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The Funny Thing Is, Comedic Timing
Will Improve Your Voice-Over Performance
March 8, 2018

By Rick Lance

Voice Actor

Look at the men and women who have been most successful in the voice-over industry, and you are likely to find one common thread – a strong understanding of comedy and a perfect sense of timing. 

Comedic timing is, in fact, one of the greatest tools that you can possess if you are hoping to build a successful career in the voice-over industry. 

Yet, for many, this skill doesn't come naturally. It is something that requires practice and training. 

Some would argue that it is not possible to teach it - but that is not the case, and many comedians have admitted that they always wanted to be funny, but failed many times before they hit their stride.


As you set out to improve your own comedic timing, realize that a teacher won't be able to hand you a textbook that will allow you to understand and adapt the skill. 

Instead, the right teacher will pull out what already exists within you. 

It is, in fact, already within you to know how and when to deliver a punchline. You already possess the innate abilities needed to perform improv. You just need to unlock those hidden talents, which is what an excellent teacher or coach can do for you.

Acting and improv classes are widely recommended to voice-over artists, but these aren't always the settings that teach the timing you seek. It is much more about understanding the importance of pause, or melody, or rhythm - and you may just find that you have a better chance of capturing the knowledge that you desire in a music class. 

Singing, playing instruments, or even dance can teach you a great deal about timing, and that can actually transition quite nicely into comedic delivery. 


These things can also force you out of your comfort zone, which is where you will have to be if you hope to become a success in voice-over.

You must be willing to open yourself to new experiences: to an array of characters and scripts that you might not to choose to read otherwise.
Rick Lance has been working as a voice talent since 1993, transitioning from singing demos and personal projects in Nashville's music business to voicing hundreds of commercials, then promos, narrations, character voices and more. His vocal style is described as Americana, the voice of the Heartland. He is currently the voice (narrator) of three hunting programs and one outdoor program on the Sportsman Channel and the Outdoor Channel. His client list includes Toyota, Harley Davidson, Sony Entertainment, Coca Cola, Life Care Centers of America, John Deere, Jordan Outdoor Enterprises and Sacred Seasons II. He has also become a leading voice for the industries of construction, manufacturing, energy production, trucking, agriculture/equine, outdoor sports, travel, community banking, finance and health care. And he is a colorful voice for film, television, museum and corporate documentaries. "I'm lucky to be working within my comfort zone," he says, "literally living out my voice acting life as an outdoorsman, horseman, weekend cowboy and working man, gentleman farmer on my six acre mini ranch with my horses, dogs, cats and my wife near Nashville."



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Comments (2)
3/9/2018 at 12:39 PM
I knew why I wanted to read your article, Rick!! I agree totally... In fact, besides helping you in performance, at some point with regular improv practice, it joyfully jumps into your client communications, your session banter, and your non-VO life! In fact, since I'm remote and far away from that regular practice I started online improv workouts for voice actors for this very reason. So... I love ranches and if you have a guest house, I'd be so happy to swap your some improv workouts!! LOL... game?!
3/8/2018 at 9:40 AM
Great article. As a vocal performance major, I can testify it has helped with timing, and adding color to lyrics, this made the transition into voiceovers much easier.
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