Voice Acting Tips: Reading a Script
In becoming a voice actor, and maintaining a career as such, there’s always room for improvement. In essence, a successful voice actor has great voice control, flawless technique, and the ability to read a script as if they’re not reading at all—to name a few aspects. The latter, however, is extremely important when it comes to doing the actual work. While you can have a great voice and tone, reading a script isn’t as simple as it sounds. As mentioned, your script reading should go unnoticed as a voice actor. In other words, it needs to be smooth.
Aside from reading a script to make the voice over sound unscripted and smooth, it’s also important to learn how to read a voice over script with little to no flaws. Otherwise, you’ll be in the recording studio all day trying to get it right. Of course, there are plenty of exercises you can do to help perfect your script reading skills and ultimately improve yourself as a voice over actor.
How to Read a Script: Avoiding Mistakes
One common pain point for voice actors is the ability to read a script without fault. Whether it’s due to a hard-to-read script or a timing issue on your own part, avoiding mistakes is crucial. One quick recommendation is to read over your script multiple time prior to recording. However, there’s plenty more you can do. See below:
Stay relaxed: While it may be easier said than done, stay relaxed as you read through your script. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to slow down your talking speed, remaining calm as you read your lines will help you avoid making mistakes. Whether it be avoiding caffeine before the read or doing some breathing exercises, keep it relaxed.
Read the script first: Needless to say, you should always read the script a few times through before you hit the studio. This way, you’ll not only have a better feel for the script, but you’ll be more comfortable in reading it, which ultimately makes for a smoother read.
Stand up: Though it may seem negligible, standing up during a voice over session is highly recommended. Standing allows you to breathe deeper and ultimately speak clearer. Plus, it allows you to get a little more involved with the voice acting itself, giving more personality to the character you’re voicing, if that’s the case.
Voice Over Tips for a Smoother Read
Much like the need to avoid mistakes in reading a script for voice over, you also need to ensure you’re reading smoothly—as previously mentioned. This could be the timing or speed of your speech, but isn’t limited to such. In reading a script, keep the following tips in mind:
In reading your script, timing is key. Depending on what the script calls for, you’ll want to ensure you’re not reading too fast, or slow in other cases. Timing your practice reads can help you get an idea of the speed you’re going which you can then use to decide whether speed it up or slow down.
Consider what your role is. If you’re voice acting (as opposed to narrating), think of who your character is and how they play into the overall production. What kind of personality would someone like that have?
Similarly, consider your audience. You need to know who you’re talking to before you start the session. Different demographics need to be addressed appropriately. Is the audience teens or an older generation? What kind of tone should be given for each of these audiences?
You also need to keep the motive of the entire production in mind. Depending on what the production is trying to accomplish, whether that be humor or something more serious, you’ll need to adjust your tone and projection for such, which ultimately comes down to how you read the script.
Of course, you also need to keep the company and brand in mind, as they’ll often have an established public image or reputation. And you need to match that in reading the script. You’re not just meeting the demands of the audience, you also have to keep the brand in mind. This will directly affect the tone and projection as your read the script.
For further information on voice over, be sure to check out our additional resources. We’ve provided a few pages below:
Add Voice Over Classes to the Mix
Again, the way in which you read a script and project your voice is essential the overall tone of any production. However, there are many other important aspects in regards to becoming a successful voice over actor. While you can do your research and work to perfect your voice at home, voice over classes are often necessary to fully understand the discipline and industry.