Gifts from Oscar/Emmy Winners: On-Cam Tools for VO

Hello Hello! 

Karen-Eileen Gordon here, Technique and Home Studio Advisory Coach! I’ve been thrilled to be both an on-camera and voice-over artist for my entire career, which has given me a unique perspective: Oscar and Emmy Award winners have something really gorgeous to offer our voice-over careers. These artist humans operating at the top of their games each have their own special toolkits, that can be useful to us on a few different levels:

  1. It’s a great reminder that everyone’s toolkit will be fully unique. What works for you may NOT work for your best voice-over friend.
  2. Someone really smart once told me that “stealing with love” was one the highest compliments we could pay someone…and what that means is this: do some light internet research (or dive DEEP!) into what your favorite Oscar/Emmy Winners are doing to prepare for THEIR characters, and see if it’s something that you’d like to apply to your OWN voice-over world. 
  3. Oscar and Emmy Winners know how to tell an authentic story. You and I and every voice-over actor on the planet need this as the CORE of our toolkit. 

In this Working Wednesday, I’m taking you inside the toolkit of one of my personal favorite Oscar-and-Emmy Winners…Ms. Meryl Streep! She has won BOTH awards (and tons of others), and is considered widely to be one of the most powerful actors of our generation. One of her many tools (and there are tons of “Cool VO Tools!” suggestions in this video) involves a giant, floor-to-ceiling wall of her home…covered with thousands and thousands of images that have called her over the years…faces, eyes, anything that has evoked a reaction. One of the many parts of her prep for a role is to stand before this wall and seek images – creating the blends that are her characters (I’ve also heard that she pastes over the wall as she does her roles – eAMAZING!). We can let that inspire our own voice-over toolkits by creating our own version of Meryl’s wall, often called a VISION BOARD. They’re easy and free to create (and described in the video)…and I personally use this tool OFTEN in my voice-over work! 

Finding new tools for your voice-over toolkit is a life-long process, and is meant to be FUN – let me know if you have any great tools

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