A New Voice Over Landscape
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
This is my first blog post entry in a year. What a year it has been! Not to get into too many gritty details but the events of the last year have been life altering. The path I was on this time a year ago no longer exists…I’m not even in the same woods as I was before. I was plucked from everything I’d ever known, pulled into a vortex, swirled around and spit back out on a new planet, a new terrain. The learning curve has been steep because, ya see…not only is this new territory, it is also a free solo journey. A first for me. I’ve not found the clearing yet but now have the tools to navigate towards it.
All of these new experiences have gifted me the ability to see the world differently. After that, I started to think differently. Started to live differently. Started to love differently. Then work differently. And finally…teach differently. (Pst…this means YOU! My students!)
As you have probably read and heard, the landscape of voice over is changing by the minute. Artificial Intelligent (AI) voices are becoming more and more prevalent. New pay to play sites pop up regularly. Agents are getting more difficult to breach. A pandemic still being managed, war in Europe, inflation, unstable world wide economies all play into the panorama of voice over work. Therefore the work we have to do as artists is getting more and more exacting. We previously had pitons and carabiners to climb up the mountain and now it's just chalk and technique. This is where your training to traverse this wall comes in.
At this point, voice over coaches are plentiful. Every major pay to play site has coaches. There are subscription services and pre-taped ‘step-by-steps’ hosted by celebrities, novices and everyone in between. I have previously written about how to choose a voice over coach but this is not what this blog post is about. This post is about new and evolving scene of voice over and about the approach to acting and pedagogy based on a degree in acting, twenty years of professional experience, countless classes and coaching sessions as well as the experiences of the last year of life.
Here’s the elevator pitch (and the navigation/landscape metaphor gets dropped temporarily): most coaches coach to their own personal aesthetics. Coach to how they personally approach the work. Coach to what they perceive are the trends. Coach to what has worked for them in their personal path. In short, they are directors rather than coaches and teachers. They don't have a pedagogy. They are not teachers. And there’s a place for that. That is partially how I coached as well. I let my ear guide me. That is not my place anymore. My place now is teach you an approach that not only encourages trust in yourself and your own instincts but is shippable. I want you to leave my practice and know that you have a plan every time you approach copy that is uniquely and thoroughly YOU.
Here’s what two of my previous students had to say:
Lena is everything you’d want from a teacher: She’s empathetic, encouraging, knowledgeable. She pushed me to push myself, and helped me have breakthroughs and make the mental connections I’d needed to.
Her approach to both commercial and character work sprouts from the same root, so working hard on one inevitably means you’ll improve on the other.
Lena innately knew how to pull better performances out of me. I cannot recommend her one-on-one or group classes enough.
Lena is a wonderful coach. She is patient and encouraging. She helped me unlock a creative side that I didn’t know existed. I learned a lot of skills to protect, project, and train my voice, how to relax and have fun, and the type of work that compliments my voice. Most of all I gained confidence in myself to do this work.
I would honor the opportunity to guide you to a new perspective in your work. To guide you through the new terrain that is our current voice over landscape. I’ve been through the forest and back again. I got this. And I got you too. Let’s play.