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colacola part legend, part devil... all manBalls deep Icrontian
edited Sep 2013 in The Pub
Here's the deal. I've been playing with the idea for quite some time that I'd like to do some voice acting.

With no ideas on how to get started or where to even begin, I looked into voice actor panels and listened to some advice they were giving out. One of the things that I heard stuck, and in my current situation it seems like I could handle it. That thing is reading and listening to myself and getting critiqued. I'm going to try to add audio clips of me reading at least weekly.

This is where you come in. I need material to read and I'm taking suggestions. If you give me links to good material to read, well, you get the picture. I'm going to try to keep to shorter stories or section off longer ones because it's harder than you might think to talk endlessly :P

I'll keep a running list of what I have queue'd and what I've done below

Completed:

The Last Question

The Lottery

To be completed:

A Sound of Thunder
We can Remember it for you Wholesale
BobbyDigi
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Comments

  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario Icrontian
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Aug 2013
    Suggestion: Join or start a Dungeons & Dragons or other tabletop RPG group. It is a fantastic place to do voice acting and character creation/development.
    midga
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! SoCal Icrontian
    I would Love to hear you give The Lottery a shot

    PDF Download

    -Digi
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian
    That's so funny, I've had to do voice acting lately. As a fellow beginner, I can tell you it is extremely hard to sound excited. In my mind I hear myself yelling, but when I playback the recordings I sound like a stoic old man with a twinge of emotion. It really is a hard thing to do.

    Best recommendation I can make after getting a sore throat from this: stay hydrated and don't clear your throat. Clearing your throat irritates it worse. Also, consider buying a decent mic, mic stand, and pop filter. You will want to record in a dry environment -- nail pillows and blankets against the wall. You don't want your voice bouncing back in to your mic from the walls. Also, once you have a few really good high quality recordings of yourself, you can send them to agents/producers.

    All that being said, I have no idea what I'm doing. You have a sex machine of a voice, and real potential. So I'm excited see what becomes of this.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Aug 2013
    reserved comment.

    //EDIT: Wow, I only skimmed Cola's post about looking for things to read for practice, not noticing what he'd already done, and "The Last Question" was the first thing that came to mind. I even posted the story, removing quickly after I finally got around to looking at Cola's list of completed readings. I thought Cola would have a fantastic voice for the computer.

    //EDIT 2: A Sound of Thunder
  • colacola part legend, part devil... all man Balls deep Icrontian
    edited Aug 2013

    Suggestion: Join or start a Dungeons & Dragons or other tabletop RPG group. It is a fantastic place to do voice acting and character creation/development.

    Actually, I joined a D&D group with some of my classmates shortly after summer started, it's been helping me get more comfortable with my own voice. As much as I want to get into this, in my normal day I'm a pretty quiet person so it's a bit of a shock XD

    As a note, links to PDF versions or sites where I can access the whole work are preffered.
  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario Icrontian
  • colacola part legend, part devil... all man Balls deep Icrontian
    Is there a way I'd be able to keep the OP updated? It's my understanding that after a certain amount of time that becomes impossible.
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! SoCal Icrontian
    cola said:

    Is there a way I'd be able to keep the OP updated? It's my understanding that after a certain amount of time that becomes impossible.

    I don't believe that per post permissions are setup yet. I know there is a thought of implementing that (game backlogs). Your best bet is when you need OP updated, post the update in a reply and one of us will take care of it.

    -Digi
  • colacola part legend, part devil... all man Balls deep Icrontian
    All good then
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
    Paging @LeahVoice
  • BandrikBandrik Elkhart, IN Icrontian
    You may also consider getting into reading for books on tape. Not as exciting as being a VA for games and cartoons, but it has its place.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    Bandrik said:

    tape

    midga
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm Madison, WI Icrontian
    edited Aug 2013
    Listening to it now, and one thing I'll say is that it seems like you're trying a little too hard (at least at the beginning) to sound like Morgan Freeman - low voicing, the cadence, the tone. A tiny bit more effort in enunciation helps understanding as well. And be careful with the sentence structures - sometimes how you read it caused unexpected implied ends that instead stretched into the remaining clauses. It's worth reading your source multiple times over before recording, and maybe leave yourself notes that indicate where your points of emphasis should be.

    That said, this is absolutely one of my favorite stories, and you did quite well with it.

    //Edit: this is coming from the "listening to myself and getting critiqued" part of your post - if this was inappropriate, please let me know and I'll clean it up. :)
  • colacola part legend, part devil... all man Balls deep Icrontian
    I'm actually not trying to sound like anyone when I'm reading this, and I do appreciate the criticism. I did multiple runs through this one and this was where I was finally satisfied with myself.
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian
    :vimp:
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    Cola = white morgan freeman?
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian
    I white morgan freemaned in my pants after listening to Cola's reading :/
    RahnalH102midga
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian

    I white morgan freemaned in my pants after listening to Cola's reading :/

    Dunno why you left your pants on while listening, I sure didn't.

    BandrikRahnalH102midgaGnomeQueen
  • KoreishKoreish I'm a penguin, deal with it. KCMO Icrontian
    Lincoln I'm not entirely certain you ever wear pants.
  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH Icrontian
    My only critique was that in the beginning there was a lot of what I am going to call "sticky tongue" where you could hear your tongue moving around a bunch after a pause. I guess doing some warm ups would help with that.
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Aug 2013
    d3k0y said:

    "sticky tongue" where you could hear your tongue moving around a bunch

    Heh. Heh.
  • BandrikBandrik Elkhart, IN Icrontian
    edited Aug 2013
    @Lincoln, you had nothing to do with his tongue being sticky.

    ...this time...
  • LeahVoiceLeahVoice Hobgoblin of Good Grooming Ferndale, MI Icrontian
    I do voice acting professionally, mostly commercial and phone systems. (Don't laugh at the phone systems-it pays.) Is reading audio books/narration what you want to do? Or do you want to do commercials? Or cartoons/character voices? You don't have to pick a specialty at the early stage, but it will help you focus your demo (and yes, you need a high quality demo cd, especially if you want to do anything commercial.) I got into the industry when I met my former agent at a political rally. I no longer do agency work and instead do freelance. Like CB said, there's no "one way" to get into the industry and traditionally narration is a different path than commercial work anyways.
    The best advice I got was from a V.O. coach I had. (I got a world of good from 6 sessions with an expert V.O. coach and the lessons paid for themselves after 2 gigs.) He said, you can almost never go wrong with warm and friendly, especially for commercial work. I still always think about sounding warm and friendly and it still works every single time.
    Your voice is very nice, deep, resonant and smooth. The problem with deep, resonant and smooth voices is that they can be soothing to the point of being lulling. You will need to put effort into sounding interesting and truly "acting the story" with only your voice. It's trickier than one thinks. Additionally, as a quick note, the "sticky tongue" that people are talking about is you not being hydrated enough or not having a wet enough mouth. Drink more water while you are reading.
    Here's a link to my demo if you are interested: http://leahvoice.com/
  • colacola part legend, part devil... all man Balls deep Icrontian
    edited Sep 2013
    Personally I'd love to do cartoon voice acting, and this is more an exercise for me to get used to speaking and my own voice. I won't be able to go for anything serious until I'm done with the Navy, so right now I'm doing what I can. I'll have another upload by the end of the weekend.
  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian
    edited Sep 2013
    I don't want to discourage you, but I think it fair to let you know that the cartoon VO world is extremely tough to get into. That segment of the industry is dominated by a few dozen strong personalities who are deeply entrenched, and the only work that doesn't go to those few actors are the non-union jobs (which are very few, and mostly don't pay) and the jobs for which they are looking to book a recognizable hollywood actor.

    That's not to say it's impossible to get into that exclusive group of actors, but getting cartoon work is much much more about who you know, and very little about how good you are. It's harder to get into this than almost any other performance work, including live-action film work in hollywood. About the only thing harder to get into is movie trailer VO, which is an even smaller group (used to be 90% done by a single guy, but he died, and now the group is more like 5 guys and one gal).

    Also keep in mind that unlike commercial work, which can be found in almost every city that has radio stations, cartoon work can only be found in the cities where they do the work. For me, since I wanted to get into dubbing anime, that meant either Chicago or LA. Those were literally the only two cities in the country where studios were working to localize anime at the time (that was about 15 years ago now, so it may have changed).

    As I said, I don't want to discourage you, but I thought you might want to know the things that made me abandon the career, despite having spent 7 years (I was also working full time) getting a bachelors degree in this field, so you could go into this adventure informed. :)

    Of course, as I said above, the industry may have changed over time. There are a lot more independant projects going on now, and more CGI also means more cartoon-like work might be available.
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    Recently I just attended (1 Aug of this year) an all-day voice over workshop with Rob Paulsen (Yakko Warner, Pinky of Pinky and the Brain, TMNT Raphael/Donatello, etc...) a very reputable and highly regarded voice actor in the industry. Listening to him talk about his experiences and such, the voice acting world is still very much a place where it is about talent (with the exception of the ocacssional studios shelling out money for "big names" rather than talent) and there is some need to "live where the jobs are"...SOME, not all. Home studios (nothing elaborate, seriously...) have become increasingly popular and allow for work to be done from just about anywhere, because the need to have people behind a glass to watch you anymore is going away (says he and a few other professional voice actors that attended the class). He was very candid about voice acting and made it very clear that even the "big names" in the industry are thankful for auditions (Tara Strong, John DiMaggio, himself, Maurice Lamarche, Jess Harnell, etc...) Names are names, but even a name like those above guarantee nothing (as I've heard restated by Billy West and Phil LaMarr at Awesomecon this past year as well). The biggest advice that I was given as far as becoming better at voice acting is to have some sort of performing art background (not extensive, but some) or at least get some. They all recommended local theatre, like Prime said D&D DM stuff, improv classes, etc...This can really help to portray the proper emotions and volume level required during a read. Also, the other great piece of advice was to "get from the comfortable to the uncomfortable". Take yourself beyond what you think you're doing and just go bigger. If you can grab a workshop with some voice actors that could also help. Having someone bring a portable booth and performing for them and getting critiqued is quite helpful and definitely something I'd love to do again...plus it'll help to save money when I finish my animation degree, lol!
    PirateNinja
  • colacola part legend, part devil... all man Balls deep Icrontian
    Finished The Lottery. I'm not too confident on that one, I tried to slip some voices in and it kinda came out kinda meh. Also had something to drink while I was reading, might have made some of the pauses a bit long. Normally I wouldn't put that one up, but I want criticism and advice cause that's the only way I'm gonna get used to this sort of thing.
    midga
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