Thursday 1 August 2019

How do I prepare for a long voiceover script?

Finally, as a voice actor you get the script and you realise its long. Really really loooooonnnnnggg! When a script is this long how do you use your voiceover skills to ensure you get through it all?

Many times scripts are written for visual effect rather than audio - we can always tell when this is the case. It means that sight reading and plenty of breaths are the key to get your through it all. Then there are scripts that keep on going and going and going with no punctuation in sight.

  • Learn how to breathe: Why is it important in the voice over world?  We need to breathe to give us enough breath to get through those tricky sentences/paragraphs so that the sentences make sense and it doesn't become too breathy. There are many exercises that you can practice so you can achieve optimum breathing capacity for narration. You need to do diaphragm exercises daily to keep it in top condition, because like anything if you do not use your diaphragm properly on a daily basis then your muscles will lose their ability. You need to breathe deep down, not just short breaths but deep breaths feel those lungs fill up. Try not to lift the shoulders but focus on your belly expanding moving in and out. Count up to 5 breathing in  then let the air slowly out, then 10 etc doing this for a good few minutes if you find it helpful focus on a spot on the wall. When you are in the booth remember your exercises and when you come across those tricky sentences use those muscles in your diaphragm. They will get you through.
  • Twist your tongue: Whilst you are in the booth or before you go into the booth, make sure that the voice is properly warmed up too. Use tongue twisters- our favourite of course is about fish "Fresh fried fish, fish fresh fried, fried fish fresh, fish fried fresh." Give your mouth a good work out and stretch it out by making exaggerated smiles that make you grin like the Joker. 

  • Read the script: Before you go in the booth, sit down, digest and understand what you are trying to say, who you are talking/selling too. Find the important words you need to highlight in your script and underline them and mark the pauses.  It is your time so use it wisely. Settle down make sure you have water available and don't rush through the script and if there are words you don't know how to say or understand ASK. RELAX, take a deep breath and away you go. MOST OF ALL ENJOY. Because if you are enjoying reading it out loud your audience will. And that could make a voiceover artist out of you yet.