Bad habits are something we all deal with, both in personal and professional capacities. While some of these behaviors aren’t too big of a deal, others can cause lasting damage to your career. In the voice over industry, there are a few negative patterns that actors can find themselves falling into if they’re not careful. Watch out for these bad habits:
· Sub-par reading comprehension skills – Understanding the script you’ve been given is an absolute must. If you can’t fully comprehend the material, it’s going to come across in the audio. While much of this has to do with your innate comprehension skills, failure to understand and read what’s on the script can also be due to carelessness – which is where the bad habit aspect comes in. This is often demonstrated as missing a word on the script, adding your own words, mispronouncing what’s on the page, or emphasizing the wrong words.
· Failing to make a real connection – This goes hand-in-hand with the first bad habit. In addition to understanding the text, you need to make a connection with it. Even if it’s something completely uninteresting to you, you need to find something that will connect you to the material. Failing to do this can result in voice over that feels detached and phony.
· Overestimating your talent – Arrogance is a big turn-off for most people, including your clients. If you’re an excellent voice over actor, that’s wonderful – just don’t act like it. It’s fine to recognize your strengths and skill set, and you should definitely be advertising those to potential clients, but there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.
· Underestimating your talent – Just as bad as overestimating your talent is underestimating it. Don’t sell yourself short! This is a highly competitive industry, and self-doubt will get you nowhere. Play up your strengths, work on your weaknesses, and try to find the middle path between overconfidence and humility.