Years ago voice talent could count on the luxury of having a booth director—someone to listen and shape their reads in auditions. Today that luxury is almost non- existent. When you record from your home studio, you’re on your own. Beginning talent tell me they feel lost and often confused about how to determine the best take to send or how to give the voice buyer what they want.

Even after they send what they think is their best audition, they still have lingering doubts.The best way to direct yourself when recording from home is to train yourself not to listen and perform at the same time. Here’s why:

1. You can’t trust your ears
Because you listen to yourself from inside your head, the sound of your voice is distorted by the bones of your skull. Your recorded voice is the voice everyone hears. Try to listen objectively to that recorded voice as if you were directing another person in a supportive way.

2. Stay in character
To do a great performance, you must be fully committed, so much so that you are almost
unaware of your surroundings. Trying to listen and perform at the same time takes you out of character and breaks that concentration.

3. Wear two hats
When we don’t have the luxury of an outside set of ears, such as a booth director, we
have to fill both roles. I think of it as wearing two hats: an acting hat while performing and a directing hat when listening back and shaping your performance. You must become skilled at switching back and forth between the two.

4. Stop critiquing yourself in the middle of a performance
The great voice actor Bob Orkin referred to the balcony director in your mind. You must tell that director to shut up while you perform and make him wait until playback when it’s his turn to talk.

Remember, you can’t be both an actor and a director at the same time. Follow these
suggestions to improve your voice over and book more work.

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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company,
a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world
how to become successful voice over actors.

The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit How to Get In The Mood for a Voice Over Audition or Booking.