Did you know that the hummingbird is the smallest of all bird species and there are over 330 different varieties? They all have the wonderful ability to hover in mid-air whilst extracting nectar from flowers and are the only bird species that can fly backwards and even upside down. Their wings beat around 70 times per second in regular flight and this is what creates the distinctive humming sound.
It occurred to me that the energy of the hummingbird around a flower is similar to the energy required of a Voice Actor at their microphone. You might think that we simply read a script but there is so much more to it than that!
We might not have wings but a good Voice Actor expends a lot of energy in their performance at the microphone using not only their voice but also their hands, arms, shoulders, and facial expressions.
If you see a Voice Actor at work you may be surprised at how much effort goes into their performance to ensure the delivery is authentic and credible.
However, whilst the hummingbird instinctively knows how to obtain the nectar from a flower, an aspiring Voice Actor must learn and hone the skills required to deliver an engaging performance.
Although I qualified as an Associate of the London College of Music (ALCM) in Speech & Drama many years ago, I decided to train with an experienced Voice Coach to learn the craft of becoming a professional Voice Actor.
Tanya Rich of RichCraft Voice Coaching, is an inspirational Voice Actor & Coach who has been in the industry for 30 years and is still very busy voicing for her clients alongside her private coaching and lecturing at Bath Spa University. She started her career being recorded onto a physical tape and this pressure helped Tanya to develop her voicing skills including exceptional breath control, which makes her a great coach and mentor!
Tanya helped me to hone my voicing skills in the vocal booth around a microphone which was quite a challenge as I had mostly performed live on a stage and was used to projecting out to the audience!
All professional Voice Actors are on a continuous journey of refining and developing their skills. Like any profession, there are many specialisms we can work in including TV and Radio Commercials, Corporate Presentations & Videos, E-Learning, Audio Books and Brochures, Radio Dramas, Gaming, Animation, Podcasts, and even Telephone & On Hold messages (also known as IVR).
Anyway, back to the hummingbird…
When I was launching my new website I was asked for my thoughts on branding and a logo to reflect what I do. I commissioned Simon Slattery, a fabulous graphic designer, and he created the beautiful hummingbird icon you see here as part of my new brand logo, which I absolutely love.
So next time you listen to a TV Commercial, Radio Drama, Podcast or even the latest Game do remember that these are all Voice Actors working their magic in the booth….just like the hummingbird around a flower!