It is healthier to express than repress; reduce the protagonist’s stress by being the protagonist who echoes the embodiment of his or her life’s burden, be it real or merely symbolic. Encourage those around you to enjoy your suffering, and to share in what appears to be impossible angst.
And for many close enough to allow them the ability to read, but not necessarily cipher the meaning of what I have to say; take solace in knowing what has been proven over many years; so much of what I have disseminated has been just that; offered without fully understanding the true meaning of this author’s generous intent.
What the actor must or must not do by way of expression belongs solely to that actor, whether his or her character is an antagonist or a protagonist.
Display what you are feeling as you would turn the pages of a book which, by way of reflection, details the story of your life. This is your personal gospel.
Your personal gospel, as learned by you during your formative years, will be governed by the environment which promoted what you have genuinely grown to be today. If yours was a family of sharing emotions visibly, than similar display will be readily available for you to adopt as an actor. In truth, you won’t be portraying, you will be sharing your lifetime. Naturally, there will always be the necessity of gradations covering the final expressions required for the display of your character’s deportment. Joy, anguish, grief, and shades of emotions of every respect come with the dictates of how an individual’s character would actually respond in any of life’s situations.
Grief can be somber or a wild and uncontrolled display. A smile may turn into raucous laughter. But neither grief nor laughter will be appropriate if the nature of the emotion isn’t natural for the environment in which it is being depicted.
I’ve often been asked…
1. What are the odds?
2. Do you think I’ll ever win one of these?
3. How many years before I will be able to make a living doing nothing but voice over work?
Be advised, the end will ultimately come, and while this is an absolute fact of life, another fact, if it is sincerely told, is the possibility of living a full life without making it in our world of voice over.
So then the next question to be answered is: What does making it mean? In my humble opinion, the key to making it is totally in the mind of the person posing the question (to me).
Many moons ago I had an actor say to me about a project we were working on together:
“You know, Harv, this stuff really makes my heart sing!”
And another was heard to say:
“I can’t believe they’re paying me to do this!”
And of course, there’s:
“I’m living the dream!”
Are you living the dream? Are you genuinely enjoying the process?
If your driving force is to just make money, then stop driving.
Almost without exception, every actor finds himself or herself at one time or another in search of the magic, which will propel their destiny to the stars.
Someone squeezed her in the park
She was a ripe thing She was
Real deep color
Hard and dark
My only tomato
Squeezed in the park
If I truly cared
Would we have been in the park?
Only aiming to please her
Forsaken, unfortunately I teased her
Which caused my loss
To an unknown someone
Who found my tomato
And squeezed her in the park!
But before complete desperation took hold
There’s a call for you
I was told
Clamoring, I rushed and responded
Arriving at last
I was given a few words to say
And told money would be on the way
Then another, and another
No longer any time for tomatoes
Be they hard or soft
I was a voice talent
Now I was the one they questioned
Reaching down to them and answering
For now I was aloft.
My heart was heard to sing!