What Else Should I Study?
(This recently published article that I wrote/voiced can also be found here)
If you’re a voice-over talent, then you know how important it is to keep your acting, improv, and voice-over performance skills fresh through continued practice and study. Group classes and private acting coaching can be helpful no matter where you are in your career.
And yet, there are also other areas of study outside of the voice-over industry which can be professionally enriching. If you’re like me, someone who just really likes being in school, and if you want to expand your knowledge base in ways that benefit your voice-over career, here are some additional subjects that you may want to explore:
1. Audio Engineering & Production: I’ll start off stating the fairly obvious. If you’re a voice actor these days then you are probably working from a home studio; which means that you’ve probably already realized the importance of producing quality audio.
2. Public Speaking: Whether you’re onstage addressing a large group or at home speaking to an audio engineer through ipDTL, your general objective is similar. There’s an art to public speaking and to voice-over work, and a lot of it has to do with capturing an audience’s attention through effective and emotionally authentic storytelling.
3. Psychology: Humans are complicated animals. Why do we do the things we do? The study of human psychology is the study of human behavior which can be extremely helpful for analyzing scripts, uncovering motivations, and crafting characters, no matter the voice-over genre you are working in.
4. Animation: If you want to voice cartoons and animated series or films, then you might find it interesting to learn how all that creative magic works. Check out the 12 principles of animation for starters.
5. Foreign Languages: Learning to speak other languages can help with your pronunciations and accents in script work. It can also facilitate connections with international contacts and may even lead to additional job opportunities if you achieve a level of fluency in the language.
6. Entrepreneurship: As a voice actor, you’re also an entrepreneur. You provide a particular service (your voice-over skills) to a particular market (your clients) for a particular price (your paid rate). So by that logic, you have and are your own business! Which leads me to…
7. Business Marketing: In your business, your voice-over talents are your services and you probably want those services to be in high demand with a long list of clients and collaborators. You’ll want to extend your reach and your network. So, how do you do that? Learn how to market yourself!
8. Yoga & Meditation: An actor is at their best when they are calm, relaxed, and centered. It’s a lot easier to be present in your script circumstances when you’ve already been practicing how to be more present in your daily life. In addition, we all gather so much tension in our bodies throughout the day, especially in the neck, shoulders, and jaw, which definitely will affect your voice-over performance. A regular yoga or stretching routine can work wonders for releasing this tension.
So there you go. Read a blog article, browse a book, take a class, or get a full-on certification or college degree in one of these fields, whatever you decide! Are there any other subjects you’d suggest? Let me know!
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