Now that I’ve been doing so much work in comedy and animation, I’m now working on a new animated half-hour comedy, and intend to also be the lead voice on the series.
I made the mistake of thinking that since I wrote the lines it would be easy to interpret them as an actor. Boy, was I wrong! I discovered that you need to know how to act before you can be an effective voiceover artist.
It’s not that I thought that learning how to act would be easy, but I had no idea that my training as a writer would be the most serious challenge to overcome. When you’re creating a world that your characters will act in, the perspective that a writer must hold changes as he or she writes. However, as a creator, part of you is always standing outside of what you’re saying and critiquing it, as well as deciding what happens next.
But the actor’s job is to interpret the written lines as they appear on the page. Further the job is to give depth of meaning to the words from inside the story as opposed to being outside.
As a writer, is important to be clear about your own identity and your relationship to the material so that you can get your point across.
As an actor, no one cares about you, the actor, they only care about the character. In order to act well, you must literally become the character and let go of that identity that you know as “you.”
Writers write in part to control their story. The actor on the other hand, must give up control of being a certain identity, and become a character. When you write, you imagine what you would do if you were the character. When you act you must consider what the character would do if I were you. This change in perspective is the biggest challenge I have faced since I learned how to write!
To make this possible, I’m studying voice-over with Paul Liberti and acting with Geof Pryssir. Even before I thought of playing a different role than writer, I studied Directing Actors with Judith Weston and Improv at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB). Learning other aspects of performance can only improve writing!
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz