How to Show Anger When Acting?

When it comes to finding your inner anger through voice acting, it’s not always the same as simply raising your voice. To find the right intonation and threatening sound, you’ll need to have direct focus. This brief article will share some tips and tricks to achieve an angry voice using vocal emotions.

How to get an angry voice

The first step is to constrict your throat almost as if you’re choking on your words. Remain in control and don’t let your throat become relaxed. This is further controlled by gripping your stomach muscles which will further allow you to control your lungs. To sound angry doesn’t always imply you need to yell or raise your voice. This isn’t needed unless there is strong emotion involved.

Raising your voice is only used when a point needs to be demanded. There are also situations where raw emotion is showing that you’ve lost control and your voice is increased as a result. Depending on the type of anger that is conveyed, keeping control of your own emotions will allow you to stay in character for multiple takes. It will be much harder to return back to a specific level of anger if you go off-script with random outbursts.

Save these wild’ takes for last when every possible anger level is carefully played out, so you can save more energy for higher levels of anger that need to be voiced. As a voice actor, you don’t need to become emotionally involved when you want to sound angry. Always keep in mind at the end of a recording session- it’s still an acting gig. Keeping mental control at all times is the key to success.

How do you sound angry?

Anger is one of the few emotions that come from becoming upset or distressed by something that immediately triggers a natural response. What comes out is a pure rage that will appear in many forms. Your voice becomes short and words are abrupt to the point of barking out select words that you feel. Some people tend to swallow their anger and can make you sound unwilling or defiant.

Much like a small child that has been denied candy or doing what they want, anger will linger in that tone even if they aren’t raising their voice. As you might expect, many talented singers have good control of conveying emotion. When it comes to sounding angry as an actor, it’s not about growling or yelling unless there is a reason for that level of outburst. Here are some stages that which anger shows a progression using a normal speaking voice.

Defiant anger

This is the Catch-22 of showing anger since it’s essentially what you can have but cannot have at the same time. Defiance is a strong emotion that makes you feel separated from everyone else. This starts in the gut and the larynx becomes tighter when you perform voice acting. Words are forced out and make any typical word sound similar to bark because of that lump in your throat.

Jealous anger

This is an emotion that is nervous and trembling because of the anger that builds up. It’s caused by someone taking away something from you and is given to someone else. The voice response will be unpredictable and has little to no reasoning when speaking. Once again, it’s similar to the ‘Me-Me-Me’ syndrome using slightly shattered bursts of words. It has an opportunity to become unhinged with loud demands mixed into a simple sentence.

Sad anger

As they say, ‘when the gloves come off’ there is no holding back when sad anger takes control. This type of anger voice is cold and calculated but because of the inner pain that is felt, the larynx will lose control and will fluctuate between loud outbursts with raw emotion that is unsympathetic. At this point, you must have a voice that doesn’t care who you offend (even if you aren’t swearing), so the emotion can be rambling and scattered.

Antagonizing anger

This is having complete control of your anger but is highly focused on causing the most damage to someone else. It’s a tactic that is used to derail someone who doesn’t agree with you and words are used similar to barking words with defiance. There is another layer that is added that includes a sadistic enjoyment in using your voice. Not quite a sound that makes you happy to say these words, but delivering these words with pure glee.

Finding the right angry voice

A script is just a script when it comes to giving any intonation on what the mood of a character is expressing. Until you get in front of the microphone, it helps to have some form of guidance. If this includes a voice director, then you’ll be asked to convey what kind of anger they need for that role you are voicing. It may also be from a suggestion from the producer or even the sound engineer that may add their two cents to sound angry.

A good director will help you to find the right mood and level that angry voices are being delivered. You will be asked to repeat several lines that are sticking to the script to convey different levels of increasing anger. This is done so the editing process can whittle down the right amount of anger to push a scene forward. Because an angry voice is providing audible interest, it can be further requested that you double down or lighten up your angry delivery.

It will be very uncommon that you are asked to adlib during an angry line delivery. Unless you are given complete freedom or have a voice director that has no clue, this can often save the day for sound editors later. Always keep in mind that you can still fall back on these four examples that provide a basic anger level to start from. As with any other emotion conveyed as a voice actor, practice makes perfect long before you enter the recording studio.

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