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    13 Year Old Aspiring Voice Over Actor


    Hey,

    I'm 13 years old and I'm always told I have a nice deep voice lol, so I went and made a sample of a narration from the My Bloody Valentine 3D trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74oHTtZbiow

    I definitely know it's not the best, its kind of in the middle. I really need to practice but this is the best I have for right now so please leave all comments below or on the video itself.

    Thanks wink
    ~Colby

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    You do have a great voice!

    I'd make some suggestions about your regional accent and diction, which I found a little bit distracting (e.g. pic-sher instead of pict-chur), and I think the timing of your phrasing could do with some refinement, but your voice itself is wonderful and I'm sure you'll go far with it.

    Well done. smile

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    Thanks dude for the quick reply!

    Sorry about my "accent" lol, I have my braces on right now (with the rubber bands) so my lisp is terrible at the moment. But also as far as region and stuff goes, I am amercian if that tells you anything. And the timing is very off I do realize that now, my pacing was a bit fast.

    But anyways thanks a bunch man it really helped!

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    I agree, I think you could do well with your voice. I, too, have been told at various times in my life that I had a good voice for radio and such. I never seriously considered it, but now (decades later) I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had pursued that idea. Now it's probably too late to do much along those lines (especially after too many years of being a smoker -- bad! bad!), but at least I can upload some samples here based on forum requests, like this: http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=122059

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    horroguy
    Thanks dude for the quick reply!

    Sorry about my "accent" lol, I have my braces on right now (with the rubber bands) so my lisp is terrible at the moment. But also as far as region and stuff goes, I am amercian if that tells you anything. And the timing is very off I do realize that now, my pacing was a bit fast.

    But anyways thanks a bunch man it really helped!


    Just for the record, I'm not a dude nor a man. smile

    My references to your accent were nothing to do with your braces or lisp. North America has a large number of regional variations. For example, Woody Allen and Billy Crystal are exponents of the regional New York City/Brooklyn/Jewish accent, and John Ritter and Molly Ringwald are both good examples of the Southern California regional accent. And think about how people from Texas sound! smile

    I'm no expert on American regional accents, but to me yours sounds like it's from the west coast, possibly Southern California? For example, your tendency to pronounce 'ing' endings as 'een', and your vowel sounds in general sound distractingly regional to me, instead of the region-neutral speech most American voice over actors adopt.

    If accent wasn't something you thought about before, you may want to start considering it and listening to how other people talk and compare it to the way you talk. Remember that a person's accent sounds absolutely normal to them, so they are only likely to notice it when they compare themselves to somebody from a different area.

    You may be interested to know that most countries have different accents which vary by region, and in places like Ireland where I live, the accents can vary by town and even by street. The USA does have a certain uniformity to its language use in general, but geographically it is very large and definitely has regional language variations in it. Try listening to speakers from places like the midwestern and southern United States, and Canada, and compare their vowel sounds and phrase timings with yours. Eventually you'll be able to tell the difference and maybe even learn to imitate some. smile

    Robin Williams is an excellent imitator of all manner of American accents, and I highly recommend you listen to how he varies his speech according to what he says.

    Also, I wouldn't say your pacing was too fast, if anything it was mind-numbingly slow. But most American voice over actors sound slow to my ears. Actually I'd leave your speed exactly as it is.

    When I mention phrasing I'm not talking about speed, I'm talking about where you position the pauses and for how long, where you emphasise syllables, and how long you extend the vowels at the ends of words. I thought you had way too many pauses, not enough emphasis, and the vowels at the ends of words sounded distractingly long to me. For example why pause after 'something', 'unexplainable', 'witness' and 'terrifying'? I might have phrased it something like (capitals indicate emphasis):
    In the town of HARmony (short pause)
    something unexPLAINable is happening (longer pause)
    THIS JANuary (short pause)
    prepare to witness THE most TERrifying 3d motion picture event to TEAR through the SCREEN (longer pause)
    MY BLOOdy VALentine (short pause) THREE DEE (which was just how you did it, to me this part was just right)

    You might also want to consider your use of pitch and tone. Your example here sounds a bit monotonous to my ears. You bring the pitch and tone down in nearly the same way at the end of practically every word. Since different words have different levels of semantic importance in the phrase, having them with all the same pitch and tone makes it harder for me to work out the meaning. Choosing your emphasis, pitch and tone carefully can make the meaning easier to understand.

    I hope this helped, I really do think you have a great voice, and if you develop your vocal and language skills you could have a great career ahead of you. And I hope you do. smile

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    Thanks a bunch! (And sorry about the dude thing, thats just slang that comes naturally lol)

    I just listened to the actual trailer and you were almost dead on with the emphasis that the actual voice over actor put in his reading, so I think I do need to work on that. Practice makes perfect! You gave really good advice on on regional accents and such and to set the record straight, I'm actually from Texas, but I've grown up mostly in Dayton, OH. But I will definetly work on my pronounciation and putting emphasis on the right words and such.

    Thanks so much again for your words they really helped! ;D

    ~Colby

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    horroguy
    Thanks a bunch! (And sorry about the dude thing, thats just slang that comes naturally lol)

    I just listened to the actual trailer and you were almost dead on with the emphasis that the actual voice over actor put in his reading, so I think I do need to work on that. Practice makes perfect! You gave really good advice on on regional accents and such and to set the record straight, I'm actually from Texas, but I've grown up mostly in Dayton, OH. But I will definetly work on my pronounciation and putting emphasis on the right words and such.

    Thanks so much again for your words they really helped! ;D

    ~Colby

    It's so interesting you being from Texas and moving to Ohio, so you already have some experience with accent diversity. smile

    I've been told I should do stuff in broadcasting too, but I'm sure everybody tells you that! tongue

    My voice isn't anywhere near as cool as yours but if you're interested here's a short clip (43 seconds) of a tongue twister I recorded for some friends. (direct link, right click and save as)
    http://spleencast.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/lubyanka-tongue-twister.mp3

    You might be interested in the way I distribute emphasis and pauses to make the meaning as clear and easy to parse as possible.

    I'm delighted I was able to offer you something useful! I wish you every success. smile

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