When you step into the booth, do you find yourself overthinking? Worrying about what everyone else in the room is thinking? Worrying about how you’ll do—if you’ll read too fast, too slow, or if you’ll “mess up?”

Overcoming overthinking takes practice, but learning to relax and truly resonate with a script also comes down to this:

Read to express not impress. Yep. You read that right.

What do I mean by this? Well, when we’re auditioning or even reading scripts during workshops, we often play unnecessary head-games with ourselves.

“I hope they like me. I hope I sound good. I hope they book me. I hope I’m what they’re looking for.”

It’s unfair to put that kind of pressure on yourself while you’re finding your best interpretation, in the thick of the creative process, and playing in your VO sandbox!

Let me break it down for ya:

Read the script like it’s already yours. Own your read. Don’t let the so-called approval of others (or your inner critic) steal your moment to express.

Here are some tips to help you EXPRESS YOURSELF!

  • Get to the heart of the message. Emotionally connect with the words you’re saying. Allow yourself to feel
  • Remember youare the secret sauce. The client doesn’t want another Morgan Freeman; he’s awesome, but we’ve already got a Morgan Freeman! They want YOU. So be yourself!
  • Think like your How do you want them to feel? What are you going to do to make them feel that way? Put yourself in their position.
  • Think like your If you were your client, what would be important to you? Put yourself in your client’s position.
  • Don’t overthink. Go with your gut. This one’s hard, but the more you listen to your gut, the better you’ll be at trusting your instincts. (On that note, always consider the copy’s direction, but trust what the script and your instincts are telling you more.)
  • Stop getting caught up in “making everything sound pretty.” We want it to sound and feel real.
  • Pay attention to buzz words in the script and of course, your client’s name (they’ll be signing your check)! 😉
  • To test whether or not you’re truly connecting with your script’s content, turn to the power of paraphrasing: see if you can sum up the message in your own words in a sentence or two.
  • Stop being a critic while you’re in your creative flow! It’s just not fair! You owe it to yourself to ‘find your read’ with no self judgement during the process. Be kind to yourself.

A voice actor’s job is to auditorily connect, so it’s crucial to give the words we’re reading meaning and feeling.

Making your feelings known when you are voice acting? Now that’s impressive!  

I’m not suggesting you don’t need to hone your craft, because you do. We all do! I’m two decades into my career and I still remain a humble student. I just wanted to remind you that your gut is usually right.

We should seek the receiver’s approval of our performance–just not while we’re literally breathing it into existence, okay?  Give it a chance! Honor your writer’s words and the creative process by allowing yourself to express!

Can you do it? You bet you can!