When we think of acting, and this includes voice acting, we usually think of “getting into character.” Because that’s an important part of any acting job, right? Right. But, there’s another aspect that’s just as important, and it’s one that’s often overlooked. It’s knowing yourself. Getting in touch with your own character, and tapping into what makes you YOU.
Now, you may think, “Why does this really matter when I really am just playing a role?” Well, it matters because regardless of how committed to that role you’re playing, you’re still you, and that’s going to shine through no matter what. Which is what makes you special!
Getting to know yourself and who you really are will also help you be a better actor. When you’re in touch with yourself, you’re more confident, more motivated, and just a better version of yourself, honestly.
If you’re not sure what I mean, or how to really get into touch with yourself - and not just as an actor, but as a person - ask yourself these 3 questions:
Who are you? Yes, you’re a voice actor, but what other labels can you give yourself. Are you a mom? A dad? Sibling? Skilled carpenter? Environmentalist? Recovering alcoholic? Whatever these labels are, all them combine to make you the person you are today, and celebrating the “good” labels and challenging the “bad” ones will help shape you even more. Find your identity, explore it, and grow it.
What do you value? Everyone has values, and everyone assigns different levels of importance to them. Maybe you value innovation and efficiency, while another actor you know places more importance on creativity and skillful communication. Figure out what your core values are, and you’ll better understand what drives you as an actor.
What won’t you compromise on? There are some things we all must draw the line on, because all of us have boundaries. These are the things that we’re unwilling to compromise on, both in our personal and professional lives. Determining what these boundaries are is another piece of the identity puzzle, and it’ll help you decide when to accept something or whether to just move on.
Today, take the time to ponder some of these questions, even if it’s only 10 minutes. Self-reflection is never a bad thing, and you may be surprised at what you discover about yourself as both an actor AND a person. And by the way, listen to those keywords your clients use to describe you. If you're not sure what they think... ask them!