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Mic Fright! (Or Call It Stage Fright.) How
To Relax And Focus On Your Performance
December 23, 2015

By Rick Lance

Voice Actor

Mic - or stage - fright can happen to the best of us. Even the most experienced voice actors can get a case of the stutters, or sweaty palms, or whatever physical reaction they’re prone to. 

However, there are a few things you can do to help you overcome stage fright and deliver the performance you were meant to.

1. Practice, practice, practice

One of the single, biggest mistakes voice over actors can make is to not practice their read.  You want to know the script inside out before you get in front of the mic, because then you’ll know what to read and how to read it.

Sometimes, though, there’s not always ample time to practice when you get your reading last-minute, or even late revisions to the script.  If this happens, keep a cool head, and give it as many read-throughs as possible before your delivery.

2. Allow for some buffer time before your read

If you’re reading at a studio, get there early, find a quiet spot, and run over your lines again. 

If you're doing a phone patch, ISDN, Skype or other live feed sessions, drink some water or tea (I recommend Throat Coat Tea – nothing caffeinated or alcoholic – prior to the session and focus on what’s coming up to get your head in the game.

3. Create rituals 

Rituals, or having the same process for each gig, can be very comforting for some actors. For instance, you might start with a bit of meditation, then do a few vocal warm-ups and facial stretches. 

Whatever you do, make it the same routine each time to help get you focused and ready for your performance. Relax and put your personality into your read.

4. Focus on the performance, not the audience. 

This is what really matters anyway - the end product. It doesn’t matter who is listening right now; what matters is the performance you’re delivering. Remember, they picked YOU because of your unique gift, so run with that and give the performance 110% and forget the audience.

Stage - or mic - fright is a very real concern for many VO actors, and for some it can end a career before it even really begins. 

Don’t let this happen to you - use the tips above to figure out what exercises will calm and focus you, so you can deliver the best possible reading.
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 (1)
Tommy Griffiths
1/1/2016 at 11:48 AM
I love this. And mic fright doesn't mean a complete breakdown at the microphone. Even the slightest anxiety can weaken your performance.
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