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Terry Berlandby Casting Director, Terry Berland

Life is full of color: clothes, flowers, furniture, personalities. Think about the expression, “He has a colorful personality”… your performances are full of color too.

It’s fascinating to be aware that energies can be identified by color. I would like to address the difference in the awareness of color relating to on-camera audition performances and voice-over performances.

In an on-camera performance you have visuals to add to your message. You have the way you look physically: height, weight, character in your face, facial expressions and color itself in how you dress. There is not really anything you have to do with color regarding your on camera technique except to be aware of the interesting fact that we live in a world of color.

However, voice-over is a different story. Your voice “paints a picture” and colors the message through your attitudes. It is fascinating to think that you can use color as part of learning voice technique. For instance, you have to decide if you want to sound inspirational, authoritative, compassionate, bright or trustworthy.

Nick Omana, a VO artist and teacher with voice training center, VoicePrint West actually works with techniques involving color to identify and execute subtle emotions and choices in voice-over reads.

“Everybody has one of their senses that has stronger tendencies than the rest, but all of them together play an important part in setting your emotional response to your environment.  Acting is nothing more than being able to realistically recreate those responses without the actual stimulus.  Knowing how to connect with those stimulus in your mind is the secret to being a good actor.  Color is a great way for visually oriented people to connect.  Each color of the spectrum will elicit a certain energy level when you focus on it in your mind.  If I have you close your eyes and imagine a bright, fire engine red, it will more than likely stimulate a higher energy read than if I had you imagine a royal blue.  Also, each person has basic color or hue to their voice and vocal quality.  So, the next time you have to do a read, try using color to finesse your take.”

Artist, Neil Harbisson, was born with a rare disease which left him with total color blindness. With scientists, Neil developed a device that he wears on his head which turns color into audible frequencies. He can now hear color and his world is no longer black and white. His story is amazing and inspirational. After you watch this video you just might change the way you perceive color, art, music and life itself. Take a look:


I wish you an abundant, colorful month.

Any reproduction or usage of this article on other websites must be credited to Terry Berland, Casting Director and linked back to here.

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Terry Berland is an award-winning casting director for on-camera, television, voice-over, and hosting. Her casting awards include Clio, The Houston International Film Festival, Art Director’s Club, Addy, and the International Film and Television Festival. Her former casting staff position for Madison Avenue giant BBDO/NY has lent to her deep understanding and involvement in the advertising industry. She is known throughout the country for her talent development and is the co-author of the how-to industry book,”Breaking Into Commercials.”