The curse of the Baritone. The big voice can sometimes be associated with the announcer sound, and these days it's a curse more than a blessing. But is all lost? No. In this video, Gabby lays out 4 tips on how the big guys can sound more approachable.
How to NOT sound like an announcer - 4 voice acting tips to sound approachable. - 5:27
Hey guys - literally, guys - dudes, man... do you have a super big voice? A deep baritone voice? Yeah like, I mean, like - it's the first thing people notice about you? Awesome. Today's video is just for you. Ladies, I'll catch you next time.
Thanks for joining me for another edition of The Gift of Gab. Today we are talking about something that I personally don't experience but I know loads the voice actors who do. I call it the burden of the baritone. Alright, here's the deal: men with really deep, rich, robust voices are very instantly recognizable, and for a lot of situations, and a lot of settings, right - their voices are really, really cool and it's some thing that people pay attention to. This can be everything from Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh or Brad Garrett on Everybody Loves Raymond, playing the brother, or Ving Rhames doing Arby's commercials, right? All these performances are super memorable and stick out for us but there's a problem. The problem is we're in a really interesting time in voiceover where the big deep voice guy often gets associated with being an announcer. Nobody wants an announcer right now. As a matter of fact, people want everything but the announcer, so a lot of the jobs are going to guys with what I'm gonna call kind of a wimpier, puny or dorky sound. This doesn't mean that if you're in the big baritone club you're gonna lose jobs, because you can absolutely make modifications.
First thing I want you to do is think about how your physical self and your size can kind of be intimidating, is my guess. Most people with really big baritone, bassy voices are also big dudes right? And so, think about approaching a child - you don't wanna scare them or you don't want them to be afraid of you? So you change your posture, you change your stance, you may even change your voice a little bit to raise it, bring the pitch up and make it a little bit less scary for little people. That's one technique that you can easily employ inside of voiceover work when the baritone need not apply.
Another thing is, guys, smile. I'm not talking about a little smile, I mean every single tooth in your head needs to be visible, just about. It has to be the brightest, the most brilliant smile you've ever put on, because that smile will actually help to soften, to lessen the effects of that big baritone. Brad Garrett is a great example of this on Everybody Loves Raymond. He never talks with a smile, he's always very straight laced, he's always very, very - even maybe a little bit like depressed. But then when you hear him do interviews and you hear him talk in other settings, his pitch is much, much higher! He raises it up intentionally, so this is a method that you can try - but smiling big helps that whole process. Again, makes you friendlier, makes you less intimidating, makes you feel a bit warmer, fuzzier, kinder, all those good things.
Another thing you can do if you're dealing with burden of the baritone is you can lighten the load - literally. Don't take the material so seriously, don't take everything with such an intense positioning. Instead, be a little easier about it, shrug things off, take it with a lighthearted approach, literally. If you lighten yourself and your mood throughout the piece, your voice is going to go along with that.
And lastly, really ask yourself, "How do I convey to other people when they see me? Meet me physically? I come in peace!" How do you get that message across? It's an important message, right? And being able to alter your voice a bit, and manipulate it a bit, be again - little less big, little less intimidating for today's time, it's really, really important. Will it always be like this? Probably not. The baritone will get it's day again. There will be plenty of uses for the big deep voice guy. As a matter fact, they're still are in tv promo and movie trailers, in certain video games, even in commercial work. He's not totally gone, he's just not as stylish right now. So what that means is you have to know how to manipulate and change your style a little bit, so that you can maintain relevancy and keep working.
Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Voiceover Demo, Voiceover Coaching Advice, What Not To Do, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York,, How to Be a Better Voice Actor, voiceover coaching, YouTube Channel, Voice Acting Coach, voice acting tip, how to read copy, deep voice, announcer voice, baritone, Everybody Loves Raymond, intimindating, Brad Garrett, commercial reads, movie trailer voice