As a narrator, audio book preparation can be a fun, sometimes daunting, and often fulfilling challenge. Here’s an example…
Right now I’m in the middle of preparing four short stories for an anthology totaling 122 pages. That works out to roughly 3.5 finished hours. Many audio books are five, ten, or more finished hours so volume-wise it sounds relatively easy, right? Well, yes and no.
If you are doing audio book preparation on one fiction title you often have to play the narrator, the main character (who may or may not be the narrator), and anywhere from zero to dozens of supporting characters to prepare for. With these titles, three of them are written in third person so that means three narrators, four main characters, and about 25 supporting characters. All of them require the same amount of research, preparation, thought, and consideration as the characters would be for one title.
Also, sometimes even the smallest bits of dialogue can be a crazy eyes/brain/mouth puzzle to solve. For example, in one of the stories there is a brief exchange between a Japanese character and a Russian character. In an effort to improve their relationship, they occasionally use words & phrases of the other’s language. As part of my audio book preparation I have to practice sounding Japanese while using Russian words and sounding Russian while using Japanese words. That is (for me anyway) a very counter-intuitive thing do to and my little Pooh Bear brain has been a tad resistant!
TIP OF THE WEEK
I think the lesson here is that shorter-length audio books doesn’t necessarily mean less preparation time. You still need to do your research, make sure your dialects are accurate (but not too accurate, read this blog entry to see what I mean), build your characters & their relationships, and tell a good story.
It reminds me of a one-act play in relation to a full-length play. In college, my teachers said since the play is much shorter you have less time to communicate ideas, themes, character traits, etc. to the audience so you had to work a little harder and little faster in a certain way.
Despite the challenges, I love narrating short stories and I’m thankful for every one I get to narrate!
NEWS AND NOTES
Thursday, July 12th @8PM EST: my next Edge Studio “Business and Money 201” webinar topic will be ‘Cost/Benefit Analysis’. We’ll talk about how to determine which genre is bringing in the most (or least) dough and how it happened. Click here to sign up.
Thursday, July 19th @8PM EST: my next Edge Studio “Marketing 201” webinar topic will be ‘The Sales Funnel’. We’re going to talk about what that is and how to push voice seekers through it. Click here to sign up.
Saturday, July 21st @9AM EST: I will be appearing in Part 6 of the Voiceover Intensity eLearning online course hosted by Christi Bowen. You can watch me in a video demonstrating how to speed up your eLearning workflow. If you can’t make it that day, the videos will be archived so you can watch them at your convenience. Click here to learn more.
Sunday, July 22nd @12:00PM EST: At Arts On Site, veteran voice talent an SAG-AFTRA expert Melissa Exelberth and I will host an Abacus Entertainment Union/Non-Union Q&A. This won’t be a “which is better” conversation! We will talk about the pros and cons of being union, non-union, and fi-core to help you determine which is right for you at this point in your voiceover career.
The Q&A fee is only $50 but if you become an Abacus Entertainment Studio Member you get 50% off! The newly updated Studio Membership program has a ton of great benefits: check it out at https://www.abacus.nyc/studio-member-signup. FYI this is an in-person only event and seating is limited. Click here to sign up!
November 9-11: MAVO is coming! I will be one of the guest speakers and it’s going to be a blast. They just announced that one of the guest speaks will be none other than Joe Cipriano! Be sure to get your tickets now while you still can. Learn more at MidatlanticVO.com!