Everyone has off days - bank tellers, construction workers, dog walkers, heart surgeons, you name it (although let’s hope this isn’t the case too often for the heart surgeons of the world). Guess who else has off days? Me, you, and every other voice over actor out there. You know when you’re having them too...your voice comes across shaky, your timing is all wrong, and nothing is sounding right. So what do you do when those days come around? Well, here’s a tip for you - you walk away!
That’s right, the best thing to do when the occasional off day strikes is to simply remove yourself from the situation, at least temporarily. Talk a deep breath, tell yourself or whoever you’re working with that you need to take a break, and step away from the mic. I repeat, step away from the mic! In fact, get out of the studio completely, and take some time to clear your head. Go for a walk, pour yourself a cup of coffee (or glass of wine, whatever floats your boat), take a nap - whatever you need to do to have a mental escape, do it.
Some folks in the industry will argue that taking yourself out of the situation will disrupt the energy flow, but you know what? If you’re struggling this much already, I would venture that the energy is already in turmoil. What you need is a recharge that will allow you time to clear your head and focus your energies in a new direction. Taking even a 10 minute break can work wonders when things just aren’t falling into place during a reading. Recharge, refresh, and come back with an improved outlook. You may be surprised at the results.
Sometimes the best way to handle performances that aren’t going how you planned is to just walk away, so don’t be afraid to do it!