right keys to pull out something you didn’t try before, that you had in you all along.

The past month I’ve been adjusting my swing, so to speak, like Tiger Woods, and I adore my swing coach, and the “Method” . It is quite liberating voice acting by your truth.

So during week 2  I was in the booth, my read was predictable, and my pitch and delivery were the same throughout.  I was playing safe and small.  I was doing what has worked and booked.

I must admit it was unnervingto be “on stage” in front of my peers, and in the presence of agents and one of LA’s premier casting directors staring the possibility of failure in its face. Then I was directed to turn my script over and deliver the read. I thought I was going to have a panic attack right there. I was like a deer in the headlights.
I blanked.
I couldn’t remember the copy if I tried.
I was so consumed with being polished that I started. I stopped. I took a moment.  I was thinking ,”Oh my God! Why did she do this to me? She singled me out.”

It felt like a nightmare that seemed to last several minutes but it was only a minute or so.
It actually took me a whole week to listen back to that take. And you know what… It wasn’t THAT bad upon playback. BUT I felt it was an incredibly revealing exercise, for me.  And I understand why she made me do it.

Then fast forward two weeks.  I’ve been processing my growth, and experiencing the same in my classmates, who are now bonding and laughing, as we are learning from each other too each week.  Last night we were recording  projects and scripts we wanted to work on.

Taking risks in a safe place.

During my mic time,  I was asked to turn my script over and deliver. My first reaction was, “NOT AGAIN!”. Then I just laughed, closed my eyes, and did it.  I conveyed the feeling without hesitation.

No longer a deer in the headlights. My truth came flowing from a place with my eyes closed. Sure I improvised, but  that wasn’t the point.

Without the safety net of the script.

Then I immediately turned the script over and read again. 
Powerfully empowering.
The truth is setting me free.


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