Oh no! my son’s voice is changing! Have no fear, its a perfectly natural part of growing up. Of course it can be of concern if your child is a voice actor and if he’s doing a cartoon series as a young and sweet character with a high pitched voice! I recently had one of my talented students, David Raynolds, go through exactly that. David started working with me at Halfyard Studios when he was a mere lad of 10. He had great acting instincts and a very high pitched little boy voice! That combination landed him may jobs, including the main character role of Mitchell, in the animated series ‘Jet’. David originally auditioned for the role at Halfyard Studios, and we worked as a team to get him a great audition (which ended up landing him the role). Jump ahead two years, and David was told he had to ‘re-audition’ for his own role because he was sounding older! Both David, mom, and his agent were concerned and for good reason, as this is every child actors hidden fear: to be recast because your growing up! There was an awkward period of a few months where David’s voice was in kind of a purgatory, somewhere between his young voice and the ‘older’ young man he was becoming, with a few cracks here and there. David talked lower, could not hit high notes, his singing voice changed and he had a bit if a ‘rasp’, (understandably he was very upset). We took a break from coaching to allow his new vocal cords to settle. After about 6 weeks David returned and we worked on his new animation demo, and wow what a different sound he had! All of a sudden he was performing more complex roles, villains, hero’s, bullies and monsters. With David's newly found lower deeper register, his sound became more mature to match his actual growth. I did work extensively with David on learning to perform these complex characters as I told him: “One day your going to need to do deeper characters, so don’t be a one trick pony!” I’m really glad I had the foresight to prepare David for the next stage of his career before it arrived! Now David is confident and ready to challenge himself with deeper roles. He was even invited back to be an older version of one of his roles in a major animation series! So fear not young actors and parents! When the vocal cords change, embrace it, wait out the few weeks of the ‘in between’ phase, and then book a session at Halfyard Studios to help build confidence after the transition. I did not mention girls, as their voice will not change nearly as dramatically, more gradual. And when boys who go through the change, (anywhere from 11-13 on average), will maintain that new sound, on average for 2-5 years. Have a listen to David Raynolds before and after demo. The beginning is David at 10, the second half is David now at 13. Way to go David!
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