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Energize Your Voice Over Performances
By Putting Your Body In The Scenes
December 10, 2015

By Lori Tritel
Voice Actor and Coach

How do you turn a beige read into a vibrant, colorful performance that keeps your listeners' attention and increases your chances of booking the job? 

The answer lies in giving "eyes” to the listeners' ears, so that they begin to visualize the scene... by hearing only your voice. 

We're talking about "energy” - one of the key ingredients to giving a competitive performance.


Giving energy to a read involves a lot of layering. Here’s just one of the techniques you can try to help make the scene come alive.

ENERGY means breathing life into the words. A good way to rehearse is by putting yourself in the scene and figuring out what physical movements your character is making. 

A lot of beginners will get behind the mic with their hands locked, or their arms crossed over their chest for the entire performance. Whatever your body is doing is being transferred into your voice, and we’ll hear that body movement, or lack of body movement in your delivery. 

Unless your character is in a straight jacket, they’re not standing completely still while they’re talking. They’re probably wiggling and maneuvering to try and get out of  it!

In that scene, we’d hear a strain in your voice, perhaps a grimace expressing pain or frustration.


Explore what your character is doing in the scene, and transfer those body movements into your voice.

Rehearse by holding the script in your hand as you act out the scene, and you’ll discover nuances and subtleties that you won’t find if you’re standing still. 

Once you figure out the physical movements of your character, take those choices to the mic, but keep them in your voice only. As long as you keep your mouth in front of the mic, you can move the rest of your body, but do it silently through the air.

Rehearsing first by physicalizing the scene brings the copy to life! It helps you paint the scene, and give "eyes” to the listeners ears. 
Lori Tritel is a voice actress and voice over coach who teaches regularly in Los Angeles. She recently produced a Voice Over Master Class DVD with top voice actor/coach Michael Bell (details at link below). And her extensive list of credits most recently includes: Whirlpool, Safeway, Buick, Blue Cross, Orkin, Toyota, "E" Television, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Chevron, Lincoln Mercury, Bayer, Tasters Choice, Stouffers, Washington Mutual, Sears, Loews, VH1 Porn to Rock & Music Paradise, Very Fine Juice, Briggs and Stratton, Einstein Bagels, Nestle's, Arby's, Spirit Mountain Casino, George Lucas Films, Charter Communications, McDonald's, the killer's voice on the set of Scream 3, the sexy Russian scientist Dr. Petrova in the CD Rom "Renegade," Vinda in the CD Rom "Earth and Beyond," Luminara in the CD Rom "Clone Wars," Malcolm and Eddie, City Guys, CBS, KABC, NBC and Fox Kids. Her promo work can be heard on all of the major television networks, and she also voiced the award-winning entry in the Battle of the Promo Cutters at Promax in San Francisco.

Voice Over Master Class DVD:

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Comments (1)
12/10/2015 at 7:20 PM
Another good argument for recording standing-up!
If you need to sit down and rest during the session, do so.
But WHEN you're "working", "recording"...STAND UP! You'll put vibrancy and presence into your read!
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