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Voice Coaches Radio #547 – It’s All About Character…

 Voice coaches, radio, everything voiceover. Welcome to a brand new episode of voice coaches radio. My name is Marissa. We are now officially into September. Why? Why? Oh my gosh. This just means that, you know, if you, if you have not enjoyed your summer yet, you, you better because we're holding on to the final days of it.

And then it's, I mean, depending on where you are, I mean, if you're in New York, like I am. It's gonna get cold, and it's gonna get cold real quick, and I'm not gonna be happy about it. Uh, you're gonna hear me potentially get grumpier and grumpier as the year goes on. Uh, and it's just, I don't like being cold, man.

Uh, I would sweat any day. Oh, you wanna hear a story? This is funny. Uh, well, it's not funny. It's only funny because nobody is hurt, okay? So I recently, like I did go back to Boston over the summer, and I got to hit all my hot spots. I went to all the places around my old apartment, including South Shore Plaza, which has made the news recently because, get this, okay, a 78 year old woman drove into the mall, and I know what that sounds like.

It sounds like crash, boom, right into a brick building. No, that is not actually what happened. Apparently. So, like... The only thing that I can figure out here is that she went to the top floor of the parking lot, the parking garage, and there must have been a barricade or something missing for when you walk into the main entrance of the mall.

So that meant that she drove up to the doors that you would, you know, walk into that were automatic doors, and they opened up for the vehicle. She drove into the mall. And then had to take a left! Honestly, like, wouldn't you then realize, Oh, I've made a mistake, I'm in the mall now, And I shouldn't be with my vehicle.

Instead, she drove in and took a left to start driving onto the second floor of the mall. And, uh, eventually she stopped. Nobody got hurt. That's the beautiful part about that. The car's even not damaged. But, you know, people stopped her and, like, were talking to her until cops arrived and She's 78 years old, and she was like, Well, I was just trying to go to the Apple Store.

And it's like, Ma'am, that is not how you go to the Apple Store. First, you park your car, you turn it off, you get out of your car, and you walk into the mall. But when I saw that pop up in the headlines, in like, Boston News, I was like, that has to be South Shore Plaza. That is just, that mall is just like, in the news for stupid stuff like that all the time.

And I guess I'm just really glad that I didn't get caught. in the stupid part of that news at any point while I was living there. There's still time though, right? Because every time I go back I go to that mall. Um, but listen, I hope that things are going well in your voiceover career. I hope things are starting to spark and you're getting some ideas.

I get a lot of students that want to come in and a big thing is they want to do character work and that is A difficult thing to get into right from the jump just because it's like you need to develop skills to allow yourself to do multiple different characters. And, you know, I think what is, uh, a little bit, a little bit challenging to wrap your head around at first is like when we see these Disney characters and they're voiced by, prominent actors that you are well known that you know them from a lot of other things, but like now they're, they're just behind the, the animation, you know, you hear them kind of being themselves a lot of the time, right?

And, and maybe the character was written because of how they are just based on what they've done previously. And, and that can be great. Like a little challenging to kind of wrap your head around. Like, why can't I just be me? And in some cases you probably can be, I'm not going to say that that can't be a character.

Like you could probably just be you and there's one of your character voices, but you want to be able to branch out and you want to be able to do a number of different things. So you could then be used for a lot of different things. So, you know, it is a skill that takes time and it takes practice and it takes comfortable, that comfortability being yourself to do it in the first place.

So. So, I found this article, and I realize I'm not gonna give you a whole lot about, you know, voiceover itself today, but, you know, I wanted you to kind of think about this too, because I started reading it, and I'm like, I don't know if I like this list very much. So, it is the best voice performances in Disney animated movies ranked.

It's just the top ten. Uh, but, I don't know, like the moment that I saw that Kristen Bell was not on this list, I'm like, really? Cause, I don't know, I think she's the best part of Frozen to be honest. One of the best. And then Olaf, you know, and then maybe, maybe Elsa, but Elsa made the list and nobody else did.

That's where I get annoyed. Anyway, so coming in at number 10 is Dwayne The Rock Johnson as Maui from Moana. Uh, you've got, let's see, coming in at number nine, we're going way back to the Rescuers. Bianca, that was Eva Gabor. Yeah, that was definitely well done. That was back in 1977. Uh, Eddie Murphy as Mushu in Mulan.

Personally, I'd pick Eddie Murphy as Donkey in Shrek any day. But that's not technically a Disney movie, so I get it. But that's number eight. Um, let me see here. Seven is James Woods as Hades in Hercules. And then you've got, this is what, this is what I was like, I can't take this list for full on, whatever, because it was Idina Menzel in Frozen as Elsa.

That was coming in number six. Uh, let's see, number five, Vincent Price, Professor Rattigan in The Great Mouse Detective. That is a movie I have never seen. 1986, really? I mean, I was alive. I wasn't dead. Able to do much by 1986, but I was alive. I'm surprised. I was a kid. Why didn't I see that? Anyway, uh, Pat Carroll as Ursula.

We just lost her. Um, you know, she's passed away. She was number four. That was definitely a great performance. And that is a name, honestly, that might be the one here. She's done a lot of stuff, but I feel like she's not a very prominent name in this list compared to the others. That people just know by by name.

She's not like that household name because coming in number three James Earl Jones as Mufasa That is from the Lion King obviously and then Phil Harris is Baloo and Jungle Book as number two I'm not really familiar with him either. Um, okay. So his successful musical career that gained him, him reputation for his charismatic performances.

Uh, so that brought him into the world of voice acting. Um, so that's pretty cool. And then of course, number one, very iconic role, Robin Williams as the genie in Aladdin. Um, so, I mean, I, I can agree with a bunch of these on this list. But, God, that one irked me from Frozen. It's still like, I'm scrolling back through and I'm like, why?

Uh, because there are some people that just do such great work that stand out, and I feel like the moment That movie Frozen started. It was Kristen Bell. I was impressed because I didn't know she sang You know, isn't that crazy? But think about some of these iconic roles like who stands out to you, you know Who who made an impact on you as a kid growing up and what was it about that performance?

That was so impactful that made you think man I would love to do that one day. You know, again, I get so many students that want to do character work, but then I feel like they don't put the proper amount of time into developing the skill, or they think they're giving a better skill than they actually have.

I, I challenge you, if this is something that has been on your want and goals list, go ahead and find some different cartoon characters online that maybe you don't even... You don't even know what their voices are right now. Maybe they don't have a voice. Give them a voice. I challenge you to make it different for each character and see where it takes you.

The best thing for you to do is record yourself as you're doing it, play it back, and critique yourself, you know Understand, you know, the differences that you're bringing to the table or what you could do differently to enhance that. You got to remember a lot of these Animated films, I mean the best thing that you can do is is be more than you think you need to be because chances are That's when that's when it's gonna allow you to shine the best.

You know, you've got to be more animated. You've got to be more energy, more smile, more vibrancy to you. These are the things that attract an ear, an engagement. for animation. Remember your audience, right? Who's your audience? Depending on the animated film or, or show or whatever, it's probably somewhere in the single digits, you know, of age range.

So the way to entice them and keep them entertained is to be more like them. You got to get yourself back in that childhood mindset. You've got to get yourself back in In, you know, when you had a lot of energy to give. Not to say that we're getting old, I'm just saying that we might be losing some of that energy sometimes.

I got coffee sitting right next to me, okay? So like, come on. But uh, keep all of these things in mind. If character work is something you want to do, You can do it. You just have to put the work in and you have to know where you want to bring it and you have to know what you want to do with it and you have to be aware of how you sound and if you're growing and how you're growing and how you can get better and how you can tweak your voice and get comfortable doing it so you can have the consistency.

It can be hard work, but hard work pays off, right? You're gonna keep taking steps forward and, and, you know, you're gonna take steps in the right direction if you allow yourself to do it. So, keep putting the effort in and you will grow, okay? If you have a topic you want us to discuss here on the Voice Coaches Radio Podcast, info at voicecoaches.

com. We will go ahead, tackle some more of those coming up next week. Uh, I am going to be, uh, trying to get some more, uh, former students on with us as well. So we're making, uh, some of those emails to happen this week. And hopefully, uh, you know, some good stuff coming your way. Not hopefully there will be good stuff coming your way.

Confidence is key. All right. But enjoy the rest of what's left of this summer. And I'll be talking to you next week. Stay safe.

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This week on Voice Coaches Radio, Marissa dives into character work a bit. After finding a list of the Top 10 ranked Disney voice over performances, who inspired you as a kid to want to do character work? What have you done to grow in character?