The question is, “What is a “compassionate” voice? How is the actor’s delivery different?” In a society where narcissism is arguably preferable over altruism, compassion seems an odd position. While sympathy is often overlooked, people routinely response to the daily tragic events reported by the media with outpourings of aid and well wishes. But a compassionate voice actor knows how to sincerely tap into the reservoir of his or her’s own heart and understand the sentiment of others. So, a compassionate voice actor understands compassion, how to feel it, what it means, and how to convey it in a touching way through voice acting.
Understanding compassion begins with understanding empathy. Dictionary.com explains Empathy to be more of a “…intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” On the other hand, sympathy is defined as “…the feelings or impulses of compassion.” Impulses are fine, but a compassionate” voice actor must make the mental and emotional connection to process and develop real compassion.
Real compassion stimulates actions and makes heart-felt calls changing lives of our children to our elderly. Compassion cuts through sarcasm straight to the heart and soul of the matter. It can guide the heart and mind to receive instruction and consider various options like no other emotion can.
Compassion champions the rights and needs of our families, culture, and communities. The voice talent must be comfortable and able to feel the empathy called for in a project or script and channel that emotion into a performance making for a real connection. In short, a heart – felt emotion must come from the heart.
Easy right? Perhaps, but, I try never to overlook such a basic and powerful position. Compassion is being real and touching the mind through the heart.