I’m not sure why this is, but I can’t seem to nail down a character until I get him vocally. I don’t mean I can’t complete a character without the vocal aspect. I need some vocal ideas to get jumpstarted on character development from scratch. Even if I change my mind about vocal choices later, or finally end up using my natural voice, I have a tough time getting off the starting line until I’ve done some experimenting with different voices. There’s something about hearing myself reading the lines with a different voice that makes it easier to become someone different. The first time I pick up a script I start reading my lines out loud, shifting from one vocal idea to another. I know I’ve hit the right voice when it starts to generate new ideas about other character choices. Sometimes at an early rehearsal, the director will ask me to drop my chosen voice and go with something else. But that’s okay. Unless I feel very strongly about the vocal choice, changing it is no big deal because it has already done its job by introducing me to other facets of my character I might have otherwise missed. It’s a little unconventional I know but it works for me.