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Part 3: Voice Over - Vocal Pronunciation
The previous blog covered the beginnings of vocal projection. Now that you have driven everyone crazy in the house with your loud speak, let’s tweak it back a bit.
Years ago, Michael Caine the actor held an acting Master’s class and asked students to read a scene. After listening to a few, Michael sat down and explained that an actor should just speak to another actor. In other words, don’t yell or try to overwhelm the other actor. The secret is to act like you are having a conversation.
That mantra holds true for voice overs. You aren’t a carnival barker giving a sales pitch or speaking in iambic pentameter from a Shakespearian play. You are developing a warm and alluring tone with pronunciation allowing for attraction.
You may ask, how do I make words on the page seem interesting? First of all, you’re not Robert Downey Jr. improvising on the set...you are READING THE WORDS. Your personality will eventually come through but for now, start with pronouncing every word. Consonants make up the majority of words so you need to practice finishing the word and quickly launching into the next word. If you hesitate, it will sound sluggish and choppy.
Forgot the fact that you may sound a bit monotone. The key is to relax your jaw by envisioning something holding your teeth apart; that will make it easier to pronounce consonants and vowels in lieu of a clenched jaw.
The next blog will combine projection and pronunciation with pace. In the meantime, listen to commercials and try to determine the different speeds in which the VO actors are performing. You may find it fascinating how they can speak so quickly and pronounce every word clearly. Remember, they all had a starting point just like you.