Hopefully, you were able to dust off that resume of yours and find where your professional and creative sides merge. Just in case, here’s the last ENTRY.
After receiving some feedback from my ex-wife on adding hobbies to resumes, she told me that she only puts down the ones that are relevant for the job she’s applying for. See, I don’t list my hobbies on my resume. To each their own I guess.
I would be lying if I told you I looked up the ‘Basics’ of Voice Over.
I spent most of my time scrolling through all the different types of microphones to choose from and what the differences were between USB microphones and microphones that required Phantom Power.
If you are serious about trying your hand at VO, do your research and invest within your means—my Disclaimer and personal opinion.
The only problem I had was, “Where the hell was I going to put it?!”
Refocusing on the “less-interesting yet vital parts”, I came across a YouTube video from a full-time narrator who has done this for years. To sum it up, if it was something I was serious about, then I needed to practice first before committing.
He recommended two things:
- Find a quiet place in your house/apartment and
- Read “Out Loud” for an hour or two
By doing this and gradually increasing the time you read, you will get a sense of what it’s like. Pretty sound advice—pun initiated!
I didn’t have to invest anything, yet, and there was still so much to learn. A ‘Win, Win’ situation if you ask me. According to most articles, for those of us just starting out, not only did the area have to be “Quiet” but also “Sound-dampened”. They each recommended starting out in a closet. So, for the next few weekends, I was reading more articles out loud in my closet.
It was the last weekend of January when I decided that reading in a closet really sucked. I have a tendency to move around when I talk. My arms kept bumping into the wall and closet door. It was so cramped that I couldn’t stretch out. And due to the small space, I would be winded from reading in the first 30 minutes. This situation was a hurdle I needed to figure out.
The area had to be quiet, sort of sound-treated, and big enough for me to move around to continue practicing. I never would’ve thought my “Pillow Fort” building skills would come in handy!
Kai and I love building pillow forts for movie nights and watching anime (Japanese Animation)
After making some adjustments, my makeshift ‘Sound booth’ was ready! I was comfortable. I was able to move around. The best part was being able to read for 2 hours straight before getting winded!
One of my favorite quotes, “The problem isn’t the problem. It’s your attitude towards the problem”—or something like that. It goes back to the point of making something work. Especially when it comes to something we would like to accomplish.
As soon as I resolved that issue, another one quickly took its place—
the way I sounded when I spoke.
Not only am I nasally, my voice cracks like I’m still a teenager going through puberty.
(You don’t know how many times I’ve used this to my advantage when bill collectors or telemarketers would call me—shh, it’s our little secret.)
I never gave it that much thought on how I sounded before. If I didn’t like the way I sounded, then I wondered what others thought when I spoke.
My job as a delivery driver involved speaking with customers. Some were straight to the point while others were more talkative. I’m normally a listener but if I felt the conversation was going to draw itself out, then I had to take the initiative to politely wrap it up.
They didn’t care what I sounded like. We would conversationally relate on a business and personal level. Being able to hold my own in a conversation was an element I had to practice on myself when I read in my pillow fort.
I’m not going to lie, I felt ridiculous the first few times. There I was, with a mirror in my pillow fort, reading to myself!
Gradually, I started feeling more comfortable talking to my reflection. The noticeable difference was how natural the words came out. I wasn’t tense anymore. Using conversational judgement while speaking gave me an idea of how my speech rhythm, vocal cadence, was. All I had to do from there was adjust accordingly to what I was saying or reading.
Since I was in my “Sound booth”, it made sense to talk to myself—recreating what it’s like recording.
It’s crazy how the ‘obvious’ can be overlooked. The “Basics” were right there! We tend to listen to someone who is relatable, knowledgeable, and comfortable when they speak. By having these characteristics, it doesn’t matter what they sound like—just my opinion. Another way of practicing is through phone conversations. Think about it. It’s casual and everyone does it. You can tell by someone’s tone if they are actively engaged in the conversation, simply ignoring you, or are upset.
And that is how pillow fort building and talking to myself helped me get a step closer into Voice Over. Just like exercise, I keep to this regiment when I don’t have any ongoing projects. Only this time, I have a sound booth I built from closet doors and a desk instead of sitting on the ground in a closet.
I hope you’re excited for the next entry!
We will be fast-forwarding to May (2019)—the month I began recording. Just to warn you, the audio will not be edited and there will be some swearing involved. I consider them to be fumbles and common occurrences when I record. So, until then, take care my friends!