YOU KNOW YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL VOICE OVER ARTIST WHEN.. Your day begins and you are reading emails and downloading copy, ripping faxes off your fax machine, recording, editing, and turning around sessions quickly, not to mention, getting dialed up via the ISDN all day long.
Thank the Universe that you get to do what you love. But never take it for granted. Not even for a minute. Remember that every time you get an audition. Let’s face it, in voice over you love having contract work but your future depends on new work and in order to get new clients we audition for a living.
Every day the Pro’s deliver top quality audio to their clients, in addition to last minute auditions, that must be returned to agents within the hour.
How do we do it? The ability to be at the top of your game while continuing to win auditions is a process that includes learning how to shift vocal gears, to ensure the read is right-on every time.
The challenge is to be able to shut down what we do daily (a particular style of read) and really breathe in the new text in, and find that special place from within that allows one to embrace and interpret each new script, which many times are for products you have never seen or heard of. The other challenge is to jolt yourself out of a particular style of read when you do that read all day long for the same clients. Once in a while you may even get busted for not hitting reset and shifting gears between clients.
Last spring, I was being directed on a land-line phone with the producer of True Crime with Aphrodite Jones, (A ten-part series on ID Investigation Discovery Channel). As we worked on getting each narration to time and with the right inflection, the process, (for me), can take up to two and half hours for each sixty minute show. When suddenly ET would override the session by jumping in on the ISDN line and appear in my headphones ready for me to read for them one of the many promos they send me throughout the day.
I would be jolted out of the narration voice, as Milena, (my booth director at ET), would say “we are rolling Randy” I grab the latest promo update off my fax machine. Then, on ET’s, cue, I read the promo. When ET was done I turned back to the narration about horrendous crimes, psychopathic killers and their victims. I’m thinking that I segued back in seamlessly until the producer had to say “Randy we are not going for the ET promo read” and I would laugh and quickly downshift out of that read into the proper projection and inflection for the remainder of that narration session.
Gliding from one job to the next may sometimes feel like learning to drive a stick shift. A little herky-jerky at first, until that one day when you find yourself seamlessly shifting from one gear to the next. Taking the right approach just might help you book your next big gig. So what do YOU do to shift in and out of a particular style of read and always remain on point with your voice over clients?