On Voice Acting

by Veron U. Calaguas

Veron U. Calaguas is one of the pioneers in Telenovela dubbing and script translations aired over RPN 9. Most notable is her voice acting work in “Marimar” and “Maria La Del Barrio” as the lead and in “La Traidora” as Dayana Montoya, the lead antagonist. She is likewise one of the pioneers for GMA 7 in the same genre, including voice acting for cartoons. Her projects included “Agujetas de Color de Rosa,” “Cara Sucia,” “Yo Soy Betty La Fea,” and the cartoon series “Starla & the Jewel Riders, " Skydancers,” “Mojacko,” “Doraemon,” “Powerpuff Girls,” and many others. Prior to dubbing, Veron worked both on stage as an actor, narrator, and singer, and off stage as a director, musician, stage manager, assistant stage manager, and crew in various theater productions like PETA’s “Exodo," Repertory Philippines’ “Little Shop of Horrors” and Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Sa Kuko ng Liwanag,” the first stage adaptation of the late Lino Brocka’s film “Maynila, Sa Kuko ng Liwanag” to name a few.

Throughout this whole quarantine or lockdown in our country and the world over, it is evident that social media has played a pivotal role. Primarily, it has kept people stay connected when circumstances have forced us to distance ourselves from one another and stay in our own places.

The Film Dream has seized this rare opportunity to serve the public by creating an avenue whereby relevant stories can still be told to an audience hungry for a different menu other than news about the Coronavirus. These notes on Voice Acting serve as a sketch or background for those who may wish to sample this art form.

Let’s begin with understanding the concept of Voice Acting. Wikipedia defines it as “the art of performing voice-overs or providing voices to represent a character or provide information to an audience or user.” The Encarta Dictionary defines it as “providing the voice over for a character in a cartoon or a radio or television advertisement.” The term comprises two components – Voice and Acting.

In this perspective, Voice can be understood as one of the main tools or instruments for acting or performing that an actor has or uses. Acting, on the other hand, is giving life to a character or to a story or simulating reality.


Eric Morris, in his book “No Acting Please”, defines acting as “the art of creating genuine realities on stage.”


But we know that includes film, television, radio, and at present, social media.


VOICE

Our Voice, as a tool or instrument, needs to be “exercised or tuned up”. Why? So as to prepare it for the task at hand. How do we do this? There are 3 important ways to prepare our voice:


1. Diaphragmatic breathing

2. Vocal exercises

3. Physical care

Diaphragmatic Breathing, which is literally breathing using our diaphragm, gives us lung power to be able to say a long line, for example, without losing our breath midway. It is also the proper or correct way of breathing.

Vocal Exercises aim to build our vocal stamina and train us on the clarity of pronunciation and enunciation.

Physical Care teaches us how to preserve our vocal quality and attributes and to avoid doing anything that would harm our voice. Having ample sleep and drinking lukewarm water are good examples of caring for our voice.