The Foundations of Voiceover - Voice Acting Essentials | Christopher Tester | Skillshare

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The Foundations of Voiceover - Voice Acting Essentials

teacher avatar Christopher Tester, Award-Winning Voice Actor

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (1h 58m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:47
    • 2. What This Course Isn't

      3:38
    • 3. Daily Habits

      6:33
    • 4. Warming Up

      13:56
    • 5. Mic Technique

      9:22
    • 6. Who, What, Why & Where

      17:07
    • 7. Physicality

      10:09
    • 8. Sounding Conversational

      11:38
    • 9. Marking Up Copy

      16:01
    • 10. Actioning

      3:37
    • 11. Using Music

      5:34
    • 12. When Recording

      9:21
    • 13. Taking Direction

      3:56
    • 14. Class Project

      2:36
    • 15. Conclusion

      2:50
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About This Class

In this class, you'll learn the fundamentals to get started in voice acting.

This is an in-depth look into how to prepare - both physically and mentally - for voiceover work. 

During this class you will learn:

1) What to practice daily to build your skillset.

2) How to warm up your voice and body.

3) Mic-technique.

4) How to analyse text and what the essential questions to ask are.

5) How to use your body, music and 'actioning' to unlock surprising choices.

6) How to put all of the work together when the mic is on!

If you're a complete beginner to voiceover, then this will provide an essential checklist that you can refer to throughout your development.  You will know how best to work on your skills independently and begin to take ownership of your own performance.  For more experienced voice talent, this is an opportunity to recap important information and see voice acting as approached from the perspective of a classically trained actor. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Christopher Tester

Award-Winning Voice Actor

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: When you get started in voice-over, the first thing that most people will tell you is that you need to focus on the performance side of things before you start worrying about getting demos recorded or looking for work. However, the tricky thing about that can be, before you've even started monetizing your voice-over carrier, all of the coaching that's actually any good out there is going to cost you a substantial amount of money which you may not have. Or alternatively, you can pick out little bits of information here or there on the Internet for free. But it doesn't constitute an overall approach to voice-over in any way, shape, or form. My name is Chris. I've been a full-time voice-over for over five years now, who has worked in commercials. The all-new BMW X3 on a mission. Corporate projects. Every single moment of our lives is powered by energy. Video games. It has been amusing watching your sea-wracked corpses stumble and dodder as you track the prey. In this course, I will provide some foundations for voice-over performance, regardless of whatever genre that you're actually interested in working in. We will look at the physical and emotional preparation required before recording. We will look at mic technique. We will look at breaking down text, analyzing copy, textual analysis, and then we will look at the actual process of recording itself and how you can cultivate habits so that you can give the best you possibly can without a lot of additional coaching. The whole point of this course is to give you a foundation, some idea of structure from which you can then start to own a process yourself. It is not designed to replace one-to-one coaching, which is something that I personally would strongly recommend for a full voice-over carrier. You can also choose to take on the course project and actually record and upload some copy, in which I'll give some feedback for you. But my aim is simply to educate and give you a bit of confidence in what you're doing in those early to intermediate stages. 2. What This Course Isn't : Just wanted to take this moment to give a brief disclaimer about what this course isn't going to cover. It's not going to cover making demos and it's not going to cover things that are outside of my experience. For example, heightened animated work or anime or dubbing or anything else like that. I don't have any specific experience about those things. That's why I don't really focus on those genres. Although I do think that a lot of the same things still apply similarly with ADR work. But in terms of something like voice demos or indeed room treatment and what preempt you should have, what microphone you should buy, all of this stuff is very subjective and it will depend on the individual. If someone is recording, making a course, that information will change within a year, within two years radically, the microphones that are available, what is suitable for your voice will depend on a number of different factors. I would recommend if you want to look at the equipment side of things, then you should maybe look at a resource like Gravy For The Brain or The VoiceOver Network, they both provide a lot of information about those things, which would also be for free. Booth Junkie on YouTube is very great in terms of looking at preempts and how to treat your space, you should work with the specific professional. I worked with a audio technician called Robie, who I'd strongly recommend who helped me create a setup that worked. It wasn't because he told me about how sound waves work specifically, he really told me what to do in order to treat my space to make it as effective as possible. Similarly, in my studio now I had a professional acoustician so this space for me and I think to do justice to that whole subject, first and foremost, I think the information is continually updating, so I think it would age very quickly. But secondly, there are a lot of other more specialized resources out there, and it would turn this whole course into something different, which is why I don't really go there. In terms of with creating your own voice ever demo as well, this is, again, subject to change. I mean, there's a lot of content out there about why you should or why you shouldn't. I've created quite a lot of content myself in terms of creating your own voice ever demo on my YouTube channel. But because there are so many different genres of voice over demo that you can make, and how you make it and whether or not you use a producer or you do it yourself as well, the much began bigger questions which take the focus away a bit more from what I want to adjust here, which is about making you a bit more self-sufficient and covering the details of the essential questions that you should be focusing on when you're just thinking about the performance element as opposed to more than marketing element. Because the trends with voice over demos, it partly depends on who you are going to be sending those demos to. The demo that you send out to a casting director, may not be the same one that you use on a pay-to-play site, might not be the same one that you use on your voice-over website if you choose to use one and your direct marketing as well. But I would say it's good to maybe start with a website like Bradley Baker's. You want to be a voice actor, if you just Google that, there's lots of great resources there. Booth Junkie, I think is also a great resource. But I just wanted to make that very clear, o you know what you're going to get from the rest of this. 3. Daily Habits : Before we get into the nitty-gritty of voice over itself, what I want to really cultivate is the importance of daily practice without the pressure of getting the read, write, or sounding good or anything else like that. A resource that I really recommend is the Edge Studio voice over script library, which is completely free. All you have to do is create a profile in order to be able to access up to 7,000 scripts. With these scripts, which can be divided by any number of categories from video games and animation all the way through to radio imaging, and medical, and pharmaceutical scripts, I just want you to load something up every day and just begin speaking it out loud as what we call a cold rates. So you don't read it first, you just say out loud as you're going and make this something that you do for five, 10 minutes every day so that you're building a muscle. Now there's a reason that we do this, which is just the first of all, you need to be a good site reader for voice over because you need to comprehend voiceover scripts quickly. But you also just need to get into the practice of saying things out loud as opposed to muttering yourself or saying things in your head as well because you've got to get the muscles in your mouth around words as quickly as possible. Then once you've started doing that thing, you can actually focus on particular aspects of your reading whilst you're reading out loud as well. I would say that probably the most crucial thing to focus on first and foremost is to think in terms of thoughts or sentences as opposed to words. Typically, when we start reading voiceover scripts, we want to sound clear so that we can be understood and what that can end up being, if for example, I just take this script here. Most of us know that there are ways we can improve to be healthier, happier, more effective. But knowing how to improve is a different matter. Without guidance, we often simply stay the same. Now you can hear there that I'm enunciating every single word. As a result, it's not particularly realistic. Instead, we've got to cultivate the habit of thinking in terms of thoughts rather than words. As an example, taking those two sentences as two thoughts, most of us know that there are ways we can improve to be healthier, happier, more effective, but knowing how to improve is a different matter. Without guidance, we often simply stay the same. It's technically a quicker rate, which is much more tricky anyway. But we're starting to an invited the idea that you're thinking in terms of what your intention is behind the words as opposed to the sound that you are actually making. We're thinking in terms of the sense and the intention, which is something that we'll touch on more with the acting modules later as opposed to sounding good or sounding a particular way. After we've read the script out loud, thinking about the thoughts rather than the words, then we want to flip it around and think purely in terms of the sounds that we're making. A good way to do this, first of all, is by adapting our prosody, which is basically in terms of our inflection and our pitch. In terms of the two extremes, we can be really flat in monotone or alternatively, we can go up and down a lot in terms of modulation. Again, looking at the same example to give an example of something that's really flat and monotone. Most of us know there are ways we can improve to be healthier, happier, more effective. But knowing how to improve is a different matter. Or alternatively, if we're going excessively up and down, most of us know there are ways we can improve to be healthier, happier, more effective, but knowing how to improve is a different matter. Why are we doing this? Well, basically, we want to test the boundaries of what your voice can actually do, what you're comfortable in doing. This isn't sounds that you normally make rather than defaulting to your natural speech in real life, because not every single script is going to necessarily suit your natural register or voice. Therefore, like a musical instrument where you play different kinds of scales and gradually try and extend the scales that you can play, we want to extend the musicality of your voice gradually, day-by-day. Not on projects where you need to actually nail the read, but on bits of incidental texts like this. Once you've played with the prosody, so going from a really flat monotone to going hyper-aware in terms of the pitch that you're using, another way of playing with the musicality is to think in terms of speed, which we've already touched on in terms of thinking, in terms of thoughts as opposed to words. See if you can read something going extremely slow and see what happens if you read something going extremely fast. When is it a technical exercise, does it make you feel anything? There's no right or wrong answer to this. Again, it's just cultivating it as a daily habit to do to make it fun. But also so that you're saying things out loud every day, which is ultimately the whole aim of the job. Again, as an example, we could do it really slowly. Most of us know there are ways we can improve to be healthier, happier, more effective, and then go really fast. But knowing how to improve is a different matter. Without guidance, we often simply stay the same. So yes, this is fundamentally a technical exercise, getting you to read out loud so that we can extend that range musically and in terms of speed of your voice naturally rather than just referring to your natural register, but also so that you can start to as some professional say, take the words of the page. Rather than focusing just on saying the words and speaking well, that you can begin to think about different thoughts and different thoughts structures, and whether or not that long sentences or short sentences so that you can have an affinity to different texts. Just take 5-10 minutes every day to work through this, starting with an initial straight cold read, then thinking in terms of the thoughts as opposed to the words, then playing with the prosody, the pitch going from flat to very, very musical or the other way around, and then finally playing around with the speed as well going from really slow, as slow as you possibly can, to as fast as possible as well just to cultivate the technical habit. 4. Warming Up : In this chapter, I wanted to talk a little bit about warming up, about why it's important, but it really depends on you and what your needs are, and also on what project you're working on. In terms of warming up, if we relate it to the daily practice that we've already discussed, then it's this idea of being able to extend your skill set and being able to extend the various different scales on your musical instrument, which is your voice. Be that in terms of the sounds that you can make, in terms of the volume, in terms of the speed, in terms of the dexterity, in terms of the musicality, all of these things requires you to have a particular awareness about your body and how it works. As a result, you need to be able to adjust things as you see fit, but you need to be ready to go. The worst thing that you want to do is book a job and then actually find the first five or 10 minutes of recording being the time where you're actually warming up to the task in hand, getting your mouth around the words, being able to project correctly, knowing what parts of the body that you should be using. I thought I would just go through a couple of basic warming-up exercises and starting with the breathing. Now breathing is crucially important for a whole number of reasons and not just because it keeps us alive. But going back again to these ideas of dressing thoughts as opposed to words. At drama school, we learned to think of us breathing as being quite literally inspiration. You wouldn't take the air, and so the inspiration is also the taking in of the idea to actually speak for the first time, to be inspired to talk. I think of breath and what you're actually saying and what you're actually speaking, so essentially interlinked. First of all, in terms of the real core exercise that we want to focus on is trying to get our breath in the right place in our body. What does that really mean? Well, essentially it means that quite often, a lot of people will breathe mainly from their chests, and the reason why this can be problematic is that if we get very breathy and get very tense, then all of the air continues to be pumped up from here. We're not using the lower half of our lungs, and certainly, if we want to feel more confident, more assured, more calm in terms of deeper breathing, deeper breathing essentially means breathing more into your belly and more into your back, more into the bottom of the lungs. An essential way to start to do this is to just do a couple of forward rolls. It's literally rolling down the spine as far as you feel that you can comfortably go and letting your arms hang down by your side. But if you can do it on a breath as well, so we're combining already the movement of our body with how we're actually breathing, then that can be all the better. What I recommend to start off with is that we just roll down the spine, breathing out, and then we breathe in whilst we're down there and feel the air extend into our backs, and then we breathe out again as we come out very slowly. Just to demonstrate it, I'm just going to roll down the spine and what I'm going to do is I breathe out whilst I get down there. Breathing out, and then when I'm down here, I inhale, breathe in. I can feel that air come into my back, and then breathing out as I come out of the bend position and upright again, and then back straight into the stomach. Automatically, in terms of things to focus on, the most important thing to focus on with any of these exercises is actually the act of breathing out, expelling the air. When it actually comes to breathing in, your diaphragm, the muscle here will actually automatically rebound back. In terms of actually breathing in, there's not a conscious effort that you should be making in any way, shape, or form. Now I just want to repeat that exercise again. But this time I want to introduce a little bit of sound so that when we're breathing out, we breathe out with a Vah (Phonetic) sound, [inaudible] sound, or you could have a humming sound so [inaudible] whichever you prefer, but generally the V, I found a slightly better sound. It engages my capacity a little bit better. With this V sound, when we're first breathing out and rolling down [inaudible] and then as we're down here, take a couple of breaths, and again, feeling how our back is expanding as we breathe in, and contracting as we breathe out, breathe in again and then coming back up on this V sound. Again, we're just inviting the breath to come down lower into our body, essentially what is called being on support in actorly terms. So yes, the breath coming down to the bottom here as opposed to being up here. I mean, obviously when we actually come to character work, having breath in different parts of your body, having your physicality in completely engaged will affect how you breathe and therefore how you speak. But right now, we're just trying to get as grounded as possible. The next stage after this is that I would say that you could do the same thing with some side stretches. It just stretch it to the side here, keeping everything in line as much as possible, and just maybe pat your ribs here and then let it out on a V sound again. Then slowly coming back to neutral, and try and have an awareness of how your body feels; how this side of your body might feel as opposed to this side that you haven't stretched out so much. Then extending to this side [inaudible] and then coming back to neutral, and then again, just to eliminate any potential tension that you might have in your shoulders and your neck, just use the weight of your hand to pull your head over to your shoulder. So you're not trying to force down the head and just the weight of your hand on your head, gently letting gravity do its thing so you feel that stretch, knee float up. Do the same on the other side. This hopefully will be quite a nice and pleasant stretch for you. Then float up again. Then maybe just looking down to your feet, but it's just the weight of your hands on your head, you're not trying to pull your head down. Just to extend the back of your neck, and then slowly floating up again. Again, just have that awareness of where your breath sits now, hopefully, it should be a little bit lower in your body. But we don't want to be thinking too much about projecting in a more theatrical style because ultimately, less volume is better as we'll get onto. Then the next thing we do is really focus on articulation. There are a couple of different exercises that I like to do, and the first one is to just imagine that I'm chewing a very sticky toffee, which gradually gets bigger in my mouth and then smaller again, and my aim, when I'm chewing this toffee simultaneously I'm trying it's getting stuck to my teeth. I'm having to use my tongue to clean all the way around my teeth, both, at the top and at the bottom of my mouth. For which [inaudible] really smooth. Just try and get that toffee [inaudible] toffee away from the corners of my mouth, and then it gets bigger so I have to maybe open my mouth in order to accommodate it. It's not about looking pretty at all, most certainly. Then just get smaller again. I'm being very deliberate in where I use my tongue to clean my mouth. That's one way. Another great way is to use some tongue twisters and you can find these on the Internet. But one of my favorites is "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers." Everything where there's a repetition of various different sounds and you try and say them faster and faster is always a good idea. There's another one that I like personally, which is "Articulatory agility is a desirable ability, manipulating with dexterity, the tongue, the palate, and the lips." Articulatory agility is a desirable ability, manipulating with dexterity, the tongue, the palate, and the lips, has all of those consonant sounds in there. Then next thing to do, which is something that I think you should do with your daily scripts whenever you're practicing those. First thing that you should do is when you're reading them out loud, just for sense is to put a pencil in your mouth at the same time, so as you're reading, you have this pencil just you're holding it very lightly in your mouth as well, you're not biting down hard on it or anything like that because that would increase muscular tension in your jaw, which is not what we want, but you adjust it for speaking, and your mouth, you articulate it around your mouth, will have to work that little bit harder, whereas well as the back of your tongue. In order to be able to be understood because you don't have the full flexibility in use of your mouth. But then once you've spoken your text out loud and you remove the pencil, then it should be a lot easier to be able to talk. You'll start to feel a little bit more articulate because without this impediment, it's so much easier for your mouth to do the things that it's designed to do. That's the whole reason why I should have probably used this before I pressed record on this section of the video, but hey, it's all about segue on to the next process of this, which I recommend is that when you're doing your daily recording is to record your reading of a text before you warm-up, and then after you've done some warming up as well just so you can start to cultivate a sensitivity towards what you need to work on and what you don't. What do you feel has changed from pre-workout to post-workout and what hasn't. Very obviously, I think articulation can be absolutely key. But sometimes it can be to do with the actual quality of your voice. Sometimes when I wake up, I'm quite congested, so it can be quite nasal. In which case, getting that humming into the lower part of my actual body can be really helpful. As well as steaming, which is always a good idea. But also the thing that I have to be personally very aware of is my articulation and the ends of words especially. Again, going back to those different articulation phrases that we use, that can be really great if I'm concentrating on articulatory agility being a desirable ability, then I can focus on the ends of those words. Again, this is just meant as a brief introduction to cultivate that level of self-awareness. The only other thing that I would add for warming up is I'm not going to emphasize this too much because it can't be emphasized too much, is the importance of water and hydration generally. This is particularly when you get into recording scenarios as well. Never think in terms of oh, if I need to be hydrated so that I'm not making any mouth noises, which is one of the reasons why hydration can be very important as well as general vocal health. If you try and drink lots of water just before a session, or any recording, firstly, you'll be thinking about needing the toilet within 20 minutes as opposed to the actual job in hand. Secondly, hydration works over a longer period of time than that. Normally it's from the day before. For some people, being dehydrated can really affect their voice. Again, cultivate this awareness so you know that if you've got an important job or an exercise or a class to deal with, then you manage to make sure that you drink enough water within that 24 hour period up to and during a session and not just necking water just before it, hoping that that's going to solve all of the problems. Drinking as much water as you possibly can is only a good thing for your voice. So again, cultivating that as a habit is really invaluable. 5. Mic Technique : We're establishing some habits. We've also done some warm-ups, and we've got a self-awareness of that. The next thing to do is to actually move on to an actual microphone that you would use as a real-life voiceover. In terms of technique, again, I just want to cover some fundamentals. The first thing is to do with distance to the mic. There's lots of talk about this. Ultimately, it really depends on the project. For example, if you're going to be screaming and doing lots of shouting for a particular video game character or an animation, you will back off the microphone to a certain degree. If you're doing something in terms of whispering, then you're going to be moving closer to the microphone. There's no set ideal distance from microphone. A common one that is used, if I take away this pop filter, is a hand span. Between four and six inches here is said to be an optimum proximity towards your microphone. But again, it really depends on the thing that you're dealing with. There's a thing called proximity effect, which is essentially the base that is added to your voice, an extra level of intimacy, which is thought of as very effective, which you get if you're particularly close, as long as you're still controlled with the volume as well, which is also very important to bear in mind. But in terms of that proximity of a hand span is like not really in a normal talking, conversational voiceover. Not one thing to be further away than that. Think of it in terms of a hand span from that from the microphone rather than as some people do, you add the pop filter in as well, and then they go, it's a hand span from there instead, which makes a mistake because then you're too far away from the microphone. The reason that we don't want you to be too far away is that if we are, we hear more of the room or the space that you're in as opposed to your direct connection to the mic. But it's all about making your voice sound as full as possible. The next thing is in terms of access. That's to do with avoiding popping essentially. The reason why this is called a pop filter is because there are various sounds, especially plosive sounds; the Ps the Ts, etc, where there's a very strong hard exploration of air. If that hits directly the microphone, then that can cause distortion. It doesn't sound pleasant. The first thing that people do is they often have a pop filter, which is just a little bit of nylon, or occasionally it's a metal mesh one instead, which comes between you and the microphone so that when that hot air hits the pop filter, it's then dispersed to a degree. Now, that is obviously a very good solution for it. But an even better solution is proper technique. There are a couple of ways around this. One is to think in terms of the plosives. If you feel as if you are really hitting them hard, and I know coming from my stage background where you're encouraged to really properly articulate so that you can be heard in the back row of the stalls in a theater. Therefore, when I started out in voiceover, I naturally defaulted to hitting these Ps and Ts really hard, which wasn't in actual fact, great. You want to be thinking, who are my stoves, the microphone is as a human ear. In fact, Nancy Wilson, wonderful voiceover coach, who I'll be referencing throughout because I've worked with her a lot, actually says that you should think of it as being a huge giant ear that you're whispering to or you're talking to. That you very rarely want to shout into, and neither do you want to transfer those Ps and T sounds or any other unpleasant sounds either. One way to avoid that is to think of smiling through the Ps. Rather than pa, it's pa; so pa, pa, ta, ta. What you're actually doing is that you're taking the plosive sound and spreading the energy out towards the sides of your mouth rather than out and directly through the microphone, so pa, ta. That can for some people be a really useful thing. The other thing to do is to simply rather than directly speaking into the microphone, is that you can be slightly off-axis. What does this mean? It means that if this is me directly speaking into the microphone, then if I just cheat it so that I'm about speaking slightly across it at an angle of about 20 degrees, so I'm actually speaking out there to the side of the microphone rather than directly into the microphone, then any plosives, Ps and Ts will be going in that direction across me, across the microphone as opposed to directly in it, which is again, going to diminish, therefore the effect that it's going to have on the recording quality. Those are things to really bear in mind in terms of the proximity. If you are going louder, then still be within the room. Again, with more extreme voice-over, you might go from really quiet to really shouty, very quickly. But even so, if you're standing so far back from the microphone, then you're going to be showing up acoustically the whole rest of the space, which is not very good even if it is a well-treated studio such as mine. Even if you are going particularly loud, again, use that off-axis trick to be able to throw the volume away to the side, maybe go to the side there. But don't turn all the way around 180 degrees and shaft at the back wall. Otherwise, the sound will bounce back off that wall and come back to the microphone, and it'll sound weird as a result. That's something to be mindful of. But again, that really is dealing with very extreme examples of voiceover. Just bear that in mind, but don't worry about it too much. Another important thing to think about is alignment. When we are speaking and when narrating our text, we want to make sure that our head isn't pushed too far forward because that will start to constrict the throat. Neither do we want to be too laid back. But the whole idea of being relaxed at the shoulders and through the throat and through the back of the head so that we're speaking directly with your mouth at the level of the actual microphone itself. Very often, if we've got to pay attention to our eyeline as a result as well. My scripts tend to be directly in front of me here, so that I can maintain this alignment all the way through natural and upright. Quite often, you might get a script and you might hold it down here, in which case, as soon as you start doing that, first of all, you're speaking not directly into the microphone anymore, and also you're constricting your throat here, which isn't good. Similarly, if you've got your voiceover script too far up high, then again, you're speaking over the top of the microphone. Those plosives, like my hand, are missing the actual pop filter, so there's more chance of that being a risk as well. Again, you're creating tension in the back of the neck, which means that as a result, you're not going to have a full clear natural voice. Now, all of these things when we get on to how your physicality can affect your voiceover performance, these things can all be really useful tools for you depending on what you're aiming for, ultimately in terms of your voice performance. But generally speaking, you want to make sure that you are well aligned, that you can breathe clearly, that your eyeline is as if you were talking to a person directly in front rather than focusing on the microphone, so that you have that natural state of alignment as well, so that you're free and easy. The last thing that I want to emphasize is how you stand rather than standing straight on with your feet together very flat. What I would want to encourage you at this early stage is to have one foot in front of the other. This is for two reasons. The first one is because a lot of scripts will encourage you to play around with different volumes. You might go from a conversational level to a really whispering level to something quite loud. Your character is saying one thing to the person that they're in the scene with, but then they're also secretly having their thoughts as well. If you've got one foot in front of the other, you can switch between these distances with the microphone very easily without having to take a step or anything else like that. You're much more dynamic and you're also energized as a result, which I think is very important. It just encourages you to have a flexibility in how close you can easily be with the microphone. Whether or not it's really up-close for luxury read or if you're whispering to someone or backing off. But you can default to that proximity very easily. But it just gives you that extra element of flexibility and drama, and it leaves your hands free as well to be able to gesticulate, which is again something that we'll come onto later. 6. Who, What, Why & Where : Okay, so now we're going to start with a little bit of actual textual analysis. This is the foundational textual analysis that you should be able to apply to any kind of script. Whether or not it's a commercial copy, whether or not it's a corporate script, whether or not it's e-learning, whether or not it's an animation or a video game. The first thing that we need to focus on is, do we understand what we're saying? Do we understand the actual sense of the words that we're saying, have a rough idea? That is something that you should be getting into the practice of doing through your daily practice of just saying things out loud. It may be that your only get two-thirds of the way through a script before you actually understand what the concept is, because it may be something to do with finance, or to do with law, or to do with pharmaceuticals that you might not be an expert in. That is really part of the challenge, is to deduce what you're saying. The next thing is to work out who you are. If you're a character in a video game, it can be quite clear, because there might be a description of what your character is like. But if you're in a commercial or a corporate script, you've got to do some detective work to work out who you are. Sometimes you're a representative of the company, or the organization that you're speaking on behalf of. In tandem with identifying who you are, you need to work out who you're talking to. Now, who you are talking to in a commercial or a corporate project, is going to be the audience, the listener, as opposed to in a character based job, such as a video game, where you'll often be talking to another character instead, in which case you might have to do some imagination to work out who that character is from what you say about them, and how you relate to them. But typically, to try and keep things simple, we need to work out what role the audience is playing, and why we are talking to them, and ultimately, what emotional connection, what emotional response, we are trying to engender in them as a result. The crucial thing to bear in mind with all voiceover is that you're always talking to someone as opposed to at someone. I'll go more into detail with this in terms of when we go on to the conversational read, or how to sound real module later. But fundamentally this act of moving away from talking at people and telling them to do stuff, which isn't very interesting, and it's not something that we engage with as human beings, it's being related to instead. It's understanding what you're saying, who you're talking to, who you are, and why you're saying all of these things. What emotional response that you want to engender from that other person as a result. It could be that you want someone to buy something. That could be very straightforward in a very transactional way. But ultimately, in order for someone to want to buy something, they need to feel a need. You need to make them feel something that means it's essential that they have to buy it. It could be that they feel excited. It could be that they feel frustrated by a particular scenario in what you're laying out, and that's why they need to buy. You need to be very subtle in how you're relating to the listener, whether or not that's another character, or whether or not that is the listener, the general public, the audience. That's something really to bear in mind with any script. I think first of all, just identifying these separate clear things in the daily scripts that you pick up from the Edge Studio library, or wherever you find them online, is first and foremost, the most important habit to again cultivate. Or if you're watching any voiceover work, in whatever genre that it is, think about who is speaking, who are they speaking to, why are they speaking? In actually terms we would speak in terms of what is your objective, what is the thing that you're trying to get from the other person that you're speaking to, and what is the obstacle? What is making it difficult? Why you're having to encourage someone? You have to share or persuade certain information in order for them to get on board with you. These are all questions that you need to be asking yourself. Let's see if we can apply that to a script that I have here, which is a commercial script first and foremost. Then we might look at it also in terms of a character as well. Just so we've got some contrast. This script is for a TV commercial, and it's for a company called Tide. I'm just going to read it out flatly, first of all, just to make sense of it. "Rise entrepreneur. Take that first step towards freedom. So long to the old routine. Welcome to your new venture. There's an industry that needs disrupting. Ideas you should be challenging. It takes courage to do what you love. We'll help you begin your journey. As a business like you. Dedicated to you. We can take on tomorrow together. With a business account you could open today. Entrepreneurs across the UK - start your business with Tide The first question is, I suppose, what am I talking about? I'm talking about a service, a banking service that is offered to small businesses and entrepreneurs. This gives me a rough idea of the ballpark that we're operating in, which is a finance service essentially. In terms of locating who we are as the speaker, in the text itself, we actually refer to, "We'll help you begin your journey." So I'm talking as a representative of the company, as a representative of Tide, and I'm speaking to a potential customer. Already we know that the relationship, it's not peer to peer exactly. It's a service provider to a potential member of the public. I'm not talking to an employee. I'm not talking to my boss. I'm talking to someone who I want to persuade to use our services. How do I do that? If we know what my objective is, is that I want to persuade them that this is going to be a huge change in their own self-actualization. This is going to make their dreams come true. Then the emotion that I'm looking for is, I would suggest possibly, one option would be to inspire them. To inspire them and excite them. If we look at the language of, "So long to the old routine. Welcome to your new venture." There's that teasing excitement, and this is, I think, where we need to have a clear idea of some differences in separation in terms of emotion, which is the emotion that you want to inspire in the person that you're talking to, whether or not that's a member of the public, or a colleague, or anything, or another character. Sometimes that same emotion that you're trying to inspire is something that you are trying to embody, so if it's to excite, then maybe I'd be excited as well. But very often, you need to think of a different emotional state for yourself are different attitude that will inspire that excitement. For example, quite often when people get excited, it's because they're teased at they're tantalized in some way. You could say, okay, I want to excite someone about this whole products and go, okay, so I'll be excited. Rise entrepreneur, take that first step towards freedom. So long to the old routine. Welcome to your new venture. I mean, that's a possible legitimate take. But another one could be to tease them instead because you're trying to entice them. Rise entrepreneur. Take that first step towards freedom. So long to the old routine. Welcome to your new venture. There's an industry that needs disrupting ideas you should be challenging. It takes courage to do what you love. We'll help you begin your journey. As a business like you, dedicated to you, we can take on tomorrow together with a business account you could open today. Entrepreneurs across the UK, start your business with Tide. Now for me, that's the more interesting and more effective voice-over approach for this particular script for a number of reasons. One, is to do with volume. I'd say when in doubt going quieter is more interesting choice because you're actually connecting with someone and trying to do something to them as opposed to being loud for the sake of it, or big exciting just for the sake of it. I mean, don't get me wrong. There are those reads where you need that energy for whatever reason. But I would say always try to go quiet at first and see what quality that will give you, so that you're really speaking to that person, that imagined audience as opposed to having a generalized state or emotion or energy which isn't as interesting. You want to be speaking to that one person instead. If you are indeed talking on behalf of a company and you're talking about a banking product as well, you have to think about what might be the appropriate emotional state. I would say if you're dealing with banking and money and all of that series stuff, then you're not going to be in a heightened exciting state however much you might want your audience to be highly excited. You want to be more solid, trustworthy, professional, and again, that lower volume and sense of control and teasing is a lot more professional and assured as a result. It's playing around with these different variables of how you might sound, but it's coming through it from the prism of who am I? Who am I talking to? Why am I talking to them? What emotional state am I trying to engender in them? What emotional state am I in to help engender that? Now without going on a huge acting segue, obviously is going to be a slightly different situation when you're dealing with a computer game character or an animated character where you're going to be talking to someone else that isn't the audience. But you still need to know who your character is. You need to know who you're talking to. You need to know why you're talking to that person, and therefore what you want out of that person. Why are you talking to them in that first place? Is it that you want them to change something, do something for you? Always look for that objective that your character has because regardless of the type of script that you're working with, you always are a character of some sort even if it's a character that sounds notionally like you. What are you aiming for in terms of that contact? Then going from there, even if they are very, very different kind of scripts, they come from the same basis of understanding what we call the givens, the what, the why, and the how. Let's just very quickly apply the same analysis to a character speech from a video game. This is actually from one of my favorite video games, Mass Effect. You should play it if you do play. Anyway, this speech, let me just read it out loud and we'll make some conclusions. You all know the mission and what is at stake. I've come to trust each of you with my life, but I've also heard murmurs of discontent, I share your concerns. We are trained for espionage. We would be legends, but the records are sealed. Glory in battle is not our way. Think of our heroes, the silent step, who defeated a nation with a single shot. Or the ever alert, who kept armies at bay with hidden facts. These giants do not seem to give us solace here, but they are not all that we are. Before the network there was the fleet. Before diplomacy there were soldiers. Our influence stopped the rachni, but before that we held the line. Our Influence stopped the Krogan, but before that we held the line. Our influence will stop Saren in the battle today, we will hold the line. We ask exactly the same questions, which is, who am I? Who am I talking to? Why am I talking to them? What emotional response am I trying to engender? Therefore, what kind of emotional point of view should I have? In this particular scenario, he's a military leader who is trying to rally his troops. The rack Knee, essentially, the big bad villains in this space and they need to hold the line against this huge threat. You know that you're a military leader, you're talking to fellow leaders asking them to join along with the efforts. You're speaking as equals or close to equals in terms of people that you are running potentially, so they're not lower subordinates, you are rallying people who could decide to leave at some point. They could decide to not support you in any way, so therefore, you need to speak to them more as equals. You're speaking to many people as opposed to one person. Therefore, rather than having an intimacy with the mic, if you're in a more public space say, then there's going to be a certain element of projection. Again, we don't need to do it in a theater way of projecting to a huge army that's on stage with you, but the Stellar sense of it being in a bigger space. You're not speaking with one person, you're speaking to a lot of people. But even though you're speaking to a lot of people, you're speaking to them not at them. Rather than it being too grandiose, you're still getting them to come on board. You're trying to persuade them. You want them to feel emboldened. You want to make them feel courageous and brave. That's one potential choice anyway. As a result, in terms of the emotional state that you could embody as a result, it could be determination, it could be shear reasoning, it could be anger. There is no one right or one wrong way to play a scene. Ultimately, it'll come down to the director's vision and you having that kind of conversation. But it's as long as you arrive at these decisions from a logical standpoint as opposed to just reading this and going, oh, I should do it in a city voice, or I should do it really fast, I should do it really slower, I should do it with lots of energy, all of that kind of thing. Instead, you need to be going through a very particular process always analyzing, what space are you in? Going back to the corporate script as well where it felt very much as if you're talking to that one entrepreneur. With this one, again, there's that whole personal effect as you'll probably see testified in an extract of the speech in the video game itself. You all know the mission and what is at stake. I have come to trust each of you with my life, but I've also heard murmurs of discontent. I share your concerns. We are trained for espionage. We would be legends, but the records are sealed. Glory in battle is not our way. Think of our heroes, silent step who defeated a nation with a single shot. Or the ever alert who kept armies at bay hidden facts. These giants do not seem to give us solace here, but they are not all that we are. Before the network there was the fleet. Before diplomacy there were soldiers. Our influence stopped the Rachni, but before that we held the line. Our influence stopped the Krogan, but before that we held the line. Our influence will stop Saren in the battle today, we will hold the line. 7. Physicality : Up to this point, we've been intellectualizing quite a bit in terms of our textual analysis. I want you to shake this up by focusing now on the opposite, which is our physical side, and how our bodies can inform voice-over reads without really having to think about it too much, which is always a good idea, I think. Now I come from a acting background. I trained for three years at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama on their acting course. I've got a certain awareness in terms of how my body impacts my vocal performances as a result. Certainly, if we look at certain genres, the connection between body and voice is very obvious. In animation or in video games, you really have to engender physically, you have to inhabit all of the various character states in order to be able to give a really authentic, credible vocal performance as a result. You literally have sections towards the end of most video game recording sessions where you'll be recording efforts, where the vocalizations of you hitting or swinging or being hit or being killed or burning to death for 10 seconds or 20 seconds, I've been there and I've done that. That's a quite extreme version of it. But that whole element is something that we can actually apply to any voice over text, whether or not that's an audio book or whether or not that's a corporate or a commercial script. Fundamentally, whether or not you're focusing on the emotional core or whether or not you're focusing on the very little details, it'll depend on the individual, how they want to use their physicality. But first of all, I wanted to just demonstrate some levels of how it could be different. As an example, you could obviously use your physicality to reflect a particular physical state if you were playing a video game character or an animated character, if that character was wounded or upset, their body language may be more closed or more open, as a result. They may be bent over, which will again, as we were talking about the effect of your posture on your voice, that's something that you get essentially for free as a result. What I wanted to do was give two quick readings of that same entrepreneur script that we looked at a bit earlier. One where the physicality is quite extreme and I'm demonstrating quite a bit, and then another one where I'm a bit more slouch, the energy is a bit lower and I'm sat down, just to see how they're different. Rise entrepreneur. Take that first step towards freedom. So long to the old routine, welcome to your new venture. There's an industry that needs disrupting, ideas you should be challenging. It takes courage to do what you love. We'll help you begin your journey. As a business like you, dedicated to you. We can take on tomorrow together, with a business account you could open today. Entrepreneurs across the UK, start your business with Tide. Rise entrepreneur. Take that first step towards freedom. So long to the old routine, welcome to your new venture. There's an industry that needs disrupting, ideas you should be challenging. It takes courage to do what you love. We'll help you begin your journey. As a business like you, dedicated to you. We can take on tomorrow together, with a business account you can open today. Entrepreneurs across the UK, start your business with Tide. Hopefully, from those two readings, you'll get a sense of how the physicality innately affects the read. I didn't go to either read with a particular agenda in mind or anything else like that, but obviously having standing up and having that physical action with my arms, gave me a bit more energy because again, I was in that braced position as well as opposed to standing straight on. I had that greater dynamic energy. Notice in terms of, if you want to play certain emphasis on words, I didn't make any particular decisions on that, but if you want to place emphasis on something, again, from a technical point of view, you can push out to it in some way whether or not that's a point, whether or not that's a swipe, maybe you want to dismiss something, again you swipe it to the side there. If you're talking about you, if you're talking about yourself, all of those things can help give a degree of specificity to your performance, so that when you're talking about something in particular, you're actually visualizing it as being there. Rather than having to think, oh, what am I doing vocally? Or what am I doing, tonally? Although that's a way of working which we'll get onto as well. It allows your physicality to do that for you. Similarly, even when I was sitting down, the little shrugs of the shoulders will do something to your voice innately. Again, it's just finding these opportunities for your bodies to act in a slightly different way, to give you a slightly more nuance to different read. I think it's also useful to think about the realistic than the abstract when it comes to the physicality. Again, talking about various characters. If we're working on characters and your character is hit, then yes, you might want to react in a realistic way to get the sound that you need, the aah, effect. That's pretty literal and that make sense. Sometimes if you're in a corporate context and you're representing a company and you feel as if you're talking at a board meeting to various people, again, sometimes I will even wear costume, that's quite a common acting technique. The difference, not going full costume, but like the difference of wearing a shirt that's tucked in as opposed to a t-shirt can then again affect your physicality in a certain way, which can give it a very different read. But all of those choices are quite logical to the character and their situation. There are other times where you can use your physicality, though, in a more abstract way to adjust very technical elements on one thing specifically, as well as the emphasis that I was talking about earlier because you don't always demonstrate what you're emphasizing by pointing or lashing out, but it's in terms of speed. Sometimes if, for example, you need to talk really quickly and it's very technical thing, I'll move my hand really quickly, and that'll give me a certain amount of energy that I know needs to be consistent all the way through so I don't suddenly starts slowing down. Similarly, if I'm going through certain e-learning scripts, for example, where I have to chew to that person and I have to be relatively consistent in terms of the speed and the tone with some variations within that as well. My natural tendency might be to be a little too conversational and to speed up. Although there's variants in speed, can be good in terms of being a little bit more dynamic to keep people interested and to keep people listening so we don't get into that set monotone. Still having a slower manifestation by having my arm just talking to the side, essentially for me, will stop me from getting any faster with how I'm speaking. Again, think of different ways that you can use your physicality and experiment. Go back to those texts that you find on various different libraries that are available, including the edge script library that I talked about earlier before, and then your playing around, as well as playing around with the different speeds and the different tonalities, the different prosody as I was talking about. Now incorporate your physicality into those things. If you're just saying something really quickly, but your physicality is very limited, how is that going to be very different if you're saying it really slowly but with huge space and big gestures? The final thing that I'll say is that I very much appreciate that when people are starting out in voice-over, they're recording situation, they're recording circumstances will also have a huge impact on what they can do physically. Now I'm obviously in this custom made studio now, which is great, it's fantastic. The whole reason that I decided I get an entire room to do this, was so that I could use my physicality much more openly and make these choices much more easier. Essentially, it does make my work easier by having this space. But when I started out, so for the first 4,5 years of my career, I didn't have this. I was under loads of soundproofing blankets and sheets, and therefore, my physical recording space was very small. Sometimes I literally couldn't move because the microphone was there, I can't go anywhere else and I needed to make sure that my recording space was consistent, which meant that I couldn't really change anything. Then you can play around with smaller gestures that you can make, that can mean that you can physically actualize things in terms of your performance. Whether or not that's little hand gestures that you're making or whether or not that's even in terms of like ringing or bending or moving around, all of these different things. It's just finding little punctuations. Even if you're going through a script and every time you want to emphasize a particular word, you're just pointing like that, or pointing like that. Even the fact that you're physically pointing in a subtly different direction will make a difference. Ultimately, this course is intended to really get you to start learning about how you operate and how you respond to different things. What is useful to you and what isn't. The more you experiment at this stage, the better. 8. Sounding Conversational : Although many people may have only encountered it ironically, I think it's important to bear in mind that distinction between the more old school traditional announced read where someone is talking at you and the more authentic real person read that is very much in favor, well, it has been for the last decade. It's because of a shift in everything of talking at someone and telling them to do something. Instead, it's about creating a relationship and eliciting an emotional response in some way with the degree of authenticity to it. There is that very clear distinction and what we've covered this far has been finding different ways of being able to access that. Some people would call this the conversational aspect of voice-over, which is probably the most common brief, certainly in commercial, but also corporate and you're looking for that level of conversational credibility in video games increasingly as well as opposed to a heightened form of speaking. I just wanted to go through a couple of bullet points again, just to encapsulate things to bear in mind and try and tie some of the things that we've been talking about together. First and foremost, we've got to think about who we're talking to and why we're talking to them, what their identity is, what our identity is, and what the objective is. The intention always being is that we want to elicit a response from them and be receptive towards them, as opposed to simply telling them something and really not carrying about what their reaction is. Again, that visualization of the microphone being an air, or human, or as it's very commonly directed, one of your best friends in a pub. That's why that direction crops up so often. It's because they want that level of direct connection and almost informality as a result. Having said that, you've got to bear in mind that you need to really engage your imagination. The problem very often with receiving the direction of use your best friend is that your best friend in real life might not actually care about the product or service that is actually being discussed, so you need to use your imagination to picture someone who would be interested in the product or service or subject that you are discussing in some way. If the thing that you're talking about is not something that actually genuinely excites you, well, this is where acting comes in. You need to potentially think about something that would excites you or elicit the same emotional response in you as it's supposed to be in the actual speaker. It's what many acting teachers call the magic if, where you actually replace what is being discussed with something that has meaning to you, although the text stays the same, so nobody knows the difference or at least that's how it's supposed to run. Technically though, we've got to be very aware that this meaning and communication is related to our volume. When in doubt, using less volume and more proximity towards the microphone when you're seeking that connection should be your habitual default and also in terms of wearing headphones, I generally take my headphones off when I'm recording unless I have to monitor something particularly closely because then I'm not listening to the sound of my voice. I'm listening to the intention and the person that I'm talking to, instead. Going back to one of my initial point about trying to think in terms of thoughts and intentions as opposed to words and sounds, I think it's a very important distinction. I would also say depending on the level of formality that for a more conversational read, think of playing around with elisions and contractions, so turning an it is into an it's, or we're as opposed to all we are. This sensitivity towards the formality that is being used, I think is important. Similarly, if you find a script where people aren't using to or contractions, but using the full words, and that could be a character choice, then that's telling you something about the character, about their level of formality and who they're talking to, and how they respond to them. Another great thing to listen out to is rhythm. In real life, rhythm it's a lot more stopy, starty. We'll flow for a bit as we get an idea, and then we'll pause as we get it. There's this whole variety in terms of rhythm, whereas the temptation is, in a recitation, it's to get into very predictable rhythms. As a result, the whole Shakespeare dee-dum, dee-dum, dee-dum, dee-dum, dee-dum. The whole point when you're working with classical texts in Shakespeare is that you learn the iambic pentameter that dee-dum, dee-dum, dee-dum, dee-dum, dee-dum to be or not to be. That is the question, feminine ending so that you can then completely forget it and play it as a jazz. You're aware of the rhythms that there are, but then you make it your own. Similarly, with more conversational texts and more conversational types of delivery, there's much more ebb and flow so that you will certainly pause, or stop, or suspend on a particular word to give it emphasis and maybe you're finding thoughts as well. But there's that whole variety that you need to be sensitive towards rather than getting into a constant rhythm and just reciting it and building on this idea of playing with external elements such as rhythm. Obviously again, our work on the physicality immediately comes into this. It can inform our reads very easily the difference between being sat down and slouched with not much energy as opposed to being up and jumping around and ecstatic, all of these different kinds of nuances. By changing something physical, you can immediately change an intention or delivery to make it a more authentic or true to the character in the message that they're trying to communicate. Finally, there's a concept called leading in in voice-over, which is actually pretty much essential for video game work and some character work, but can also be used in commercial and corporate copy as well. Leading in essentially means improvising in the given scenario just prior to when you're actually speaking. It could be as simple as just prefacing something with, "You know Michael" and then going into the script in some way, so it becomes part of a whole conversation as opposed to you trying to lift the entire script from a complete standing start, going from naught to 100 almost immediately. It acts as a form of bridge, and then it's something that you can edit out or have edited out for you in some way. Character work, especially for video game characters where there's that extra element of believability and credibility that is increasingly being sought for these little efforts, these little breaths, these little repetitions and um's and uh's, our way of really bringing your character to life, to making it three-dimensional. That doesn't mean you become parody of lots of different ticks that you just throw onto the script. But you've got to inhabit it, and inhabiting it means honoring all of these different sounds that characters make. For a corporate script or commercial script or for an audio book or a narration, you really ultimately have to focus on the words as written. A lot of these additional external sounds can be used as a way in, but as something that ultimately you have to remove. But as a way in, initially, they can work wonders, especially in the early stages of working with more formal writing. I just want to show you an example of a script that I found, which is just a pretty corporate e-learning script. I'll give you a very straight through reading of it, and then I'm going to try and incorporate some of the aspects that we've been discussing here to see if you can sense what the changes are. First of all, here's a quite straightforward reading. "Most of us know there are ways we can improve to be healthier, happier, more effective. But knowing how to improve is a different matter. Without guidance, we often simply stay the same. Welcome to Weelearn. A platform where well-known experts and authors can help you get stronger in all areas of your life. Using the Weelearn video library, you can protect your body, strengthen your mind and spirit, become a more positive influence in your relationships. Pursue success more confidently at work and so much more. Don't be stuck in life, work, love, or anything. Try Weelearn for yourself today. Weelearn, learning through watching." That's a very straightforward read. I want to try and apply a couple of elements very quickly without overthinking it. Now, I'm going to change it so that I'm speaking, obviously, as an advocate of the platform to someone who I think could really benefit from it as well. I've got a particular friend in mind who I'm going to use. I'm going to make sure that I speak with a bit less volume and I'm going to speak a little bit more from the throat as well. We're not going into the extent of using a whisper as such, but it's a more conversational tone, and I'm going to also add a little bit of a few lead-ins around improvised with the text. I'm going to play around with rhythm a little bit more as well because it was quite consistent all the way through that aligned to contract a couple of words as well. In terms of having a clear emotional state, obviously I want to excite the person that I'm talking to, but thinking in terms of the control of the volume as well. I think if we can try and get a bit of a teasing quality into this instead, then that would be potentially a little bit more interesting. Let's see how we go. Well, Scott, most of us know there are ways we can improve to be healthier, happier, or more effective. But knowing how to improve, it's a different matter. Without guidance, we often simply stay the same. Welcome to Weelearn, a platform where well-known experts and authors can help you get stronger in all areas of your life. Using the Weelearn video library, you can protect your body or strengthen your mind and spirit, become a more positive influence in your relationships, pursue success more confidently at work, well, and so much more. Don't be stuck in life, love, work, or anything. Try Weelearn for yourself today. Weelearn, learning through watching. I'm exaggerating the differences. Ultimately, every single piece is going to exist somewhere on a spectrum between incredibly animated and almost monotone, and we've got to find where exactly it is best place depending on the project, and that' will depend on the brief. It will depend on all of the other factors that we've discussed. But just as a technical exercise, hopefully you'll see where that level of authenticity can be accessed from a technical side, and also just from deductions and decisions that you've made purely from the script, rather than you having to invent whole scenarios. It all there for you to access. 9. Marking Up Copy : The next thing that I want to focus on, is how we actually look and treat the copy that we get on the page, or as it is more frequently now, on the actual digital screen. As you'll have already clocked, I either read most of my copy either from a large screen, or I use an iPad which I can annotate as well. This really has to go hand in hand with an appreciation of what we're doing. Certainly in terms of, if you're the only narrator, in commercial copy or corporate copy, normally, as opposed to in a dialogue, you first of all, need to make sense of what the whole journey of the piece is. We've already talked about working out who the audience is, who you are, what your motivation and objective is, where you are and how this all is going to impact your overall delivery as a result. There's also structurally an appreciation of whatever the text is and how it's doing. It'll have a beginning, a middle and an end of some way. This will vary to a degree obviously, but you still need to have an appreciation for the overall traditional tropes of most stories. Whether or not that's the three-act structure or five-act structure, you can google that and look at that, but this beginning, middle, or end quite often, there is a problem and then there's a solution and then there's a conclusion. A situation that we're presented with now, and we need to address or change in some way through a product or service or collaboration, what that could possibly be and then the ending, concluding that as well. If we just have in the back of our mind looking for this beginning, this middle, or the end in every single text that we're looking at, just an appreciation of it. It's something to work with, again, with a character, I would say, but when we are then looking at the copy on the screen, this is where it can become invaluable. Because the first thing that happens is that quite often voice-over copy goes through so many different people in order to be approved. You have an appreciation of the fact that voice-over quite often comes very late in the production process. Certainly in terms of commercials, certainly in terms of corporate projects as well. It can be the very last thing. As a result, it's been passed through committee and very few people who were checking it to make sure that it's saying all of the right things and all of the product or service features are being listed correctly, or the right facts are being named checked and all of that kind of thing. These people are necessarily focusing on how to best present the actual copy in a way which will make narrating it, speaking it out loud, easier. How do we do that? Well, first thing we do obviously, is that we make sure that the script is quite large. I do anyway, the first thing I do is I bump up the size to 12, or 14, or whatever word processing document that I'm using. Some people actually prefer to make the text smaller so they can see more of the text around it so that in your peripheral view, you can see what's coming next a bit easier. It depends on the individual. It'll work for different people in different ways. But I change the size of the text and then I also double-space it, so it doesn't look like such a big block. It's easier to read for me as a result and if I want to make the little annotations, then I've got space under and over to underline, or circle and all of that kind of thing. But then going back to this appreciation of the structure, whatever it could be, I look for a basic structure in any text that I'm doing. Again with character work, it's different because I think you're more in terms of appreciating the journey of an entire scene and that's more traditional acting. There's a lot out there on that as well. I think that's a whole separate course, to be honest, multiple courses. But looking for that beginning, middle, end, this is the problem. This is what we're dealing with now. Then what I do is, I separate those into different paragraphs. There may be a beat more or the may not be a beat in terms of the actual final duration between these different things, but you're taking your listener on a journey, an emotional journey. As a result, being able to reflect that in the copy I think is very important. The other thing that we need to do in terms of editing this copy that I find useful is, again, we're thinking in terms of thoughts as opposed to words. We're not really focusing on how things sound so much, as what we're trying to communicate both emotionally and in terms of the information. Therefore, I always make sure that I edit the text in a certain way that will facilitate that. Obviously, keeping punctuation can be incredibly useful and quite often integral. The people that you're working with may need you to pause at a particular beat, in order they can put up a certain graphic and then move on to that, and then move on to that. But sometimes punctuation is lacking. You'll have a sentence that seems to go on, and on, and on, and on, forever, and we don't speak like that. If you try and deliver it like that, like a computer program might do, then it's going to become un-listenable. Fundamentally, if you're struggling to say something, then more often than not, that means it's going to be difficult to actually listen to you as well. You need to be able to break things up as a result. Whilst we can intuitively breakup our own speech so that we know when to breathe, we don't think about when we breathe. Quite often when starting out, I would say, it's quite good to work out in terms of where a thought may end, so that we can carry the energy of the thought all the way to the end of a particular sentence or a particular section, but also we work out where we breathe so that the text makes absolute sense. We're not dropping anything unimportant and we're not running out of breath. Because quite often the most important part of a sentence might be right at the end of the concluding point where we're hammering home something, and if you're running out of breath to say it, then the energy and the confidence that you're communicating that message, will just be weaker as a result, and people can tell. Going back to the physicality affecting our vocal performance, you can hear that, if someone is struggling to just get the last couple of words out. Even if you think, "Oh, I think I've got away with it," the microphone won't lie. That will be communicated. Regarding anything else that you want to mark up on your script, I've gone through whole different levels of annotating absolutely everything. Then, through time, I've annotated less and less. I did that when I started out as an actor as well. I did the same thing. I would make copious amounts of notes and then as I've got older and more experienced, a lot of the work I do almost subconsciously, so I don't need to write it down. Obviously, I would say underlining or circling words which you're emphasizing is crucial, especially brand names, or product names, or service names in any way. But try not to think of hitting words for emphasis so much. I would say think about the vowels instead and about extending those vowels, loving those vows in order to emphasize them a bit more. Or again, just literally physicalizing whenever you're emphasizing rather than thinking; I need to harder on a particular word. Other than that, one of the only other things that I really look out for is antithesis. Which is really, again to do with the structure of so much writing. Antithesis is essentially when one thing is opposed by another thing. They were the best of times, they were the worst of times, to be or not to be, to quote Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare respectively. It's this one thing against another thing where we are to where we could be. For example, you will find coming up in a lot of text, certainly a lot of commercial text in corporate work, especially. It's something to keep looking out for. Once you've appreciated and seen, let's say you started to spot this antithesis of where one thing seems to be contrasting with another thing, it's just good to be mindful about how you would emphasize this antithesis. Technically, these are things that you should start looking out for so that you have a sensitivity towards. Begin to mark up in the early stages as well. But as with actors with verse speaking in more traditional acting, you learn these rules so that you can forget them. You appreciate the structure, so you can then be a lot more organic and real and human and play it like jazz intuitively. As an example, I just want to take a look at Andrew Scott playing Hamlet at the Almeida Theater, and how he uses antithesis in his verse speaking. To be, or not to be? That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them? Now, the thing to point out with Andrew Scott, apart from the fact that he's a wonderful actor is that, first of all, he physically manifest those contrasts with his hands. You could say he literary demonstrates what he's doing, but also the delivery is very real. This comes down to how there have being changes in approaches to verse speaking from being quite an oral tradition where plays were heard as much as they were seen to the 21st century where plays are as much seen, or if not more seen then they are actually heard. Therefore, there's a taste towards more naturalistic delivery as a result. Even people speaking classical verse, their actual process of speaking is much more recognizable to how people speak than someone putting on a voice and talking out to you. Again, there's that distinction between talking at someone, which is one of the reasons why so many people can bounce off Shakespeare because they feel as if they're being talked at, as opposed to and be emotionally connected. That's why there's been that see change. Similarly, in terms of marking these antithetical elements that we find in any kind of text, once we found them is that you can mark them very lightly, but it's having that awareness and actually physically marking them on the script when you're starting out can be really useful. Be honest, there are times when you don't feel normal. But what is normal? Is it feeling you can't get out for a work? Feeling off-color? Not feeling anything? Is it normal to be anxious about a deadline? Or anxious all the time? To miss celebrations purposely? Or your mum endlessly? Is it normal to cry for no reason, or not cry when you should? In truth, there are seven billion versions of normal on this planet. Whatever is on your mind, it's normal to us, BUPA -for living. Quite often, you'll also have encountered lists in ration copy and corporate copy and even in commercials. Again, there are different schools of thought to this. But think about playing around with your pitch. If you're having a list of 1, 2, and 3, that rather of being 1, 2, 3, that maybe you go 1, 2, 3. Again, there are different schools of thought about what you should do. There's no right or wrong answer and if you listen to ads out there or narration which has different lists, different people like doing different things. But again, there's something about technically getting into a habit of varying the musicality to make those different distinctions. It's something that we want to be able to learn to get into the habit of doing and spotting so that then we can do it organically as opposed to just musically going through the gears, which isn't necessarily the best in terms of fostering a connection with the listener, but it's whether or not it's outside in or inside out, it already helps. The final thing is, rather than hitting something, rather than extending something, rather than playing with the pitch if something, the other thing that you can use for emphasis is porting. I'm a great fan of Harold Pinter's work, a dramatist. It's a bit of a parody to the Pinter pause. He was a writer who very much used the power of silence in order to emphasize particular moments between characters without going into too much of a tangent. You should read his work. But think in terms of potentially pausing before or after something that you really want to emphasize. In terms of the storytelling, what that does is, it gives us an element of suspense. I really want you to buy this thing, or I really want you to buy this thing. Again, think about how you can use pause in a more effective way to play with the rhythm consciously. Again, a trick to start mechanically applying just to see how it might work and then organically, as you get more and more practiced, you might start to use it or not. It's just something as a different option. I would also say that you always need to earn your pauses. If you are going to pause on something, maybe go a little bit quicker so that you're building and escalating to something before you then pause. Whereas if you're going really slowly all of the time, then a pause loses its power as a result. Again, we're thinking more about the outside in, about how those variances in speed can help make you more listenable to and help communicate that story in a conversational relatable way. But that's also a really useful thing to start trying out. Look for all of these opportunities in the copy when you can, see if there are any other opportunities. 10. Actioning : Now that we've established the importance of knowing who you are, and who you're talking to and why you're talking to them, I thought it was good to maybe bring up a particular resource which I think can be really useful in terms of thinking about the different tactics that you can utilize, when you're actually saying something. Because it's one thing to know what it is that you want, what your objective is, but we all can use various different tactics in order to move our way towards that objective. For example, if I'm asking someone for money, then my objective is essentially the same. But I could beg, I could plead, I could demand, I could scream to intimidate them, I could assault them verbally. All of these are different kind of ways and techniques. We might have them in the back of our mind, our awareness of their are different tactics. But I think it's always great to have a way of being able to formalize and making conscious elements of this process, so that we can push ourselves in different directions and be very deliberate about the choices that we're making. A resource like The Actors' Thesaurus, which is all about actions, actioning, this is essentially transitive verbs. What transitive verbs are, are verbs that we can do to someone. I something you. I dominate you, or I encourage you, or I plead with you. This is a fantastic little book, which is now also an app that you could use on your phone. So that when you're thinking about various different approaches and tactics that you may use at different times, in the same spot, for example, you might be wanting to persuade that person to convince them about something. But then you could have subtle different variants of this. Or it's a way of being able to incorporate direction as well. If someone wants you go in a completely opposite direction, not in terms of the overall objective, which may be to still sell the thing to the person who's listening, but your tactics may be a way of being able to change those really clearly. I think it's really useful to just check that out as resource, because it's available via various app stores wherever you get your apps, as well as physically. It's a great resource of all of these different transitive verbs so that you don't have to come up with them yourself. Or alternatively you can make up your own. Because I know some people very much think in terms of physical actions. They need to put their transitive verbs into a physical sense in order for them to really spark their imagination. Rather than I plead with you, it could be I hug you, or rather than I dominate you, it could be I punch you. It might come up with exactly the same effect, but it's two different ways of getting to the same destination. Anyway, I thought just for purely illustrative purposes, that I would give a couple of examples of how I could use the same line. This line will be, welcome home, but using a variety of different actions behind it to give hopefully different readings. Here you go. Welcome home. 11. Using Music : We've spoken quite a bit about intention, and how your intention and your objective towards the person that you're talking to, imagined or real, will have a huge impact on how you're actually going to speak the words. Another way of being able to approach this though, which takes away the intellect so much and can be really useful, is to use music to inspire imagination in some way. Just as in acting normally with me, quite often for emotional preparation, if I need to get to a particular emotional state before I start a scene or anything, one thing that I find particularly useful is to utilize music in a particular way. I actually have a whole playlist of different music depending on the emotion that I want to get to. I'm always listening out for particularly effective music that works for me and has an immediate impact on me emotionally. Because quite often I find it's so much easier to be stimulated by something outside of me to get to an emotional place, as opposed to trying to psychologically think my way into it and trying to work myself into a state. Although with a lot of live directed sessions, ultimately, you won't be able to work with music in this particular way. It is a great thing to be able to practice with. If you're recording things unto yourself, it's a great thing to be able to utilize during your recordings, just so that you get a sense of what might affect you and in what way. What I would suggest doing is to start building a playlist for yourself, whether or not that's on Spotify or other music providers are available if you still collect MP3s or CDs or whatever, whatever works best for you. But a whole playlist of different music, it has an emotional impact on you. For me personally, it's usually instrumental music as opposed to words with lyrics, though there are some exceptions to it. But I often find that with lyrics, again, it starts to engage my intellect, because quite often the lyrics are associated with the narrative. Whereas emotionally, I can just let things without that wash over me, which I think can be hugely beneficial. If you're working on a project and you can actually get hold of the music that is going to be used in the final project, then that can be absolutely invaluable, because it acts as a shorthand for the type of delivery that they want to get you towards. A bit like with the visuals as well, it can stimulate your imagination in one way. As soon as you start saying something out loud with the music playing, you can easily find if you're working with the music or you're working against it. Now from a technical perspective, if you actually do want to listen to the music whilst you're actually recording a take, if you're using most headphones like these ones here, although they're lovely and soft, the noise will probably bleed a bit from the headphone into the microphone, which is obviously not ideal because that's going to ruin the quality of the take itself. You can either listen beforehand to try and get you in the mode or alternatively, if you have any in-ear headphones such as these ones here, what I do is, I put these in as well and then over the top of them, I will put my headphones. Normally, I have one headphone on and one headphone off, because then I can hear myself a bit better rather than being drawn too much into the voice. But for my in-ear buds, I will keep those in so that there's no bleed whatsoever. Then I can voice whilst listening, and it shouldn't be able to be picked up from the microphone. I'd suggest, it's probably best to try and do some research and go on a couple of forums to see what might work best. There may well be another more effective system of doing this. But this is how I do it. Now, I think it would be nice to just use a very quick example. Again, I'm just going to select a script. Without analyzing it at all, I'm just going to do a cold read of it but with two contrasting types of music. Just to show you how it works without having to over-analyze or engage that intellect too much. Ideas are beautiful. At first, they are inside you, electrify you. Grow from our imagination. But ultimately, they want to be set free out into the world to disrupt it, improve it, to make it more meaningful, more beautiful, and even more incredible. Ideas start the future just like that. The fully electric, Audi RS E-Tron GT. Ideas are beautiful. At first, they are inside you. Electrify you. Grow from your imagination. But ultimately, they want to be set free out into the world to disrupt it, improve it, to make it more meaningful, more beautiful, and even more incredible. Ideas start the future just like that. The fully electric, Audi RS E-Tron GT. 12. When Recording : We've started to cultivate some daily habits, we've started to look at your physical as well as your mental preparation. When you look at scripts, we've addressed how you might want to present the copy differently to make it easier to be able to read so that you can emotionally engage with it as well, what you're looking for in the script so that you can make sense of it, and sense of the journey, how you can engage your body and physicality so that it's not all just coming from your mind. But then you have to get to the stage where you have to press record and sometimes you might have to press record and there are people listening in on you as well, which is even more of a nightmare. There's always going to be that question of, what do I need to focus on? What should I be focusing on? As I've said in the last module, I used to start out by annotating lots of things, and then over time, a lot of this work has become more embedded and more organic and that's something that you should strive for by experimenting and continuing to experiment every day. I can't emphasize this enough. A little bit of playtime to yourself with your voice-over work is so essential because you can do it without any external judgment or pressure. But you can also continue to then cultivate different things. You have a wider appreciation of what you can actually do. You might be surprised by what you can do. But when it comes to actually stepping up to the plate and recording the work, my argument would be to focus really on one thing, which is the message that you're trying to communicate. It's a bit like I obviously come from my acting background where there's so much emphasis on being in the moment, just being responsive to the circumstances or the scene as you're presented. The beauty of that is that your self-consciousness, your self-awareness of how you sound or what you look like or anything else like that is completely taken away because your attention is just on the other person, which means you can be free to be more organic, more emotionally available. That's great and something to strive for. But with voice- over, you've got written words, you don't know the words more often than not they've been written down, so you're trying to pick those off the page. You don't necessarily have another scene partner as well either. It's you in a void. So how can we make that transition? Well, I think the essential thing is to boil it down to a phrase about what you're here to do, what you're here to say. That would be ultimately your objective. So if it's, I need to persuade these people about this product. But that's not the most exciting way of phrasing it. It's about having that level of experimentation about what phrases really activate you. Rather than persuade, or it might be to convince or to evangelize, to possess using more emotive language. Even if you're talking about a dry technical explainer, then I want to guide you toward salvation. If you are talking about some eco development thing to deal with the environment, is a much more interesting, more emotive phrase to tell yourself than, "I want to tell you the benefits of this service." One, it does something innately to me already, a lot more exciting than, "Okay, well, I better sound clearer as a result." I think distilling it to a phrase in terms of what your objective is and then taking that breath, maybe like breathing out on a count of four through your mouth and then in through your nose, and then just speaking is the most important thing. It's being in that state of readiness and trusting the work that you've done up to that stage. Now some people would use visualization as well. Along with that objective, it's about seeing the people that you're talking to. I think in terms of proximity, again, if you've worked out who you're talking to and why you're talking to them, then I think envisaging the scenario of the where around you; are you in a boardroom? Are you in a pub? Are they just across the table? Are they far away from you? Are there more people? Are you talking to 50 people? Are you talking to 500 people? Are you talking to one person? Are you talking to one person that you really know or one person that you've just met? All of these different decisions you just need to make. You then play those decisions, they will intuitively do things to you as long as you properly see them. In terms of keeping outside of your intellect, which essentially is what being in the moment and what actors aspire to so much more. The way to do that is by, I would say, envisaging who you're talking to and having that phrase about why am I here? What's my objective? I need you to turn the page on this. I need to take you with me. I need to pull you along. I need you to save me. Really quite emotive language. Again, through experimentation, working with other people as well, working with other directors as well, you will learn in terms of your own emotional vocabulary, what activates you. But what I will definitely say is, if you come to a recording session and you've got loads of annotations on all of your script, I mean, sometimes that can work and sometimes it's necessary because the script's dense. But if you've got all of this work and it's all really busy, and you're trying to focus on how something sounds every single minute, as well as communicating the message at the same time, you can't do more than one thing simultaneously. You've got to be fully focused on the communication of the message and coming from the right place in your preparation. You press record and then you start from a place and it's about making that connection first and foremost, nothing else. If you're like, oh, but how do I sound or am I rhythmically? Yes, you've got to spin those plates a little bit. There's always going to be 10 percent of your director's brain going, "Am I continuing to go faster? Am I still saying that particular phrase or particular brand name in the right way that I should?" There's always going to be that 10 percent of your acting brain at the back there that you trust to do its kind of work. But as much as possible you want to clear your mind so that you're making that connection with the listener, talking into that ear, making that emotional connection, telling them that story so that you can inspire an emotion and a change and a thought in them. Listen to your heart, to the secrets in your blood. In all my long life, I've longed for only you. I can offer you a love that will last forever from beyond the grave. Can this man promise the same? All the pain that he caused you, all the little sacrifices, the thousand hopeless defeats, was it worth it being a good wife, a loyal, obedient little woman, denying yourself what you want, what your body wants? It's so hard, isn't it? To live in a world where every single man that you meet wants to put you in a box, in a bed, in a kitchen or on a pedestal. There are so many rules to keep you small. To keep you quiet. Is it worth it? This man abandoned you, belittled you, betrayed you, lied to you, and now he begs and pleads for forgiveness. Is that the existence you want? Short, flawed and pointless. Our life can be so hideous when you cannot change it and you are meant for so much more. Come with me. Take my hand. Leave these children to their books, and their schemes, and their vanity. Come with me now into the moonlight and let's sleep for centuries, downs across time, watching the world burn around us as the sun sputters and dies. Then we'll rise like the wolves, like the hunter, and go out into the night and begin a new world with strength and pride and glory as equals into the night. 13. Taking Direction : I want to create a brief section on how to take on direction. But because this whole course is mainly focused on people who are starting out or who want to refresh, I think that's something really for later on and it'll depend on the director that you're working with. But the crucial thing in terms of taking direction is obviously the customer is always right except when they're not. But still, if someone wants you to make an adjustment or a change, then that becomes part of your skillset through experience. Quite often it may be an emotional change or it may be that they might want a little bit more emphasis on a particular word. Through all of these things, it's trying to understand what adjustments you feel that you need to make to understand their direction. If someone is saying that you need to make the expression a lot more urgent, but you operate mainly from an outside-in level and you access things mainly not emotionally so much as your physicality, therefore, informs your emotion. Then you might know that, okay, to make that urgency adjustment, rather than thinking, "Oh, I need to speak to someone different. I need to imagine someone different," you might think, ''Okay, so, therefore, I need to, I don't know, be a bit more physically active in order to embody that urgency, which will then be reflected in my delivery.'' Or you could be an inside-out actor where you do have to shift and change who it is that you're making that connection with, who it is that you are envisaging talking to, and that will automatically make that adjustment so that you really feel as if you do need to create that urgency without changing something physically. It's about taking ownership of your own tools, fundamentally. You will get direction, some of which is quite idiotic because depending on the director's level of experience, they may not know how to communicate things particularly clearly. Another thing that you need to be very aware of is that what conversational means for one person might not be the same as what is meant by conversational with another person, or any other terminology in terms of upset, angry, etc. It's about finding that balance in a two-way process so that you can be very clear about what it is that they want you to embody in some way. But I would say, if you're not clear about a piece of direction, the important thing is to take the time and the space to ask for clarification. Also with your continual learning and experimentation, as you find what works best for you, always make sure to do your preparation on this. If you know who it is that you're supposed to be talking to, on what the environment is, and what the emotional thing is is that you're aiming for, what emotion that you're trying to spark, and then you get a direction that adjusts that, then you have all of these different variables that you can adjust in order to get you there. Rather than thinking, I just need to speak it more quickly, you can say, ''Okay, I need to be more urgent", or "Oh, they want me to do it slower.'' The pressure of the situation is off and the person that I am talking to needs me to speak slower because maybe they're a bit younger. There are all these ways that you can get around and adjust so that it makes sense from you still from an acting perspective or from an external perspective. But it's about making sure that you can claim an ownership on the process rather than feeling that the direction is making the whole project escape your grasp if that makes sense. 14. Class Project : Moving on to the course project, what I would like you to do is pick any script that you can find, either the edge script library or anywhere on the Internet at all, even if that means transcribing it yourself. Then to just use the various different approaches that we've covered thus far in terms of finding the objective, in terms of the sound, in terms of the musicality, and just give us a reading for about 30 seconds to a minute, absolute maximum. If you do, are able to post a link to your recording, if you host it on your own website or on SoundCloud, I'm sure other providers are available as well. Then as soon as I get that notification within a couple of days, I'll give you some feedback or just some thoughts, or just some references about other things that you could try with the read as well. Just again, so you can get over that stage of other people listening to your voice or you yourself having to go through the traumatic experience of recording yourself and listening back and is that my right take. The only thing that I would recommend is that rather than trying to get it right and recording yourself again and again. The challenge should be that when you do record yourself, to take no more than three takes. Now this is partly stretching on to the business side of VoiceOver, and I covered up much more extensively in my other course called the business of VoiceOver. But one approach to make sure that you don't drive yourself insane with this is to limit the number of audition takes that you actually record. I mean, obviously we want to get things perfect and if something needs to take time, then something needs to take time, of course. But once you've done your preparation and you have a very clear idea of who you're approaching? Why you're approaching them? Why you're saying what you're saying? What's the emotion that you want to connect to? What's the emotion that you want to engender? You've done some textual analysis, you haven't thought about it too much, and then you've stepped up to the microphone. You've metaphorically wiped your feet so that you're just thinking about what the scenario is or what your action is, then you just record and have a play and try and enjoy it. Because ultimately, the success in VoiceOver, yes, it comes down to all of this knowledge and preparation. But it also comes down as with a lot of creative endeavors to things beyond your control. Everybody is going to bring something different to everything that they narrate because you only have your own voice. Just give you your own reading, yours where you are now, try be as authentic and as true as possible and I look forward to being able to give you some feedback. 15. Conclusion : Congratulations, you managed to make it to the end of this course and hopefully you found what we've covered pretty useful. Just to recap, we've talked about the daily practice, the importance of just starting to say things out loud for the fun of it, and what to be aware of in terms of the practicalities, the musicality of how you use your voice so that you can expand your instrument. We've also briefly touched on being able to warm up, how the physical preparation will make the actual job of speaking out loud much easier. Then we've delved into textual analysis a bit, how you can take apart the copy, what you're looking for, the objective, the intention, the audience that you have in mind in different ways of engaging your imagination. We've also looked at the practicalities of actually doing the recording itself. A couple of things that you need to bear in mind, as well as working with an actual physical microphone in those early stages. Then maybe you've also taken the opportunity to record something as well, so that I can give you some feedback or some ideas or suggestions for further reading as well. This course, as I said before, is not intended to replace one to one coaching. But like I said also at the beginning, I am very appreciative that you might want to dip your toe into voice over out of curiosity, what really are the rules behind it? Do people actually really do this for a living? But it is important if you do want to move into a professional setting. Obviously, bear in mind everything that I've said and take it as gospel that everything that I've said is completely true. But to do some research on coaches that work specifically for you, depending on the genres that you're interested in doing, and then stretching your skill set as you go. If you do have any thoughts or comments, then that would be great as well. Just to give a heads-up for where else you can find me. I do create content every week on YouTube at my voice over channel, Naturally RP Voice Over. If you just put that into YouTube, then you'll find me. That includes more stuff about creating your own demos or the mindset in terms of treating voice over as a career, other different aspects to it. Some of the content you may have seen from this course is also there in different ways as well. Please do check that out. Also, my Instagram, I'm chrisnaturallyrp as my user handle and so I'm active on there. Yes, but thank you first and foremost for taking the time to complete this course. Please do leave a review if you possibly can, because it really does make a difference and I would love to spread the word about it. Do checkout business of voice over as well, if you haven't already. It's very different. Just in terms of the subject, a bit more hard-headed about what it takes to actually make a career out of this. But thank you so much for joining me and good voicing.