Call me sometime, when you have no class

At some point during last evening’s narration class, I figured out why voiceover classes are cool.

Not the voiceover part, of course. I already know why that’s cool.

The class part.

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I’m something of a lone wolf. Simply understood from a psychological perspective — I grew up as an adopted only child in an emotionally distant family that relocated annually. No wonder I’m insular.

No wonder, also, that voice work would appeal to this element in me. In the booth, it’s me, and that mic.

All of this being true, one might suppose that learning in a class setting wouldn’t resonate with me. I’m not outgoing, not gregarious, uneasy meeting new people, awkward at small talk.

But I do enjoy my voiceover classes. And now I understand why.

I feed off the energy that’s ignited by the enthusiasm and passion of my fellow actors.

I also benefit from the direction and guidance given to the other students. Often, I hear advice that I can apply to my own reads. I can hear and evaluate that advice with clinical detachment, because it isn’t aimed at me. Sometimes, that’s an easier way to learn. Not always, but sometimes.

Then too, there’s the spice of variety. In an audition situation, I’ll hear my own work and no one else’s. I have no idea what interpretive ideas, what creative spark, other actors will bring to the same copy. Therefore, I only get my own take on the work. But in a class, I can compare and contrast a dozen different reads.

Sometimes, I’ll think, “Man, I wish I’d thought to do that.” Or, “I wish I could replicate that tone, or that emotional quality, or that energy.” I pick up tools to play with in my personal practice time — tools that I’d never discover if I read the same copy myself a dozen different ways. Because someone else’s way might never have occurred to me. Next time, it will.

Sometimes, I learn what not to do. And that’s helpful too.

I learn almost as much from the other people in my classes as I do from the director.

And I think that’s cool.

Explore posts in the same categories: Narration, Reflection, Strategy, Voice acting, Voiceover, Voicetrax

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