Voice acting: Why it’s good to talk to yourself – Carrie Olsen Voiceover
Carrie Olsen Voiceover

Voice acting: Why it’s good to talk to yourself

Do you ever find yourself having both sides of a make believe conversation between you and… you? It would be really weird for anyone in any other profession to admit that they talk to themselves out loud and often. But fortunately, voice actors have a job where it’s not only acceptable to do that, it’s required! So if anyone ever implies that you seem a little unstable because you talk to yourself, you can reply, “I’m not unstable; I’m a voice actor. Which means I get to use my crazy to make money. Which makes me resourceful. Not unstable.”

If you are “gifted” in the having-pretend-conversations-with-yourself-while-doing-voices-and-making-other-people-question-your-sanity department, you actually have a leg up when it comes to voiceover performance skills. So put your craziness to good work while you read about how talking to yourself benefits your voiceover career.

Remember your scene partner!

[clickToTweet tweet=”When reading a voiceover script, remember your scene partner! #voiceover #vo” quote=”When reading a voiceover script, remember your scene partner!”]

If you’ve ever had a voiceover performance coaching session, hopefully you’ve been asked the question, “Who are you talking to?” On-camera actors normally have the advantage of staring their scene partner in the face, so they are constantly reminded of who their “audience” is. But as a voice actor, it can be easy to get stuck in your own head. Which is where your imagination comes in.

Delivering a quality voiceover performance isn’t all about being able to pronounce things clearly or having an appealing voice. Don’t forget the mental exercise of visualizing your environment. When you “see” your scene partner as you are reading, think about what happened before your interaction with them that prompted you to say what you’ll be reading from the script. Think about what will happen after the “conversation.” And envision their reactions as you speak. That will help inform how your read develops as you move through the script.

So when you find yourself talking to yourself, consider it practice! Use that skill of being able to make a fake conversation seem real to bring more believability (and booked jobs!) to your voiceover reads.

Carrie Olsen

I'm a full-time professional voice actor and voiceover business coach. I have done work for Taco Bell, REI, BNSF Railway, Bank of America and ESPN to name a few. I dreamed up this community of voice actors to connect, grow, learn and get mentorship from each other. We're the most dedicated group of voice actors on the net, and we're here to help each other build and sustain profitable voiceover businesses.

  • John Wray says:

    Yeah, I talk to myself. I’ve done it for most of my life. My mom did it, but when I was a kid I found it a bit unsettling. Now I just accept it and try not to be too obvious about it. I’m at a point in life (I’ll turn 70 next year) where what you see is pretty much what you’re gonna get, so I’ll go on concentrating on things that I want to do instead of what things that may make people think I’m weird. Thank you for a whole new excuse. “I’m not weird, I’m working. Don’t bother me.”

    • Carrie Olsen says:

      Hi John,

      Exactly! Instead of fighting against it to meet some standard of “normal,” just embrace it, and use it to your advantage.

      All my best,

  • Kanderria Fountain says:

    I am really interested.

  • Cathy says:

    I was in the kitchen having a conversation with “she” and “her” (my name for me, myself and I). We have threesomes all the time. My daughter will walk in and say, “who are you talking to”. My response is, “me and the girls are having a discussion”. I am in the beginning stages of honing the voice over craft. I am excited and can’t wait to get my first job.

    • Carrie Olsen says:

      Hahaha! I love it, Cathy. Yes, just tell your daughter you’re working 🙂 Let me know if I can help with anything as you’re beginning your VO journey!

  • Hey Carrie,

    Great point. Maurice White sang a song about, “Talking to yourself is fine….”.

    It reminds me of what someone told me when they saw a street person talking to themselves. My friend stated that most people can’t afford to get help. So they talk to themselves “to work it out.”

    So, as VO people, we aren’t crazy…,we’re just…”working it out”….lol

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