Commercial Actors for Hire

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Cold Reading Skills for Voice Over Artists

Cold reading in the voice-over world means that the commercial voice over artist is required to deliver the script without any or very little preparation. It can also be called impromptu script delivery. ` To understand this scenario in detail, imagine a voice-over actor is handed over the script just before the audition or voice recording. In such a situation, the voice-over artist has very little time to read and understand the script but still needs to deliver the best voice-over.

Cold Reading Skill - An Integral Part of Every Voice-Over Artist. For impromptu script delivery, the Commercial voice over artists require various voices and non-voice skills. These skills include enunciation, pronunciation, clarity, tone, range, language, accent, versatility, consistency, reliability, flexibility, speed, volume, etc. Some projects or scripts which usually expect the voice over artists to be able to think and speak impromptu include video games, animation, announcements, advertisements, and more. Generally, it is always an accepted fact that a voice-over artist needs to practise and prepare for a script to deliver the best voice-over. However, not every voice-over project comes with that ample time to go through the script and practice the readings.

Commercial voice-over artists are handed over the script before entering the recording room or booth. The following situations could necessitate cold reading •

Impromptu auditions: where voice-over artists are called to audition for a project without prior notice.

If for some reason, the hired voice-over artist is unavailable on the day of recording, the clients call in another commercial voice-over artist. In such a scenario, they are expected to start the recording without much preparation time.

Sometimes the scriptwriters make some last-minute edits to the script. These changes are then handed over to the voice-over artists just before the recording with no time to read the edited scripts.

Advantages of Cold Reading Skills for Commercial VoiceOver Artists. Cold Reading is a skill that could change the career of the voice-over actor overnight. It can lead to some big breaks when the voice-over artist is capable of impromptu reading and delivering the best voice recording. The ability to cold read helps the commercial voice-over artist in the following ways.

1. Take up multiple projects as it doesn't require any prior preparations. 2. It gives the clients a sense of reliability and confidence to hire such voiceover artists.

How Can a Voice-Over Actor Develop and Practice Cold Reading? Every skill needs to be practised and honed to meet the world's changing needs. Likewise, cold reading also is a talent or skill that every commercial voice-over artist needs to develop, train and practice regularly. It would be beneficial to record the practice readings on the phone or any other recording device. This way, the voice-over artist can reflect on his reading flaws and decide the voice aspects to be improved or changed. Cold reading can be developed and practised by following the below-mentioned simple everyday routines.

1. Read, read, read - The more, the better. Commercial voice-over artists should practice reading as a daily routine. It need not be any script in particular. Any news articles, magazines, kids' stories, or content that would enable voice modulation.

1. Reading out loud - Read a lot but read out loud. Loud doesn't mean to shout out the content. It's about reading in the normal voice. While practising cold reading, voice-over artists should avoid mumbling, whispering, or reading in their minds.

1. Read ahead - Commercial voice-over artists should develop the skill and habit of reading a couple of words ahead in their minds while reading a sentence aloud.

1. Readout to an audience - These audiences could be family members, friends, neighbours, or anyone in front of whom the commercial voice-over artists can read out aloud. Reading to an audience helps overcome the anxiety of reading a script for the first time in front of the clients.

Cold Reading for Commercials: Read aloud the labels of daily use products, food packaging, catalogues, magazines, descriptions of TV programs, liner notes, etc. It might sound silly but trust the successful voice-over pros. These are some of the tried and tested methods to develop cold reading skills in commercial voice-over artists.

Cold Reading for Narration: Commercial voice over actors can develop their cold reading skills for narration by selecting some random page in a book or a novel and reading it aloud. The intention is not to read the whole book at once since it could lead to exhaustion, dehydration, and voice fatigue. Voice-over artists should start with a page or two. Here quantity is not the target. It's about reading different genres and the ability to switch genres smoothly.

Cold Reading for Character: Since voice-over artists have no scripts on hand while practising cold reading, they can choose any animate or inanimate object in their vicinity and start voicing for them. These objects could be a blender, car, carpet, tree, flower, spoon, or anything that the wild and creative mind of the voice-over artist can imagine if these objects were able to speak. Picking any random object and voicing for them helps commercial voice-over artists develop the cold-reading skills required for character voice-overs. Cold reading skills gives confidence to the commercial voice-over artist to accept and deliver any last-minute voice projects with the best quality. It also develops reliability and trust among the clients to hire such voice-over artists with cold reading skills. Voice-over is a very competitive field, and hence, any additional skill would always be beneficial to the voice-over artists to gain an advantage over the competitors. So along with the vocal warm-up exercises, cold reading also needs a lot of dedication and regular practice.