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Patrick Fraley's Final Two Voice-Over
Exercise Challenges (Get A Partner)
January 24, 2019

For two recent articles, top voice-over talent / trainer Patrick Fraley permitted us to share voice-over acting exercises from his new book, Patrick Fraley's Complete Book of Voice Over Exercises. Today, here's the final two freebies from Pat ...

By Patrick Fraley
Voice Actor & Trainer

Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet Exercise  

Many performers are just too darned loud. When they do get quiet, they are only capable of playing actions that traditionally require a low volume, such as, to entice, confide, seduce, or calm. Also, the performer who is not used to speaking at a low volume will "flatten out" expressiveness. Low volume isn't just about selling undies.  

ACTION: What the character does to get what the character thinks he or she needs, wants, or desires.  

Objective: To become facile at playing actions with a low volume.

Duration: About 10 minutes

Materials: Your partner

  1. Get about four inches from your partner's ear. Speak as quietly as you can without losing a full tone (don't whisper), and don't lower your pitch.  
  2. Select an action from the list below. Ad-lib dialogue using an action.  
  3. Have your partner correct you if you drift into a different action.  
  4. Get a distance of about two fingers away from the microphone, and perform at the volume level you have set with your partner.      
Actions to Choose: 
  • To Praise
  • To Deny
  • To Snub
  • To Taunt
  • To Command
The  Wrong Action Exercise 
Sometimes choosing to play a "wrong action" is just the ticket to arriving at an evocative, auditon-winning performance. Here's a technique for coming up with an interesting choice via your actions.

Objective: To gain a skill for making an actor's choice more interesting

Duration: About 10 minutes

Materials: Your partner

  1. Play one of the sentences below. Play the most obvious action.
  2. Then, with the same sentence, play the line with one of the suggested actions listed to the right of the line.
  3. Trade off with your partner.    
  1. I'm getting a little bored with this bar.  Let's move on,  [to beg, to glorify, to lure]  
  2. You're firing me?  Oh, this is great.  Just perfect!  [to pacify, to explain, to allure] 
  3. I love you and I'll love you for the rest of my life. [to negotiate, to torment, to threaten] 
  4. Mark has a real problem with your behavior. [to confide, to amuse, to ponder]  
  5. Christmas is the happiest time of the year. [to vamp, to command, to wrangle]  
  6. Yesterday you said the car would be ready today. [to calm, to flatter, to woo]  
  7. Unfortunately, I sold the car yesterday – sorry. [to celebrate, to morn, to tempt] 
  8. I passed. I can't believe I passed! [to soothe, to investigate, to gloat] 
  9. I have an adoring mate and two great kids. [to debate, to taunt, to urge] 
  10. I can't eat another bite. [to explain, to announce, to share]
Voice actor and voice-over trainer Patrick Fraley holds an MFA from Cornell University in Pro Acting, and is the author of 16 books on voice-over, including Patrick Fraley's Complete Book of Voice Over Exercises. He has supplied voices to more than 5,000 cartoon characters, placing him in the top 10 to be cast in animated TV programs. And he trains voice actors in workshops nationwide and in online Home Study Courses that include personal coaching.

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