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VO4TA: Pink Trombone


It’s not what you think, philistine…


“From BOING BOING: Neil Thapen's Pink Trombone is a voice simulator: instead of telling it what to say, you individually move the soft and fleshy parts of the mouth, tongue and throat. There's a lot of fun to be had moving around the circular purple tongue control and the bottom lip and hearing the machine sing”.

VO4TA: Omit


Know you are being put on notice…  


If you are called to read a dialogue script of any kind - only submit your read.  Even if you read with someone else - submit only your voice.  Not a helper.  Not your Mom  reading the other role.  Not a coach reading the lines.  Only YOU reading your lines.  


VO4TA: Never lie.


Years ago a young actor suggested I write about this idea: “Actors are very territorial of the information they have and won't give it away, but actors are equally as territorial of their ignorance. They don't want anyone to know how much they don't know. Thus, they keep their mouths shut and forfeit their opportunity to learn (in order to seem) in-the-know. Silly actors. We're so stubborn sometimes.”

VO4TA: All Caps


I’ve been thinking about the all caps “shouting” thing…  


Whenever I’ve seen all caps on a BRAND NAME I’ve never wanted to hear an actor read it with any more emphasis than a Brand Name.  (Does that make sense?)  I don’t see it as something to shout: “Save money. Live better. WALMART.” No shouting.

VO4TA: Three of a Kind


Threes are in a lot of places: “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, three branches of government, the strength of the triangle in architecture, a group of three atoms in the covalent bond H20...


Pull ten random pieces of commercial copy and you will find groups of three maybe eight out of ten times.  But they can be very different...

VO4TA: Artistry, work and other thoughts


My Grandfather told me when I was too young to understand it - “One thing I’ve learned: it’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” He said it so it didn’t sound anything like a cliche. 

VO4TA: Simple


The simplest things make the difference.


You got an audition today? Fine.


You can send in the audition? Good.  Label it with your working name and the project name, not the default file name your gear puts on it.

VO4TA: Lines and Spaces


The formatting of lines on voiceover copy does not adhere to the specific formatting rules of scriptwriting.  Therefore they can be all over the place. Punctuation is suspect too, because there are often unnecessary artifacts (ellipses, especially) from the copying and pasting of lines from storyboards.

VO4TA: Transition


The good news is that we have grown!  And to speak to that growth we are are in a state of transition here at VO4TA. 

VO4TA: Voice vs Read


HPK VO Rule No. 2:  Voiceover is far more about your read and much less about your vocal quality.


I hear many more actors with unremarkable voices work day in and day out than actors gifted with great, unique voices.  Truth.