This is about a great actor and a great voice talent. Bryan Cranston is a delight to the ears as much as he is convincing and true on screen. Famous for portraying Walter White in the fascinating TV series Braking Bad, Cranston’s career in voiceovers is also legendary. His voice can be heard in many documentaries, TV programs, video games, cartoons and recently he has even narrated a very peculiar children story.
But before reaching glory, it was a march across the desert during the early days of his career. Around two decades ago, Cranston was struggling to get roles and make a living out of acting and voiceovers. The non stop auditioning didn’t bear much fruit until he realised that he should radically change the approach on how to act and use his voice and body language to be authentic…
“The best advice for fellow voice actors is know where your job is. An actor is supposed to create a compelling interesting character that serves the text and present it in the environment where your audition happens and then you walk away, and that’s it. Everything else is out of your control, so don’t even think of it, don’t focus on that. You are not going there to get a job, you are going there to present what you do. You act and there should be power in that, confidence. The decision of who might get a job is out of your control so when you analyse it, it makes no sense to hold on to that. That was a breakthrough to me and once I adapted that philosophy I never looked back I have never been busier in my life than when I grabbed on to that.”
So when we face the mic or the camera, we need to forget about ourselves and reincarnate the character and really believing what we are saying. Easier said than done, but that’s the particular chemistry that make Walter White such a real character, transmitting that empathy and credibility that has convinced millions of TV viewers all over the world.
Yes, you also need some natural base to start. To develop and consolidate a career in the voiceover industry, you require that extra touch, something unique in your voice pitch and personality that when put into action raises the attention of the audience who stop, listen and believe what you say. To achieve that effect much training is involved either with a coach or with a real public you might have at hand. That’s why radio anchors, news readers and the like turn into voice talents some day. But don’t get in love with your own voice, you need to be critical about how it sounds, it’s your work tool, but don’t get paranoid, even the great deep Bryan Carston’s voice had a sudden squeaky sound at the end of the above interview.
What would be your recipe to putting yourself in the skin of someone else when you are acting, when you are performing on the mic in your studio?