This weekend I took a class on becoming a voice actor, with teacher and voice actor, Crispin Freeman. It was a pretty incredible experience. The two classes I took that day were Improv for Voice Actors, and Audition Analysis. It was a little trippy trying to put myself out there and surrender to a character. It was not something I could do easily. One of the interesting aspects of the class was that we used masks and played archtypes through what’s called Comedia Del’Arte. Once you put on the mask, you become that archtype and play that character from where their power center is focused. Sometimes the character leads with their head, or their knees. Some like Capitano lead with their chest, or others like female archtypes might lead with their hips. It was a fascinating experience.
The second class, Audition Analysis was also enjoyable. Where Improv worked on our right side of our brain, Audition Analysis worked on our more analytical skills. I learned quite a bit about the structure of playing a character, and especially learning how to play with a scene partner. There was one particular thing that fascinated me when working with a scene partner, and its so true to the relationships we have with people in real life. You as your character wants something out of your scene partner. It’s a pie in the sky desire. Where, for example, if your scene partner was bossy, you would want them to see that they are too obnoxious and want them to apologize for being as bossy as they are. Of course, the scene partner isn’t going to give you that response, but justify their reasons for being the way they are, as well as wanting you as a character to change the way you are to suit their needs. When both characters do get what they want out of their scene partner, then it becomes a love story between those characters, regardless if they are lovers, or friends (or even foes). It was an amazing and enlightening thing to learn from the class.
Now, do I consider myself an aspiring voice actor? After taking the class, I would say….No. I cannot act to save my life, and I don’t think I have the patience to learn how to be a better actor. BUT…I found the information I took from the class incredibly useful and helpful to my own animation studies. As an animator, I learned so much about character from an actors point of view. It made me contemplate things, not just in my personal life, but how I see myself as an artist and as a filmmaker. I can not thank Crispin enough for passing on his incredible wisdom about life and how it can apply to anyones craft. So what I am saying is, if you’re not a voice actor, but an aspiring filmmaker and artist, this is the class for you. You wouldn’t think so initially since the majority of students are there to learn to become voice actors. But it was an enlightening and engaging experience, and I can’t thank Crispin enough for what he showed us in those intensive eight hours.
Before entering the class, I listened to Crispin’s incredible podcast, Voice Acting Mastery, which helped prepare me for the class. Episodes 66 and 67 were especially inspiring, as the first dealt with…following your inspiration! And the second is about the secret to becoming a voice actor. I’ll let Crispin tell you what that that secret step is, but check out his website at http://www.voiceactingmastery.com and also check out his next classes. He offers classes in LA as well as Online classes, and for those students who have gone through his workshops, he offers Private Coaching as well. I highly recommend you check out this incredible and enlightening website.