What’s that? You say you’d love to play the voice of a cartoon character? First things first, take my workshop on March 22nd and get the tools you need to make it happen. Now if only I could actually use any of those tools below…
1 DAY IN-STUDIO ANIMATION VOICE ACTING WORKSHOP
Date: Sunday March 22, 2015
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Downtown Toronto Recording Studio
Class Size: Max 8 Students
Cost: $200 + HST
- Combining Sound & Movement
- How to create dynamic characters on the spot
- Energy levels, voice placements, mic technique
- Audition Tips
To register, please send an email with some essential info about yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you make your audition stand out from the rest? Wear a chicken hat? Yep, that would do it. However, If you want to make it stand out in a good way, Improvisation is one of the best tools you can use. Always be on the lookout for spots in your script where you can throw in a little improv. It could be a couple of extra words off the top or at the back end of your lines, some vocalization, bizarre noises, whatever makes sense in the context of the scene or moment. Doing so shows the casting director that you’re bringing ideas to the table, you’re spontaneous and you know how to PLAY.
It is not uncommon for improvised lines to make it to the final product. One of the best examples is Robin Williams in Aladdin; most of what the Genie ended up saying came on the spot from the mind of Williams and not from the written page. Don’t feel confident improvising? Get out there and take a class. It’s a muscle that needs to be worked out. Bad Dog or Second City offer a variety of great classes.
So leave the chicken hat at home and book that next audition with your new and improv-ed self. Sorry for the lame puns, I couldn’t help myself.02.18.15
As actors, one of the scariest questions you get is “so, what have been up to lately?” When you’re busy, it’s easy to rattle off this and that in a casual, nonchalant ‘it’s always like this’ kind of way. When it’s slow, that question can tie your stomach in knots and have you searching for the nearest fire alarm to pull. I think the best remedy for this, besides avoiding tying your entire sense of identity to acting blah blah blah is to ALWAYS be working on your own projects. I am constantly inspired by my students and especially those who create their own work.
Enter Lisa Berry, an amazing actress/singer/artist with double bodied energy who is always creating something new. When she asked me to voice direct what she referred to as her “super geek” vision for a comic book video, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this incredible team (Dion Johnstone, Jean-Michel Le Gal and Olunike Adeliyi). The project is not intended to make money, it is simply a creative endeavour for its own sake. When you always have your own thing on the go, you always have something to talk about but more importantly, you always have something to do to release the creative energy that drives all of us in this nutty profession.
Check out the vid below produced by a real-life Wonder Woman and voice directed by little ol’ me.02.11.15
Acting is an intensely personal career. We are always being evaluated, putting our voice/body/inner life out there and hoping someone sees our talent and gives us a job. It is competitive, wrought with insecurity and can be mentally exhausting. The other day I was watching my toddler play with an older friend who was having one of those pushy grabby scratchy kind of days. My little man let it wash off him like it was nothing, somehow intuiting that it had nothing to do with him.
A day later, at an audition I saw an actor I knew who was not particularly friendly. My first instinct was to feel hurt and retreat, but then I remembered my toddler and his brush it off attitude. I tried not to let it get to me and lo and behold, by the time I left that audition I was having a nice conversation with this person.
When directors are insensitive, casting treats you like a piece of meat or fellow actors are passive aggressive, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!! Take it from my 20 month old, don’t take on other people’s water and get back to playing.02.5.15
This past September funny girl Stephanie Malek gave me a ring about how her dream is to become a working voice actor. Steph is a high energy improviser and creator of spontaneous comedy for years now and really wanted to apply her skills and dive into the voice scene. And dive she did, well it was more like double flip with fancy pointed feet! We worked together for a couple of months on technique and created material for both her Animation and Commercial demos (recorded at the end of November).
Then the new year rolls around and my girl Steph starts interviewing with voice agents and BAM she books her first ever voice gig. HELLO, that’s what I’m talking about!!!
Below is what Steph sent my way and with her permission had to share this with you all.
I just wanted to let you know that I booked my first voice job, directly off my demo! It’s for the Food Network and I go into the studio tomorrow morning. I’m so excited and nervous, but I’m gonna look back through my notes to make sure I do the best job I can do! Any last minute tips before my first job as a voice over artist? AAAAH.
Thanks again for everything!
One of my fave Toronto voice directors Dee Shipley made a great point the other day about exclamation marks in animation scripts and I wanted to share it. Actors tend to think they need to “go big”, get really loud and over-exaggerate any line they see ending with the much-overused exclamation point. This can cause the whole performance to end up on the ceiling and be grating on the ear.
Try and experiment with different and dynamic ways to emphasize those sentences without blowing your lid and your opportunity to book the role!!!!!!!12.19.14
VPS Student Shannon Hamilton is making her debut on Kids’ CBC this month on their new show The Moblees! How cool is that? Congrats Shannon, you look and sound ADORABLE.
To listen to Shannon’s awesome Animation voice demo, visit the VPS voice demo page to have a listen!