Hi there, my fellow thespians. Gosh, but I love you. You work your butts off. I know most of you haven't stepped on a stage in over a year, and IT. IS. HARD.
But- I wanted to chat with you about broadening your acting pool. Have you considered how much you would kick butt at Audiobooks?
There is one major thing that I tell most of my coaching clients with an acting background. They already have 75% of the knowledge it takes to become an audiobook narrator. That's over 50% there, and it's got so much cross-over it's silly.
That 75% includes:
- The ability to zoom out and find the story arc
-The ability to break down scenes into beats
- The knowledge of character objective
-The tension between two objectives in a scene
-The rising action that leads to the climax
-The importance of making your character fully lived in
-Accent work, starting from neutral, breathing techniques, vocal warm-ups, breath support, clear diction, audition experience, presentation, and the ability to read a lot. Like, a lot a lot.
I could go on and on. It's all there. It's all usable. And you, my fellow BlackBox beauty, already have it.
The thing that I realized on my journey into narration is that all the things that I had been taught when I was telling a story on stage, were equally important telling a story behind the mic.
I found that many people were coming to the audiobook as a supplemental side gig. They came from Corporate America. They had been told they had a great voice and were trying to teach themselves the tech, the technique, and the ability to act all at the same time. That's hard, yo!
Now I DID have some things to learn. There is no need to "sing out Louise!" when you're talking to an audience of one instead of one thousand. Your physicality that is so handy onstage has to be audible, which takes some research and adjustment.
And, there's the big one - You need to have space, equipment, and some basic audio knowledge.
(Psst. - this is where a coach, a class, or a vetted website can REALLY come in handy!)
I had to learn the tech, and I had to learn some technique. But things like character voice, accents, and breathwork - I had that covered in college, and I didn't need to invest extra time learning how to do it now.
*NOTE: That's not to say I don't continually get coached on these exact things, but my point here is that I didn't have to learn WHY I needed them. That part was already there.
My acting career gave me a serious leg up when I was first starting and trying to nab some books. And I think it would work for you, too.
Fellow actors, we are adaptable. We continually work on our craft. We expand our talents, and we keep ourselves open to new opportunities.
So -my advice to you while the theaters are still dark is - USE THIS TIME. Set yourself up with a quiet space, get some equipment, and take some how-tos. Grab a coach who can make sure your sound and samples are good, and GO OUT AND ACT YOUR HEART OUT!
I have every faith that you would absolutely KILL it. And I'm here if you ever need me to tell you that in person (or over zoom... you know the drill.)
Until next time, break legs and hearts, my dear friends. I think you're swell.