Breaking the natural speech pattern will alienate the person listening and disconnect you from your own thoughts. This happens as in order to achieve the ‘performance style’ or ‘new vocal pattern’, the normal impulses of the body and minds have to be interrupted so that you can take that extra second to prepare the thought differently for ‘performance’, and another to monitor the result. Your preoccupation with how you stand, move and so on, disconnects you even more from the original truth. As a result, a yawning gap arises between you, your thoughts, the ‘style’ and your speech. This also results in the divide between you and your listener.
With every ‘alien sound’ that you use, the barrier between you, your primal reactions, and your content keeps increasing. As an actor, you can’t afford to sacrifice these primal reactions as these are vital to keep your performance really fresh, honest, and easy to listen to. Every alien sound you produce requires the listening brain to decode, recode, and only then react. Therefore, there is a time lag between acting and reacting and every such instance of a time lag is a moment spent disengaged from the speaker. And with the moments mounting, the disconnect only gets worse leaving your listener further and further behind as they try to pick up and decode the pieces.
If you thought this fake ‘presentation style’ was bad enough, think again because when you attempt to change the way the voice in your head speaks, things take a turn for the worse. In order to change the way the voice in your head speaks, you have to stop the instinctual information that is being created naturally inside you so that it doesn’t affect your inner voice anymore. As you disconnect from your natural instinctual impulse, you lose a second to sanitize or recode the thought/sound. Then, you lose another disconnected split second because you stop to consider and think about it, and then yet another second is lost as you decide to speak it. Such a time consuming affair! Do you really think that the people listening really want you to go to all that trouble just to sound smart? Or do you think they want to sort out all those changes in their head so that they can understand the essence of what you were attempting to say before you complicated it so horribly?
Just how many degrees of separation do you plan to include between you and your instinctual reactions, thoughts and rhythms, and between you and the person waiting to listen to what you have to say? How many such filters or layers do you want the people listening to you to view before you begin?
Let the people hear you without them having to work as decoders. Let them listen to just you as you are and not as you think you need to be.
There are those times when character descriptions require a specific dialect. Dialects and character voices are something most actors love. However, this can’t be said for all actors. Some actors are honest and do not overstate their abilities when asked about dialects. Unfortunately, honesty is a rare commodity and when asked if you do dialects, almost everyone will say, “yes, of course!”
Just because you’ve been told to say “yes!” to whatever role you are offered so that you get your foot in the door, saying you can do dialects when you can’t is not a good idea at all. Firstly, in voice-over, your vocal performance is all you’ve got, and if you fail to impress there, you may not get another chance with that director.
- Vocal Action
- Vocal Action and Breathe
- Diction and Practicing
- Speech and Text
- Voice Quality
- Acquiring Good Communication Skills
- The Actor and the Voice
- Using the Lines
- The Actor and Subtext
- Constantin Stanislavski
- Internal and External Communication
- Sounds You Can Practice
- Speech Patterns
- The Way People Want to Hear You
- Personal Disconnection
- Making Sure You’re on the Right Lines
- In short – Acting Voice and Speech