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Voice Coaches Radio #569 – How Should I Practice To Start?

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. This episode of Voice Coaches Radio is brought to you by nobody, because it's just me. It's Friday. What's going on? My name is Marissa, and I'll admit, I'm just trying to, like, turn my frown upside down. How does Pugsitani Phil go and see a shadow when the sun has not shown its beautiful face in days?

I don't even understand. Uh, but here we are. Six more weeks of winter. I don't know if you've ever googled how often the groundhog is truly correct in its, um, practice, but it's not often. So I'm really just hoping that this time it's, it's not, right? And, uh, you know, we don't have to deal with too much more of winter.

Not that it's been awful, but today, I will say, if you are listening to this episode, the day that it drops on February 3rd, It's brisk, it's brutal, the windchill is not anything to be, uh, messing around with. There's a lot of schools that close just because it's cold. That's how cold it is. Um, you know, with the windchill, it's, it's negative, so it's not fun.

Uh, but hopefully you're in a nice warm location where you don't have to worry about it. And I can just be jealous from afar. It's totally fine. So I've had some classes lately where I've gotten some similar questions. It really does come down to A lot of the same stuff as your beginning, and I get that because, you know, you've got a lot of the same concerns or a lot of the same wonders, right?

How do I get better? You know, how, how do, how do I stop from having these little blips when I'm reading? I thought this was gonna be so much easier than it actually is. It's not funny, right? We've been reading for years, but so many people don't realize that you're doing it in your head 95 percent of the time.

It's like, no, you're talking to yourself, dummy. Uh, you're not actually saying these words out loud. Um, so you go to do it and yeah, it's a lot more complicated than it actually appears. And, you know, you also have to remember this. It's like, think about when anybody would go ahead and do a project in front of a class or, you know, you've got this, guy with the most boisterous personality that hops up in front of the office and all that personality is gone.

For whatever reason, when we go to present anything to anybody, we lose a lot of our naturalness. We lose a lot of our personality. VoiceOver brings all of who you are back to that page, back to the table, back to the drawing board, if you will. Uh, only If you're doing the things correctly in, in presenting that and like, you know, grabbing all those skills and running with it, um, and it takes, it takes practice, it takes a lot of hard work and you have to be willing to go ahead and put in that hard work.

So, you know, the question that was presented to me just the other day was how should I be practicing? What should I be practicing? And when I think about it, I mean, there's a number of things that you can be doing. Vocal warm ups, I think, are incredibly helpful for people from the start. I kind of wish that I had always done that.

I I never really did. I do now when I feel like I need it. Um, my big workout... Routine that I typically do is is I actually like go to the gym in the morning And that is kind of like my vocal warm up if you will because it is getting the blood flowing and to all the crevices You know, so it's like it's definitely Getting the muscles ready for whatever voice work I am doing that day But you know you best and it's like if you don't like going to the gym, that's not your thing Vocal warm ups might be the way to go ahead and do it and you can go on YouTube You can go ahead and probably, there's probably an app for that, you know, there's an app for everything.

So, you know, it is basically the same kind of warm ups that a singer would do. Um, so just, you know, get on YouTube and do a little search. And see which ones are most comfortable for you that you feel good doing. And, and you feel like are really, you know, helping to, um, warm everything up for you. So vocal warm ups are definitely key.

Um, you know, finding material that you enjoy. When you find material that you enjoy, at first, what it allows you to do is automatically sound better. You know, it's like when, when you are doing something that you enjoy and you're passionate about, you instantly have a glow about you. And you're probably going to do it fairly well, just because you like the subject matter, or, or how something's written, or whatever.

So finding material... That you enjoy can be very, very important in your growth process right from the start. So think about that and, and dive into whatever it might be. It could be a book. Could be like a, a magazine series. Uh, you know, when it comes to, maybe there was a series of whatever article written.

Like go ahead, read all those. Um, maybe it's just somebody's blog. Like whatever it might be. Like you know you, go ahead, dive into the stuff that you love and enjoy the most. Um. Recording yourself like I'm doing right now, you know, record yourself reading this stuff, listen back, you know, this is very important because what it's going to do is it's helping you read out loud so you're getting the practice in, you are listening back, you're building an ear for how you sound, but then you're able to go ahead and tweak yourself a little bit, you're able to go ahead and pick yourself apart And, and then do it again and be like, all right, well, now I'm listening back a second time.

Did I get better? What could I have changed? What should I be working on? What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? And, and keep doing that because really the only way that you're going to ever build an ear for yourself is by listening back as, uh, you know, annoying or not annoying, but like as hard as it can be on your own personal ear at first to hear yourself that way.

Uh, you know, it is a growth process. You have to go ahead and, um, and build that acquired taste for hearing yourself like that. Because, you know, again, this is one of those things. We hear ourselves one way every, every single day. This is going to be a different. Animal, different little beast. So you want to go ahead and make sure that you are listening back because that is the only way to know, am I doing this correctly?

What can I change? Um, so listen, listen, listen, but record first. Um, let's see, what else do I have on this list? Have others critique you? I know that is also very daunting of a task, right? That is something that. We don't want to be judged. Uh, we don't want somebody to think that we're doing poorly. Um, we want to be successful in what we're doing and sometimes people don't like to share what they're doing until they get that first job or they get the, you know, big gig they were hoping to get.

You don't want to do that. You want to go ahead and you want to be sharing with other people. Even if it's just other people within the industry so that you can get feedback from somebody that does understand this stuff a little bit better. You know, it's... Working and bouncing off each other so you can grow because there's plenty of work to go around.

So, don't be scared to do that because then you're also building relationships along the way, which is also pivotal in your growth. So make sure that you are sharing. Because you get that feedback, you get that critique from them, and next thing you know you are taking some nice giant steps forward as well.

And, you know what, vice versa probably too. If you're helping each other. And, uh, let's see. Before I had said, start off with the stuff that you enjoy reading, right? Like, start with the stuff you're passionate about. As you are growing, as you are taking steps forward, start reading anything and everything.

And I mean it. You know, the dyslexic part of my brain... If I had not done that, I don't know where I'd be right now. And I say that to students all the time. You know, it's like, I just started reading anything that was put in front of me just for the eye to mouth coordination, building, building the muscle memory is so incredibly important because our eyes doesn't matter if you're me and.

Like dyslexic or you're not like you have those blips that happen. So, you know, starting off with the stuff you enjoy can make things just a lot easier from the jump. But then as you're growing, start reading anything and everything, and just diving into whatever's put in front of you, it's just going to allow it.

So you have the opportunity to be able to do whatever is put in front of you down the line. So take that and run with that. And one final thing here. Research other voice actors. Maybe there's blog posts. Maybe there's videos up on, you know, YouTube or Instagram. Maybe they are posting on stories on social media to show you behind the scenes or whatever, but research other voice actors.

See how they do it. See what they've got going on. Maybe reach out to them. You know, I talked about building relationships a few minutes ago. You know, reach out. Ask them questions too. This is a small industry at the end of the day. We, it's gonna work best if we lean on each other and grow together. So, Take those kinds of tips and run with it.

But these are the ways that I think are going to be helping you in your growth process, right from the beginning. So if you've got a topic that you want us to discuss here on voice coaches, radio info at voice coaches. com. I'm looking forward to having some more guests on zoom and trying to book a couple of different, uh, you know, interviews and, you know, schedules are not meshing right now.

So hopefully I'll be getting a couple of former students on in the coming weeks, but again, info at voice coaches. com for any topics you want to discuss. And another brand new episode is coming at you next week. Stay safe. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

This week on Voice Coaches Radio, Marissa tackles the question that a lot of students have from the start: “How should I practice? Listen in for a few helpful tips on what you should be doing and looking out for!