They Know What They’re Doing…But What Were They THINKING???

2 Sep

     For the beginning of National VoiceOver Appreciation Month (see website for details), I offer the following fantasy.

     Does the fact that VoiceOver artists are getting our own month mean we get to tell our “voice seekers” what style of Director we’d like to hear in the talkback?

     I mean, can we specify up front: “I’d like to hear your direction with a sort of a Martin Scorsese feel.” …or… “Think Steven Spielberg.” …or maybe… “What I have in mind is sort of an Ingmar Bergman…but make it warm and casual.”

     Well why not? Seems like we’re increasingly being told to be Gene Hackman…or Jeff Bridges…or (for the ladies) Susan Sarandon…or (possibly for both genders) Morgan Freeman. And all the while our voice coaches continually prod us to find our own “signature sound” and stay with that!

     In fairness, I should say I have been completely entertained and impressed by all the aforementioned actors at some point. It just gets tedious after awhile having their names flung about as verbal shorthand in casting direction…which more often than not has nothing to do with what the final production will actually sound like…whether you get the part or not.

     (Sigh) But, also in fairness, I do have to admit it’s not always a case of a director simply trying to cast a project using the memory of what he saw on HBO last night.

     Sometimes it can actually be helpful.

     There was that one job which started out with me being told the client liked my demo, but wanted to hear me do the script like Robert Duvall. …even sent me a link to Duvall’s voice demo.

     Now if you know me, or you’ve listened to the demos on my home page you’ll realize I’d never be mistaken for Robert Duvall! Still, my contact convinced me to have a go at the script, which I read in a sort of world-weary delivery with a touch of authority.

     I got the job. …and two more after that for the same client using the same voice (disney i.d.e.a.s for a project they created for the U.S. Navy).

     So, okay, maybe I’m being too hard on the Voice Seekers during National VoiceOver Appreciation Month.

     But I’m also starting to delete auditon notices that should have gone to Morgan Freeman.

— over and out —


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