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The Art of Voice Acting, 5th Edition

Book Description

From basic acting techniques and exercises for keeping the voice in top condition, to marketing and promotion of the actor, The Art of Voice Acting covers it all. Now in its fifth edition, this essential book is packed with expert advice on job opportunities and career management tips; it is the ideal resource for anyone wanting to maximize their success in the industry. Complete with a companion website and QR codes that link directly to additional material such as audio for every script included in the book, more exercises, and voice relaxation techniques, this is the complete package that gives voiceover actors, and those in related fields, a clear, no-nonsense introduction to the business and art of voice acting.

New and updated in this edition:

  • All new scripts and voice exercises
  • More voice and acting techniques
  • Coverage of new trends, including online demos and online auditions
  • Additional coverage of audiobooks and new information on home studio technology
  • All new contributions from some of the top voice talent in the world

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Dedication
  6. Table of Contents
  7. Forward
  8. Preface
  9. Introduction
  10. The Craft of Performing for Voiceover
    1. 1. What is Voice Acting?
      1. “Voiceover” vs. “Voice Acting”
      2. Types of Voiceover Work
      3. The Essentials
      4. Breaking into the Business of Voiceover
    2. 2. The Best Kept Secret
      1. The Realities of Voice Acting
      2. Full-time or Part-time
      3. Seven Things You Must Know About Voiceover Work
    3. 3. Voiceover Basics: Where to Start
      1. Are You an Actor or a Salesperson
        1. Your Role as a Voice Actor
        2. A Common Mistake
        3. Understand Your Audience
        4. The Voice Actor as a Salesperson
      2. Getting the Skills You Need
        1. A Twist of a Word
        2. Voiceover “Reads”
        3. Classes
        4. A Word of Caution
    4. 4. Using Your Instrument
      1. Where do You Sit in the Voiceover Orchestra?
      2. All about Breathing
        1. Your Vocal Presentation
        2. Breath Control for the Voice Actor
        3. Breathe Conversationally
      3. Be Easy on Yourself
      4. Exercising Your Voice
      5. Correcting Speech Problems and Habits
        1. Unclear Diction or Lack of Speech Clarity
        2. Overemphasis, Explosive Consonants, and Over Enunciation
        3. Losing, or Dropping, the Ends of Words
        4. Lack of Mobility in the Face, Jaw, and Lips
        5. Clipped vowels
        6. Breathiness and Devoicing Consonants
        7. Excessive Resonance or an Overemotional Quality
        8. Accent Reduction or Minimization
      6. Voice and Body Exercises
        1. Warm up to Save Your Voice
        2. Exercise 1: Relax Your Mind
        3. Exercise 2: Relax Your Body
        4. Exercise 3: Relax Your Neck
        5. Exercise 4: Relax Your Arms
        6. Exercise 5: Relax Your Face
        7. Exercise 6: Horse Lips
        8. Exercise 7: Relax Your Tongue
        9. Exercise 8: Yawning
        10. Exercise 9: The Cork Exercise
        11. Exercise 10: The Sweep
        12. Exercise 11: Enunciation Exercises
        13. Tongue Twisters
      7. 24 Tips for Maintaining Your Voice and Improving Your Performance
    5. 5. Voice Acting 101
      1. It’s Not About Your Voice, It’s About What You Can Do With Your Voice
      2. Commit to Your Choices - And Adjust
        1. Be in the Moment
        2. Be Your Own Director—Mastering Self-direction
        3. Make it the First Time Every Time
        4. Tell the Story Effectively
        5. Find the Rhythm in the Copy
      3. Getting Away from the Read
        1. Understand the Big Picture with 6 Ws and an H
        2. Ask “What if…”
        3. Character Departure
        4. Listen and Answer
        5. Make up a Lead-in Line (Pre-life)
        6. Make up a Lead-out Line (After life)
        7. Billboarding Key Words and Phrases
        8. Personal Pronouns—the Connecting Words
        9. Work the Consonants
        10. Building Transition Bridges
        11. Using Conjunctions
        12. Dealing with Lists
        13. Contrast and Comparison
        14. Ad-lib to Create Realism
        15. The Tell
        16. Maintain Your Character’s Vocal Range
        17. Faster and Flatter
      4. Physical Attitudes to Help Delivery
        1. M.O.V.E.
        2. To Care or not to Care
        3. Feel the Tension
      5. Your Clothes Make a Difference
      6. The Magic of Your Mind: If You Believe it, They Will
      7. Trends
    6. 6. Developing Style and Technique
      1. What’s in Your Took Kit?
      2. Style
      3. Your Signature Voice
      4. The Road to Proficiency
        1. Becoming Competent
        2. Three Stages to Achieving Proficiency
      5. Three Steps to Creating an Effective Performance
        1. Practice
        2. Rehearsal & Performance
      6. The Elements of a Voice Acting Performance
        1. Less is More
        2. More is More
        3. Performance Dynamics: Pacing, Volume & Range
        4. Articulation
        5. Diction
        6. Tempo and Rhythm
        7. Timing is Everything
        8. Phrasing
        9. Sustain to Slow Down and Add Interest
        10. Thee and Thuh, Ae and Uh
        11. Attitude
        12. Sense Memory
        13. Subtext
        14. Tone
        15. Pause for Importance
        16. Hold that Thought—Using the Ellipsis
        17. Thought Pacing—Another use of the Ellipsis
        18. Imitation
      7. Resources
    7. 7. Techniques for Developing Style
      1. Critical Voice Acting Concepts
        1. Let Go of Judgments and Inhibitions
        2. Take the “Voice” out of Voiceover
        3. Interrupt, Engage, Educate, Offer
        4. Never Play Comedy for the Laugh
      2. Shortcuts that Trick Your Brain
        1. The 2-4 Shortcut
        2. Re-spell with Sound-alikes
        3. Linking
      3. Advanced Techniques
        1. Make Them the Only Words
        2. Remove or Change Punctuation Marks
        3. Reverse Text to Find Inflection
        4. Ride the Elevator to Tweak Your Timing
        5. Substitution: Changing Context to Find Attitude
        6. Add a Word or Two
        7. Subtract Words
        8. Break the Rules of Logic
        9. Break the Rules of Grammar
        10. Work Backwards
        11. Find Emotional Hooks
        12. Memorize the First Line
        13. Use Music as Inspiration (Music Match Exercise)
        14. Using Props
    8. 8. Microphone Technique
      1. Your New Best Friend
        1. Microphone Basics
        2. Microphone Pickup Patterns
        3. Microphone Placement & Copy Stand Position
        4. Let the Engineer Position the Microphone
        5. Working the Microphone
        6. Using Proximity Effect to Your Advantage
        7. Never Blow into or Tap a Microphone
        8. Holding the Microphone
      2. Using Headphones
        1. What Kind of Headphones are Best?
    9. 9. The Seven Core Elements
      1. Acting is Acting is Acting… Sort of
      2. It Starts with Pretending
      3. A = Audience: Core Element #1
      4. B = Back Story: Core Element #2
      5. C = Character: Core Element #3
      6. D = Desires: Core Element #4
      7. E = Energy: Core Element #5
        1. Psychological Energy
        2. Physical Energy
        3. Emotional Energy
      8. F = Forget Who You Are & Focus: Core Element #6
      9. G = Gamble: Core Element #7
    10. 10. Wood Shedding and Script Analysis
      1. The Director in the Front Row of Your Mind
      2. Wood Shed Your Copy
      3. Creating a Performance Road Map: Analyzing and Marking a Script
        1. To Mark or not to Mark
        2. Mapping Your Performance
      4. Wood Shed Your Script to be More Believable
        1. Character Analysis: Core Element #3
        2. Find the Back Story: Core Element #2
        3. Unveil the Conflict
        4. Script Analysis Worksheet
        5. Discover the Resolution or Non-resolution of Conflict
        6. Discover the Unique Selling Proposition
        7. Make the Copy Your Own
        8. Create Tension
        9. Look for Question Marks in the Copy
      5. Tips for Wood Shedding
    11. 11. The Character in the Copy
      1. How Will You Play the Role?
        1. The Two Types of Actors
        2. The Dilemma
      2. Your Best Tool is Your Own Personality
        1. The Two Boxes
      3. Theater of the Mind
      4. An Exercise for Creating Real Characters
      5. Visualization Script for “Creating Characters”
      6. Making Your Characters Believable
        1. Find the Music
        2. Study Other Performers
        3. Stretch Your Boundaries and be Willing to Risk
        4. Make Every Time the First Time
        5. Character Has Precedence Over Copy
        6. Act Professional
      7. Tips for Performing All Types of Copy
    12. 12. Single Voice Commercial
      1. Commercials are Not About Selling
        1. It’s All About the Story
        2. Telling the Story in Time
        3. Script Formats
      2. Tips for Performing Single-Voice Copy
      3. Single-Voice Scripts
        1. Funerall
        2. PayChex Today
        3. Liberty Trust
    13. 13. Multiples and Dialogue
      1. Types of Dialogue Copy
        1. The Conversation
        2. Comedy
      2. Tips for Performing Comedic Dialogue Copy
      3. Dialogue and Multiple-Voice Scripts
        1. Nature Life
        2. San Diego Tourism
        3. Cheap Times
        4. Sunland Bank and Trust
    14. 14. Industrials: Long Form Narration
      1. Telling a Different Kind of Story
      2. The Challenges of Medical Narration
        1. How to Approach Your Medical Script
      3. Tips for Performing Corporate & Narrative Copy
      4. Corporate and Narrative Scripts
        1. Lighting Store
        2. RAPIDaccess: How To Use the Interface
    15. 15. Audio Books
      1. Telling the Long Story
        1. The Audio Book Challenge
        2. Finding Audio Book Clients
      2. Tips for Performing Audio Books
      3. Audio Book Scripts
        1. The Time Machine
        2. Know Thy Neighbor
    16. 16. Mastering Character Voices
      1. Vocalizing Characters
        1. Animation, Game and Other Character Voices
        2. The Six Elements of Character Voice
      2. Pat Fraley’s Six Critical Elements of Character Voice
      3. Finding Your Voice
      4. The Character Voice Worksheet
      5. Tips for Character and Animation Copy
      6. Character, Game and Animation Scripts
    17. 17. Imaging—Promo—Trailer
      1. Radio Imaging
        1. The Radio Broadcaster’s Brand and Signature
      2. Television Promo
      3. Trailer
      4. Tips for Performing Imaging, Promo and Trailer
      5. Imaging Scripts (various formats)
      6. Promo Scripts
      7. Trailer Scripts
    18. 18. Other VO Genres
      1. What is Your Niche?
      2. Telephony
      3. ADR/Looping
      4. Anime
      5. New Media
        1. A Revolution in Media Content & Delivery
  11. The Business of Voiceover
    1. 19. Getting Paid to Play
      1. It’s Show-biz, Folks!
      2. The Many Hats of a Voiceover Professional
      3. Making Money Doing Voiceover Work
        1. The Unions
        2. Financial Core
        3. When Should I Join the Union?
        4. Working Freelance
      4. Talent Agencies, Casting Agencies, Personal Managers, and Advertising Agencies
        1. The Talent Agency
        2. The Casting Agency or Casting Director
        3. The Personal Manager
        4. On-line Audition Services
        5. How Advertising Agencies Work
        6. How Production Companies Work
    2. 20. How to Work in the Voiceover Business
      1. Promoting and Marketing Yourself
      2. Managing Your Time
        1. Left Vs. Right
        2. Making the Minutes Count
      3. Business basics
        1. Never Underestimate the Value of Dumb Luck
        2. Never Underestimate Your Ability to be Able to Deal with People
        3. Making Contacts with Prospective Clients
        4. Follow-up
        5. Reaching the People who Book Talent
      4. How Social Media Networking Can Help Your Voiceover Business
        1. There’s Value in Social Media Networking (Courvoisier)
          1. Which Ones Should I Be On?
          2. Where Do I Start?
          3. OK, My Profiles are All Set Up, Now What?
          4. Join Groups
          5. Tips for Net Etiquette
          6. Should I Upgrade to a Paid Account?
          7. Final Recommendations
      5. Working Internationally
        1. Working as a Global Voice Actor (Andy Boyns)
      6. A Business Plan for Voice Actor You, Inc.
        1. Business Plan for Voice Actor You (Worksheet)
    3. 21. Your Voiceover Demo
      1. Your Professional Calling Card
      2. Demo Rule #1: Don’t Produce Your Demo Until You Are Ready
        1. How Will I Know?
        2. How Do I Get to Be That Good?
        3. A Word of Caution
      3. Demo Rule #2: Your Demo Must Accurately Represent Your Abilities
      4. Versatility is Your Selling Tool
      5. Demo Basics
        1. Demo Formats
      6. Types of Voiceover Demos
        1. Commercial Demos
        2. Industrial Narration Demos
        3. Character and Animation Demos (incl. Games)
        4. Audio Book Demos
        5. Imaging, Branding, Signature Voice Demos
        6. Promo and Trailer Demos
        7. Telephony Demos
      7. Producing Your Demo
        1. Preparation is the Key to a Great Demo
        2. How Long Should My Demo Be?
        3. What About Product Names?
        4. Where do I Get the Copy for My Demo?
        5. What About Dialogue, Music and Sound Effects?
        6. What is the Production Process?
        7. How Much will My Demo Cost?
        8. What do I Need to Know About Recording Studios?
        9. How do I book a Demo Studio and Producer?
      8. Your Demo Recording Session
      9. Arrive on Time and Prepared
      10. Working with Your Engineer/Producer
      11. Keeping Your Demo Current
    4. 22. Your Home Studio
      1. A Million Dollar Studio in Your Home
      2. The Challenge of Recording at Home
      3. Designing Your Home Studio
      4. Understanding Room Acoustics
      5. Advanced Home Studio Technology
        1. ISDN and Other Technologies
        2. Phone Patch
        3. Digital Recording Devices
        4. Equipment Upgrades
      6. Managing Your Computer
      7. Wearing the Hat of the Audio Engineer
      8. The Mysterious Decibel
        1. Recording Levels
      9. An Audio Recording & Editing Primer
        1. Recording Software
        2. Basic Editing
        3. Signal Processing
        4. Rendering
        5. Delivering Rendered Files
    5. 23. Establishing Your Voiceover Identity
      1. Present Yourself as a Professional
        1. Creating Your Brand
        2. What Makes You Unique?
      2. Setting Up Shop
      3. Print Materials
        1. Photos
        2. CD Labels
      4. Getting Your Demo Out There: To Duplicate or Not
      5. Your Website
        1. Website Essentials
    6. 24. The Talent Agent
      1. Finding and Working with an Agent
        1. Getting the Gigs
        2. Searching for an Agent
        3. Interviewing an Agent
        4. Working with Your Agent
    7. 25. Managing Your Voiceover Business
      1. Setting Your Talent Fee
        1. Evaluate the Job Requirements
        2. Think Like an Entrepreneur
        3. Setting Your Fee
        4. What About All that Equipment
        5. Buyouts
        6. The Agreement
      2. Negotiating Your Fee
      3. Getting Paid for Your Work
        1. The Deal Memo Letter
      4. How to Guarantee You’ll be Paid
        1. Create a Booking Agreement Form
        2. Other Types of Agreements
        3. Booking Confirmation Form
      5. Union Compensation
        1. Product Identification
        2. Limited Release Productions
      6. Documenting Your Session
        1. Session Work Order Form
      7. Keeping Records
        1. Voice Acting Expense Report Form
      8. Banking and Your Business
      9. Voiceover and the Law
    8. 26. Auditions
      1. The Audition Process
      2. Auditioning from Your Home Studio
        1. Online Auditions—Pay to Play Websites
        2. Recording a “Killer” Audition
        3. Who Wrote this Copy?
        4. Uncompensated Use of Your Audition
      3. The Live Audition
        1. Preparing for a Live Audition
        2. What to Expect at a Live Audition
        3. Be Prepared to Wait
        4. Expect to be Nervous
        5. Expect to be Treated Like Just Another Voice
        6. Make a Good First Impression
        7. Make the Copy Your Own
        8. Introduce Yourself with a Slate and Do Your Best
        9. Own the Session
      4. After the Audition
        1. When the Actors are Gone
        2. Be Good to Yourself
      5. Non-Union Auditions
    9. 27. You’re Hired! The Session
      1. A Journey through the Creative Process
        1. The Production Process
        2. Session Delays
        3. Working with Producers, Directors, Writers and Clients
        4. Who are Those People?
      2. Types of Sessions, Setups and Script Formats
        1. Demos
        2. Scratch Tracks
        3. Regular Session
        4. Session Setups
        5. Script Formats
      3. The Session: Step-by-Step
      4. Common Direction Terms
      5. Wrap it Up
    10. 28. Stop it!
      1. What are You Doing to Sabotage Yourself?
        1. Stop Acting
        2. Stop Announcing
        3. Stop Apologizing
        4. Stop Assuming
        5. Stop Caring
        6. Stop Guessing
        7. Stop Judging Yourself
        8. Stop Negative Thinking
        9. Stop Performing
        10. Stop Procrastinating
        11. Stop Reading
        12. Stop Second Guessing Your Client
        13. Stop Second Guessing Yourself
        14. Stop Thinking
        15. Stop Trying to be Perfect
        16. Stop Trying too Hard
        17. Stop Wasting Time
        18. Stop Worrying About the Words
    11. 29. Tips, Tricks & Studio Stories
      1. Maxine Dunn: Are New Clients Even Reading Your Cover Letter?
      2. Deb Munro: How Well Are You Managing Your Time?
      3. Julie Williams: Keep the Spotlight on the Star!
      4. Tom Dheere: Tom’s Tip: The Scratch Track
      5. Bill Holmes: Commercial Voiceovers: Yeah… It’s That Easy!
      6. Judy Fossum: Link up with LinkedIn
      7. Bobbin Beam: Thoughts on Auditioning
      8. Bob Hurley: A Tip About Your Demo
      9. Laura Bednarski: Tips for Voiceover Newcomers
      10. Elley-Ray: What You Eat is How You Sound!
      11. Penny Abshire: So … What Happens Now?
  12. Index