How To Be a Voice Impersonator

The voice is unique to each person. If you wish to be an impersonator of someone else’s voice, you will need a keen ear for observing the unique tone and subtle inflections of that particular voice as well as lots of skills to make your voice sound just like it. However, you will still need to follow a process to be successful in this endeavor.

  • Select your subject of impersonation. Choose a popular one, which a lot of people could easily recognize and whose voice is well-known. It will also be advantageous for you if you can find someone’s voice whose range is quite similar to or near your voice range. It is best to start with a few choices and then narrow down your options to a voice which you can imitate the best.
  • Get to know more about your subject.  Listen and watch your subject’s audio and video recordings. Learn and relearn their manner of talking. Observe for the phrasing, tone and inflection unique to your subject’s voice. Does the sound come more from his sinuses or more from his throat? It will also be helpful if you watch for their mannerisms while they talk. You do not only try to sound alike but you should also convey a general impression of the character you are mimicking and much of this will be coming from his overall look while talking.
  • Listen to the vowels and the consonant sounds of your subject’s voice. To impersonate more accurately the sound he makes, you should be able to discern the difference between your vowel sound and your subject’s. Listen carefully and refine yours accordingly. If your subject has an accent, especially a South Asian one, put some effort in listening and becoming familiar with his consonant sounds. Note the difference and make some adjustments from there. Finally, take notice of the subject’s tonal envelope. This is how the pitch and the emphasis vary as the subject speaks the whole length of his sentence. The tonal envelope will define the difference between regional accents like the ones they have in the southern parts such as Alabama and Tennessee.
  • Practice will make your impersonation perfect. You may need to use a recorder to hear yourself while you do your impersonation. You may sound different from what you actually hear from your head. You can also get help from your friends, ask for their evaluation after you have performed few lines for them.
  • Develop a routine act for you to perfect. Here is the gist of your whole endeavor. You may need some research and even comedy workshops to write the perfect performance piece. This piece or routine will allow you to showcase your talent in voice impersonation. After you have completed and perfected your routine, record a demo tape for your job-hunting purpose.
  • Advertise your talent.  Determine places where entertainment has a higher market demand and value. Cities like New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles have numerous entertainment venues where you can offer your demonstration tapes. If you decide to go full-time on this, consider hiring an agent, who will help you get to auditions and get through discussions about your talent pay. You can also try radio stations that welcome voice impersonators to help them do their radio commercials. Setting a website meant for this purpose is a good idea too!

If you think you will enjoy entertaining others for a living, know that there is an enough market for you. A voice impersonator, especially a good one, is a rare find. The key is keeping your standards and not to stop improving and stretching your abilities towards the perfection of this venture.


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