Dee Bradley Baker's "All to Know About Going Pro in V.O."

Practice Out Loud

I’ve assembled these “Practice Out Loud” monologues, not just to provide you vocal exercises, but also to show you part of why I love acting and how fun it can be to bring words to life! 

Reading out loud is part of how I warm up, develop and maintain my VO skills. I find it a great way to hone my vocal control and even expand my range of characters. Reading out loud works vocal stamina, diction, sight reading, acting and best of all, it’s fun. I always have my Kindle on hand loaded with novels, plays and poetry so I’m good to do this anywhere, anytime!

As a stage actor, I was never been a fan of monologues, because they didn’t really seem like acting to me. They stuck me as isolated and fake. Acting for me was about listening to another and interacting, not just one person emoting in a vacuum, pontificating off into space!

But– voice actors are called upon to perform solo pretty regularly (indeed, on-camera actors must do this for their close ups or green screen acting!). VA’s regularly deliver their half of the dialogue alone in a booth. A voice actor must not only perform their lines, but must also conjure their fellow performers mentally as well. You are alone, but you must imagine seeing and feeling your scene partner. This is indeed acting! 

So, despite my dislike of solo monologues, I’ve come to see that reading out loud alone can be a great way to strengthen and advance your voice actor muscles. 

I’ve posted below links to various readings and monologues for you to work with. I’ve drawn these from books I’ve been reading recently, as well as from movies I’ve liked and some classics from Shakespeare and others. 

Don’t just read these- use them as a springboard to explore more! I also encourage you check out the original performances from the movie monologues or Shakespeare monologues to see how it’s done by the masters! 

As you read these aloud, remember a voice actor is an actor–a story teller– so your reading should bring the story or scene to life, honestly and believably.

You can also use these pages to work up new characters or strengthen accents as well (e.g. I often use Shakespeare texts to work on my British accents, but you can read passages in other accents or characters). You don’t have to read it in your normal voice! Play with these and read them in any voice you choose. Remember to be specific and clear with what you are saying.

The meaning cannot suffer or be overwhelmed by your character choice, though! Character choice must serve clarity of story telling.

I hope you have fun reading these and maybe find inspiration to explore further!

Practice Readings: Literature

Practice Monologues: Movies

Practice Monologues: Shakespeare

22 Responses »

  1. [I’m an experienced actor…}
    My question is, at this point in my life should I even try to do voice-over work? […] How do I get true, honest feedback […]

    • There is no magical age cut off for beginning voice acting.I would seek feedback from someone who works in the realm of VO that interests you and seems it might fit your skill set. I flesh this investigation out on my new page: CLICK HERE. Hope this helps!

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