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Hi everyone, it’s me Joe Gaudet. Today’s topic is Celebrity Impressions vs. Voice Doubling.
People ask me what the difference between celebrity impressions and voice doubling is. I understand that they sound like they might be the same, but they are two very distinct things. Let me explain.
Celebrity impressions are a vocally over-the-top caricature which may or may not include a visual prop or physical movements to help sell the impression in ways where it’s pretty obvious who the celebrity you’re trying to impersonate is. For example, let’s say you want to do an impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger. A lot of people do the gurgle, “get to the chopper” line in an Austrian accent. Some people’s impressions are better than others, but even if your grandmother is doing the impression in your living room, you’ll probably know from the line, the gurgle and the attempt at the accent who she’s doing an impression of.
Voice doubling is different than celebrity impressions. Instead of doing a celebrity’s well-known, cliché line from a movie, when you’re voice doubling you need to sound exactly like the person you are doubling in any setting. You’re doubling a certain voice (celebrity or not), in a certain tone, in a specific scene and context. Voice doubling is usually what casting directors do when they can’t hire the actual celebrity due to budget or scheduling or are trying to cast a new voice actor in an already established character role but don’t want the audience to know.
Here is an example of a celebrity impression vs a voice double.
<refer to audio in video> “Hi this is Arnold Schwarzenegger. First of all, let me tell you, it’s fantastic to be here. As a matter of fact, out of all of the speeches that I’ve ever given, this one right here is the most recent.”
As you can hear, in the celebrity impression example, I’m just trying to encapsulate what people perceive Arnold to be. I try to exaggerate the Austrian accent he’s known for from his earlier career (even though over the years his accent is not as pronounced). I’m also exaggerating his speech pattern and notice that it’s just one emotion throughout.
In the voice doubling example, I study his current voice and tone more. There’s a musicality to it, a certain cadence. Usually you prepare for a voice doubling assignment by listening to interviews and previously recorded projects the context which you’re trying to double. I’m not doing the Arnold from Terminator here, but Governor Arnold or the Arnold you hear in his Instagram videos.
There’s a lot more that goes into both celebrity impressions and voice doubling, but I hope this short overview and example show you the basic difference.
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