Marla reminds me that it’s not enough to have a beautiful voice or to just “read the script word by word.” The art of voice over, she teaches, lies in absorbing copy through your eyes, processing it through your brain, dropping it into your heart and then sharing it through your voice. You have to have a clear point of view, you have to care about what you’re saying, you have to conjure mental images that relate to the content, you have to take appropriate pauses and fill them with meaning, you have to keep the main thing the main thing – all this while sounding spontaneous and not trying too hard!
When we hear good voice acting we know it immediately. We are onboard, we feel connected with the person speaking; their words make sense, touch us - move us. Good voice actors make it seem effortless. Diane Keaton does a great job in Finding Dory. Keaton plays Dory’s mother and from the first moments her lines carry a rich sense of that fish’s world and backstory – her protective love for her memory-challenged daughter, her affection for her husband, her place in the community.
I’m so very grateful to study the art of voice acting with a master coach and to always, always be learning.