Sunday, February 10, 2008

Are You Willing to be Silly?

Like most of America, my husband and I first saw the Tide 'Talking Stain' commercial during the Superbowl. We loved it then, and it still makes us laugh everytime we see it. Each time it airs, I find myself wishing I could one day be called in for a job where I was asked to blab and blah and nanernaner through the entire session.

Seriously, the voice of the stain had to have a blast walking into a studio and making those noises! It's one of the silliest voice overs I have ever heard.

One never knows what type of job may pop up next, and a professional voice actor always has to be willing to leap out of their comfort zone at a moment's notice. Imagine if the talking stain guy had felt uncomfortable during his session, the spot wouldn't be nearly as funny.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to drive uptown for a short session. It was for a variety of animated characters with just a few lines each. In the span of about 30 minutes I went from a singing fish to a buffalo (with a few stops in between). When it came time for the fish to sing, I asked if they had a sample of the harmony. Surprisingly, it hadn't been written yet!

It was up to me to create a spur of the moment tune that would eventually be sung by an entire school of fish (since I was the first fish to record). So, I did.

Then I was asked to sing it again, only with a Carribean flair. Before my nerves could kick in, I broke down with the Reggae beat, baby! By then, we were all starting to get a case of the giggles. Finally, I was asked to do the song one last time...only this time as a rap song. [insert record scratch here] Yes...a rap song. And...I did it.

Keep in mind, this was not done in the privacy of my own studio, this was done in front of people. I am a voice actor that is very active when I record and I did not hesitate to 'rock to the beat' if you know what I'm saying! I had my hands in the air waving around like I just don't care! Believe it or not, it helped!

Being willing to be silly made the session more enjoyable for me, and a greater overall success for the director. Obviously, it is rare that a voice actor is asked to rap or sing Reggae...but you have to be fearless in the face of any request. Whether you are a natural narrator being asked to voice a movie trailer, a commercial voice being asked to voice animation, etc...you must strive to have enough confidence in your abilities as an actor that you don't even bat an eye regardless of the request.

Be silly, and be willing...it's fun, and it works!



On a different note completely, I was searching some of my favorite 'green' websites and found this little gem of information at arborday.org...

FACT:Over the course of 50 years, a single tree can generate $31,250 of oxygen, provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycle $37,500 worth of water, and control $31,500 worth of soil erosion.

As Spring (and planting season!) approaches, it is a wonderful fact to keep in mind :)

5 comments:

imaginator said...

it's true (about being silly)!

and contrary to expectations, the more silly you allow yourself to become as the "silly character", the more natural it feels. that goes for all types of acting.

several years ago, i played half the cast in a comedy called "greater tuna" (if you've never seen it...you need to). my partner and i did all the residents of the sleepy town of tuna, texas, right down to the grannies and the dogs! we both noticed during intermission that if we stayed in character as the old biddies, we felt...well...as normal as one could. but if we talked in our own personas with the wigs, jewelry, dresses and hosiery on....we felt like absolute idiots!

needless to say (but i'll say it anyway), we gave in to the characters.

Kara Edwards said...

Rowell-

Greater Tuna is one of my all time favorites! I saw it a few years ago here in Charlotte- that wasn't you was it? If so, great job! If not, then I would love to see you in that role!

One of my favorite clients laughs everytime I answer the phone- because he feels he knows the 'character' of my voice so well. I guess being a character on mic, on stage, and in person is a good thing...right?

Thanks for the comment!
Kara

jessespringer said...

Oh so true!

You're the best example of being courageous in the studio I've seen in a while! Sometimes I guess you just have to swallow your self-image for the bettering of the project!

God Is Love-
-Jesse

Kara Edwards said...

Jesse-

Thank you for the compliment and comment! Yes, you always have to be willing to go the extra mile for your client- even if you do look a fool doing it! Hah!

Kara

Amaya_Haraku said...

Hi Kara,
I love your voice charactors and enjoy acting myself at Hickory Ridge High in Harrisburg NC. As you can see I live here in Charlotte as well and would love to one day be a voice charactor in some way. I have many voices and in fact my stepddad loves my giggles. Do you have any advise for a young girl but not too much younger then you on how to get into voice acting? Also I would really love to meet you in person is it possible you will be doing any appearances here in Charlotte?