Most University voice over projects require one thing in common – pride. The voice must reflect a sense and feeling of pride. Not arrogance and not ego. Just an authentic voice of pride for the community, history, and alumni of the school. The Temple University voiceover project had a lot of pride in it. Their infamous symbol is the owl. Everything from the mascot to their slogan is structured around this owl- Stella. The voice over producers of the project wanted to feel pride and authenticity but also the spirit of a young millennial student voice. Often times producers will let a voice over talent know what their target demographic is and when they first hear your voice in the audition they already have a direction in mind.
The Temple University College voice, according to the producers, had to be relatable to a multicultural audience. What is it about the voice that reflects a multicultural audience? Sometimes it’s just the informality of it. A lot of times multicultural societies, such as the ones I grew up in, have speech patterns that are informal. Lots of contractions and mumbled slang are used. When I approached the microphone during session I just had to be my authentic self and remember my informal self-bit more. But, a voice actor should not get it confused– informal does not mean disrespectful or immature. Informal just means a little bit looser. As a voice talent, it is our job to dance on the line of formality and informality while delivering structured copy. Lucky for me, it’s very easy to relate to college students because I’m not too far from being one.
In most commercial voiceover projects authenticity is required. A voice actor or actress must be authentic within their given boundaries. As the Temple University voiceover hired for this spot, I reflected on my experience as a prideful college student not too long ago. The sense of pride that only builds through experience. Once I was able to harness the feeling that resembled what I was searching for and matched what the producers envisioned– then I would practice the cadence and rhythm of the script. I remember for this voiceover project timing was crucial because they had to alter the copy as it was too long to begin with. They wanted a 60 second voice over commercial, but head enough words for a two-minute commercial. As a Voice actor adjusting our pace is crucial but we are limited within our scope. Once the voice acting portion of the script was finalized, the direction and collaboration just came naturally.
The Temple University voiceover project was one of those projects that helped me discover and harness one of my “signatures voices”- the college voice sound. I would market my voice as the millennial voice, college voice, University voice, student pride voice, and authentic Voice for many years to come.