Navigating Anxiety in Voice Acting: Insights from OutSpoken Voices

Navigating Anxiety in Voice Acting: Insights from OutSpoken Voices

 

For voice-over artists, mastering the skill of conveying emotions, narrating stories, and breathing life into characters is highly sought after. Nonetheless, the guidance received during voice-over sessions can occasionally induce anxiety.

Seeking to address this concern, OutSpoken Voices recently sought tips from the vo community on effectively managing anxiety during such sessions, and the response was overwhelming.

In this compilation, we bring together the insights generously shared by professional voice-over artists, offering a comprehensive guide for navigating the challenges of directed performances.

 

1. Humanising the Director: 

 

Andi Dawson (@AndiDawsonVO) emphasises the importance of recognising that directors are human too. They don't possess superpowers and are just people like you. Initiate casual conversations to break the ice and dispel anxiety.

 

2. Believe in Yourself: 

 

Pete Gustin (@petegustin) reminds voice actors that everyone involved in the process is a fan of their work. Harness that positive energy and believe in yourself. Trust that the team appreciates your abilities and talents.

 

3. Create a Comfortable Environment: 

 

Ashley Woods (@ashleysvoices) points out that directors often strive to create a comfortable and casual atmosphere during sessions. Feeling at ease eliminates the fear of harsh judgement, making the voice actor feel more relaxed.

 

4. Breathing Exercises: 

 

Rob Marley (@Rob_Marley_VO) offers a practical breathing exercise to calm nerves. Deep breaths for 5 seconds, holding for 7, and exhaling for 9 seconds can be repeated five times before a session to ease anxiety.

 

5. Building Rapport Through Conversation: 

 

Chris Sharpes (@chrissharpesVO) shares a valuable practice of spending the initial ten minutes of live sessions in casual conversation. This helps in building rapport, easing tension, and ultimately enhancing the overall performance.

 

6. Understand Your Role: 

 

Tanya Rich-Voice (@MissRich) emphasises the significance of understanding your job. Anxiety often stems from unfamiliarity, so taking the time to learn coping strategies and fully understanding your role can mitigate stress.

 

7. Be Open to Exploration: 

 

Trick_Roll (@trick_roll) reminds voice actors that directors may test various styles to find the perfect fit. It's not criticism; it's an exploration to discover what works best for the project.

 

8. Embody the Character: 

 

Luni Foxo (@VoiceOfFoxo) shares a unique approach by fully becoming the character during a session. Letting go of personal fears and immersing oneself in the role can be a powerful way to overcome anxiety.

 

9. Perspective Shift:

 

Sebastian Volkov (@GodOfHorror) suggests adopting the mindset that you are a character, not yourself. This perspective shift helps in understanding that feedback is about transforming into someone or something else, not personal criticism.

 

10. Active Listening: 

 

Therese McLaughlin (@ThereseNarrates) advises repeating the director's instructions to ensure understanding. This not only clarifies expectations but also reinforces active listening, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings.

 

11. Improv Classes: 

 

Heather Foster (@HeatherFoster5) recommends taking improv classes as a game-changer for handling directed sessions. The spontaneity and pressure of live performances can significantly ease the anxiety associated with directed voice-over work.

 

12. Trust the Director: 

 

John Archer II (@RealVoiceShark) highlights the importance of trust. Directors guide actors toward their best performance, and each adjustment is a step towards fine-tuning that performance.

 

13. Navigate Challenges Professionally: 

 

Mike De La Morte VA (@MikeDeLaMorte) acknowledges that live direction isn't always smooth. Even with great directors, bumps may occur. Navigating challenges professionally, taking breaks, and refocusing are crucial strategies.

 

14. Meditation Practice: 

 

DomJam (@dominic80073422) suggests incorporating meditation into the routine to learn how to remain calm in high-pressure situations.

 

Conclusion

 

The tips shared by these experienced voice actors serve as a treasure trove for anyone grappling with anxiety during directed voice-over sessions. From humanising the director to adopting a character's perspective, these insights offer a diverse set of strategies to empower voice actors in overcoming anxiety and delivering their best performances.

 

More Useful Links:

 

How to add your voice to Outspoken. outspokenvoices.com/voice-actor/register

How to find a voice over agent: outspokenvoices.com/blog/how-to-find-a-voice-over-agent

How to upgrade your home studio: outspokenvoices.com/blog/upgrading-your-home-studio

 

OutSpoken Voices is a community-driven platform dedicated to supporting and empowering voice artists, providing valuable resources to enhance their craft.

December 8th at 12:00am

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