Tell us a bit about what prompted you to sign up to the online 6-week Characters Foundation Masterclass?
I’d been working with BRAVA already on their Intro to VO course and had just come to the end of this when the 6 week Characters Foundation Masterclass was announced. I was keen to carry on honing my skills and with voicing a video game being my dream goal, it was a complete no brainer.
Did you have any hesitation or concerns? If so, why?
The only hesitation I had was if I was getting ahead of myself and running before I could walk. But the characters course takes this into account and caters to all levels of ability.
Overall, how did you find the individual experience? Were you nervous? How was it working with Elaine and Melissa? How did you find the group experience?
I was incredibly nervous going into the first session. I’d been having one on one sessions with Melissa and had established a great relationship with her. But this was in front of a group of complete strangers and I had to act in front of them!? Both Melissa and Elaine did a fantastic job of calming and reassuring everyone as I think a lot of us felt the same. Group learning can often leave you fighting for your time, but we were all given an equal and fair amount of time/feedback which was great. As the weeks went on and the group became more familiar with each other, it felt like we’d formed a sort of bond where we were rooting for each other to do the best we could. It was terrifying at first but so rewarding as it progressed.
What do you feel the course gave you? What did you come away with?
The course gave me a much clearer understanding of the different mediums character work is applied to and the nuances between them. It made me aware of the tools that I have at my disposal to create a wide variety of characters and how to manipulate and evolve them. On top of that it gave me a wave of confidence in my ability that I never had before.
Did the course have an impact on your work as a VO? If so, how?
Absolutely! It has given me the confidence to audition for any open casting calls for character work I see on Twitter. It’s also helped me with the narration work I have booked by bringing more life to the scripts using some of the tools learned from the characters course.
Were there any other benefits? i.e. Did you make new connections? Did it improve your confidence? Did you enjoy it? Did you feel more creative?
The sense of camaraderie from the group pushed me to do better each and every week. I’d record my sample for homework and be really proud of it. Then we’d hear everyone else’s during the following class and I’d go “Wow, time to go up a gear”. I’ve always felt quite a creative person, but this course helped unlock and focus my creativity into creating these characters.
What would you say to other people thinking of doing the same course? What advice would you give them?
If you’re on the fence about doing the course, try the taster session. But honestly, you won’t regret just jumping in with both feet into the 6 week course. Go in with an open mind and keep flexible. What you think is the right thing might not necessarily be correct so you need to take the feedback and work with it rather than backlash against it. As a historically stubborn person, I went in with that mindset and it helped me 100%
What do you think of the overall standard of teaching at BRAVA?
It’s difficult to say as I’ve not had VO coaching elsewhere but to be honest, I wouldn’t want to! Melissa, Elaine and all of BRAVA have been so supportive of me. Melissa knows when to nurture you and when to push you. It’s a relatively new school so I’m looking forward to watching them grow and working with them again in the future.
Would you recommend BRAVA to others?
Anything else you'd like to say about BRAVA, Melissa or Elaine in general?
Just thank you. Honestly, both of you have done so much for me that you’re probably not aware of. I didn’t know I could do this and you’ve both unlocked something in me that I’m so proud of. Thank you.
An interview with Adam Hopton, graduate of the 6-week Character Foundation Masterclass.
If you'd like to join the next 6-week Characters Foundation Masterclass, it starts on 12th May. More information and book here >>