Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters
I was thinking about this idea of how hard it can be for a character’s voice to come out of your mouth. It should, just by reading the script, but sometimes, we can be at a loss.
And I thought, how can I help you make that easier by sharing my process?
Well, my process draws on the wisdom of Fred Willard and Billy West.
Here’s what I often do.
Link to Dan O’Day’s Character Acting Masters:
Hope this helps!
Links to all episodes
One Step At A Time
Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me
Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me
Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe
How To Be A World Class Complainer
The False Nobility Of The Struggle
Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change
“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”
Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating
The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired
Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!
Don’t Confuse Price With Value
Whiteboards In The Hallways
Go Wake Up Your Luck
Playing and Planning
The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon
10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.
The Curse of Knowledge
The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions
Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers
“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”
Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths
How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
The Problem In Every Commercial Script
The Job In Every Commercial Script
The Secret In Every Commercial Script
How To Pick Your Stage Name
Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.
Helping Make Resolutions Stick
ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly
Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?
Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”
Are You Engaged?
Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer
Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others
Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like
The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator
My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips
What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well
Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops
Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New
Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management
How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform
My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)
My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)
A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself
How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer
How Lazy Can You Be?
Avoid The Struggle Porn
The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe
Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”
Making Your Links Irresistible
HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You
The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME
The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully
How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever
“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”
Killing Customers With Kindness
I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About
How I Answered Voices.com’s Inquiry
Turning Mountains Into Molehills
Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package
Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.
The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment
I Don’t Want To Go Blind
What Fair Markets Are, And Why Voices.com Isn’t One
Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness
Getting Ready vs. Getting Started
You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard
There Is No Failure, Only Feedback
Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?
73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears
If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP
Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info
One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS
The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff
Voices.com Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy
The Gig Economy: RIP?
For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.
Celebrate Your Isolation!
Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought
Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap
The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism
The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds
Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?
Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter
How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics
Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?
Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook
Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr
Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?
“Young People Are Just Smarter.”
The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam
Beware Of Overkill
Laying Down The Perfect Slate
An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?
10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)
AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning
Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success
A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”
Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?
What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?
Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s
I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy
Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily
Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty
The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging
Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?
Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack
Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More
Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads
One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is
The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1
Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?
Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend
Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial
American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing
Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up
Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.
Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You
3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of
3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of
Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.
Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For
What’s Your Imprint?
Fallacy Follies, Volume 3
Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies
Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner
A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers
A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters
Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality
Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.
Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery
A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t
Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.
How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.
Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything
Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly
Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube
What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.
Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper
Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?
Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair
Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off
Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should
Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!
Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.
Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over
Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?
Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits
Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO
What Is The Overton Window?
How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress
Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews
How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?
With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official
Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?
What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO
I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get
You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute
It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.
Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.
The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over
How My VAs Support Me And My Team
What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”
The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach
Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.
Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing
Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing
One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman
The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category
What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?
Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night
How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names
Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible
I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?
Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief
“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.
Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement
Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication
The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?
Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters
Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular
On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do
How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”
One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain
Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz
10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck
One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain
Why You Must Wear Headphones When Recording
Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”
Having Fun With Headphone Volume
Please Stop Rushing To Perform
Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu
One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom
For The Sheer Joy Of It
The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!
What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About
Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term
Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!
Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice
How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices
What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success
Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge
Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates
O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!
So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?
The Root Words of “Typecast”
Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make
Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work
200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?
I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day
One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility
Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.
The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?
Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.
Raw YouTube Captions
hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and in the column of art when it comes
to creating characters either with
voiceover or on camera I just it just
occurred to me that this works both on
camera and on mic but I get questions
all the time
on how do you create characters from
scratch how do you create a character
when you look at a script you see what
the words are what is it that pops into
your head to create the character that
you’ll do for that particular role and
often it you know you go right to the to
the tried and true you know if it’s a
grizzly old general but then you realize
that’s not always the case right so a
long time ago I was exposed to a package
from Dan O’Day called creating I think
it’s called creating authentic character
I put a link below the video for you to
check it out or above the video and in
that Fred Willard talks about how he
creates characters and it really
resonated with me because it’s exactly
the what I do and and then and then I
think I’m spoken about this in a video
before I sat next to Billy West who if
you don’t know who Billy West is Google
Billy West you don’t know Fred Willard
is Google Fred Willard come on now and
both of them have very similar
approaches to this instant creation of
characters and it tied right in with
mine and here it is I cheat there I’ve
said it I look back on all of the
friends that I’ve had growing up in
school my family members especially the
weird ones the ones that you’d like you
know we got to invite him to the party
because they’re your uncle but we really
don’t want the mayor stay away from him
you know I they I have characters left
who I created based on people that I
know and you might think to yourself oh
wait hold on a second that’s cheating
that’s you know that’s why I said it but
it’s not it is drawing on your legend
it’s drawing on your authenticity and
it’s drawing on what you know falling
out of bed I mean I had this uncle al
hey Davey Boy go get me a beer you know
he was like that all the time and you
know he he never changed and it became
something that I would entertain my
parents with and I would entertain my
kid my my brothers and sisters with and
you know just became part of my
zeitgeist and Fred Willard has something
to say very similar to that so so check
that out but Billy West took it one step
further he imitates people that are kind
of public figures like when you think
about the character that he created that
is actually Larry fine from the Three
Stooges not Moe not curly not the ones
that everybody imitates but Larry which
the hey hey Moe you know that guy nobody
does that but Billy did and the thing is
he brings them out he also does one of
his characters is based on Georgie
Jessel and if you don’t know Georgie
Jessel is well that means you’re under
the age of 50 or 60 and no one would
know that and that’s when he does it he
brings out these characters that he grew
up with that he knows that he has the
ability to mimic and then just twist
some a little tiny bit to create this
new character and Zoidberg is based on
Georgie Jessel as far as I know but I
sat next to him it at a Comic Con and I
said you know you I hate you because
you’re just like he goes don’t don’t
tell anybody so that’s one way you can
do it think about those family members
your best friends your enemies in school
the kids used to pick on you the kids
that you know you’d make fun of because
they made fun of you and use those as
springboards for characters in an
appropriate way when developing
character voices something that’s new to
you something that you knew already let
me know in the comments below
got any characters you want to share
with us let me know in the comments
below I’d love to love to hear what you
have to say and please leave those
comments on vo to go go
that’s where the conversation is
moderated and saying we love you there
we do know that you can see these videos
in a lot of different places but vo de
Gorga comm is where we have all kinds of
tools and tricks and tips and strategies
and tactics and weapons that you can use
to make your performance life even
better and if you’d like to see the
latest video I just released go ahead
and click on that frame there and
YouTube will play it for you I’m David H
Lawrence 217th get me a beer and I will
talk to you tomorrow.