I was recently listening to one of my favorite podcasts. (spoiler: I am a podcast LOVER!) The podcast was The Acting Podcast with Risa Bramon Garcia and Steve Braun of the BGB Studio in Los Angeles. I have studied with Steve and taken classes at BGB, and I find their wisdom to be invaluable.
In the podcast they were addressing Script Analysis, which is a skill that all actors (including, or especially voice actors) need to cultivate. The idea at BGB Studios is that Script Analysis is individual to each actor. That it encompasses whatever brings you to life as an actor. Whatever gets you going into and through the scene. In fact, they wanted to rename it “Script Exploration,” which implies an on-going, fun process instead of Script Analysis, which sounds clinical and finite.
As a voiceover artist and voice actor primarily focused on corporate, explainer, and commercial reads, I find that script analysis (or script exploration) is vitally important, to bring me into the moment that is happening in the script. Oftentimes, corporate or explainer scripts read as clinical and dry. But what clients look for is a voice that can bring the material to life and make it sound “conversational.”
I find that the first step (if I can avoid trying to speak the material out loud too quickly) that helps is to ask these 5 questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? My best reads are when I spend just a few minutes asking “Who am I?,” “Who am I talking to?,” “What are we talking about?,” “What did the other person just say?,” and most importantly, “Why am I saying this?”
When I get clear on all of those things before I try to get the words into my mouth, the whole recoding process goes more smoothly and more quickly.
This trick works for on-camera work as well. It is simple, but for me, incredibly important – especially if it is a subject or a character I’m not familiar with.
The challenge for me is to stop myself speaking the words out loud before I do this. I get so excited that I want to get in there and just go! Writing all of this is a way to remind myself of the times it is easy and fun, and that starts with Script Exploration.
Thanks for joining me! Do you have an approach to scripts that you use or recommend? Share it with me!