A few weeks ago I had an audition at a Manhattan recording studio I’ve worked with for many years. When I got there, the engineer handed me the script and asked if I wanted to take a few minutes to look it over. I told him no thanks. He asked me if I was sure and I confirmed that I was sure.
Since I’ve known the engineer for a while, it was a very casual audition and we even collaborated on which were the best takes. When we finished, he told me that of the dozens of voice talents who auditioned for this project, I was the only one who read the script cold. I’ll tell you my reasoning in the Tip of the Week.
He also said that one of the people who auditioned told him that if she books it, she may not accept the part because of the commute.
TIP OF THE WEEK
Why didn’t I study the script? It wasn’t from arrogance and I wasn’t playing some kind of game to impress the engineer.
Before you audition you should scan the script to make sure you know how to pronounce the words and get the gist of the story, then set it aside until you get in the booth. Don’t practice reading copy! Repeating it like that marries you to one interpretation and makes it that much harder for you to take direction.
You are not the story, you are the storyteller. You are not the message, you are the messenger. Yes, your input may have some value. Yes, being directed too much sucks and being given line readings sucks even more. Tough toenails.
Look over the script once, then do your job. And your job is to be a good listener. Listen to the script. Listen to the director. Be open to any interpretation given to you, even if you don’t agree with it or it doesn’t make you sound as awesome as you think you could.
Listen, listen, listen!
Oh, and here’s my advice to the woman who complained about the commute to the audition; buy Kevlar shoes for the next time you shoot yourself in the foot and enjoy your long career in the casual-dining food service industry.
NEWS AND NOTES
And now a word from Johnny Heller, host of the modestly-titled Johnny Heller’s Spendliferous Narrator Retreat…
(If you go to johnnyheller.com and then click on “classes” – you need to click on the RED PLUS SIGN to get to the page) I’ve noted a number of queries on the Facebook that I should like to respond to. First, Rhode Island is a state that isn’t even an Island. It’s nickname is the Ocean State although very few of its residents, if any, actually live in the Ocean as all their stuff would get wet. This retreat is at Whispering Pines – a beautiful resort with beautiful resort things – it’s got rooms for sleeping and entirely different rooms for eating and even more rooms for conferences and what not. There are hiking/running trails and a dock on the water and fireplaces and volleyball and scenery and campfires and gourmet food and a bar. We should probably call it an attack cuz I’m gonna do all that stuff. We arrive Friday, Oct 28 around dinner time. We eat the dinner I discussed a moment ago. We have nothing scheduled as yet but we’re working on a Happy Hour deal – we will get some sponsorship from the fine people at Edge Studios – where most of the coaches work. We will have workshop sessions Saturday (and more meals) and some private time and time set aside for one-on-one coaching. On either Saturday or Sunday we will have a panel discussion with topics like casting, promotion, reviews and more…
On Saturday night, we have a Listener’s Lounge where narrators can read 5 minute (or so) stories to us — hopefully some spooky ones cuz it’s Halloween time!We do more stuff on Sunday and we all get out before dinner. If you want to stay over Sunday night, you can check with Whispering Pines. Or you can stay at the nearby Hampton Inn.This should be a really fantastic time and I think we’ve priced it as low as we can for a fine resort weekend including food and coaching.I hope you will come! Let me know if you have any questions – or pm Steven Jay Cohen, me or Jo Anna Perrin
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Focus on being interested rather than being interesting. Dan Duckworth
From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, GKN News…
Tom Dheere is a 20-year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently writing & producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.