VOICE OVER: Challenges for Female Voice Actors - Voice for Gaming

Gamers sit for long periods of time.  As a result, gaming companies have been able to do some rather in-depth research into how people respond to different pitches of the female voice.  

What do you think is the number one asset a female voice over actor can have?  

A low speaking voice. 

Gaming companies have found that lower female voices will hold the attention of the gamers longer, and audiences of both genders will stay focused on the game for longer periods of time.

It stands to reason then, that it's a useful thing to be able to open up your lower range as a woman, and consciously develop the ability to be articulate and detailed in the use of the lower registers.

Why is this an issue sometimes for women?  Women have a tendency to high centre their breath, and their sound, constraining the voice in an attempt to put on an emotional-physical corset of sorts, and make themselves sound diminutive.  After all, if Disney princesses are tiny, shouldn't we be tiny too?

The problem is that in order to have a pliant upper register, and really have a free, full, malleable sound, the lower register has to be open also.  The voice of Laura Croft in Tomb Raider is an excellent example of this.  You'll hear all the highs and lows in her voice, and it's smooth as butter.

So - your challenges:  

  • Opening your full range

  • Differentiated malleability

  • Release tension at the back of the head, tongue, facial muscles, jaw joint

  • Fluid control and transitions between consonants and vowels

The female voice is capable of extreme range.  Don't get stuck behind a childhood imagination of what you think a woman should sound like, because you may cut yourself off at the solar plexus vocally!