Published by: Julia
If you want to be a voice actor, Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson is who you want to learn from. Luckily, her voice masterclass is simply brilliant.
This class packs a huge amount into 14 videos and it is fun too. Before I took this masterclass I had not realized just how interesting voice acting was. It was engaging, easy to follow, and packed with practical information. If I wanted to give becoming a voice actor a try, I feel confident that I now know how to go about doing so.
Meet your instructor – Nancy Cartwright
Nancy Cartwright has been voice acting for 40 years. Work that earned her an Emmy in 1992 and an Annie award in 1995. Her involvement in the entertainment industry opened up the chance for her to take on several film and TV roles as a regular actor.
She is, of course, best known for playing Bart Simpson. As well as being Pistol in Goof Troop, Todd Daring in The Replacements, and Charles “Chuckie” Finster Jr. in Rugrats.
After 40 years, what she does not know about voice acting is not worth knowing.
…so why not let Nancy guide you into a new career as a voice actor. It is a bit quirky being taught by a cartoon character of her, but it is one of the reasons I enjoyed her course so much.
Who will enjoy Nancy Cartwright’s voice acting masterclass?
I am pretty sure that anyone will enjoy taking this masterclass. But I think that people who fall into one of the following categories will particularly enjoy and/or benefit from it:
- Fans of Nancy Cartwright
- Fans of the shows and films she has starred in
- People who want to be voice character actors
- Other kinds of actors and performers
- People who want to do ad or voiceover work
- People interested in working as audio-book readers
- Voiceover actors
A quick overview of what I learned from this masterclass
Further down the page, I go into more detail about what you can expect to learn from this Masterclass. But if you are in a hurry, here is an overview:
- How to learn the skills you need to be a voice actor
- Creating a demo tape to help you to find work
- How to understand what the writer wants from you
- Creating and developing your character
- Keeping the voice of your character consistent
- Getting it right in the recording studio
- Surrounding yourself with a good team
- Advancing your career
- Delivering in the recording studio
OK, so that is an overview. Now I will tell you more and go into a bit more detail.
Vocal techniques and tools you need to master
Nancy starts by showing you how you can change your character by changing things like how fast you speak, your pitch, and emotion. It is not as complicated as it sounds. Nancy demonstrates the following simple vocal techniques that can change how old the character sounds and its personality:
- Attitude and emotions
- Your relationship your character has with the other characters
You need to understand your range then practice and broaden it, then show it off for any audition you do.
You can have one voice. In that one voice you´ve got a plethora of characters just by changing pitch, By changing volume, attitude, emotion, placement these tools.Nancy Cartwright Voice Acting Masterclass
How to develop your vocal identity
Your voice is like a fingerprint. You need to create a recognizable branded personality for your voice. That way when a director thinks of a character he will think of you. For example, Nancy developed her talent for children´s voices. She played to her strengths.
Taking note of people around you and mimicking them is a great way to get started. It gets you to take note of how people talk and act. Over time, you will identify what kinds of characters you can play.
Nancy shares several more ways to practice and develop your voice every day. For example, reading stories to your kids.
Jump-starting your voice acting career
In this section, Nancy dives deeper into how to develop your voice range and show it off. She covers important topics like how to create a demo tape and getting a mentor, all be it briefly. It is clear that her mentor Daws Butler, the voice of dozens of Hanna-Barbera characters including Yogi Bear, Elroy Jetson, and Quick Draw McGraw.
A demo is your calling card. It is the most important tool you can have in order to get hired in this industry.Nancy Cartwrigth teaches Voice Acting
Creating character voices
This section of the course is especially useful. Nancy has three completely new characters for her Masterclass students. She uses these creations to walk you through the process of understanding who the character you are playing is.
She shows you what you can glean from the picture and description you are sent by the creator. This is what you will use to decide what voice to use for the audition.
Then Nancy demonstrates how she would go about developing voices for them. It is all very clever, yet, is easy to follow.
Creating Distinct Characters
At first, I wondered why Nancy had created a separate video for this. After all, I thought, isn´t this part of creating a character´s voice. But it turns out this is a separate skill. Apparently, a lot of voice actors play several different roles in one show. So knowing how to create proper distinctions between each one is vital.
You may also find yourself recording a scene where you are playing all of the characters in that scene. The tips she shared here would be invaluable for someone who is put in this situation for the first time.
Breaking Down Your Script
Nancy takes you step-by-step through how she processes and understands a script. She covers the initial read-through. Including things like making sure that you fully understand everything. Even though Nancy mainly does cartons and animation she still has to pause sometimes to look things up in the dictionary. Highlighting the characters you will play and noting things like where you will pause and for how long.
She pulls it all together by explaining how she prepared for the episode in which Bart Simpson speaks French. Then goes back to one of the 3 new characters she used earlier in her Masterclass and demonstrates a few more things.
Helpfully, she has provided all of the scripts she refers to in the various videos for you to download. I personally found it easier to follow everything when I used them.
Voice Acting Tips for Recording
Recording successfully is a skill in itself. I found this section fasinating. It took you behind the scenes of a show.
Nancy packed this short video with tons of little tips. For example, using your hand to make sure that you are at the right distance from the mic. Also, the impact standing or the position you decide to sit in has on your ability to perform. She also covers the important subject of looking after your voice.
Keeping Your Character’s Voice Consistent
At times you are going to be asked to sing as your charachter or do other things like run. When you do this you will need to keep the voice consistent. This is far more taxing and tricky than I thought. Nancy explains how to do things like making eating or effort noises as your charachter.
You also get to learn where Bart´s “Eat my Shorts” saying comes from.
How to perform a range of emotions
Just like a regular actor you need to be able to convey emotion. Nancy explains how she brings emotion to her animated characters. Including, using gestures and facial expressions. As well as understanding what it is the writer is trying to convey.
Conquering the ultimate vocal challenge
This was quite a funny section, which demonstrates just how hard it is to play 3 or 4 characters in the same scene. It is also an excellent way to understand how to bring together what you have been taught in the previous videos.
You have the script, which means that you can practice it yourself.
The section, where the director provides Nancy with feedback and changes. I was surprised by just how much had to be changed. It is clear that voice actors face just as many challenges as a regular actor does.
Keep yourself open so that you can take direction. Because they are going to want to go back and want to make some changes.Nancy Cartwright – Masterclass.com
Taking Your Career to the Next Level
This section is all about setting yourself up for success. Primarily by networking and building the right team around you. Nancy covers :
- Getting yourself a good manager
- Tracking down the right agent
- Network with casting directors
- How to network online to find work
- Getting the relationship with your client right
- Gelling with the team you are working with
- Instead of being the problem – be the problem solver
Here she shares tips like going with a petite agency when you are just getting started. How to get friendly with casting directors and develop those extremely important relationships.
How to handle a voice audition
This was a particularly important section. Nancy covers practical subjects like how to learn your lines and make sure that you turn up on the day feeling confident.
Lessons From a 10-Year-Old Boy
Harness Your Voice
Nancy´s biggest role to date is Bart Simpson. Over that time, she has got to know the character so well that his persona has kind of rubbed off on her. She has evolved as a person while playing him, so this section is all about the lessons she has learned from playing a 10-year-old boy for years.
Voice actor Nancy Cartwright´s Masterclass PDF download
I generally like the workbooks to follow the order in which the videos are delivered, Nancy´s didn´t. But oddly this was not an issue for me, this time. This is because Nancy Cartwright´s voice acting masterclass PDF download summarises what she taught in the course perfectly. It contains all of the most important points in an easily digestible form. So, I give this Masterclass PDF ten out of ten. Judging from the Reddit voice actor masterclass reviews I have read, many other students agree with me.
Is it worth learning to be a voice actor?
I would say the answer is yes. It is clearly possible to earn a good income. Developing your talent will be great for your personality. You will become more observant, gain a better understanding of how people act and feel. Plus, many of the skills you will learn are highly transferable.
So, I would go for it and take this masterclass. You never know where it will lead and I promise you that you will have fun taking it. Plus, when you buy the all-access pass to take Nancy Cartwright´s Masterclass don´t forget that you get access to 100 other interesting and entertaining courses. As you can see from this article I have really enjoyed taking dozens of them. So much so that I have ranked 50 of them for you.
Nancy Cartwright Teaches Voice Acting FAQs
Is Nancy Cartwright´s Masterclass worth buying?
Yes. It is a good course and there is a lot of demand for voice actors, so it is a useful skill to learn. Plus, it is a fun course to take.
How long is Nancy Cartwright´s voice acting Masterclass?
It is a little over 2.5 hours long and is presented in 14 videos.