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The stanslavisky acting technique and voice acting

 
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BrandonVO



Joined: 16 Aug 2020
Posts: 14
Location: Sri Lanka

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 8:20 am    Post subject: The stanslavisky acting technique and voice acting Reply with quote

Ive just been brushing up my Stanslavinisky acting technique, which i've found to work for voice acting too, because it focuses on things like the whys and wherefores of the script and setting.

Also, are there any other good acting techniques (Meisner technique, Demidov, etc) that are great for voice acting?
Would love to know your thoughts and which acting technique you all use.

Thanks!
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Bob Bergen
Flight Attendant


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a Meisner trained actor. But every acting technique is derived from Stanislavski. From Meisner to Strasberg, acting coaches interpreted Stanislavski's techniques differently, but all are based on truth in acting. I had studied vo for 2 years and found I was just walking in circles. Then I enrolled in a Meisner acting conservatory, which taught me the skills and techniques needed to take my vo work off the page. This technique, which is based on intent, why, how, and reacting to the scene partner, gave me the tools to repeat my choices consistently at will. But the simple answer to your question is, every acting technique will benefit the vo actor. I did not resinate with Method acting. And I studied with Stella Adler towards the end of her career, and found her to be more of a critic than a teacher. I think this was just due to age. All classes right now are being done online. This is the Meisner school I attended: https://ruskinschool.com
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Bish
3.5 kHz


Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 3651
Location: Lost in the cultural wasteland of Long Island

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest, while I can maybe see the benefits of training in traditional stage methods for audio drama and (to a lesser extent) fiction audiobooks, I find Messrs Stanislavski, Meisner, & Demidov of limited value for VO work. While I agree that there is always an element of "performance", sometimes applied techniques can get in the way and cause over-thinking. For the most part, this is not what our clients are buying. I always ask myself one simple question... "Who am I, and to whom am I talking?

I'm certainly not being dismissive of training... and I believe that some improv training can be very helpful in live directed sessions where you may be asked to turn on a dime. It's interesting (back when there were more in-person auditions) that some casting directors eschewed giving the talent sight of the script before the reading... because the talent would invest in that script with their own interpretation prior to reading, and the CD wanted a clean slate with no preconceived delivery that had to be shaken loose.

All that being said... mine may well be a minority viewpoint.

Edit: I fully understand Bob's response above. Bob and I mostly address completely different parts of the market. The vast majority of my work is corporate, elearning, and explainer videos. My training was primarily from working in a corporate training environment (member of the Institute of Training and Development, etc.), and the cauldron of large-scale corporate B2B presentations.
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BrandonVO



Joined: 16 Aug 2020
Posts: 14
Location: Sri Lanka

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob Bergen wrote:
I'm a Meisner trained actor. But every acting technique is derived from Stanislavski. From Meisner to Strasberg, acting coaches interpreted Stanislavski's techniques differently, but all are based on truth in acting. I had studied vo for 2 years and found I was just walking in circles. Then I enrolled in a Meisner acting conservatory, which taught me the skills and techniques needed to take my vo work off the page. This technique, which is based on intent, why, how, and reacting to the scene partner, gave me the tools to repeat my choices consistently at will. But the simple answer to your question is, every acting technique will benefit the vo actor. I did not resinate with Method acting. And I studied with Stella Adler towards the end of her career, and found her to be more of a critic than a teacher. I think this was just due to age. All classes right now are being done online. This is the Meisner school I attended: https://ruskinschool.com


You mention that you found the Meinser excericises of interracting with your on stage partner applicable to voiceovers. Would you please elaborate? How does the process of listening to ones partner on stage apply to script reading in a voiceover arena, which is more of a monologue than a dialogue? Please explain.
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BrandonVO



Joined: 16 Aug 2020
Posts: 14
Location: Sri Lanka

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bish wrote:
To be honest, while I can maybe see the benefits of training in traditional stage methods for audio drama and (to a lesser extent) fiction audiobooks, I find Messrs Stanislavski, Meisner, & Demidov of limited value for VO work. While I agree that there is always an element of "performance", sometimes applied techniques can get in the way and cause over-thinking. For the most part, this is not what our clients are buying. I always ask myself one simple question... "Who am I, and to whom am I talking?

I'm certainly not being dismissive of training... and I believe that some improv training can be very helpful in live directed sessions where you may be asked to turn on a dime. It's interesting (back when there were more in-person auditions) that some casting directors eschewed giving the talent sight of the script before the reading... because the talent would invest in that script with their own interpretation prior to reading, and the CD wanted a clean slate with no preconceived delivery that had to be shaken loose.

All that being said... mine may well be a minority viewpoint.

Edit: I fully understand Bob's response above. Bob and I mostly address completely different parts of the market. The vast majority of my work is corporate, elearning, and explainer videos. My training was primarily from working in a corporate training environment (member of the Institute of Training and Development, etc.), and the cauldron of large-scale corporate B2B presentations.


indeed, the whys and wherefores that are critical IMO to a voice over process, are typically found in the stanslavinsky technique. Also character building and script analysis.
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Jack Daniel
Cinquecento


Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 552
Location: SoCal

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least for the kinds of VO I usually do, acting is secondary to two more pressing considerations:

Timing
Tone

Thus, I think of VO as more closely related to music than to acting. If you're Bob Bergen, then you are definitely acting, because that's your job. The people who hire me want me to mostly hit my times and establish and maintain a certain tone, and to do so by quickly breaking down a script and understanding its turns. Does that involve acting? Of course. And I've had a lot of acting training and tons of theater experience, so no doubt it plays in handily, and no doubt it helps me find the tone more readily. But I don't spend a lot of time agonizing over my situation. If I do, it's because I'm not finding the pocket right away, so I need to do something different to shake things up.

So Bish, I don't think you're in the minority overall. But if you and I did what Bob and the animation/games people do every day, we'd be singing a different tune.
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BrandonVO



Joined: 16 Aug 2020
Posts: 14
Location: Sri Lanka

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack Daniel wrote:
At least for the kinds of VO I usually do, acting is secondary to two more pressing considerations:

Timing
Tone

Thus, I think of VO as more closely related to music than to acting. If you're Bob Bergen, then you are definitely acting, because that's your job. The people who hire me want me to mostly hit my times and establish and maintain a certain tone, and to do so by quickly breaking down a script and understanding its turns. Does that involve acting? Of course. And I've had a lot of acting training and tons of theater experience, so no doubt it plays in handily, and no doubt it helps me find the tone more readily. But I don't spend a lot of time agonizing over my situation. If I do, it's because I'm not finding the pocket right away, so I need to do something different to shake things up.

So Bish, I don't think you're in the minority overall. But if you and I did what Bob and the animation/games people do every day, we'd be singing a different tune.


But to bring out a particular tone, an emotion in a script, does that not involve setting the scene, acting a character, and so forth?
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Bob Bergen
Flight Attendant


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 837

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrandonVO wrote:


You mention that you found the Meinser excericises of interracting with your on stage partner applicable to voiceovers. Would you please elaborate? How does the process of listening to ones partner on stage apply to script reading in a voiceover arena, which is more of a monologue than a dialogue? Please explain.


Great question, because this was MY question when I first inquired about studying Meisner. The scene partner is in your imagination. Just as it would be if you were doing a monologue on stage, be it in an audition or performance. There must always be a scene partner. Without a scene partner, you are just reading words. Without an intended audience, you are just reading words. Contrary to what people may think, although I am best known for animation, my day to day is as a full service vo actor. Commercials, narration, promo, etc. I do not do audiobooks or e-learning. BUT-every aspect of vo in my mind has a scene partner. This is what makes for a conversational read. I am conversing with one scene partner. This all makes perfect sense once learned and applied. In a 2 year Meisner program, the fist year is exercises and the second year is application in scene study. My acting technique is the same for every genre of vo I do. Just like my acting technique is the same for every genre of acting, from drama to sitcom to even hosting. It all must be truthful. But you shift gears based on the medium. You full way back for the camera. You project much more in 2000 seat theater than you do for a 99 seat black box theater. Cartoon delivery adjusts based on the intended audition, the network, the time it airs. And Bish, you are applying Meisner without even knowing it. Who am I/who am I talking to is acting 101. If you were not a good actor, no matter the genre of vo you are pursuing, your work would suck and you would not be hired.
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todd ellis
A Zillion


Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 10042
Location: little egypt

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey brandon --- please stop quoting full posts. they are in the thread already and we can scroll up if we need a reference. it's just messy.

thank you,
assistant to the regional manager
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