Sunday, February 20, 2011

Characters can be created with a tweek of the voice

Okay, maybe this is a bit of shameless promotion, but this Youtube link was created by my son Finn; it's called  Shailick (check it out) 

But he got me thinking - playing with your voice can help create a character.  Especially if you're stuck. 

Okay, so here's the game...

Go to the mall. 
Sit and watch people.
Find someone who strikes your fancy. 
Now imagine the voice they'd have.  How would they sound?  Would they have a deep voice?  An accent? 
What would he talk about?  Be silly about this.  (oh but don't stalk - that could lead to jail time and a whole run of voices you'd rather not be impersonating.)

When you're watching this person.  Ask yourself:

How are they moving?  Fast or slow?  Heavy or light?
What are they doing?  Shopping happily?  Clinging to mom's arm? 
What's the energy they are putting out?  Angry?  Joyful? 

And here's the key question.  What do you think they want?  What's their intention?

Now see if you can pull that all together into a voice. 

And then last, go to any store counter and use that voice.  What's the reaction?  How do you feel using the voice?  (aside from silly) 

Finn looked at our dog Waiter.  He knew the pup didn't do much and he was sweet and funny.  Waiter's voice in the video reflects that. 

I know this seems like an actor's game, but I think we can use this idea as writers.  After all, aren't narrators characters in our story?  But who is this person telling the tale?  And what do they sound like?

No comments:

Post a Comment