Every performer, at various points in their career, inevitably grapples with cold feet or stage fright. This is true even for seasoned veterans with decades of experience under their belts. Yet, it's essential to realize that stage fright isn't necessarily a handicap. Instead, it can serve as a tool for transformative growth and enhanced performance. The instinctual response to fear can stimulate our 'Fight or Flight' senses, which, when harnessed correctly, can prove really beneficial. Though we often associate this response with danger, in a performance setting, it's more about nerves. It doesn't signify incompetence but indicates a natural response to the challenge. This article focuses on exploring the realm of directed voiceover sessions and the associated anxiety that performers may experience.
While taking direction on a film set or stage might feel natural, voiceover direction sessions can be a different beast altogether. The nature of voiceover work allows for a higher degree of freedom and typically involves critiques through email feedback. However, directed sessions provide a more immediate and intense experience. The increasing shift towards online communication, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, has made live, online-directed sessions a reality, but this can still prove nerve-wracking. Several factors can contribute to this anxiety, including the stature of the person directing or the high stakes of the project you are working on. Yet, performers might also fear failure or falling short of expectations.
Amidst these challenges, there is encouraging news. The more directed sessions a voice actor engages in, the easier it becomes to manage and even utilize the anxiety. Familiarity breeds contentment and tranquillity, making the performing experience more enjoyable and less frightening. What's more, nerves can fuel adrenaline, leading to a performance boost and enhancing immersion in the task at hand. Concentration is paramount for character development, script understanding, direction-following, and consistency is crucial too. When these nervous energies are correctly channeled, they can give you a huge boost in your performance and overall emotional satisfaction when working on a project.
Here are some top tips to consider during a directed voiceover session:
Experiencing nerves is natural and affects individuals across various fields, from job interviewees to politicians. The key is to channel this energy productively to bolster performance. Embracing this process will eventually make it more manageable, ultimately enhancing your overall performance quality and overall internal satisfaction. Stage fright, therefore, isn't a hindrance but a powerful ally when understood and utilized correctly.
Directed Voiceover Sessions by Alan Shires