Marice has a magical way of spotting things that are getting in the way of your most authentic performance as a voice actor. I highly recommend her workshops.
Voice over actor and teacher Bob Bergen plans an advanced animation techniques workshop in Dallas February 28-March 1st 2009. Bob is a gifted voice actor and the current voice of Porky Pig and Tweety Bird for Looney Toons. He also appears regularly in animated films such as Cars, Shrek, Toy Story and Wall-E. So, yeah, he’s big-time.
During my time in the voiceover business I’ve been witness to many different styles of acting before the microphone. I’ve seen actors silently but not so subtley move their entire bodies while doing the read. And I’ve seen the flat dry monotone read done while the actor stands stiff as a statue with hands crammed in pockets.
Looking at session videos on YouTube or Voiceover Universe you also see a variety of hand placements and gestures. Some actors bring energy into the read by waving hands or wagging fingers. Others will clinch a fist against their noggin to help get tension into the material. Ed Grover was famous for clasping his hands on top of his head to help him open up that “sweeping” read he would do for Visa.
If I’m doing a training narration I tend to gesture a lot, talking with my hands in order to help emphasize and draw certain phrases or word groups out of copy that is by it’s nature pretty dry stuff.
While voicing retail copy I try to get a little more energy into the read by rapidly wagging a wrist around behind the mic. I do most of the fast legal reads for Nationwide Insurance radio and for those I stand like a statue with arms up and out and pour the energy into cramming all those words into the shortest space possible.
On the other hand there are voice actors who prefer not to use overly physical techniques and still bring wonderful life to their scripts through emotional connection to the words.
If you are just starting out, practice and experiment. Get training. Use a coach. Find the techniques that work best for you.