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More than likely, if you're just getting started, you forgot this.


Voice actors are solitary creatures until they're not. You have to learn this technique so that you can be a better voice-actor.


More than likely, if you're just getting started, you forgot this.- 6:12


Hey guys, it's Gabby. Thanks for joining me for another edition of The Gift of Gab. Today, we're going to talk about how directable and coachable you are as a voice actor. Well, the question is, how often or regularly are you being directed? Hmm, because if you're doing the solo thing and you're kind of practicing all by yourself right now, unfortunately, guess what? You don't know what it means to be directed yet.


Far too often, I get asked about what new or relatively new voice actors should be doing to improve their skills, to get better, to be better, or blah blah blah blah. One of the things that probably is really important from a real-world perspective is being directed. And it seems like such a simple thing, but when you realize how much time people spend trying to do this as a solo endeavor, you realize that they're missing an interaction in this industry that's really critical, and that is being directed by another person. If it's just you by yourself in a booth or in a practice setting, trying to determine how to read copy and how to read it differently and how to direct yourself... Good direction? Well, guess what? You know, you can kind of read your own mind. There's a certain unpredictable component that comes from having another person in the mix. So, you've got to go out of your way to find opportunities to be directed.


There are two different kinds of direction, right? There's good direction and there's bad direction, and you need both. The reality of what voice actors see every single day is good direction is great. Honestly, truly, good direction makes our lives easy. It paints this beautiful, clear picture of what we are expected to do, and it helps us to really place ourselves inside of the scene, the script, the character. Good direction is the kind of thing you're going to seek out from coaches, from group classes, maybe from peers, from other voice actors. You can find that in certain workshops. You can basically get together with other voice actors and do this kind of little mentor groups, little accountability groups that do this. It's a pretty common practice throughout the acting community because, again, it's such a pivotal, important interaction for actors to have.


Bad direction, on the other hand, for a lot of people, bad direction is kind of the mark of make or break because you'll never forget it. First of all, the first time it happens to you, and even now, as someone who's been doing this for as long as I have, it's a little shocking when you encounter a director that you realize is so lame and doesn't really know or understand how to direct. And the difference is, years ago, it would make me nervous, and it would almost upset me. And now, I kind of, in my head, laugh at it, and I go, 'Oh, okay, I know what's going on here,' and I realize that I have to sort of take over their direction, and I have to sort of mold it a bit and reevaluate it as they're saying or trying to express what it is they want. But you only get to that place through time and practice. You only get to a place where you can interpret or reinterpret really bad direction through a lot of practice with it.


So, one of the things that I would suggest is, yeah, going out of your way to seek out bad direction. How is that going to happen? Friends and family. I know it sounds kind of wild, but ask people who are novices, who have no prior experience, to direct you. Ask them to decide on something that they want or a way in which they want something performed. See what comes of it, and do it different times, different people, different opportunities. Even sometimes in really young acting groups with really new actors, that's a good place to experience it as well because you'll encounter a lot of bad direction that way. These are all ways that you can kind of start to get yourself out there and experience this. But make no mistake, you have to seek it out because otherwise, when you do start booking work and you realize how many jobs require direction, you're going to be at a loss.


And realistically, for experienced directors and producers and studio heads and engineers, the more directable you are, the more coachable you are in the booth, the more of an asset you are, which means they hire you more often. It means they bring you back because you make their lives easier. You are faster, and therefore, you save them money, which again makes you kind of an MVP on their roster. So, that's the end goal. But if they realize that you're not very experienced with taking direction, that can negatively impact. So, we don't want that. Okay? And again, taking classes, that's a big one because the more you work with coaches, the more you experience different types of direction early on, the easier time you're going to have later.


Thanks for watching, guys. I hope this helps, and if you have any questions, make sure to check out the website or leave a comment below, and I will be sure to get back to you.



Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Voiceover Demo, Voiceover Coaching Advice, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, audio, coaching

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